stepper Motor

A motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. In the case of stepper motors, it converts the electrical power to rotatory motion. This it does in style, by dividing the rotation into a number of discrete steps. The specialty of this motor is that its position can be accurately controlled and so can the speed of rotation.

There are two types of stepper motors. They are a unipolar stepper motor and bipolar stepper motor. The unipolar and bipolar stepper motors differ with respect to their winding arrangements.

The bipolar motor uses what is called ‘H bridge circuitry’. It is more complex but it is precisely with the help of this that it is able to reverse the current flow, ensuring that the current will flow through the whole coil. The torque produced is, as a result, high. With Unipolar stepper motors, the current only passes through half of the total windings, hence, it produces lesser torque.

The bipolar stepper motor is ideal for high torque applications. One such product is NEMA 23 bipolar stepper motor. Nema stands for national electrical manufacturers association and the number that follows is the size of the motor. Nema 23 has a faceplate of 2.3 inches by 2.3 inches dimension. With manufacturers, the specifications of two nema 23 motors differ.

What is NEMA 23 stepper motor?

Hybrid NEMA stepper motor is one of the three basic types of motors. It has a wide variety of applications. Nema 23 stepper motor can be used as a unipolar or bipolar stepper motor. It generally has a step angle of 1.8 degrees, which translates to ‘it takes 200 steps per revolution’. The holding torque varies from one motor to another. Because of its high torque and speed, it is very useful in automated equipment. The use of this stepper motor in such devices can greatly improve its functioning. Nema 23 is used in very large machines that demand very high torques.

An overview of stepper motors and its application:

stepper computer numerical control cnc

Stepper motor functions by converting electrical pulses to mechanical movement. Its unique features make it well suited to be used in CNC (computer numerical control) equipment. CNC is a process used in manufacturing that lets the CNC equipment’s effectively control tools like lathes, grinders, mills etc.

Stepper motors are a popular choice. It is because they are relatively inexpensive and demand less care and maintenance. The construction is simple and easy. It does not involve any sophistication, which makes it the lead contender among motors in cases where cost is a concern.

Bipolar stepper circuits have just one winding per stator phase. Therefore, the winding resistance is low. The only disadvantage of the bipolar motor is its complex operation. Still, its high torque generation capability makes up for its lows. The torque produced can be adjusted by altering the windings or by regulating the current flowing through it. Increasing the current supply to increase the torque generation is not always a good option as this raises the temperature of the stepper motor.

Even with its limitations, the bipolar stepper motors provide more torque than its equivalent among unipolar motors. Keeping in mind its other defining features, it is wise to use it in applications that require high torque.