Electric DC Motor-Construction of Commutator and Brushes

When you think of an electric DC motor, a certain basic construction comprising of windings and magnetic fields comes to mind. It is the interaction between the magnetic field and the windings which carry current that results in the conversion of electrical energy to mechanical energy. The commutator and brushes of an electric DC motor are used in the process of this conversion. DC motors are found in all kinds of appliances, whether they are for household purposes or industrial uses.

Commutator of Electric DC Motor

The commutator of a DC motor is basically a cylindrical structure that is made of copper segments put together, with mica acting as an insulator between them. As the name implies, the commutator of an electric DC motor relays or commutes the supply current from the main power supply to the armature winding. This armature winding is placed over a rotating structure and receives the supply through the brushes of the motor.

Brushes of Electric DC Motor

The brushes of a DC motor are of carbon or graphite and they slide over the rotating commutator, making contact with them. The brushes serve the purpose of relaying the current from an external circuit to the rotating commutator. From here, the current flows to the armature winding.

So, the basic function of the commutator and brush unit of the DC motor lies in conducting the power from the electrical circuit, which is stationary, to the rotor that is mechanically rotating.

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