commutator(redirected from Commutators)
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in electrical machinery, a mechanical frequency converter that is attached to the rotor of a machine. A commutator consists of a series of trapezoidal copper segments that are insulated from each other and from the body of the rotor. Each segment is connected to one or more turns of the armature winding. The armature winding is connected to an outside power source by carbon contact brushes. When the armature rotates, the brushes touch each of the commutator segments in turn.
The most common type of commutator is the cylindrical type, with brushes contacting the outer surface. Disk commutators, whose work (contact) surface is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the rotor, are less frequently used. The commutator segments in low-powered machines (up to 10 kilowatts [kW]) are pressed into plastics; in machines with power ratings of 15–25 kW or more and a speed of rotation of 3,000 rpm or higher, the segments are fastened by steel tread rings. In large electric machines double or triple commutators are sometimes used to reduce mechanical stresses. The disadvantages of commutators are high consumption of electrical-grade copper, sparking, and wear caused by brush friction.
REFERENCESPetrov, G. N. Elektricheskie mashiny, 2nd ed., part 3. Moscow, 1968.
Vazhnov, A. I. Elektricheskie mashiny. Leningrad, 1969.
V. V. BOGOMAZOV