Electric drum brake suits small cars

July 23, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Today, electric park brakes are a privilege of upmarket vehicles; compacts and subcompacts have to content themselves with a mechanical park brake which is integrated into the rear axle drum brakes. Automotive supplier Continental brings the luxury of premium vehicles to the entry level.

The system consists of two actuators which are integrated into the carrier plate of the rear axle drum brakes plus the associated control software. The electric park brake is controlled by the ECU for the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a feature that even in low-end vehicles today is standard. The structure of Continental's electric park brake suits compact, light cars and is equipped with a double direction hydraulic cylinder and a mechanic locking device. The combination of a cost-effective drum brake with integrated actuators and activation through ESC yields a low-weight system with high efficiency and low manufacturing costs, says Continental.

In the future, the functionality of the electromechanical system used can be transplanted to Continental's Duo Servo brake deployed in light commercial vehicles and SUVs. This drum brake offers the same functionality and benefits as a Duo Servo brake or a disk brake - like simple push-button activation as well as interfacing to various driver assist systems. For carmakers, the electric park brake opens up additional design freedom since the brake lever can be removed.

The electric drum brake will reach series maturity in 2017. Continental believes that the demand is high: Already in 2015, every fourth new vehicle in Europe will be equipped with an electric park brake, five times more than in 2008.

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