Electromagnetic brakes

What is the definition of electromagnetic brake?
A non-contact brake design actuated when an electric current charges a coil that acts as an electromagnet. Electromagnetic brakes are widely used in automated machinery and provide a high cycling rate.

On trams and trains, an electromagnetic brake is a track brake where the braking element is pressed by magnetic force to the rail, i.e. the braking is by friction, not the magnetic effect directly.

This is different from an Eddy current brake where there is no mechanical contact between the braking element on the moving vehicle and the rail.
eddy current Brake which is similar Electromagnetic Brake

An eddy current brake, like a conventional friction brake, is responsible for slowing an object, such as a train or a roller coaster. Unlike friction brakes, which apply pressure on two separate objects, eddy current brakes slow an object by creating eddy currents through electromagnetic induction which create resistance, and in turn either heat or electricity.
Construction and operation

[edit] Circular eddy current brake

Electromagnetic brakes are similar to electrical motors; non-ferromagnetic metal discs (rotors) are connected to a rotating coil, and a magnetic field between the rotor and the coil creates a resistance used to generate electricity or heat. When electromagnets are used, control of the braking action is made possible by varying the strength of the magnetic field. A braking force is possible when electric current is passed through the electromagnets. The movement of the metal through the magnetic field of the electromagnets creates eddy currents in the discs. These eddy currents generate an opposing magnetic field, which then resists the rotation of the discs, providing braking force. The net result is to convert the motion of the rotors into heat in the rotors.

[edit] Linear eddy current brake

The principle of the linear eddy current brake has been described by the French physicist Foucault, that's why in French the eddy current brake is called the "frein ? courants de Foucault".

The linear eddy current brake consists of a magnetic yoke with electrical coils positioned along the rail, which are being magnetized alternating as south and north magnetic poles. This magnet does not touch the rail, as with the magnetic brake, but is held at a definite small distance from the rail (approximately 7 millimeters). It does not move along the rail, it exerts only a vertical pull on the rail. Let us call that magnetic force F.

When the magnet is moved along the rail, it generates in non-stationary magnetic field in the head of the rail, which then generates electrical tension (Faraday's induction law), and that causes eddy currents. These disturb the magnetic field in such a way that the magnetic force F, mentioned above, is diverted to the opposite of the direction of the movement, thus creating a parallelogram of forces consisting of the remaining vertical force FV and the horizontal force FH, which works against the movement of the magnet.

The braking energy of the vehicle is converted in eddy current losses which lead to a warming of the rail.

The regular magnetic brake which is in wide use in railways, exerts its braking force by friction with the rail, which also creates heat.

The eddy current brake does not have any mechanical contact with the rail, and thus no wear and tear of it, and creates no noise or odor. The eddy current brake is, as should be clear from the above explanation, unusable at low speeds, but can be used at high speeds both for emergency braking as well as regular and regulated braking.[1]

The TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) of the EU for trans-European high speed rail recommends that all newly built high speed lines should make the eddy current brake possible.
Eddy current brakes at the Intamin roller coaster Goliath in Walibi World (Netherlands)
Eddy current brakes at the Intamin roller coaster Goliath in Walibi World (Netherlands)

The first train in commercial circulation to use such a braking is the ICE 3.

Modern roller coasters use this type of braking, but utilize permanent magnets instead of electromagnets. Thes0
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