Anti-lock braking system
An anti-lock braking system (ABS, from German: Antiblockiersystem) is a safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to continue interacting tractively with the road surface as directed by driver steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (that is, ceasing rotation) and therefore avoiding skidding.
An ABS generally offers improved vehicle control and decreases stopping distances on dry and slippery surfaces for many drivers; however, on loose surfaces like gravel or snow-covered pavement, an ABS can significantly increase braking distance, although still improving vehicle control.
Since initial widespread use in production cars, anti-lock braking systems have evolved considerably. Recent versions not only prevent wheel lock under braking, but also electronically control the front-to-rear brake bias. This function, depending on its specific capabilities and implementation, is known as electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control system, emergency brake assist, orelectronic stability control (ESC).
HISTORY OF ABS
The ABS was first developed for aircraft use in 1929 by the French automobile and aircraft pioneer. In this system they use a flywheel and valve attached to a hydraulic line that feeds the brake cylinders. The flywheel is attached to a drum that runs at the same speed as the wheel. In normal braking, the drum and flywheel should spin at the same speed. However, if a wheel were to slow down, then the drum would do the same, leaving the flywheel spinning at a faster rate. This causes the valve to open, allowing a small amount of brake fluid to bypass the master cylinder into a local reservoir, lowering the pressure on the cylinder and releasing the brakes. The use of the drum and flywheel meant the valve only opened when the wheel was turning. In testing, a 30% improvement in braking performance was noted, because the pilots immediately applied full brakes instead of slowly increasing pressure in order to find the skid point. An additional benefit was the elimination of burned or burst tires.
In 1958, a Royal Enfield Super Meteor motorcycle was used by the Road Research Laboratory to test the Maxaret anti-lock brake. The experiments demonstrated that anti-lock brakes can be of great value to motorcycles, for which skidding is involved in a high proportion of accidents. Stopping distances were reduced in most of the tests compared with locked wheel braking, particularly on slippery surfaces, in which the improvement could be as much as 30 percent. Enfield's technical director at the time, Tony Wilson-Jones, saw little future in the system, however, and it was not put into production by the company.
A fully mechanical system saw limited automobile use in the 1960s in the Ferguson P99 racing car, the Jensen FF, and the experimental all wheel drive Ford Zodiac, but saw no further use; the system proved expensive and unreliable
Chrysler, together with the Bendix Corporation, introduced a computerized, three-channel, four-sensor all-wheel ABS called "Sure Brake" for its 1971 Imperial. It was available for several years thereafter, functioned as intended, and proved reliable. In 1971, General Motors introduced the "Trackmaster" rear-wheel only ABS as an option on their Rear-wheel drive Cadillac models. In the same year, Nissan offered an EAL (Electro Anti-lock System) as an option on the Nissan President, which became Japan's first electronic ABS.
In 1988, BMW introduced the first motorcycle with an electronic-hydraulic ABS: the BMW K100. Honda followed suit in 1992 with the launch of its first motorcycle ABS on the ST1100 Pan European. In 2007, Suzuki launched its GSF1200SA (Bandit) with an ABS. In 2005, Harley-Davidson began offering ABS as an option for police bikes.
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Working of ABS
When the driver hits the brakes this pressurises a hydraulic system which causes the brake pads to squeeze against the discs which causes the car to slow down. If the ABS system detects that one wheel is slowing down more rapidly than the rest (a symptom of wheel-lock) it automatically reduces the brake pressure on this wheel by opening a pressure release valve in the hydraulic system. ABS also has the ability to build the pressure back up via the hydraulic motor. The system reacts remarkably quickly, and compared wheel speeds many times a second. ABS systems can act on just the front wheels (which do most of the braking work), or all four depending on what car you're driving.
The anti-lock brake controller is also known as the CAB (Controller Anti-lock Brake)
ABS WITH ECU
A typical ABS includes a central electronic control unit (ECU), four wheel speed sensors, and at least two hydraulic valves within the brake hydraulics. The ECU constantly monitors the rotational speed of each wheel; if it detects a wheel rotating significantly slower than the others, a condition indicative of impending wheel lock, it actuates the valves to reduce hydraulic pressure to the brake at the affected wheel, thus reducing the braking force on that wheel; the wheel then turns faster. Conversely, if the ECU detects a wheel turning significantly faster than the others, brake hydraulic pressure to the wheel is increased so the braking force is reapplied, slowing down the wheel. This process is repeated continuously and can be detected by the driver via brake pedal pulsation. Some anti-lock system can apply or release braking pressure 16 times per second.
The ECU is programmed to disregard differences in wheel rotative speed below a critical threshold, because when the car is turning, the two wheels towards the center of the curve turn slower than the outer two. For this same reason, a differential is used in virtually all roadgoing vehicles.
If a fault develops in any part of the ABS, a warning light will usually be illuminated on the vehicle instrument panel, and the ABS will be disabled until the fault is rectified.
The modern ABS applies individual brake pressure to all four wheels through a control system of hub-mounted sensors and a dedicated micro-controller. ABS is offered or comes standard on most road vehicles produced today and is the foundation for ESC systems, which are rapidly increasing in popularity due to the vast reduction in price of vehicle electronics over the years.
Modern electronic stability control (ESC or ESP) systems are an evolution of the ABS concept. Here, a minimum of two additional sensors are added to help the system work: these are a steering wheel angle sensor, and a gyroscopic sensor. The theory of operation is simple: when the gyroscopic sensor detects that the direction taken by the car does not coincide with what the steering wheel sensor reports, the ESC software will brake the necessary individual wheel(s) (up to three with the most sophisticated systems), so that the vehicle goes the way the driver intends. The steering wheel sensor also helps in the operation of Cornering Brake Control (CBC), since this will tell the ABS that wheels on the inside of the curve should brake more than wheels on the outside, and by how much.
The ABS equipment may also be used to implement a traction control system(TCS) on acceleration of the vehicle. If, when accelerating, the tire loses traction, the ABS controller can detect the situation and take suitable action so that traction is regained. More sophisticated versions of this can also control throttle levels and brakes simultaneously.
Components of ABS
The anti-lock braking system needs some way of knowing when a wheel is about to lock up. The speed sensors, which are located at each wheel, or in some cases in the differential, provide this information
There is a valve in the brake line of each brake controlled by the ABS. On some systems, the valve has three positions:
? In position one, the valve is open; pressure from the master cylinder is passed right through to the brake.
? In position two, the valve blocks the line, isolating that brake from the master cylinder. This prevents the pressure from rising further should the driver push the brake pedal harder.
? In position three, the valve releases some of the pressure from the brake
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TYPES OF BRAKE
Four-channel, four-sensor ABS
This is the best scheme. There is a speed sensor on all four wheels and a separate valve for all four wheels. With this setup, the controller monitors each wheel individually to make sure it is achieving maximum braking force.
Three-channel, three-sensor ABS
This scheme, commonly found on pickup trucks with four-wheel ABS, has a speed sensor and a valve for each of the front wheels, with one valve and one sensor for both rear wheels. The speed sensor for the rear wheels is located in the rear axle. This sys?tem provides individual control of the front wheels, so they can both achieve maximum braking force. The rear wheels, however, are monitored together; they both have to start to lock up before the ABS will activate on the rear. With this system, it is possible that one of the rear wheels will lock during a stop, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is easy to identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for the rear wheels.
One-channel, one-sensor ABS
This system is commonly found on pickup trucks with rear-wheel ABS. It has one valve, which controls both rear wheels, and one speed sensor, located in the rear axle. This system operates the same as the rear end of a three-channel system. The rear wheels are monitored together and they both have to start to lock up before the ABS kicks in. In this system it is also possible that one of the rear wheels will lock, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is also easy to identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for any of the wheels.
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