Slip Ring Assembly and its Function
A slip ring is an electrical connector component that is designed to carry a current from a wire into a rotating device. It can be used in any electromechanical system that requires rotation while it transmits power. Slip rings can simplify system operations, eliminate the need for freestanding wires, and improve overall mechanical performance.
The composition of slip ring hardware consists of a graphite or metal contact brush which moves on the outside diameter of a rotating ring. As the ring turns, the electric current is conducted through the brush to the metal ring, establishing a connection. Slip rings typically operate with multiple rings that provide an even distribution and flow of electrical current to multiple portions of the device. The wires from the immobilized structure loop around the compartment which houses the electricity conducting rings. Power can be supplied to the slip ring by connecting wires to the brush wire, through the brush block. The electricity transfers from the brush wires to the metal rings, then makes its way to the outside slip ring, and ultimately ends up at the device.
Slip rings are used for power, electrical generators, alternators, ethernet signal transmission, proximity switches, and many other functions. They are available in a wide array of configurations, types, and materials to fit most applications. For low current signal circuits, gold on gold slip rings are recommended. In cases of higher current power circuits, silver on silver slip rings work best. Slip rings are often integrated into rotary unions and send power/data to and from rotating machinery with a single device.
Slip rings can be organized into three classifications: shaft type, disk type, and differential slip. The ring surface of shaft type slip rings is distributed along the axial direction. These rings are isolated by insulating sheets and have high reliability/durability; they are also low cost and easy to maintain. Disk type slip rings utilize a series of concentric rings to load electric currents. The brushes are distributed on top of concentric rings and act as a stator. These rings have a complex structure and high manufacturing costs as they are composed of three parts: differential mechanism, ring core, and auxiliary components. They are mainly used in radar systems and military applications. Slip ring technology is impressively diverse and can be utilized in many industries.
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