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Earthing contacts

Earthing contacts transmit electrical current to rotating parts. A characteristic realisation is through the use of low impedance jumpers. This ensures in an elegant manner that electrical current does not flow through other contact points which could be damaged as a result. The best examples of this are bogies on trains in railway technology. Earthing contacts in these applications ensure that current does not flow through wheel bearings (and seriously impair their running performance). Earthing contacts generally consist of one or more carbon brushes (with a high metallic content) with guides and a rotating disk or collector which are conductively connected to the axle. The rotating disk either consists of pure metal or a metal coated with electrographite. The graphite-coated variant offers considerable advantages with regard to wear and quality long-term stability of power transmission. In addition to transmitting drive power from the chassis to the wheels, earthing contacts also transmit signals in applications which include determination the location of trains or track safety. Their increasing employment in wind turbines is also gaining in importance.

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