A disc brake assembly. Wheel rotation is slowed by friction when the hydraulic pistons squeeze the …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Device for decreasing the speed of a body or stopping its motion. Most brakes act on rotating mechanical elements and absorb kinetic energy mechanically, hydrodynamically, or electrically. Mechanical brakes are the most common; they dissipate the kinetic energy as heat generated by mechanical friction between a rotating drum or disk and a stationary friction element. A hydrodynamic (fluid) brake has a rotor (rotating element) and a stator (stationary element). Resistance to rotation is created by fluid friction and circulation of the liquid (usually water) from a series of pockets in the rotor to a series of complementary pockets in the stator. See also air brake.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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