slip rings and Split rings both have wide application in the modern day industries. From solely electrical devices to automobiles to generators to motors, slip rings and split rings have landed everywhere. In fact, modern day world can't be imagined without these simple and basic but yet very important components.
Though having myriad uses, the slip ring and split ring technology may rhyme and at first glance look like different names of the same thing but are quite differentiable and also used at different places.
Slip ring, which looks like a simple ring only with brushes attached, is used to transfer electrical signals and current between a rotating and a stationary part of the machine. The rotating part can be a rotating shaft or any other thing.
On the other hand, the split rings are generally used to convert AC signals to DC signals (or vice versa) or to generate electricity using a generator by reversing the direction of currents. Thus, to understand the complexities, working mechanism and different area of applications, we need to delve more into this.
Different field of application
As said earlier that slip rings are used in the transfer of current and electrical signals in a machine where there is a need for rotation while maintaining the flow of current. They are designed to fulfill this purpose and are added with a carbon brush which rubs against the surface of the rotating shaft to complete the circuit while allowing the shaft to rotate freely.
The carbon brushes are replaced from time to time for better performance. The slip rings also come in handy for a variety of purposes, like 'through bore slip rings' used in places where the rotating shaft is to pass from the ring itself and the mercury slip rings in which liquid mercury is used as the conducting medium to ensure less friction, low maintenance and better reliability.
Unlike the continuous structure of slip rings, the split rings are actually two semi-circular rings working together to change the direction of current incoming or being generated from the AC output or rotating coil respectively.
A split-ring commutator makes the current change direction every half-rotation. The motion between the places, where there is no contact surface of either half, is maintained by the inertia of the whole structure, not only to change AC to DC or vice versa, but also to generate electricity using a rotating coil under a magnetic field. In generators, the rotation of the coil (which is used to generate current) is maintained by steam generated by boiling water under high pressure. The coil, after completing half rotation(180 degrees), changes the alignment of the wire and thus facilitating the change of direction of the current. The electricity being generated is thus used in factories, homes functions and ceremonies.
Hence, it is clear from the knowledge that slip rings and split rings, though look like same, have completely divorced field of application. But one thing is sure that these basic components are used to run from a 3-foot generator to gigantic machines. It is the basic design and simple working mechanism that enable these rings to be used wherever necessary.
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