In any electric motor, operation is based on simple electromagnetism. A current-carrying conductor generates a magnetic field; when this is then placed in an external magnetic field, it will experience a force proportional to the current in the conductor, and to the strength of the external magnetic field. As you are well aware of from playing with magnets as a kid, opposite (North and South) polarities attract, while like polarities (North and North, South and South) repel. The internal configuration of a DC motor is designed to harness the magnetic interaction between a current-carrying conductor and an external magnetic field to generate rotational motion.
Let's start by looking at a simple 2-pole DC electric …show more content…
Unfortunately this is tedious work, as well as requiring the destruction of a perfectly good motor.
Luckily for you, I've gone ahead and done this in your stead. The guts of a disassembled Mabuchi FF-030-PN motor (the same model that Solarbotics sells) are available for you to see here (on 10 lines / cm graph paper). This is a basic 3-pole DC motor, with 2 brushes and three commutator contacts.
The use of an iron core armature (as in the Mabuchi, above) is quite common, and has a number of advantages2. First off, the iron core provides a strong, rigid support for the windings -- a particularly important consideration for high-torque motors. The core also conducts heat away from the rotor windings, allowing the motor to be driven harder than might otherwise be the case. Iron core construction is also relatively inexpensive compared with other construction types.
But iron core construction also has several disadvantages. The iron armature has a relatively high inertia which limits motor acceleration. This construction also results in high winding inductances which limit brush and commutator life.
In small motors, an alternative design is often used which features a 'coreless' armature winding. This design depends upon the coil wire itself for structural integrity. As a result, the armature is hollow, and the permanent magnet can be mounted inside the rotor coil. Coreless DC motors have much lower armature inductance than iron-core motors of comparable size,