All you need to know about Slip Rings

by Kristen White Blogger
A slip ring can be described as a small piece of equipment that allows for the transfer of signal circuits or electric power across rotating surfaces. These rings are utilized for all pieces of machinery so long as they have a rotating device that requires data connectivity and power. Therefore, electrical slip rings have a significant impact on the performance, operation as well as reliability of an equipment. The major components of an electrical slip ring include housing, rotor, ball bearings, conductor ring and the brush.


There are several types of slip rings, they include the following:

Wireless slip rings

These are also known as contactless slip rings. They use IPT for power transfer through an electromagnetic field that is created by coils. These coils have been placed inside the rotating electrical power receiver and stationary transmitter.

Mercury wetted slip rings

This type of slip ring differs from the conventional type by the mere fact that a pool of liquid metal replaces graphite or metal sliding brush contact of standard mechanical rings.

Pancake slip rings

The conductors of this type of slip ring are organized on a flat disc in fashion that resembles pancakes i.e. concentric rings centered on a rotating shaft

Miniature and capsule slip rings

These rings are much more compact and smaller. They are mainly used for small and medium sized equipment especially in the security industry.

How it works

At an elemental level, slip rings comprise of 2 main components i.e. a metal ring and a brush. The brush is usually in contact with the rotating metal ring. It is the resulting friction that generates an electrical signal which in turn delivers power. The ring is made of a band of material that is electrically conductive and is usually mounted onto a shaft.

The slip is ring is normally connected to the rotating assembly or rotor via wingdings or even other electrical connections. However, it should be noted that the slip ring is insulated from the shaft. The slip ring’s outer portion remains in a continuous sliding contact with stationary bushes or other conductors. This is what provides continuous or intermittent rotating devices with an unbroken contact between external circuit and the rotating assembly. This is what allows slip rings to continuously transmit data and power. Both the brush and ring are contained in one housing that is specifically designed to shield the working parts from destructive environmental factors like moisture and dust.


The main applications of slip ring assembly are in Oil and Gas, Industrial, Construction Equipment, Plastic Molding, Semiconductor and Wind Turbines.

Other applications of slip ring assembly are as follows:

Manlift equipment and trucks

This includes Platform Cranes, Bridge Cranes and Aerial Work Platforms.

Commercial/Industrial in-plant equipment

This includes Fabrication Equipment, Custom Machinery, Conveyor Systems, Centrifuges and Automated Welding Equipment.

Drilling and boring equipment

This comprises of Horizontal Earth Boring & Drilling, Down hole Drill and Geotechnical Testing as well as Off-Shore Drilling Rigs.

Signage related equipment

Exhibits and Displays as well as Advertising Displays.


It is important to know that the main causes of slip ring failure are threading of brushes, grooving, polarity wear, ring corrosion, loss of brush contact and selectivity. 

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About Kristen White Committed   Blogger

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Joined APSense since, August 19th, 2016, From Chicago, United States.

Created on Nov 1st 2017 08:05. Viewed 403 times.


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