Pancake slip rings play a crucial role in rotary joints that have vertical space limitations. The disk-like design is specifically meant to fit in narrow horizontal spaces. However, so many applications demand the use of such slip rings.  As such, there are various types and models for pancake slip rings, which are standard choices in alternators, mechanical motors, wind turbines, and various other applications with limited vertical space.  A standard flat disc electrical slip ring/pancake slip ring comes with specifications optimized for popular electrical and mechanical motors and systems. Brands also reflect various edges, so you can compare top-rated offers to find reliable vendors and manufacturers. Here are some insights to help you choose the right pancake slip ring for your device.

Compare your slip ring options

There are various types of slip rings in the market, so unless you are replacing an old or faulty pancake slip ring, it is essential to compare your options. All slip rings, with a few exceptions, are designed to transmit power or data signals between stationary and rotating parts. Some can transmit both power and data signals. The popular slip rings include through-hole, pancake, PCB, miniature, FORJs, and USB slip rings. Each device is designed for installation in specific equipment and operating environment. Pancake slip rings are generally designed for spaces with limited vertical space and derive the name from their flat, disk-like shape. Some of their inherent benefits include:

  • Long-lasting metallic brushes
  • Low friction, resistance, torque, and electrical noise
  • Applicable in pneumatic and hydraulic rotary joints used in fluid media

Despite the merits of pancake slip rings, the design doesn’t suit all applications, especially those that require high-frequency transmission. Most pancake slip rings aren’t as strong as high voltage alternatives, so it is always important to check if a pancake design is what you need for your application.

Note down your pancake slip ring specifications

All slip rings, including pancake models, are application-specific, so it is always important to note down all the required specifications. This includes the volume, diameter, material canvas, current, channels, and more. Equipment specifications and application environment will determine the features needed. You can also use general specifications provided for standard pancake rotary joints. Some of the crucial specs to review include

1. Electrical specifications

Electrical slip rings include the number of circuits, current rating per circuit, voltage rating, dielectric strength, and so forth. Standard pancake slip rings have a current rating of 5-20A per circuit and can carry up to 48 circuits. Other standard electrical specifications include:

  • Voltage rating at 240/440 VAC/DC,
  • Dielectric < 500V at 50HZ
  • Electrical noise maximum 10micro ohm
  • Insulation resistance 1000M ohm

Your application might demand different electrical specifications, so it is essential to note down every detail in the instruction you send to the manufacturer.

2. Mechanical specifications

Mechanical specifications include material used for the slip ring, diameter, thickness, operating temperature, insulation, and weatherproofing requirements, among others. A typical pancake slip ring will feature the following mechanical specifications:

  • Diameter range 7mm – 80mm
  • Thickness 20mm – 91.9mm
  • Gold contact surfaces
  • Aluminum housing
  • Temperature ranges -30°C – +80°C

There are several other mechanical specifications you might require because of the equipment and operating environment the slip ring will be installed. Pancake slip rings are available in more than 18 typefaces designed for different applications. As such, you should focus on finding specifications optimized for your machinery.

What will you use the pancake slip ring for?

A slip ring should meet all the application and machinery requirements to function as intended. As such, the application is very crucial when comparing existing offers. For instance, if you seek pancake slip rings that can last a little longer, the best offers feature silver-plated contact surfaces. You can also compare reputable brands to find top offers in the market. However, the priority is to find functional pancake slip rings for your machinery and usage. Pancake slip rings are used in various industries and motors. Popular examples include:

  • Low to medium speed automobile showrooms
  • Rotation of heavy mass in circular motions
  • Offshore cranes
  • Microwave ovens and motors
  • Electric motors that run rotating components

There are several other applications of pancake slip rings, so you should always consult with experienced manufacturers if you aren’t sure what type to purchase for your device.

Choosing the ideal pancake slip rings

The best approach to getting the perfect pancake slip ring with precise specifications you are looking for involves listing your unique needs. Make sure you know the pancake slip ring design and specifications you want for your device. You should also compare top brands and popular series to determine the differences from one model to the next. Some of the popular pancake slip rings include Senring SNK series, JINPAT LPK Series, and Mouflon MP 220 Series. You can also find functional models from Rotarx and other popular manufacturers. Here are some general tips to help you select a pancake slip ring that fits your needs:

  • Choose slip rings with weatherproof and insulation properties for outdoor installation.
  • For slip rings installed in mining, heights, and blast equipment, make sure the manufacturer knows about this requirement to integrate fundamental features required for the harsh conditions.
  • Find the right rotation per minute (RPM) according to your machinery specifications, since some need higher or lower RPM for optimal performance.
  • Purchase cables defined for your equipment. A standard 300mm rotor/stator cable will suffice, but you should always make sure you get a freely definable cable specifically recommended for your device.

Conclusion

Choosing a pancake slip ring is all about finding a functional model designed for your equipment and unique operating environment. It is also essential to compare brands and model market reputation. Slip ring manufacturers that have consistently provided functional devices will have a growing reputation among users. Nevertheless, these devices are manufactured to meet industry standards, so most are usable. Applications are also unique, so you should always include all specifications in the instruction you send to the manufacturer.

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