How Does Slip Ring Work?

Slip ring performs magically until the power supply stops it. It is a method of making a stable electrical connection of stationary assembly to the rotating one.

A comparison of new alternator slip rings to a worn out and defective set. Charles Risen /

We all see various motors in our daily life, but have you ever think about how do they work? Motor goes on rotating all the time right? So what is that thing present in it that allows continuous rotation of slip ring without any failure? It’s a smaller small portion that lies behind the consistent rotation of every motor. This small compact design present in every engine is known as a slip ring.

What is slip ring and what does it offer?

A slip ring is an electromechanical device that enables the transmissions of electrical signals and power through it without having any interference. The transfer of the electrical signals and power usually done in one direction only and that is from stationary to rotating one.

It is one of the essential parts of almost every motor, without which we can’t imagine about the working or engine. The size and the performance of this compact component of every motor usually depend upon the project where it is going to be used.

As we have mentioned to you earlier that the slip ring offers a consistent motion to the motor, it makes our electromechanical products even more beautiful and compact as well. It is the core component of any project that is being designed to connect the rotating and static part firmly. It not only enables the products to move freely but also makes it entirely more comfortable to work the product efficiently as well.

Slip ring usually is composed of two different parts: mechanical and electrical part, each of which has its features and specifications. The mechanical part of the slip ring is where associated with the dimensions, grade, weight and protection of the slip ring, whereas the electrical component is more complicated and usually is related to the transmission of electrical signals and power through it. We need to take help of both electrical and mechanical engineers as well during the construction phase of the slip ring and its establishment in various projects.

The role of the slip ring usually gets changed as per the project where it is going to install. A lot of diversity is there that makes it quite evident to customize the capsule slip rings as per customer’s need such as height, length, limitations, resistance and much more. Moreover, the format of the slip rings that are is going to be used in any project usually matters as per the plan we are expecting to make use it on.

How does slip ring work?

Slip ring performs magically until the power supply stops it. It is a method of making a stable electrical connection of stationary assembly to the rotating one. Due to the consistent motion of slip ring, these components of a motor are also known as rotary electrical interfaces or rotating electrical connectors as well. None of an electromechanical motor is complete without the involvement of a slip ring. It is, in fact, present in different electrical generators for AC systems and also is a close component of alternators and various other industrial areas such as packaging industry, wind turbines, cable reels and much more.

An electromechanical motor usually includes multiple capsule slip rings depending upon the capacity of the project. In essential products, the minimum number of slip ring being used is two. One of these two slip rings gets connected to the one narrow end of armature winding, whereas the other end is connected to the other end of the armature winding. Slip ring works as a connector, whose primary function is to transmit the electrical signals and power consistently from a stationary source to the rotating one.

Depending upon the range of configurations included and the termination types and materials, the slip rings are of multiple samples. As we have mentioned you earlier that slip ring works as a connector in any circuit whose main task is to allow transferring of data and electrical signals and power supply through it.

If we talk about the basic structure of the slip ring, it is embedded of stationary graphite and metal contact that gets usually being rubbed on the outer diameter of the rotating metal ring. This constant rubbing of stationary graphite with the outer diameter regularly conduct the electrical current or signal through it from stationary brush to the metallic ring later forming a stable and active connection.

In case if the product involves more than one electrical wire to be connected, new ring or brush assemblies are get stacked along the rotation axis offering it more contact to get plugged in.

Basic design of the slip ring

The basic design of the slip ring is not a newer one to the market, but it is being used by the developers from years till now. Due to its consistent rotating motion and flow of electricity through it, this excellent product is also known as a rotary electrical contact and electrical slip ring and collecting ring as well. You may find a lot of people in the marketplace calling it commutator sometimes.

If we talk about the technicality, it is not a commutator at all. Its some of the features get matched to a commutator, but surely not for all. Where slip rings are the essential parts of an electromechanical motor, the commutator is the one that is specifically being designed to be used in DC motors and generators only.

To offer a consistent connection to the product, slip rings are usually designed with conductive circles being mounted on the shaft of the slip ring. The electrical connections being made here are through the rotating part of the stationary one. The fixed contacts of the slip ring are brushes that always remain in touch with the ring and enable to transmit electrical and magnetic signals through it, but if we talk about the static part, it keeps going on transmitting signals throughout.

Significant differences between the construction of a commutator a slip ring is that the commutator is a segmented component, slip rings are the one with consistent structure throughout. Slip rings are usually a part of a more important mechanism where a sufficient amount of electrical energy and power through signal wires are being connected to offer a seamless working.


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