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A Guide to Slip Ring Brushes

Helwig Carbon Team

Slip ring brushes are an important part of an electrical conductive system. The ring itself is the electrical conductor, which carries electrical signals or current from a wire to the part of a motor or machine that is rotating. The brush on the slip ring is stationary, and it touches the exterior of the metal ring, which is turning. Electricity the passes from the brush to the ring right where the connection is made. Sometimes multiple slip ring brushes are used to create additional electrical circuits if they are required.

Slip rings have been around for many years, although new advancement in technology have enabled companies to make them better than before. For example, some slip ring brushes are made with inserts which makes them very easy to clean and cuts down on erosion of the ring. Most brushes for slip rings are made of carbon or graphite.

Slip rings have many common applications, including:

· Electrical motors

· Generators

· Alternators

· Hydroelectric power

· Air conditioning systems

No matter which application you’re using a slip ring brush in, it helps to know when the brush needs to be changed. One of the most common problems with this type of brush is sparking, although the issue with sparking is knowing which reason is the cause of it. The problem could be as simple as needing to tightenthe spring pressure or replace the spring with a stronger one. If there is too much particle buildup inside the machine, sparks could also be the result. In cases where sparks are occurring, the first thing you should do is wipe the surface off with a soft cloth to get rid of any buildup that is there.

Another major problem that can cause the brush to spark is if it’s in the wrong position or if the wrong grade of brush is being used. If the brush is a new one, then these are definitely the first things you should be checking.

Regular maintenance of any motor should require checkups of the slip ring brushes. This can be as simple as a basic visual inspection, but make sure that you take note of any uneven wear. A brush that is wearing unevenly is also a sign of a problem. Uneven wear paired with sparking is usually caused by a spring that needs to be replaced or adjusted. For more details about slip ring brushes troubleshooting you can read this article.

Helwig Carbon offers slip ring brushes for many different applications. Their experts will help you get the right brush for your next project.


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