What Is Pancake Slip Ring?

The pancake slip ring is similar to through hole slip ring but is especially used for the rotating system with a height limit. Also called flat slip ring, flat disc electrical slip ring, or platter slip ring, since the shape is similar to a platter, rings, and brushes contact around the center of the circle. Pancake slip ring components include stator, rotor, and contacts, mainly used for transmitting precise signals and power or combined with pneumatic and hydraulic media. More electrical power, current, and signal circuits can extend broadwise limitless on flat diameter.

Pancake slip rings can be configured in two types, integrated and separated.

Integrated rings type can be designed for solid or through hole rotating systems.

The separated ring type is composed of a separated rotor and contact brush, which can be designed with PCB.

Pancake Slip Rings - HP Series

Available for Custom, Standard Min. Thickness 16mm, Can Be 6mm

GRAND technology can supply both of them. Please consider the installation space when choosing the model, miniature pancake slip ring is a good idea if space is limited very small. With years of R&D and manufacture assemblies experience, mass production capacity for 6mm thickness PCB slip ring, and sale well in the UK.

Designed with the best-advanced fiber brush technology and precious metal or gold contacts, they ensure low electrical noise, high data transmission, and low contact pressure. Fully custom speed, voltage, diameter, height & thickness, material, IP grade, PCB design, etc. are always requested, although GRAND offers modularized & standardized design for various application solutions as an original slip rings manufacturer. Please feel free to contact us to create your most suitable pancake slip ring connector.


  • High rotating speed
  • Min. 6mm thinckness
  • Can use superior fiber brushes, precious metal
  • Can combine power and signals
  • Fast delivery
  • Fully customized solution


  • Operating speed customization
  • Housing material customization
  • Seal grade customization
  • Wire end plug-in customization
  • Lead exit way customization
  • Mixing power and signal
  • Through bore size

Model Breakdown




No. of Rings










35 mm







16 mm







32.5 mm


Structure of the Pancake Slip Rings

To appreciate the intricacies of pancake slip rings, let us delve deeper into their construction and understand the components constituting their structure.

Pancake slip rings consist of two primary parts: concentric rings and brushes. These components come together to enable the seamless transfer of electrical power and signals between stationary and rotating parts.

Concentric Rings

The core of the pancake slip ring’s structure lies in its concentric rings. These individually separated and electrically isolated conductive rings are mounted on an insulation disc, which is flat and circular. The concentric rings serve as pathways for the transfer of electrical signals or power/current.

These rings need to be precisely designed and arranged as per the application’s requirements, as even minor irregularities can affect signal integrity and the overall performance of the slip ring. The insulation disc ensures that the concentric rings remain isolated from one another while providing a platform that supports the slip ring’s size and weight restrictions.


Brushes are another vital aspect of the pancake slip ring structure. These contact elements are organized radially around the insulation disc with a consistent spacing, allowing them to interface with the concentric rings.

Brushes effectively transmit electrical signals or power/current from the stationary section to the movable section of the device. Typically, they are made of metal or metal alloys, and their design may vary from application to application. Factors such as the size of the disc, the number of circuits, and the required transmission capacity influence their construction.

The precise arrangement of these brushes and their optimal contact with the concentric rings is crucial for the efficient functioning of pancake slip rings. Wear and tear of brushes can lead to increased maintenance requirements and, eventually, the need for replacement.

Overall, the structure of pancake slip rings inherently revolves around the critical interplay between concentric rings and brushes. It is through this compact and innovative design that these slip rings defy spatial limitations and cater to the ever-evolving needs of diverse industries.

Unique Design Exclusive to Pancake Slip Rings

The pancake slip ring’s distinct design differentiates it from traditional cylindrical slip rings, allowing it to address specific challenges associated with space constraints while delivering seamless functionality. As a result, it has found a niche in various applications across several industries.

To understand the inherent uniqueness of pancake slip rings, let us discuss the specific features that constitute their design exclusivity and cater to the spatial constraints of numerous applications.

Flat and Compact

The most distinguishing factor of pancake slip rings is their flat, disc-like shape, which gives them a significantly lower height than their cylindrical counterparts. This compact design allows these slip rings to fit conveniently in applications with minimal vertical clearance, mitigating the need for potential design alterations or compromises in performance due to space limitations.

Larger Diameter

While the flat design reduces the height requirement for pancake slip rings, it also implies that the diameter of these slip rings might need to be increased to accommodate the required number of circuits and their corresponding electrical pathways. By expanding their diameter, pancake slip rings can support additional concentric rings and brushes—enabling them to meet the diverse power and signaling needs of an array of applications.

Brush Configuration

In contrast to cylindrical slip rings that have brushes running along their axial length, pancake slip rings utilize a radial brush arrangement around the insulation disc. This unique configuration leads to a larger contact area between the brushes and the concentric rings. While it may result in more considerable wear and tear and require more frequent maintenance, it optimizes electrical transmission capacity within the slip ring’s compact dimensions.

Customization for Specific Applications

Another aspect that highlights the design exclusivity of pancake slip rings is their ability to be tailored to suit various electrical and mechanical requirements. They can be designed and engineered to accommodate specific current and voltage ratings, cater to unique environmental conditions or temperature ranges, and address particular challenges associated with different industrial applications.

In summary, the pancake slip ring is a prime example of how purposeful design innovation can accommodate application-specific spatial and performance requirements. Despite their compactness, their unique design aspects render them capable of serving a wide range of industries efficiently, from medical to aerospace, and from automotive to communication systems. Their design is at the core of their adaptability and functionality, setting them apart from conventional cylindrical slip rings.

Use of the Pancake Slip Rings

Pancake slip rings have found extensive use across a variety of industries due to their unique design, structure, and ability to operate in a range of environments. They serve as an adaptable, flexible solution for providing uninterrupted power and signal transmission between stationary and rotating platforms, particularly when vertical space is at a premium.

Utilization Across Multiple Industries

Pancake slip rings are predominantly engaged across many sectors due to their ability to fulfill diverse power and signal transmission requirements. They can be found in automotive, aerospace, marine, healthcare, communication, manufacturing, and many more industries. Here are some key applications where pancake slip rings shine:

Cable Reels

Cable reels, commonly used in the entertainment and broadcasting industry, require reliable rotational contact solutions to facilitate smooth transmission of signals. Pancake slip rings, with their compact dimensions and optimized electrical transmission capabilities, are ideal solutions for such devices.

Cable reel slip ring

Rotary tables

In manufacturing or imaging equipment, rotary tables need to rotate smoothly while consistently transmitting power and signals. The space-saving designs of pancake slip rings, coupled with their reliable performance, make them perfectly suitable in these situations.

Medical Imaging Machines

In precise medical applications such as MRI and CT scanners, transferring high-quality data from the rotating parts to stationary systems with no interruption is critical. Given their compact structure and superior performance, pancake slip rings are often found in these imaging machines.

Medical slip ring

Radar Systems

Radar systems necessitate continuous data and power transmission for accurate tracking and communication, additionally followed by space constraints. The flat design of the pancake slip rings coupled with the capability for high-frequency data transmission makes them an ideal choice.

Closed-circuit Cameras

Any disruption or lag in signal transmission in surveillance systems can have serious repercussions. Pancake slip rings installed in closed-circuit cameras ensure uninterrupted, smooth signal transmission even when the cameras are constantly rotating.

High Customizability: A Key to Versatile Use

The ability to adapt and change per the requirements of the application is a defining feature of pancake slip rings, leading to their vast utilization. They can be customized to handle different current and voltage ranges, change physical dimensions, and even withstand various environmental and temperature conditions.

In summary, pancake slip rings, with their unique structure and high degree of customizability, have become an invaluable component in many industrial applications. Their ability to provide reliable power and signal transmission, even in restrictive spatial circumstances, has ultimately earned them high regard in several industries.

Advantages of the Pancake Slip Rings

With their unique design and structure, pancake slip rings offer a plethora of advantages that not only make them superior to cylindrical slip rings in certain applications but also enable them to cater to a wide range of industries and sectors.

Minimized Vertical Space Requirement

The flat, compact design that is the hallmark of pancake slip rings significantly reduces vertical height, making them perfect for applications with restricted vertical space. This proves advantageous in numerous industries like automotive, medical, and aerospace, where space often comes at a premium.

Automation slip ring

High Capacity for Circuits

Despite their compact structure, pancake slip rings can house a large number of concentric circuits. The larger the diameter, the more circuits it can accommodate. Hence, the information and power transmission capabilities are not compromised, contrary to what one might expect given their small size.


Pancake slip rings can be custom-engineered to suit various electrical and mechanical requirements. This edge in customizability includes modifications for current and voltage ratings, temperature ranges, and making the slip ring resistant to certain environmental conditions, making pancake slip rings versatile across applications.


Most pancake slip rings are produced using quality materials and possess a robust structure that makes them resilient to mechanical vibrations and shocks. This enhances their durability and reliability in arduous and challenging operating environments.

Simplified Integration

Their compact and simplistic design, combined with the capacity for customization, makes pancake slip rings easy to integrate within existing systems. This can prove advantageous in industries like manufacturing and automation, where any modification in machinery can disrupt operations.

Despite having several advantages, it’s important to note that pancake slip rings may not always be the optimal choice for all scenarios. They require regular maintenance due to the increased wear from their radial brush system, and in some applications, the increased diameter could also pose challenges. However, their unique design and structural advantages make them a valuable addition to many industries that deal with space constraints and complex power and signal transmission needs. In essence, the advantages of pancake slip rings significantly contribute to their popularity in multiple sectors.

Disadvantages of the Pancake Slip Rings

Pancake slip rings, despite their valuable advantages and versatile applications, come with certain drawbacks. Understanding these disadvantages is critical to making an informed decision about the utility of these components in specific applications.

Increased Maintenance

Due to the radial arrangement of brushes, the friction between the brushes and the concentric rings is typically higher in pancake slip rings, leading to increased wear and tear. As a result, they often require more frequent maintenance and replacement of brushes as compared to other types of slip rings. This can lead to higher operational costs in the long run.

Enlarged Diameter

While the flattened structure of pancake slip rings is advantageous in constrained vertical space, it generally leads to an increase in diameter. This enlarged diameter could pose a limitation in applications where there is not enough room horizontally, thereby restricting their use in such scenarios.

Limited High-Speed Applications

Pancake slip rings typically experience more considerable brush wear when turning at high speeds due to the larger contact surface area between the brushes and the rings. This limits their use in applications requiring high rotational speeds.

Issues in Data Transmission

The unique design of pancake slip rings may sometimes lead to a signal and data transfer that is less clean and has more interference compared to cylindrical slip rings. This might be a disadvantage in applications where precise and clear signal transmission is critical.

Complexity in Installation

Depending on the application, installing a pancake slip ring and maintaining the right amount of pressure on the brushes for effective contact can be more complex than implementing cylindrical slip rings. This could increase the overall setup time and efforts of the machinery or equipment.

In conclusion, while pancake slip rings offer numerous benefits due to their design and function, it’s vital to weigh these against potential disadvantages. Their suitability and efficiency will depend greatly on application-specific conditions and requirements. A comprehensive consideration of these factors will aid in choosing the most appropriate type of slip ring, ensuring optimal function and performance.

Product Variety of the Pancake Slip Rings

Taking into account the diverse needs of various industries and applications, pancake slip rings are designed and produced in a wide range of variations, customizations, and specifications. This adaptability helps address specific challenges and fulfill unique requirements. Here is an overview of the product variety of pancake slip rings.

Current and Voltage Ratings

Pancake slip rings can be customized according to the required current and voltage ratings, ensuring compatibility with the application they are integrated with. These ratings can range from low-voltage and low-current scenarios to high-voltage and high-current settings, and may be further adjusted to cater to alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), or mixed types of electrical systems.

Material Selection

Choice of materials plays a significant role in the performance and longevity of pancake slip rings. Depending on the application, slip rings can be produced using various metals such as gold, silver, and copper, as well as specific composite materials tailored for unique operating conditions.

Different Configurations

Pancake slip ring configurations can be altered based on the design of the concentric rings, the number of brushes, and the mounting methods to adapt to application-specific requirements. This includes design modifications that improve the efficiency of signal transmission or enhanced convenience during installation and dismounting.

Environmental and Temperature Tolerance

With their product variety, pancake slip rings can be engineered to withstand exposure to various environmental or temperature conditions. From standard factory settings to extreme temperature variations or harsh marine environments, modifications to encapsulation and protective coatings can be introduced to make these slip rings more resilient and resistant.

Integrated Solutions

In some applications, integrating pancake slip rings with other contact solutions may be necessary. Many manufacturers offer hybrid slip rings that combine pancake slip rings with built-in fiber optic rotary joints, fluid rotary unions, or other contact technologies to suit the requirements of complex systems.

The broad product variety of pancake slip rings demonstrates the inherent flexibility and accommodation of the product to diverse application requirements. By offering customized current and voltage ratings, material selection, configuration options, and environmental resilience, manufacturers can tailor pancake slip rings to a wide range of needs, making them a go-to solution in various industries, from medical imaging to radar systems and more. This adaptability is an essential factor in the popularity and wide usage of pancake slip rings across numerous applications.

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