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Commutator tips to extend DC motor life

  • April 2002
  • Number of views: 223
  • Article rating: No rating

Chuck Yung
EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist

One of the least understood parts of a DC motor is the commutator. With a little understanding and some helpful tips, commutator life can be maximized.

Commutators are made of copper bars* separated by insulation from each other and from the steel hub. Viewed from the end, each bar is wedge-shaped, tapered radially with the thickest portion towards the outside. The insulation material most often used is segment mica because it remains stable at the temperature and pressure required during assembly and operation. By alternating copper bars with mica segments, each bar is isolated electrically from the other bars. The resulting cylinder of bars and mica is mounted on an insulated steel hub.

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