Magnetic Brakes-Why so smooth?

Wednesday, August 21, 2002 11:52 AM
Why are magetic brakes so smooth when stopping a roller coaster train or drop ride? When you compare the brake run on Millennium Force to Magnum XL 200, there is an obvious differnce. On Millennium Force you can bearly tell you are stopping, but on Magnum, you can't miss the brakes. On Demon Drop, an Intamin first generation free fall, I found the brakes to be a little painful. Not enough to keep me from going on the ride again, but not three or four times in a row. On Drop Zone, and Intamin gyro Drop, the stop is so smooth that I could ride it all day. And in both cases, the ride with the magnetic brakes is going faster in the end than the ride with the conventional brakes, and yet are still smoother. So why do magnets make a break run so smooth in such a small area? And could conventional brakes be tweaked to be as smooth as magnetic ones?

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Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 11:57 AM
The reason magnetic brakes are so smooth is because they dont rely on friction to stop the train, just magnitism. So the stop will be constant and smooth.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 12:05 PM
Eggsakly. :)
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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 12:31 PM

It's not so much the lack of friction as it is the "curve" that defines how much stopping power is involved. The faster the fins move through the magnets, the harder they pull. As the train slows down, so does the stopping power.

One of the brake vendors at IAAPA had a very cool demo of this where you could ram a fin through one of these brakes. Needless to say, it was near impossible by hand to move it quickly through the magnets. Pretty neat stuff.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 7:11 PM
It's all about the eddies!

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Titan Uranus 1976-2001

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 10:13 PM
The eddies?
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Thursday, August 22, 2002 3:34 AM
oh no not you, the eddy currents ;)

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Titan Uranus 1976-2001

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Thursday, August 22, 2002 4:57 AM
What eddies? Jeff explained it well. It's so smooth because the rate of deceleration scales directly with how fast the train is going, unlike most coasters that rely on traditional friction brakes that decelerate you at a constant speed until the train is halted.
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Thursday, August 22, 2002 6:27 AM

Here is a link to a study that was done on magnetic braking. It is pretty technical, but if you have the "god given gift," you will be fine ;-)

http://www.wooster.edu/physics/JrIS/Files/Scott.pdf

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Thursday, August 22, 2002 10:05 AM

Wow, I just realized how confusing that is after bmp143's post. I'll stick to SteveWoA and SOOperGir's theory's. Jeff's was pretty easy to understand as well.

Forgot to ask everyone, don't ya love the sound of them though? I love the sound on any Intamin Giant drop or even a coaster like MF for that matter. But MF's brakes arent as kool sounding as Drop Zone at Pki.

Anyhoo...

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*** This post was edited by coastingohio on 8/22/2002. ***

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