vacuum brake

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Related to Vacuum brakes: Air brakes

vacuum brake

[′vak·yəm ‚brāk]
(mechanical engineering)
A form of air brake which operates by maintaining low pressure in the actuating cylinder; braking action is produced by opening one side of the cylinder to the atmosphere so that atmospheric pressure, aided in some designs by gravity, applies the brake.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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When railroad executives persisted in obtaining vacuum brakes, Westinghouse offered to supply them more cheaply himself, all the while insisting that the air brake outperformed its rival.
The Master Car-Builders' Association, determining that a test of two appliances manufactured by a single firm would have no meaning, abandoned its plans to conduct a comparative trial of the two braking systems.(98) The following year Westinghouse conducted his own comparison, declared the air brake superior, and discontinued production of vacuum brakes.(99) He had secured a monopoly over a technology that most Americans had come to consider indispensable for railroad passenger service.
He designed several locomotives; however, his greatest legacy was the introduction of vacuum brakes to Ireland, a trend which continued in Britain.