PCB motor is a type of electric motor that consists of a rotor made up of using a printed circuit board. It is also referred to as a printed circuit board motor. This printed circuit board is basically a disk of non-magnetic and non-conducting material. The complete armature circuit of the PCB motor is printed onto this disk, hence PCB motor is also known as the disk armature motor.
The printed circuit board motor offers several advantages, such as fewer mechanical components, lightweight, compact design, etc., over the other types of electric motor.
Construction and Working of Printed Circuit Board Motor
The basic construction of a printed circuit board motor is depicted in the following figure.
The construction of a printed circuit board motor typically consists of a stator with stationary magnets and a rotor with armature conductors printed on the PCB disk. The commutator is also printed on the PCB disk. The carbon brushes make the connection with the rotating commutator and hence armature is placed around the inner periphery of the PCB disk.
When the rotor carries an electric current and is placed in the magnetic field produced by the stator magnets, an electromagnetic force acts on the rotor which rotates it.
Advantages of PCB Motors
Printed circuit board motors offer several advantages over other types of electric motors. Some key advantages of printed circuit board motors are listed below:
- Printed circuit board motors have the armature and commutator printed on a PCB, reducing the number of individual components. This results in smaller motor size and lightweight. This advantage of PCB motors makes them suitable for portable devices.
- These motors can handle higher overload currents as compared to other types of electric motors.
- Printed circuit board motors have lower armature inductance, as their armature is made up of non-magnetic and non-conducting materials.
- Printed circuit board motors have a high torque to inertia ratio, allowing them to quickly accelerate and decelerate.
- The low armature inductance makes the time constant of the PCB motor smaller.
- The motor quickly develops full-load torque.
- These motors have higher efficiency due to reduced sparking, less number of mechanical components, lower brush distortion, etc.
- Printed circuit board motors provide a linear speed-torque characteristic.
- The manufacturing of printed circuit board motors can be automated which reduces their production cost, making them affordable.
- Due to the reduced number of components, printed circuit board motors have simpler and less expensive maintenance.
Limitations of Printed Circuit Board Motors
Printed circuit board motors have several limitations over other types of electric motors. Some major limitations of PCB motors are listed below:
- Printed circuit board motors have lower power handling capacity.
- PCB motors have lower output torque than other types of electric motors.
- PCB motors can handle only light loads.
- Printed circuit board motors can overheat under heavy loads and high-power operating conditions.
- Due to their compact design, printed circuit board motors have lower heat dissipation capacity.
- Printed circuit board motors cannot bear high mechanical stress, making them less durable.
Applications of PCB Motors
The printed circuit board motors are mainly used in applications where compact and lightweight design is required. Some key applications of printed circuit board motors are as follows:
- PCB motors are widely used in consumer electronic devices like cameras, smartphones, electronic locks, and more.
- These types of motors are also used in the field of robotics in robotic arms, drones, etc. to control their movement.
- PCB motors are also employed in medical equipment like lab instruments, blood analyzers, infusion pumps, and many others.
- PCB motors are being extensively used in automobiles to adjust side mirrors, HVAC controls, etc.
- Used in automatic systems in homes and offices, such as motorized curtains, automated doors, door locks, etc.
- Used in satellites, navigation systems, and other aerospace and defense devices.
Hence, in this article, we have discussed printed circuit board motors along with their construction, working, applications, and advantages.