Pancake slip ring

When we take a look at how machines have evolved in terms of technological advancement, we shall see that earlier machines were manually operated. Manually operated machines require a lot of time and human effort to get them started. As technology began to advance, manually operated devices started to pave the way for automation. This leads to a reduction in human effort and less time consumption in operating most machines. The process of transformation from manual to operation and the advancements in technology require the help of some important devices. One such device is the Pancake type slip ring.

What Exactly Are Pancake Type Slip Rings?

Pancake Slip Ring

Let us have a better understanding of Pancake slip rings. As the name implies, slip rings are devices that have a ring that rotates or slips. Therefore, pancake slip rings are those types of slip rings that have a flat surface and a negligible height, just like a pancake. As is known, a slip ring is a tool used to transmit electrical signals from a fixed part of a device to a rotating part.

However, the question has always risen about why we don’t use wires since we are transferring electrical current. The obvious answer is that cables are only suited for transferring electrical signals between static parts and cannot be used in scenarios where a rotational part is needed hence the reason for using pancake slip rings or slip rings in general.

Pancake slip rings are devices that transmit electrical signals between the stationary and rotating parts of a machine at a negligible height.

Pancake Slip Rings VS. Other Types of Slip Rings

Though slip rings are similar in functions, they, however, differ in their design and application. The significant difference between pancake slip rings and other types of slip rings is that the former is flat and has a platter-type dimension. The height of this type of slip ring is very low and negligible. They are designed specifically in situations where the horizontal space is more than the vertical. They are also designed with less friction and low torque. These slip rings are built using advanced technology on fiber brush.

The Working Principle of Pancake Slip Ring

Pancake slip rings also work with the principle of high voltage just like other slip rings. The two parts of pancake slip rings include a rotating and a stationary part. The stationary part of pancake slip rings is made with graphite or other good conducting metallic material. The fiber brush technology is used in the design of pancake slip rings.

The structure of these slip rings is less complex when compared with other types of slip rings. The metal rings are connected to a shaft while the material for conduction is connected to a flat plate. The diameter and volume of pancake slip rings vary with requirement and application. However, some special metallic materials are used for the connection.

Applications of Pancake Slip Rings

Pancake slip rings have a wide range of applications. They are used in several electromechanical gadgets where there is a limited height space. The base structure of pancake slip rings ensures that they are well suited for this purpose. The areas of application of these slip rings include the following:

  • They are used in electromechanical devices where the height requirement is low.
  • They are also used in designing offshore cranes.
  • They are used in applications where less height and low, and medium speed are required.
  • Due to their ability to rotate heavy mass, they are used in automobile showrooms. In these showrooms, vehicles are made to rotate, which makes pancake slip rings a viable choice.
  • The disc found in a microwave oven can rotate because of the presence of pancake slip rings.

Advantages of Using Pancake Slip Rings

The advantages of using pancake slip rings are numerous. The benefits of using these slip rings make them suitable for use over a wide range of applications, and they include the following:

  • Pancake slip rings are known to have less friction, coupled with low torque and reduced electric noise.
  • They are designed using the principle of high vacuum technology and specialized metallic brushes that help to improve rotating performance.
  • They are capable of transmitting signals pneumatic or hydraulic signals in a fluid media.
  • When combined with silver, they are capable of producing efficient results.
  • Pancake slip rings are durable if they are well-maintained.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Pancake Slip Rings

Before selecting or buying a pancake slip ring, you have to consider certain factors. These factors will help determine the performance and durability of your pancake slip rings. The factors that should influence your choice of pancake slip rings include the following:

Temperature Consideration

The first thing you have to do before purchasing a pancake slip ring is to understand the temperature changes at the installation site. You have to inform your supplier about the likely temperature you may be experiencing around the proposed installation site. The vendor would ensure that you get one that will fit the desired temperature range.

Speed of Rotation

The speed of rotation refers to the RPM or revolution per minute value of the pancake slip ring. You may want to indicate the required speed of your machine so that you can select a slip ring that will be compatible with the machine.

High Altitude

Ensure that your supplier is aware of the height at which you want to place your pancake slip ring. Most slip rings are designed to perform effectively at sea level, so it is better to let your vendor know about your altitude requirement.


A pancake slip ring derives its name from its disc-like and flat shape. It is responsible for transmitting electrical signals from the fixed position of the device to the rotating part. These slip rings are designed using advanced technology for fiber brush. They are used in applications where a minimum height is required.



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