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What is swarf and how does it damage electric motors?

There are many things that can cause damage to electric motors including heat, moisture, electrical overload and vibration. But did you know about the threat of swarf? We know what you’re thinking – what is swarf, and why is it harmful to electric motors? Read on as we explain all.

The term swarf defines a wide variety of mechanical waste. Swarf can include filings, shavings and chips which result from mechanical processes such as metalworking, woodworking and masonry. Processes such as turning, whittling and grinding produce all manner of swarf from gritty material to long, stringy fibres.

When swarf is produced in industrial applications, it’s often impractical to clean it away immediately so it quickly accumulates. As a result, swarf can migrate into electric motors and cause all manner of problems. Swarf can affect internal connections and cause intermittent shorting, while metallic debris can be flammable. Swarf can also be corrosive and if left to build up on the outside of a motor it can act as a thermal insulator.

Getting into good housekeeping habits is key to protecting electric motors from swarf. Setting time aside to regularly remove debris ensures swarf cannot accumulate and reduces the risk of motor failure.

If you have electric motor damage then Gibbons offer an outstanding motor rewinds and repair service, with rapid response and 12-month warranty as standard. If your motor is beyond repair then we stock a huge range of energy-efficient electric motors which are available for next-day delivery. Give us a call on 01621 868138 or email with your enquiry. 

Electric Motors

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