Electromagnetic Brakes: the Art of Slowing or Stopping Motion

You might find yourself asking how machines as big as locomotives have the stopping power to go from a few hundred kilometers an hour to zero in a couple of seconds. This is where the electromagnetic brake use comes in handy – it’s a mechanical linkage that transmits torque to an EM (electromagnetic) braking component. Trains and trams use these EM brakes and when the braking element is pressed by the magnetic force to the rail, it slows down and eventually stops. They are different than mechanical track brakes, where the breaking element is being mechanically pressed to the rail. The electromagnetic brake use is essential in many industries, including robotics.

Electromagnetic Brakes

  • EM power brakes are an important type of EM brakes in many industries because they stop or hold loads when electrical power is lost. Many lives have been saved thanks to these brakes and they’re referred to as “fail safe” brakes for a reason. Their appliance is usually close to, or on electric motors. They’re typically used in robotics and are available in multiple voltages and can have either zero or standard backlash hubs.
  • EM particle brakes, compared to other types of EM brakes are unique in their design because of the available torque range they provide. Just like other Em brakes, torque to voltage is linear, however, the torque in these brakes can be controlled very accurately. This makes them extremely suitable for tension control applications, such as foil, film and wire winding control. They have a fast response time and are ideal for high cycle applications, such as sorting machines, magnetic card readers and labeling equipment.
  • EM Hysteresis Power Brakes have a very wide torque range. They can be remotely controlled, which makes them ideal for stand applications where varying torque is needed. Since drag torque is very low, these units offer the most torque range out of all hysteresis products. Most applications that involve powered hysteresis units are in the test stand requirements.
  • EM Multiple Disk Brakes are most often used to deliver high torque within small spaces. They can be used either dry or wet, which makes them perfect for running on multi speed machine tool applications, gear box applications or in off-road equipment. They operate via electrical actuation, however, they transmit torque mechanically.

Depending on what you need EM brakes for, you can choose one of the aforementioned types and be certain that it will have the job you need done. They became extremely popular in the middle of the 20th century, and since then, their appliance has widely increased. Also, the amount of their designs has increased significantly but their basic operation methods have remained the same.