Slip Rings

Slip Ring Types

A slip ring is a method of making an electric connection through a rotating assembly. Slip rings are also called rotary electrical interfaces, rotating electrical connectors, collectors, swivels or electrical rotary joints.

 

Slip Ring Assembly

In it’s most common form a slip ring assembly is a fully integrated unit with a housing and bearings. The shape and size of the units are dependant on the specification supplied by the customer. Available with either gold or silver contacts, these units carry a variety of power and/or signal channels. These channels can vary from 1 to many hundreds depending on the complexity of the application.

 

Through Bore

A bore through the centre of a slip ring module can enable it to be shaft mounted or offer routing space for hydraulics, pneumatics or integration of an optical joint (FORJ) or waveguide. Available with either gold or silver contacts, these units carry a variety of power and/or signal channels. These channels can vary from 1 to many hundreds depending on the complexity of the application.

Through Bore Slip Rings

 

High Speed Units

As the name infers, these units are specially designed for high speed applications and are often liquid or air cooled and can have brush lifting mechanisms to counteract rapid brush wear. Often used in testing applications these units are designed to offer very low electrical noise properties. Available with either gold or silver contacts, these units carry a variety of power and/or signal channels.

High Speed Units Slip Rings

 

Split Slip Rings

A split slip ring unit can be mounted onto a shaft in situ, by making it in 2 halves that can be clamped around the shaft on site. These units are available with both gold and silver contacts. And can carry a variety of data and/or signal channels.

Split Slip Rings

 

Separates

Separates are essentially a slip ring and brush block supplied as two separate items. In situations where a housing and bearing assembly is either unnecessary, cost or size prohibitive, the two parts can be fitted by the customer to their system. Often these units are miniature assemblies, but larger units are becoming more common especially for wind turbine micro-generation. Available with gold and/or silver contacts.

Separates Slip Rings

 

Miniature

Miniature or compact slip ring capsules are used in applications where space is very limited such as aircraft instrumentation and missile guidance systems. Although small, these units can still reproduce very high specifications in terms of lifespan, operating speeds and electrical noise levels.

Available only with gold contacts, size is directly influenced by the number of channels needed (e.g. 18 channels units are approx. 12mm long with a 5mm diameter).

Miniature Slip Rings

 

Pancake

The majority of slip rings are based on a ‘cylindrical’ shape design. In certain applications where a cylindrical shape will simply not fit into the available space or a very low profile is needed, a pancake or platter style slip ring can be used. These slip ring units are based on a disc shaped rotor embedded with concentric grooves carrying the signal and power channels with a brush block assembly mounted over the top to act as the stator.

Contacts are available in gold and silver, operating speed has a large bearing on the number of channels and overall diameter of the unit.

Pancake Slip Rings

 

Pancake Cassette

Like the standard pancake slip ring, the pancake cassette is a design used usually to reduce the profile of an application (e.g. gun sighting systems or studio camera panning head). However because of the number of channels available on a single platter is often limited, more data and power rings can be incorporated into a unit by stacking a number of pancake units in parallel to form a cassette.

Contacts are available in gold and silver and this design is used in situations where a low profile is needed and a large number of channels desired.

Pancake Cassette Slip Rings

 

PCB

Miniature pancake style slip rings can be manufactured in a PCB style, by laying conductive concentric rings onto a PCB type board. Usually supplied as separates these units offer a low cost solution to simple applications where size and cost are an important factor in the design. These units are especially suited to large production runs.

 

Twist Capsules

When only a limited rotation is available twist capsules offer a simpler solution to rotating contacts. Twist capsules allow for continuing turning movements without unnecessary wiring looms. Often used in applications such as camera or sighting equipment and pitch controls.

Twist Capsules Slip Rings