What Is The Function Of Carbon Brushes?

Carbon brushes are electromechanical components that conduct electric currents in alternators, generators or motors from static parts to rotating parts that need power. They are also called sliding contacts transmitting electrical energy from stationary wires to rotating motors.

Types Of Carbon Brushes

Carbon brushes make electric motors to work by transmitting current. In the past, the carbons used were wires, but because of their quick wear and tear, industrial standards today design them into squares to improve on the functionality and efficiency of commutators in electric motors. A trusted retailer, such as UK retailer Topdealsonline.shop, has a variety of carbon brushes, falling into the following categories:  

1. Metal Graphite Carbon Brushes

These brushes are a product of a combination of fine metal powders and natural graphite. They are used in electrical motors and are the most suitable because they are less resistive. Although lead and silver are used, copper is the most common. 

Metal graphite carbon brushes are suitable for low voltage commutators with brushes that have a higher density level. They also have a low contact drop, making them suitable to combine with grounding brushes.

2. Electrographite Carbon Brushes

Electrographite carbon brushes are best for commutators because they are made in high temperatures, making them long-lasting. Long-lasting carbon brushes are an excellent choice for your home items, and you can rely on them when replacing a power tool brush

An enhancement with ideal organic or inorganic materials can increase their durability. The brushes are best for motors, generators, and alternators in high-temperature conditions. 

3. Carbon Brushes

These carbons have been around for a while. The brushes are suitable for older machines that are a bit slower and have lower densities. They are not suitable for modern equipment made by the latest technologies. 

Their durable material makes them useful for machines that need high friction – the old ones. 

4. Graphite Carbon Brushes

These brushes are a layer of brush material composed of resins and graphite. Graphite carbon brushes have outstanding sliding qualities, making them ideal for slip rings and commutators. The brushes have a higher density and low absorption abilities, protecting commutators from the risk arising from a contaminated environment. 

They possess excellent filming properties that act as a protective layer for slip rings and commutators under exposure to contaminants.

Functions Of Carbon Brushes

As outlined below, there are three main uses of carbon brushes:

Functions Of Carbon Brushes

1. Industrial Use

Carbon brushes are used on rotary commutator electric switches in heavy-duty equipment, like electrical generators and electric motors. Commutator switches help in the occasional reversal of the direction of current flow between rotors and external circuits, mainly direct current (DC) machines, like universal motors, DC motors, and DC generators.

Carbon brushes support both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) motors. They also support processing equipment motors, like in cement plants, hydropower generation plants, and windmills. With their extensive use in construction trucks with engines, carbon brushes also support the locomotive industry and can also help start cars running on batteries. 

Since the brushes take in all the wear and tear, rotating parts and static parts have protection. Industrial carbon brushes have a unique design to contain the high heat generator from moving parts in the various heavy industrial equipment.

2. Domestic Use

Household equipment that runs on rotating parts that need power also needs carbon brushes for power transmission demands. Some home machines that require the brushes include office printers, gardening, and other power tools. 

You can use carbon brushes for most of your ordinary home appliances. The brushes on household machines are smaller than those used in industrial machines because their power needs are lesser. Dish, laundry machines, and vacuum cleaners are also everyday household items that use carbon brushes. 

Smaller things, like children’s play toys, use micro-carbon brushes that help power the batteries for small motors.

3. Automotive Uses

Most automotive machines, like cars, run on direct current (DC) motors. Carbon brushes in these machines help transmit current from converted mechanical energy to electric power in alternators in the form of alternating current (AC). Alternators need current to produce a magnetic field. 

Carbon brushes made for automotive uses transmit the electric current required by the alternator to function. The brushes are common in cars running on diesel or those that require oil to operate. They are also requisite for airbags to function during impact and steering wheel when vehicles are in locomotion.

Final Thoughts

Carbon brushes, sliding electromechanical components, transmit electric current from stationary points to rotating motors in generators and alternators. The brushes are also designed in different types and do include carbon brushes, carbon-graphite brushes, electro graphite, and metal graphite carbon brushes. Carbon brushes are used in automotive use, domestic use, and industrial use.