How Elevator Brakes Work to Make Our Residential Elevators and Commercial Lifts Safe
How Elevator Brakes Work
How Brake Systems Work in Passenger Elevators
When you’re using residential or commercial elevators, there’s always one aspect you want to have complete confidence in: the brakes. The brakes on commercial and residential lifts are there to make sure that the car can come to a complete, safe stop, and they’re also there to provide an important safeguard in case of a power failure or other mishap. What many people may not know is that there are actually two different types of brakes on a typical cable-driven elevator. These are the motor brake and the car brakes, also known as “safeties.” These systems work together to ensure that users of passenger elevators are kept safe at all times.
How Does the Motor Brake on an Elevator Work?
On residential and commercial lifts, the motor brake is either built into the motor housing itself or mounted on the end of the motor. The brake has pads or discs that surround the motor shaft. When the brake is engaged, springs keep the brake pads firmly clamped around the shaft, which in turn prevents it from turning and the elevator from moving. When voltage is applied to the brake solenoid coil, the solenoid overpowers the springs and releases the brake. The elevator controls will release the brake when it’s time for the motor to run and re-engage the brakes as the motor stops. When there’s a power outage, the motor brakes in commercial and residential elevators instantly engage and halt any movement, keeping the passengers safe.
What Do the Car Brakes on Commercial Elevators Do?
The car brakes (safeties) are what most people think about when discussing elevator brakes or operating residential elevators. These safeties prevent an elevator car from falling in the event of a major failure. The safeties can be triggered by the cables going slack or by the car moving too fast. If the cable goes slack, springs automatically trigger the safeties to engage. If the car is traveling too fast, a device called an overspeed governor registers this and causes the safeties to engage.