Slip Ring and Split ring

What is the difference between the slip ring and Split ring commutator?

The main critical difference between the slip ring and the split ring is that the slip ring used to transmit the electrical signal and power from a fixed part to a rotating structure part. Whereas the split ring (also known as a commutator) used to reverses the direction of current flowing through the coil after every half rotation of the coil.
In general, the slip ring and the split ring are used for maintaining the electrical circuit continuity between the fixed part and the rotating structure of the system.

To understand better, we will review the following:

  1. The definition of slip ring and split ring
  2. The Components of the Slip ring and split ring
  3. The difference between the slip ring and the split ring
  4. Comparison table for slip ring VS split ring
  5. The conclusion

Definition of the slip ring (what is the slip ring?)

The slip ring is an electromechanical device that transmits the electrical signal and power from a fixed part of the machine (stationary side) to a rotating structure part. In other words, the slip ring is a closed (continuous) ring that is designed to secure a continuous connection between the fixed part contacts (such as brushes), and the rotating structure contacts (the rings) on the rotating shaft, to provide continuous transmitting for power and signal.
For that, the slip ring can be used in a wide range of electromechanical systems that require unrestrained, rotation while transmitting power or signals at the same time. It can improve the mechanical work performance, and simplify system operation. Besides, it can eliminate the waste resulting from the environment’s affected cables and damaged wires dangling from movable joints.

Definition of the split ring commutator (what is the split ring commutator?)

Also known by Commutator, the split ring is a movable device used for reversing the polarity of the current. The ring has at least two breaks from the center, dividing the ring into two halves.
Each opposed pair of resulting contacts will be wired to opposed poles of the motor. In this case, the required is to get a pole reversal synchronous with the revolution of the motor. for that, it causes the poles of the windings to alternate polarity and turn the motor.
The combination between the split ring and brushes is known as the commutator. The split ring used in the DC motor for getting the pulsating input voltage

What is slip ring made of?

Depending on the type of the slip ring, the slip rings are made of alloys of materials such as steel, copper, bronze, and gold. The ring must have a very hard exterior compared to the material of brushes to ensure the minimum wear of the rings.
The working principle of the slip ring is based on ensuring the continuous providing of power and signal transmission by securing the continuous contact between the external part with the stationary conductors (brushes).

What is split ring made of?

The split ring is made of copper, and the ring has at least two breaks from the center, dividing the ring into two halves. The conductors (brushes) connect across the outer diameter of the split ring. The split ring used in the DC motor for getting the pulsating input voltage.

The difference between the slip ring and the commutator (split ring)

  1. The slip ring used to transmit the power and signal from the fixed to the rotary part. Whereas, the split ring used to reverse the polarity of the current (only for power).
  2. The slip ring is a closed ring (continuous), whereas the split ring is divided into two parts or more.
  3. Slip ring is used in AC motors to provide a continuous transmitting of power and signal, whereas the split ring is used in DC motors to reverse the polarity of the current.

Slip ring VS commutator (Comparison Chart)

Slip Ring Split Ring
Principle of work Transmitting power and signal from fixed part to the rotating structure reversing the direction of current
Type of ring (Design) Closed ring (Continuous) Divided into two parts or more
Where to use (Application) Used in AC machines, supplying power from AC generator to AC motor Used in DC machines, supplying pulsating voltage to the DC motor

Conclusion

The scope of work of each slip ring and the split ring is different from each other. the slip ring is used to transmit power and signal between the fixed part and rotating structure, whereas the split ring is used to reverse the direction of the current.
Some types of slip rings share with the split rings in the same materials that made from (copper), but the ring design is different, the ring is closed circular (for slip ring), but it is divided into two (or more) pieces with a gap between each piece (for split ring).
In a conclusion, we cannot consider the slip ring and/or the split ring are alternatives for each other.

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