Slip ring


Slip ring
Sketch of an electric motor with slip rings

A slip ring (in electrical engineering terms) is a method of making an electrical connection through a rotating assembly. Slip rings, also called rotary electrical interfaces, rotating electrical connectors, collectors, swivels, or electrical rotary joints, are commonly found in electric motors, electrical generators for AC systems and alternators and in packaging machinery, cable reels, and wind turbines. They can be used on any rotating object to transfer power, control circuits, or analog or digital signals including data such as those found on aerodrome beacons, rotating tanks, power shovels, radio telescopes or heliostats. [1]

A slip ring is a rotary coupling used to transfer electric current from a stationary unit to a rotating unit. Either the brushes or the rings are stationary and the other component rotates. [2] [3]

This system is similar to the brushes and commutator, found in many types of DC motors. While commutators are segmented, slip rings are continuous, and the terms are not interchangeable. Rotary transformers are often used instead of slip rings in high speed or low friction environments.

Mercury-wetted slip rings, noted for their low resistance and stable connection use a different principle which replaces the sliding brush contact with a pool of liquid metal molecularly bonded to the contacts. During rotation the liquid metal maintains the electrical connection between the stationary and rotating contacts. However, the use of mercury poses safety concerns, as it is a toxic substance. If a slip ring application involves food manufacturing or processing, pharmaceutical equipment, or any other use where contamination could be a serious threat, the choice should be precious metal contacts. Leakage of the mercury and the resultant contamination could be extremely serious.[4]

A pancake slip ring [5] has the conductors arranged on a flat disk as concentric rings centered on the rotating shaft. This configuration has greater weight and volume for the same circuits, greater capacitance and crosstalk, greater brush wear and more readily collects wear debris on its vertical axis. However, a pancake offers reduced axial length for the number of circuits, and so may be appropriate in some applications.

Slip rings are made in various sizes; one device made for theatrical stage lighting had 100 conductors. [6] The slip ring allow for unlimited rotations of the connected object, whereas a slack cable can only be twisted a very few times before it will fail.


References

  1. ^ "Slip Ring Connector - SenRing Electronics". Senring.com. http://www.senring.com/hnr67.html. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  2. ^ "Cobham plc :: Aerospace and Security, Aerospace Communications, Annemasse". Cobham.com. 2011-02-13. http://www.cobham.com/about-cobham/aerospace-and-security/about-us/aerospace-communications/annemasse.aspx. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  3. ^ "how slip rings work". Uea-inc.com. http://www.uea-inc.com/products/slip-rings/how-they-work.aspx. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Slip Ring Questions". Moog.com. 2009-06-23. http://www.moog.com/products/slip-rings/slip-rings-faq-s/. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  5. ^ Peter W. Fortescue, John Stark, Graham Swinerd Spacecraft systems engineering John Wiley and Sons, 2003 ISBN 0470851023 page 521
  6. ^ Alan Hendrickson, Colin Buckhurst Mechanical design for the stage Focal Press, 2008 ISBN 024080631X, page 379 with a very good illustration of pancake and drum-type slip rings.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • slip ring — n. a metal ring on a rotating part of a machine to provide a continuous electrical connection through brushes on stationary contacts [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • slip ring — slip′ ring n. elm (in an electric motor or generator) a metal ring that conducts current through stationary brushes to or from the coil or rotor • Etymology: 1895–1900 slip′ ring , adj …   From formal English to slang

  • slip ring — n. Elec. a metal ring mounted on, and insulated from, the rotor shaft of a generator or motor, designed to lead current into or away from the coils through a stationary brush pressing on the ring …   English World dictionary

  • slip ring — slip ring, adj. Elect. a metal ring, usually of copper or cast iron, mounted so that current may be conducted through stationary brushes into or out of a rotating member. [1895 1900] * * * …   Universalium

  • slip ring — noun connection consisting of a metal ring on a rotating part of a machine; provides a continuous electrical connection through brushes on stationary contacts • Hypernyms: ↑connection, ↑connexion, ↑connector, ↑connecter, ↑connective * * * noun :… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Slip ring — Collecteur tournant Les collecteurs tournants ou rotatifs sont des organes permettant de créer une connexion électrique entre une partie fixe (stator) et, une partie tournante (rotor) dans le cas d une rotation multi tours, là où une transmission …   Wikipédia en Français

  • slip ring — noun a ring for sliding electrical contact in a dynamo or electric motor …   English new terms dictionary

  • slip ring — noun Etymology: 2slip Date: 1898 one of two or more continuous conducting rings from which the brushes take or to which they deliver current in a generator or motor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • slip ring — noun A component of an electromechanical device which, in combination with brushes, provides a continuous electrical connection between stationary and rotating conductors …   Wiktionary

  • slip ring — One of several conductive metal rings attached to the rotor shaft in an alternator that periodically changes the direction of current flow …   Dictionary of automotive terms


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