What is a DC motor? Its types, working, construction, advantages, disadvantages & Applications

A DC motor, or direct current motor, is an electric motor that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. It operates on the principle of Lorentz force, which states that when an electric current is passed through a wire that is placed in a magnetic field, a force is exerted on the wire, causing it to move.

Types of DC Motors:

  1. Series DC Motor: In this motor, the armature and field windings are connected in series, and the motor generates high torque at low speeds.
  2. Shunt DC Motor: In this motor, the armature and field windings are connected in parallel, and the motor runs at a constant speed with varying loads.
  3. Compound DC Motor: This motor combines both the series and shunt winding arrangements and provides both high starting torque and constant speed operation.

Working of DC Motor:

When a voltage is applied to the armature winding of a DC motor, an electric current flows through it, producing a magnetic field that interacts with the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in the stator. This interaction produces a torque that causes the rotor to rotate. The direction of rotation is determined by the polarity of the applied voltage and the direction of the magnetic fields.

Construction of DC Motor:

  1. Stator: The stator is the stationary part of the motor, consisting of a core made of laminated steel sheets. The stator core is designed with slots, which are wound with insulated copper wire to create a series of coils. These coils are connected in such a way that they form a magnetic field when a current flows through them.
  2. Rotor: The rotor is the rotating part of the motor. It is made up of a core, which is also made of laminated steel sheets. The core has a shaft attached to it, and is designed with slots to accommodate the winding of the armature.
  3. Commutator: The commutator is a cylindrical structure made up of copper segments that are insulated from each other. The commutator is mounted on the rotor shaft, and its function is to reverse the direction of the current flowing in the armature as the rotor rotates.
  4. Brushes: The brushes are typically made of carbon or graphite, and are mounted on the stationary part of the motor. The brushes make contact with the commutator segments, and provide an electrical connection between the power source and the rotating armature.
  5. Bearings: The bearings are used to support the rotor shaft and allow it to rotate freely. The bearings are typically made of metal and are lubricated to reduce friction and extend their lifespan.
DC Motor Internal Structure


  1. High starting torque.
  2. Easy to control the speed.
  3. High efficiency.
  4. Smooth and quiet operation.
  5. Can be used in both motoring and generating modes.


  1. Requires regular maintenance of brushes and commutator.
  2. Lower lifespan compared to AC motors.
  3. More expensive than AC motors.
  4. Can produce electromagnetic interference.
  5. Limited power range compared to AC motors.


  1. Industrial machinery: Industrial machinery mainly comprised of wide these including conveyors, cranes, hoists, and pumps.
  2. Automotive industry: DC motors are used in electric vehicles, power windows, power seats, windshield wipers, and cooling fans.
  3. Robotics: These are used in robotics for precise and smooth movements, as well as for gripping and lifting objects.
  4. Household appliances: DC motors are used in appliances like vacuum cleaners, blenders, and mixers for their low noise and energy-efficient operation.
  5. Medical devices: DC motors are used in medical devices such as surgical tools, infusion pumps, and respirators for their precise and reliable operation.
  6. Aerospace and defense: DC motors are used in aircraft for controlling flaps, landing gear, and other mechanisms. They are also used in military equipment for various applications.
  7. Computer peripherals: DC motors are used in printers, scanners, and disk drives for their precise and controlled movements.

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