Slip Rings

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What is a Slip Ring?

Slip rings, also called collector rings, are in almost all mechanical devices where there is a rotary part to the device, but understanding what they do can be important if you ever need to choose a slip ring on your own.

A slip ring consists of a stationary graphite or metal contact (brush), which is to protect the wiring between the static and moving parts of the machine while being able to still transmit power and electrical signals.

So down below, not only will you learn what is a slip ring, but you will also learn how it works, material it’s made of, how long do they last, and all types of slip rings, as well as the purposes you can use it for, so keep on reading!

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How Does a Slip Ring Work?

Slip ring is designed like a rotating ring which connects a stationary end with a rotary end. Inside the slip ring, a contact between a rotating ring and a stationary brush (can also be a wiper) happens. 

The contact slides along with the surface of the slip ring for every rotation. That’s the whole science between slip rings and that’s how they allow power and data to be transferred through wires without them being damaged during the movement of a device. 

Also, slip rings are made with optimized materials which helps reduce wear on the device, yet can improve electrical performance and provide a solid contact point.

There are many slip ring diagrams here, so contact us to get more slip ring diagrams.

Which Material is a Slip Ring Made?

Slip rings are made of two main components and these are the ring and the brush. 

Ring is always made of electrical conductive materials such as brass, coin silver, or a plated silver. Yet the brush is always made either from a copper or silver graphite. 

Even though there are dozens of different slip ring types, the materials always remain the same because of the conductivity, reliability, and performance.

What is a Slip Ring Used for?

Whenever a device has a rotary aspect to it and yet the signal or power transmission is required at all times, slip ring is used in such situations to provide continuous, unrestrained transmitting of power and/or data. 

 Some of the most commonly known devices that use slip rings include wind turbines, medical machines such as CT or MRI, or in industrial equipment such as index tables. 

And according to Motion Control Tips, One of the most interesting uses of slip rings you can find is in the amusement parks where there is a turntable-style operation.

How Long do Slip Rings Last?

Slip rings are designed with such materials and in such a wise way to provide a super long lifespan to match the lifespan of devices it’s being used for. 

For example, slip rings can withstand a whole lifespan of a wind turbine which is 20 years. This means that slip rings can last between 100 to 200 million rotations before you would even have to replace its brushes. 

With very few components, a smart design, and a great material use, slip rings are made to last for long and are mostly made not to give out before the device’s estimated lifespan.

Different Slip Ring Uses and Purposes

Slip Ring Connector

Slip ring connector is the second name for a slip ring which is the main type of a slip ring. Slip ring connector connects a stationary and a rotatory part of a device while providing continuous transmission of power and/or data and it has a very versatile use.

Slip Ring Motor

Slip rings are also used in induction motors as speed controllers so you can often find them in devices where gradual build-up of power is required.

Their purpose is often found in machines and devices such as plunger pumps, cranes, elevators, and more.

Rotary Slip Ring

Rotary slip rings are built in a different way and are built more like a rotating union.

This rotating union helps meet the most demanding needs in the industry for devices that include an extensive range of rotating units.

Rotary slip rings can also support liquids and gasses, besides transmitting power and signal.

Slip Ring Generator

Slip ring generator is a type of slip ring which is used in AC generators. Their design is hollow where the end of the rings connects with the armature coil>

Upon rotation, slip ring generators help generate and produce AC current.

Slip Ring Assembly

Slip ring assembly is a type of a slip ring that’s used to connect sensors to rotating equipment and devices.

These types of slip rings can also transmit ethernet signals to provide readings of these sensors virtually.

Slip Ring Commutator

Slip ring commutator is a specialized version of a slip ring for use in DC motors where its main purpose is to transfer power between stationary housing and a rotating armature.

This type of slip ring can also reverse the direction of the electrical current.

What is the function of slip rings?

The main function of slip rings is to simplify the operation of a system or improve mechanical performance by transferring power and/or signals from a fixed part of the machine to the rotating part where they are needed.

What are the types of slip ring?

Depending on the structure, media, and applications, there are different types of slip rings as below:

First of all, based on the structure, slip ring mainly has flange type, hollow shaft type, disk type, cylindrical type and split type.

Secondly, based on the media, slip ring mainly has electrical slip rings, signal slip rings, gas slip rings, liquid slip rings and hybrid slip rings.

Finally, based on the applications, slip ring mainly has industrial slip ring, medical slip ring, wind power slip ring, military slip ring, etc.

How do I choose a slip ring?

Proper selection of a slip ring requires detailed information about the operating parameters of the application, including the current rating,voltage rating,operating speed,mounting type and data speed.

For flange, you can choose slip ring with flange or not.

For wire, you can choose 2 wire, 3 wire, 4 wire, 6 wire, 8 wire, 20 wire, 24 wire, 36 wire slip ring

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