Slip Rings and Its Use to Transmit Electrical Signal

slip rings ad its use for electrical signals

Slip Rings and Its Use to Transmit Electrical Signal. Slip rings aren’t only used to bridge the gap between a stationary and a rotary part of a device or a machine, but they can also transmit power, electrical signal, and other substances to match various needs and improve the efficiency of these devices.

Therefore, slip rings are most often found in electromechanical devices which require power or signal as slip rings are exactly made to fit that need.

Down below, you’ll find what exactly slip rings are, how they work, how they transmit an electrical signals, and what else they are capable of so keep on reading!

What are Slip Rings and How do They Work?

Slip rings are small devices found in electromechanical devices with moving parts that also require the error-free transmission of power, signal, data, or other substances, such as fluids.

Wisely designed, slip rings can connect and bridge the gap between the stationary part of a device (such as a shaft) and a rotary part of a device.

Since slip rings feature rotating contacts inside of it, which is a stationary brush that slides across the ring surface during rotation, it can transmit electrical signals or power between the two parts of a device.

Slip rings are often attached to the stationary part of a device by having it installed inside a wider body often made of steel or a strong material while it makes contact with the rotary part of a device.

Depending on the location slip rings are installed and their primary purpose is since they come in different types, slip rings can simplify the operational system, eliminate hazards such as wires that could get snapped or twisted, and clear everything from movable joints of a machine.

How Slip Rings Transmit Electrical Signal

One part of a slip ring is attached to a stationary part of a device while the other part is connected with the rotating part of the device.

The rotating part is crucial for slip rings to work since slip rings are made of bearings and brushes that slide with each rotation.

While the rotation happens, sliding electrical contacts inside the slip ring help pass electrical signals and power through the slip ring.

Instead of brushes, slip rings tend to come with wipers that also slide along the inner surface of the slip ring during rotation which provides the same effect of transmission.

Various slip rings also come designed to handle different types of wire sizes so it can protect the wires from rotating joints and keep them intact from places that could be hazardous.

But keep in mind that slip rings can also transmit more than just electrical signals and power. They can transmit data, fluid, coolant, and they can even be used to control the rotation speed of a generator.

That’s why slip rings are small yet very convenient and efficient in so many different machines and industries.

Moflon even produces custom slip rings that can be created upon request to fit important projects and provide a solution to any type of devices and machines.

Benefits of Slip Rings

Slip rings are small devices, but they’re built with such quality and are wisely designed and crafted to withstand high loading capacity.

This helps provide and generate smooth acceleration of the brushes inside the slip rings even under heavy pressure.

Slip rings also don’t reach high temperatures upon start and with the ability to adjust the speed by inserting resistance in certain slip ring types, they are a great fit for high torque and low current starts.

Additional benefits include various slip ring types that help device and machine manufacturers use slip rings in almost any type of a device where it’s a great fit for the purpose.

With such a high quality build of slip rings, slip rings are used in almost every industry that requires machines with rotational parts or the need to transmit power and signal between its components.

Some of the most known machines where slip rings benefit them are CT or MRI scans, amusement park rides, wind turbines, winders, and others.

Types of Slip Rings and Its Use in Hardware

There are so many types of slip rings to match different purposes, needs, and machine types, yet the most common types are the following:

  • Pancake type
  • Mercury contact
  • Through-hole ring
  • Ethernet ring
  • Miniature ring
  • Fiber optic slip ring

The biggest difference between all these slip ring types lies in the design, yet all of these types have the same purpose.

So the only thing you’ll have to worry about is finding a slip ring type that will fit your device and that will be able to do exactly what you need it to do within your device or a machine.

However, keep in mind that slip rings and commutators are not the same thing. Commutators are very similar to slip rings, but they connect a rotating part of a device with a stationary part while providing a reversed polarity.

For things to be even more confusing, commutators are also known as split rings so it’s very easy to mix up these two.

But when it comes down to slip rings for hardware use, they can be found in devices such as video systems, moving head projectors, automatic machines, precision instruments, radar equipment, storage equipment, and even in robotics.


By being able to provide more than just signal transmission, slip rings come in different types so they can fit different machines and industries.

With the ability to be placed at the rotating parts of the devices, slip rings can also help and eliminate transmissional error in the weakest spots of a machine.

And with so many benefits, these small but mighty devices are increasing in popularity and that’s why they can be found in so many devices and machines we might see or use daily.

Did you ever come across slip rings and did you know that they feature brushes (or wipers) inside of them?

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