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The Science of Eddy Current Magnetic Braking

The Science of Eddy Current Magnetic Braking

Unlike mechanical brakes, which use friction and kinetic energy to stop objects from moving, eddy current brakes use electromagnetism to do it. Our cutting-edge magnetic braking system is exceptionally dependable, smooth, and long-lasting. There are no contacting parts in the braking system, hence there is no friction. What exactly does that imply?

Magnetic braking is a technology used in auto belays, which are devices that automatically control the descent of a climber in the event of a fall. These devices are typically found in indoor climbing gyms and are designed to provide a safe and controlled descent for climbers who are solo climbing or who are belayed by an inexperienced partner.

Auto belays that use magnetic braking rely on the principle of eddy currents, which are generated when a magnetic field is applied to a conductor. In this case, the conductor is a metal drum that is attached to the rope and is used to control the speed of the climber’s descent.

When the climber begins to fall, the auto belay’s magnetic field is activated, creating eddy currents in the metal drum. These eddy currents create a resistance force, which slows down the descent of the climber. This braking force is adjusted based on the speed of the climber’s descent, ensuring a safe and controlled landing.

One of the main benefits of magnetic braking is that it is a passive system, meaning it does not require any external power source. This makes it a reliable and safe option for climbers, as there is no risk of mechanical failure or power loss. Additionally, magnetic braking systems are known for their smooth and consistent braking action, which provides a more comfortable and safe landing for the climber.

Another advantage of magnetic braking is that it is a low-maintenance system. Unlike traditional mechanical braking systems, which can wear out over time and require frequent replacement of parts, magnetic braking systems require minimal maintenance and can have a longer lifespan.

Overall, magnetic braking is an advanced technology that provides a safe and controlled descent for climbers in auto belays. Its passive and low-maintenance system, along with its consistent and smooth braking action, makes it a reliable and preferred option for indoor climbing gyms.

Eddy currents

Eddy current braking is a cutting-edge braking method with cost-cutting and risk-management benefits. This one-of-a-kind braking system transforms the simple function of magnetic and non-magnetic forces into a high-tech marvel. The purposeful creation of eddy currents in order to decelerate a movement leads to the use of these forces as a braking mechanism. When a conductor moves through a magnetic field, opposing forces swirl within the conductor, resulting in eddy currents. This interaction of forces creates ideal circumstances for a smooth deceleration. If you’d want to understand more about the science behind eddy current technology, you can do so by clicking here.

The swirling oscillations within the conductor, similar to an eddy current in a river, give eddy current braking its name. Eddy current braking features a number of respectable qualities as a cutting-edge technology. Eddy current brakes are appropriate for many types of machinery due to the lack of direct contact between internal components, making them extremely low-maintenance. Low maintenance equals fewer replacements, which means you’ll save money.

The eddy current brake’s risk management benefits and cost savings have made it a popular choice among engineers when developing new technologies or upgrading existing ones. This complex system of magnets is utilized far more frequently than you may expect. Eddy currents have a wide range of applications.

Eddy current brake systems have a wide range of applications. Entertainment and recreation equipment are two of the most well-known ways they’re employed on a regular basis. Eddy current brakes are ideal for family-friendly situations because of their minimal maintenance costs and outstanding safety features. Auto belays are commonly seen in indoor rock climbing gyms and high ropes courses. TRUBLUE is the only auto belay on the market that uses eddy current braking to help climbers safely descend from the top. The eddy current brake is a climbing essential because it allows the climber to descend slowly and steadily. Auto belays with high-tech features can self-regulate to provide the same level of comfort to a wide variety of weights. The eddy current braking system’s interchangeability is what makes it such a great asset to auto belay makers and family attractions.

The eddy current system’s debut in zip line brakes is a unique manner the system is used for recreational reasons. Currently, the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake is the only zip line brake that employs this complex mechanism. Because of its low cost of ownership and ability to handle a wider spectrum of consumers, zip line operators choose this style of brake. The use of eddy currents in this manner reduces the need for rider participation in the zip line braking process, enhancing safety and allowing riders to relax and enjoy the trip. Eddy current zip line brakes have unique properties that allow riders to travel at faster speeds while being safe and thrilling.

Another sort of recreational equipment that uses this unique braking technique is free fall devices. A free fall device is a gadget that uses gravity and the weight of the rider to generate a true free fall sensation. The QUICKflight Free Fall Device is a one-of-a-kind device that relies solely on eddy currents as part of our patented braking technology. They include eddy current braking, which is used to capture the participant and gently drop them to the ground. Eddy current braking can be put to the test with free fall systems, zip line breaks, and auto belays.

Magnetic self-braking zip wire pulley

The key safety difficulties surrounding the regulated and safe braking scenario at the end of high-speed zip wire courses are addressed by our self-braking zip wire pulley.

Our Self-Braking magnetic zipline Trolley, which was designed specifically for steep, long, and fast zipline courses, enables for the building of long-distance ziplines without a complex braking area. By eliminating costly and high-maintenance structures, we leave the smallest possible environmental imprint. The MAG Brake zipline Pulley can tolerate a speed drop of up to 35% because to its internal braking mechanism.

Magnetic braking technology in auto belays

The TRUBLUE auto belay is the most tested, most trusted, and most TRU Auto Belay on the market, with over a billion climbs each year in 60+ countries across six continents.

When a participant’s weight pulls the webbing out of a TRUBLUE Auto Belay, centrifugal force sends aluminum rotor arms spinning into the device’s magnetic field. The eddy currents within the aluminum arms are created by the passage of aluminum past magnets.

Eddy currents are circular electrical currents that flow like eddies in a river and are called after them. The eddy currents’ force opposes that of the magnets, generating resistance and slowing the release of webbing from the apparatus. Want to delve a little deeper? Learn more about the science underlying magnetic braking with a simple physics lesson.

Our braking mechanism is self-regulating, which means it regulates itself dependent on the weight of the user. The webbing will be pulled out faster by a heavier participant, causing the rotor arms to travel faster and further into the magnetic field, increasing the braking force. This allows people of all weights to have a consistent and similar experience with TRUBLUE devices.

We believe in testing our equipment to the strictest standards. We have an awesome responsibility as the world leader in Auto Belay manufacturing to take the lead in regulation and safety requirements. With roughly one billion descents a year on our devices around the world, we have the most tested auto belay on the market.

  • EN341:2011 is the CE standard for Personal Protective Equipment against falls from height – Descender Devices
  • EN360:2002 – is the CE standard for Personal Protective Equipment against falls from height – Retractable type fall arresters

TÜV SÜD tested the TRUBLUE devices to 10x Class A, as newly required for all auto belays. The TRUBLUE was the first Auto Belay to meet this standard and led the way in meeting the most stringent requirements. We are also certified as meeting the requirements of EN360:2002. This means our device is designed and certified for shock loads.


Every day, gyms, competitions, camps, etc. have a choice to make when they pick an Auto Belay for their business. They can choose the best, or they can choose one that tests to a lower standard. With lives hanging, we fully believe that going with the device that is the most thoroughly tested is the only option.


TRUBLUE Auto Belays have completed over a billion climbs every year, are found on six continents, and have been utilized in more than 60 nations, making them the most commonly used and trusted auto belay on the planet. How can we be sure we’re the most dependable? Our product is preferred by the world’s largest climbing wall constructors. Our goods are trusted by the greatest Fun Climbs in the globe more than any other. Our product is the best, and the busiest camps, trampoline parks, and amusement parks all know it. They put their clients’ trust in it every day. We’re confident in our product’s ability to withstand the test of time thanks to our magnetic braking technology.


In contrast to friction braking, magnetic braking removes parts grinding against each other during the braking process, which could eventually wear out and cause failure.


TRU CLIMB Technology from TRUBLUE is designed to provide the most “genuine” climber feel in the Auto Belay business. As a result, the climber only notices the belay on their harness when they need it (i.e. the fall or descent). Our TRUBLUE SPEED is designed to keep up with the world’s quickest climbers. Cycle after cycle, its magnetic “eddy current” braking provides a reliable, smooth, and steady descent. This is in contrast to friction braking methods, which suffer from brake fade and may become ineffective when wet, as well as increased downhill speed when used frequently. The proprietary “self-regulating” design allows for a smooth and consistent descent regardless of weight, so whether you’re climbing with a 25-pound toddler or a 300-pound Olympic weight lifter, they’ll have the same experience.


An industrial safety descent device was used to create the first recreational auto belay. The device’s feel on the climbing section of the trek was given very little thought. Folks, especially lighter weight people, were being helped up the wall, according to our founder, who operated the Boulder Rock Club at the time. This was critical feedback for the TRUBLUE Auto Belay’s development.

Additional expert Information regarding Auto Belay technology and advantages

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