PCB slip rings are some of the most popular types of slip rings available in the market. Their unique pancake look makes them ideal for applications that have limited vertical height and a more horizontal room. While there are several slip rings designed for various applications, they all serve the same purpose, which is to conduct electricity or signal to rotating parts. Like most slip rings, a PCB slip ring features two main parts as follows:
This is the flat disk-like surface that occupies the horizontal space in your device. Vendors often use various materials for the flat surface, with a common preference for thick copper sandwiched by gold coating. The diameter also varies and can be customized according to customer instructions or requirements.
Brushes in slip rings play the role of transmitting signals to the rotating part and can be made using metal, graphite, customer-preferred metal alloys, or fiber technology. In PCB slip rings, the brush is made depending on customer or manufacturer preference.
Benefits of PCB Slip Rings
A PCB (printed circuit board) slip ring is required for various applications and can offer the reliability you seek, especially if you choose high-quality devices from reputable vendors. However, compared to other models, PCB slip rings have various advantages, including the following:
a) Require Small Installation Space
If you need to install a slip ring in devices with limited space, the pancake design of PCB slip rings offers the perfect solution. The design is particularly optimized for applications with limited vertical space but also meets small horizontal space requirements. Most have a thickness of up to 5.8m to accommodate more strain and proper functioning despite the slim vertical height.
b) Reduced Noise and Friction
Brushing metals rubbing against the rotating ring is bound to cause friction and noise considering slip rings feature mechanical parts. Reputable manufacturers use fiber technology paired with copper and gold to reduce friction and rusting. Less friction also implies reduced noise during operation. This creates the ideal working condition for those operating the PCB slip ring motor or device.
c) Low Torque and Resistance
Since brushes contact conductive metals that have reduced friction, the total amount of torque produced is reduced, making the slip ring perfect for complex machines. This also comes with reduced resistance and wearing. No lubrication is needed, which significantly reduces the maintenance requirement. PCB slip rings are also very cost-effective in the long run.
d) Very Durable
Durability is one of the hallmarks of reliable slip rings and PCB models feature durable copper and precious gold metal coating that offer peak durability. These slip rings can last several years before wearing out, considering the brushes are made of durable fiber that causes less friction when transmitting signals.
What Makes PCB Slip Rings Reliable?
A slip ring might have several benefits, but specific attributes distinguish reliable offers from the rest. While PCB slip rings are light and thin, allowing installation in small spaces, not all offers you find will be reliable. It is still crucial to find reputable brands and vendors that can guarantee genuine quality devices. This will ensure you get the quality promised by the manufacturer. The unique attributes that make PCB slip rings reliable include durability, efficiency under normal conditions, reduced noise and friction, and minimal space requirement, which are the advantages these rings have over other models.
When to Use PCB Slip Rings
PCB slip rings offer unique advantages and features required for many applications. However, you won’t always need them for every application that requires a slip ring. For instance, if the user calls for devices with longer vertical height or those with thickness wider than 10m, a pancake PCB ring wouldn’t suffice. Two of the common scenarios that suit a PCB slip ring include:
· Narrow Space Specs
Because of their thin surface, PCB slip rings can be made to fit tiny spaces.
· Weight Restriction
Applications that require lightweight slip rings can benefit from PCBs, which offer a thin, lightweight, durable material.
Slip rings are specialized devices used in unique applications that aren’t very popular. As such, the demand for these devices is generally low compared to other electronic components. Most PCB slip rings are offered to meet customer instructions and requirements, although you can still find standard models. If you aren’t sure whether the current system could benefit from a PCB slip ring model, you can ask the vendor.
Using PCB Slip Rings
While PCB slip rings offer several advantages, there are many crucial factors to consider before ordering custom slip rings for your applications. For instance, you need to find devices that can transmit power, data, or both. This includes assessing whether you require high-voltage conductors that can withstand heat and other conditions associated with high-power transmission. If you need PCB slip rings for data transmission, they might have low power requirements. However, the conductors should be sensitive enough to prevent the loss of data packets.
For both power and data, you might need superconductors and multiple circuits inside one rotor assembly. Toxicity is another crucial aspect to review as some materials used in PCB slip rings could turn out to be harmful to people, the surrounding environment, and the machinery. All manufacturers are required to meet specific minimum requirements to reduce toxic materials from their assemblies and while most are compliant, some go the extra mile to ensure safety. These are the brands you should seek when comparing PCB slip rings for your application.
PCB slip rings suit specific applications, so they aren’t a reliable choice in all situations. It is essential to identify your unique requirements and determine if a PCB slip ring is among the feasible options. What’s more, there are several brands and models, including some that aren’t as durable and efficient. You should compare existing offers and choose devices from reputable vendors. PCB slip rings are generally the better choice in most applications where they are viable options. This includes many applications that feature small vertical installation space. However, the design also limits these slip rings to smaller, less complex applications and devices.