What Is A Slip Ring?

What Is A Slip Ring?

A slip ring is used when a machine or device needs to supply power, or a signal, but also rotate at the same time.  It ensures the current from a stationary wire keeps contact with the wire that needs to turn or rotate.

Anything from amusement park rides, CT scan machines, closed circuit TV cameras, radio telescopes, generators, and helicopters rely on slip rings to operate. Without slip rings much of the world we know today couldn’t exist.

Choosing A Slip Ring

Platter Style Slip Rings

Platter or pancake slip rings are used when space is a minimum.

Most slip rings are made of copper, gold alloy or silver and designed to be long lasting – but you need to choose the right kind of slip ring for your application.

When choosing a slip ring many factors must be considered including the size of the machine, the environment in which it needs to operate, exposure to weather, how many rotations per minute (RPM) it will need to power, and more.

There are slip rings designed for very slow rotations, such as a revolving door, up to the extremely fast rotations of a jet turbine engine.  Choosing the right slip ring is essential to keeping the equipment operating and getting the job done.

Slip rings come in hundreds of sizes for almost any application, and most manufacturers including BGB Technologies can make slip rings to custom specifications so you can be sure it is right for your project and ensure maximum performance.

Slip Rings Need Brushes


BGB can make custom slip rings.

Brushes are an integral part of any slip ring design. The brushes, which often look like the end of a paintbrush, are metal conductors that drag on the outside of a metal ring. As the device rotates, the brushes conduct the electrical current, or signal.  Without the brushes, the slip ring can’t conduct the electricity or current needed to function.

Many manufacturers sell slip ring and brush sets together but you should always ask if your slip ring comes with the correct sized brushes and brush holders or if you need to buy them separately.

Have questions about slip rings? Contact BGB Technology for more information about how to choose the right slip rings and brushes for your project.

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