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By: David Howard | G+

What is a carbon brush?

What is a carbon brush?
A carbon brush is a component used to conduct electrical current between the stationary and rotating parts of a motor. In a generator or motor, the commutator rotates on a shaft and the fixed carbon brush rides on it to permit the flow of electricity and complete a circuit.

Some brush history

Originally, brushes were made of wire and looked like standard wire brushes. However, the wire brushes tended to wear away the commutator and suffered other run-time issues. The introduction of graphite provided brushes that allowed a more uniform shift of current between commutator segments. Graphite carbon brushes also wear, sparing the commutator. Moreover, the inclusion of special additives in the graphite can help lubricate the connection and the graphite is generally tailored to suit specific operational needs.

Carbon’s (i.e., graphite) flexibility

Carbon brushes are available in four main grade categories: carbon graphite, electrographitic, graphite, and metal graphite. Material types are matched to the demands of the motor or generator as well as the operational environment. Brushes are customized based on dimensions, bevels, seating, shunts and terminals, plates and hard tops, and other special features. Repco provides an excellent Carbon Brush Reference on our website and of course we’re always happy to answer questions by telephone or email.

Original OEM or Repco Replacement Carbon Brushes

Repco offers original OEM carbon brushes as well as our own Repco lower-cost alternatives. And similar to our electrical contacts, Repco carbon brushes are guaranteed to match the OEM’s brush in fit, form, and function.

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