Mechanical - Rotary Systems
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Rotary systems typically combine stationary and rotary elements. This can be challenging when electrical signals, fluids, or gases need to cross the interface. Rotary unions and rotary slip rings provide the solution. At Motion Solutions, we have substantial rotary-motion expertise inherited from RM Hoffman. Our sales team and application engineers can work with you to help specify the appropriate component for your application.
A rotary union is a rotating joint that provides an interface between rotating equipment and static equipment. These joints make it possible to transfer fluids and gases from one regime to the next. Choosing the right rotary union begins with knowing factors like the overall application, the gas or fluid being transferred, the volume and pressure, and the speed of rotation. We carry rotary unions in a range of materials, including brass unions for water cooling, cast-iron for steam and hot oil, aluminum for air and for weight-sensitive applications, and steel rotary unions for semiconductor and other high-tech equipment.
The type of flat seal involved in the union is also essential. Here again, the seal material varies depending on the materials involved. Clean air might be forgiving but dirty water or caustic fluids can degrade the material rapidly. We offer rotary unions with different seal materials for a wide variety of conditions. If one of our standard offerings will not work, we can make modifications or even start with a clean-sheet design.
Slip rings make it possible for electricity to pass from stationary elements to rotating elements. These rotary structures can transmit electrical power and signals such as control signals or analog and digital feedback.
Slip rings can be divided into brushed and brushless types. Brushed types consist of a rotating ring attached to the load and a fixed contact that presses against the ring to provide electrical contact throughout an unlimited number of rotations. The type of contacts can vary.
Brushless types use wireless connectivity across a very narrow air gap to transmit both power and signals. They offer additional degrees of design freedom but are limited in the magnitude of power and signal that they can handle. As with any wireless system, EMI may also be an issue. The key parameters for specifying slip rings include the amount of power being transferred, the number of connectors, and the electronic noise requirements.