Frequently Asked Questions on Commutator


Where is the commutator used?

Commutators are used in DC motors and universal motors to ensure that the current in the rotor windings always flows in the same direction.

How do commutators work?

A commutator is a rotatory electrical switch that reverses the direction of current between the rotor and the external circuit periodically. The reversal of the current each half-turn gives rise to a steady rotating torque.

What are commutators made of?

Commutators are made up of a set of copper segments that are fixed around the rotor.


Is the commutator and slip ring the same?

Although both are used to maintain the electric circuit continuity between a rotating and a static system, they are distinct from each other. Slip rings are a continuous ring that provides a constant transfer of signal, power or data. On the other hand, commuatators are used in DC motors to reverse the polarity of the current in the armature windings.
Slip rings and commutators are electric devices used to maintain electrical circuit continuity between a rotating and a static system. The most important difference between them is that commutators can convert AC to DC but slip rings cannot.
In contrast to commutator, slip rings have only one operation, that is to enable a connection between a fixed conductor and a rotating conductor.