What Is a Flywheel Brake?

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A flywheel brake is used to stop an internal combustion engine by the use of friction against the flywheel. When the internal combustion engine has been shut down, the brake can be applied to quickly stop movement.

Function

Typically flywheel brakes are used on industrial equipment -- machines such as stamping, forging and metal forming equipment. Because of their size, industrial engines are hard stop and flywheel brakes provide quick stop time of moving parts.

Size

Flywheel brakes are made in different sizes for use on different size engines and flywheels. Single cylinder lawnmowers are required to have flywheel brakes quickly stop the blades, but will be much smaller.

Significance

Flywheel brakes are safety and time-saving devices used to stop an engine quickly. Instead of allowing the engine to gradually slow, the brake stops it much faster. This helps operators conduct maintenance and return to operation quickly.

Effects

According to "Outdoor Power Info,” since 1986, walk-behind lawnmowers were required to have flywheel brakes to reduce injuries from blades.

Features

Brakes on lawnmowers act automatically when ignition is shut off. Brakes on the engines of industrial equipment require an operator to engage a lever or button to apply the brake.

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