Brushed motors are the electric motors in RCs that have brushes.
Durability and longevity are two very important characteristics of every RC component, and this is no different when it comes to the RC motor.
With many RC vehicles using the brushed motor, it poses the question of how long the brushed motors actually last.
How long does a brushed motor last?
Due to the wear of the brushes, most brushed motors can last for 1,000-3,000 working hours or 2 to 12 running weeks.
When used with normal load, while also being well maintained, brushed motors can even last for up to three years.
The brushed motor will end up burning out, and it will stop working, but maintaining it and cleaning it properly will allow you to use it efficiently for a long period.
How long your brushed motor lasts primarily depends on where and how you use it, and you could use a single motor throughout the year or go through a couple of motors in just a month. Overall though, it is quite difficult to say exactly how long your brushed RC motor will last as there are many factors affecting it.
How long do brushed motors last compared to brushless motors?
One of the main downsides of using brushed motors is that the brushes wear out quite quickly.
The brush is an essential part of the brushed motor because if it gets worn out, it can cause the entire motor to stall.
The brushless motors, on the other hand, do not have brushes and this helps in enhancing their long service life. With brushed motors having a runtime of about 1,000 to 3,000 hours, brushless motors double that value and it can even be further improved with proper maintenance.
Get more knowledge: Which One Is Faster, Brushed or Brushless
Why do brushed motors wear?
The main thing that causes wear in brushed motors is mechanical friction between the brushes and the commutator, as well as electrical erosion.
The motor can of the brushed motor is open, and this allows sand, dust, and dirt to easily enter the internal parts of the motor. As the dirt starts to build up, the motor will begin to wear out quickly. So, there is a need to frequently and thoroughly clean the brushed motor to increase its life span.
Can you make your brushed motor last longer?
Although the brushed motor will require replacement periodically, there are also ways that you can extend its life and reduce how much rigorous maintenance is needed.
Choose the right brush material
Most brushes are made from either graphite, metal-graphite, carbon, electro graphite, or carbon-graphite material. Each material has its specifications and advantages for use, so ensure you get the right brush material for the purpose you intend to use your RC car.
Check the brush grade
Apart from the brush material, you also need to choose the right brush grade. The brush grade is a measurement of the mechanical and electrical characteristics of the brush. This includes the hardness, maximum pressure, and current density. The brush will wear out quicker if your brush grade does not match the application conditions.
Clean out contamination frequently
Too much particulate in the components of your brushed motor can affect the brush contact and cause wear to the commutator and brushes. You need to periodically clean out the commutator and the brushes to avoid contamination.
What can shorten the life of brushed motors?
By using the brushed motor over time, sand, dust, and dirt will accumulate inside the motor, causing it to lose performance and life span gradually and it will eventually stop working.
If your brushed motor begins to wear, it can also cause the entire motor to run hot and this will increase the chances of breaking and overheating.
In many cases, the brushed motor will stop working completely and suddenly, with most people thinking the motor has burned out. This often leads to replacing the motor without knowing that it is just gummed up.
Get more knowledge: How Hot Should A Brushed Motors Run
Why do brushed motors have brushes?
The alternating current in the motor reverses the direction of its current flow 60 times per second.
The armature is connected to this current and it tries to do the same. The commutator in the motor is a ring that has alternating conducting and insulating segments. Each of the conducting segments is connected to a winding of the armature.
The main function of the brushes in the motor is to conduct this electricity to the individual segments while they move from brush to brush.
This also gives the motor the ability to turn in a direction at a speed that is determined by how many windings are in the armature.
Will a brushed RC motor last as long as other brushed motors?
The brushed motors in RC cars as well as those in other machines use the same basic designs and mode of operation. The only difference is that the brushed motors in RC cars usually undergo more heavy-duty work because of the power that needs to be generated for the car to move at high speeds. This might cause the motors in RC cars to not last as long as the brushed motors in other machines.
Advantages of brushed motors
Brushed motors are cheaper than brushless motors, and the system in the brushed motor is also much simpler than in the brushless motor.
It is the simplicity in the wiring of the brushed motor that makes it more cost-effective.
Brushed motors are cost-effective, easier to control, and they handle harsh conditions better than brushless motors.
There is no doubt that brushless motors are quicker and more powerful, but brushed motors provide a good alternative especially if you are on a budget or you need some help with controlling your RC car. What motor will work better for you depends on what kind of driving you’re doing, but you are guaranteed to have a ton of fun no matter what type of motor you choose.