A motor is an electrical machine which converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The principle of working of a DC motor is that whenever a current carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field, it experiences a mechanical force. The direction of this force is given by Fleming’s left hand rule and it’s magnitude is given by F = BIL. Where, B = magnetic flux density, I = current and L = length of the conductor within the magnetic field.
The DC Motor or Direct Current Motor to give it its full title, is the most commonly used actuator for producing continuous movement and whose speed of rotation can easily be controlled, making them ideal for use in applications were speed control, servo type control, and/or positioning is required. A DC motor consists of two parts, a “Stator” which is the stationary part and a “Rotor” which is the rotating part (Electronic Tutorials, n.d.).
The simplest type of motor is the brushed DC motor. In this type of motor, electrical current is passed through coils that are arranged within a fixed magnetic field. The current generates magnetic fields in the coils; this causes the coil assembly to rotate, as each coil is pushed away from the like pole and pulled toward the unlike pole of the fixed field. To maintain rotation, it is necessary to continually reverse the current—so that coil polarities will continually flip, causing the coils to continue “chasing” the unlike fixed poles. Power to the coils is supplied through fixed conductive brushes that make contact with a rotating commutator; it is the rotation of the commutator that causes the reversal of the current through the coils. The commutator and brushes are the key components distinguishing the brushed DC motor from other motor types (What Are Brushless DC Motor, n.d.).
A typical brushed DC motor consists of an outer stator, typically made of either a permanent magnet or electromagnetic windings, and an inner rotor made of iron laminations with coil windings. A segmented commutator and brushes control the sequence in which the rotor windings are energized, to produce continuous rotation (Collins, 2018).
In a typical DC motor, there are permanent magnets on the outside and a spinning armature on the inside. The permanent magnets are stationary, so they are called the stator. The armature rotates, so it is called the rotor. The armature contains an electromagnet. When you run electricity into this electromagnet, it creates a magnetic field in the armature that attracts and repels the magnets in the stator. So the armature spins through 180 degrees. To keep it spinning, you have to change the poles of the electromagnet. The brushes handle this change in polarity. They make contact with two spinning electrodes attached to the armature and flip the magnetic polarity of the electromagnet as it spins (Brain, n.d.).
There are two easily controllable parameters of a DC motor, direction and speed. To control the direction, you reverse the direction of the voltage through the motor. To control the speed, you pulse width modulate it (McComb, n.d.).