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FIGURE 36-43
Simplified electric motor diagram.

While solenoids use magnetic fields to create lateral movement, electric motors use magnetic fields to create rotary movement. Motors consist of two main components: the armature and the field. The armature contains electromagnetic coils. The field contains either electromagnets or permanent magnets. The interaction between the magnetic fields of the stationary field coils and the magnetic fields of the moveable armature coils causes the armature to rotate. Since the armature coils can be energized and create electromagnetic fields, those fields can be turned on and off so that they attract and repel the fields of the stationary magnetic fields. The design and orientation of the electromagnetic coils ensure that the armature continues to turn as it rotates through various positions. The armature is connected to the electrical supply by a set of carbon brushes that contact a commutator, which is a segmented component of the armature. The commutator and brushes act as switches to control the current flow through the windings of the armature Figure 36-43. The brushes allow the electrical connection to occur even when the armature is spinning.