I saw this article in our forum posted by napster, So thought to share same with you all here as well.
The theory behind anti-lock brakes (ABS
) is simple.
A skidding wheel (where the tire contact patch is sliding relative to the road)
has less traction than a non-skidding wheel. If you have been
stuck on ice, you know that if your wheels are spinning you have no traction.
This is because the contact patch is sliding relative to the ice. By keeping the wheels from skidding while you slow down, anti-lock brakes benefit you in two ways: You'll stop faster, and you'll be able to steer while you stop. There are four main components to an ABS system:
- Speed sensors
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. Valves
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. Pump
Since the valve is able to release pressure
from the brakes, there has to be some way to put that pressure back. That is what the pump does; when a valve reduces the pressure in a line, the pump is there to get the pressure back up. Controller
The controller is a computer in the
car. It watches the speed sensors and controls the valves. ABS
There are many different variations and
control algorithms for ABS
systems. We will discuss how one of the simpler
The controller monitors the speed sensors at all times. It is looking for
decelerations in the wheel that are out of the ordinary. Right
before a wheel locks up, it will experience a rapid deceleration. If left
unchecked, the wheel would stop much more quickly than any car could. It mighttake a car five seconds to stop from 60 mph (96.6 kph) under ideal conditions,but a wheel that locks up could stop spinning in less than a second.
controller knows that such a rapid deceleration is impossible, so it reduces the pressure to that brake until it sees an
acceleration, then it increases the pressure until it sees the deceleration
again. It can do this very quickly, before the tire can actually significantly change speed. The
result is that the tire slows down at the same rate as the car, with the brakes keeping the tires very near the point at which they will start to lock up. This gives the system maximum braking power.
When the ABS
system is in operation you will feel a pulsing
in the brake pedal; this comes from the rapid opening and closing of the valves. Some ABS
systems can cycle up to 15 times per second.
Source: How Stuff Works via TAI Old Forum