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The Process of Making Electric Motor Brush

Helwig Carbon Team

Before we discuss about electric motor brushes process, there are many different kinds of motors these days, and the technology used to create them is constantly changing. However, there are some parts that have been in use for decades, and the changes being made to them right now are minor because they have worked so well for such a long time.

Electric motor brushes are the part of the machine that actually conducts electricity between the moving parts of the machine and the wires that are stationary. In most cases, this is done by moving the brush in a circular or rotary pattern around a shaft. In addition to being a major component in electric motors, brushes are also used in electric generators and alternators.

Currently most electric motor brushes in use are made of graphite, although in the past they were made of brass or copper. Right now engineers are working on redeveloping metal brushes with the goal of making them even more efficient than the carbon graphite brushes that are being used right now.

In general, there are three kinds of electric motor brushes:

  1. DC (direct current). DC with a voltage of 12 - 48 – Commonly used in the automotive industry.
  2. AC (alternating current). AC with a voltage of 110 / 220 – Commonly used in household appliances.
  3. DC and AC. Industrial electric motor brushes, which can be both AC and DC and come in a variety of voltages according to the need of the machine they are in.

Of course within these three kinds of brushes, many different materials can be used. The most common materials is currently graphite / carbon powder, although sometimes copper is used in industrial applications because it can be a better conductor of electricity. In addition to the main material, a binder will be mixed in. Common binders used include many types of resins. The binder helps the powder hold the necessary shape. Technicians do a lot of research to determine precisely what mixture of materials is needed for optimum performance of the motor and the longest life possible of the brush itself

Making Process of The Electric Motor Brush

Here are the steps in the manufacturing process that goes into making electric motor brushes:

  1. Materials are selected and mixed together.
  2. The mix is then compacted on a hydraulic or mechanical press. In the case of some brushes, wire may be inserted during this step. The resultant brush is still fragile at this point, however.
  3. At this point in the manufacturing process, the brushes are known within the industry as “green brushes.” They are treated with heat via a manmade atmosphere, which is often composed of nitrogen and hydrogen. The temperature often goes all the way up to 1,200 degrees Celsius.
  4. As the brushes are baked, the binder material either carbonizes or burns off.
  5. After baking is completed, the brush is treated once again with heat through a process known as graphitization. The temperature used is defined by the type of materials that were used to create the brush.
  6. Often additional treatments are done afterward to make the brush last longer.
Helwig Carbon offers high quality electric motor brushes. They use more than 100 different high quality materials to manufacture a variety of pressed-to-size or fabricated electric motor brushes that are purposefully designed in order to maximize the life of the brush and optimize performance, no matter what kind of application the brush is being used in. Let the experts at Helwig Carbon help you figure out the best brush design for your machine because all of their brushes include electric motor brushes are custom designed and manufactured to meet the specific requirements of your machine.


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