A slip ring is a device that helps in the transmission or the flow of electrical and data signals from a rotating body to a stationary body or vice versa. This type of electrical device may also be called a rotary device, a slip ring rotor or and rotary joints.
What are the uses of slip ring?
The slip rings are used in various industrial devices like automation and control systems and turntables, robotics, plastics processing, molding, etc. They are also used for the generation of electricity through renewable sources like wind and water. They are used in the turbines in the renewable energy models. They are also used in many medical devices like CT and MRI scanning equipment in the medical field. They have a very important role to play in the communication industry, besides being used in satellite communication. In short, they have a huge number of applications and are a very important part of the industrial sector.
How does the slip ring work?
The electrical slip rings are made of two parts. The rotating part of the slip ring assembly is made of conductive rings mounted on a shaft. The rings are made of highly conductive or precious metals as they are very good conductors. The stationary or fixed part of the slip ring assembly is made of brushes, the brush holders and the springs. The brushes used to be made up of carbon. However, since carbon is brittle and causes a lot of debris. Hence, they are now being made of precious metals or fiber as they do not cause debris when in friction with the conductive rings.
Electricity passes through the shaft on to the rotating conductive rings. Through the conductive rings, they are transmitted on to the brushes that are pressing against the rings. The pressure of the brushes on the conductive rings is maintained by the help of the springs attached to the holders. The brush holders are, in turn, connected to the terminals for the power to be transmitted.
This process can be done other way around. The electricity can flow from the terminals to the brushes through the brush holders, and then on to the conductive rings and the axis or shaft on which the rings are mounted.
What are the causes for the different design of the slip rings?
The mechanism has evolved from the primitive slip ring assy. Due to the development of technology and the various requirements of the industries, the slip rings have developed and there are many types of such configurations in the market now. There are ethernet slip rings, pancake slip rings, mercury slip rings, etc. It can be easily assumed that in due course of time, the world will see many new types of slip rings. These new units will be much better than the slip rings available now.
Slip rings are also growing as a device used in the households. They will soon be a part of almost every rotating device available. They have become a revolutionary technology that has changed the industrial sector.
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