Every DC motor has six basic parts -- axle, rotor (a.k.a., armature), stator, commutator, field magnet(s), and brushes. In most common DC motors (and all that BEAMers will see), the external magnetic field is produced by high-strength permanent magnets1. The stator is the stationary part of the motor -- this includes the motor casing, as well as two or more permanent magnet pole pieces. The rotor (together with the axle and attached commutator) rotate with respect to the stator. The rotor consists of windings (generally on a core), the windings being electrically connected to the commutator. The above diagram shows a common motor layout -- with the rotor inside the stator (field) magnets.continue..

The brushed DC electric motor generates torque directly from DC power supplied to the motor by using internal commutation, stationary permanent or electromagnets, and rotating electrical magnets.
Like all electric motors or generators, torque is produced by the principle of Lorentz force, which states that any current-carrying conductor placed within an external magnetic field experiences a torque or force known as Lorentz force. Advantages of a brushed DC motor include low initial cost, high reliability, and simple control of motor speed. Disadvantages are high maintenance and low life-span for high intensity uses. Maintenance involves regularly replacing the brushes and springs which carry the electric current, as well as cleaning or replacing the commutator. These components are necessary for transferring electrical power from outside the motor to the spinning wire winding of the rotor inside the motor.continue..

Brushless DC motors use a rotating permanent magnet or soft magnetic core in the rotor, and stationary electrical magnets on the motor housing. A motor controller converts DC to AC. This design is simpler than that of brushed motors because it eliminates the complication of transferring power from outside the motor to the spinning rotor. Advantages of brushless motors include long life span, little or no maintenance, and high efficiency. Disadvantages include high initial cost, and more complicated motor speed controllers. Some such brushless motors are sometimes referred to as "synchronous motors" although they have no external power supply to be synchronized with, as would be the case with normal AC synchronous motors.continue..

Industrial applications use dc motors because the speed-torque relationship can be varied to almost any useful form -- for both dc motor and regeneration applications in either direction of rotation. Continuous operation of dc motors is commonly available over a speed range of 8:1. Infinite range (smooth control down to zero speed) for short durations or reduced load is also common.
Dc motors are often applied where they momentarily deliver three or more times their rated torque. In emergency situations, dc motors can supply over five times rated torque without stalling (power supply permitting).continue..

It is seen from the earlier sections that the d.c.machine is capable of having variety of torque-speed characteristics depending on the circuit conditions. The need for generating these characteristics will be clear only when they are seen along with the characteristics of the loads that they operate with. Even though a detailed treatment of motor load systems is outside the scope here, it may be useful to look into the typical torque-speed characteristics of some of the common loads..continue..

A detailed illustration of the operation of a DC motor which includes the bascic principle involve in the operation .continue..

At the most basic level, electric motors exist to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. This is done by way of two interacting magnetic fields -- one stationary, and another attached to a part that can move. A number of types of electric motors exist, but most BEAMbots use DC motors1 in some form or another. DC motors have the potential for very high torque capabilities (although this is generally a function of the physical size of the motor), are easy to miniaturize, and can be "throttled" via adjusting their supply voltage. DC motors are also not only the simplest, but the oldest electric motors.

The basic principles of electromagnetic induction were discovered in the early 1800's by Oersted, Gauss, and Faraday. By 1820, Hans Christian Oersted and Andre Marie Ampere had discovered that an electric current produces a magnetic field. The next 15 years saw a flurry of cross-Atlantic experimentation and innovation, leading finally to a simple DC rotary motor. A number of men were involved in the work, so proper credit for the first DC motor is really a function of just how broadly you choose to define the word "motor.".continue..

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