A slip ring is one of the most important pieces in any electrical interrace. A device whose sole purpose is to transmit electrical power from a static and stationary object to a rotating one can be looked over easily, but with the component being so vital to any electric chain, it is absolutely necessary to know what works and what doesn’t.
A slip ring usually consists of a stationary brush that moves against the exterior perimeter of a moving, metal ring. As that ring turns, the electric signal moves through the stationary brush to the metal ring and thus makes a connection. Many slip rings also have a dust cover component that protects the element from dust, moisture, and other corrosive environmental factors. The ring itself is typically made of brass or some other conductive metal. This simple design has stood the test of time and continues to be the primary method for passing electric currents from stationary objects to rotating objects. Slip rings are also sometimes known as collector rings, rotary electrical contacts, and electrical slip rings.
Many slip ring manufacturers have recently pioneered the non-contacting slip ring. These rings use wireless power transfer. This process is resistant to environmental factors and can take a wider variety of loads. This could very well be the future of slip rings. Many slip ring operators have become weary of using the device in settings not suited for its construction. Due to its tendency to generate sparks, and general need for cleanliness, it has not proven to be a perfect solution for less than ideal conditions.
Slip Ring Suppliers
When looking for good slip ring suppliers, the main issues to keep in mind are performance and reliability. Slip rings come in a variety of voltage ratings and operating speeds that will affect costs. A supplier’s reliability can be roughly gauged by online customers reviews and public endorsements. Many larger slip ring companies will have the logos of other companies that use their product at the bottom of their website.
Domestic and Abroad
Slip rings are an international necessity and are offered from manufacturers both domestically and internationally. Slip rings are sold as individual units, and also as wholesale products. Wholesale batches ordered internationally offer the best price overall but require bulk purchases and additional shipping times. Wholesale prices are of course also offered domestically, but typically can’t match the cheaper cost of manufacturing oversees.
Slip rings have been used for decades. They are still the most reliable way of transmitting an electrical current from a stationary object to a moving one. They aren’t, however, without their issues. They require proper and frequent maintenance and can only be used in a limited set of environmental settings. The future seems to be moving towards a wireless alternative, as is the case in many tech fields. If successful, the usefulness of slip rings as we know them could be wrapping up. For now, though, what we have is a reliable piece of technology easily produced around the world at a low cost.
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