The invention of the Balancing Ring
In 1962 Mr. Robert Adler, an Austrian immigrant to the USA invented a device that overcomes all the problems associated with the conventional method of balancing which was in use up till then. His idea was a wonderful combination of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Mr. Adler’s idea was to create an electro-mechanical system that can sense the vibration created by the imbalance in the rotation of the tub.
In this system, an electrically activated ring would rotate out of phase with the tub to counteract its movement via motors mounted under the counterbalance ring. This leads to an equilibrium state and hence the vibrations are counteracted, resulting in a smooth washing cycle.
Working Of Washing Machine Balance Ring
A washing machine‘s balance ring, also known as a rubber seal or drive belt loop, helps to keep the drum from wobbling and turning unevenly. The balance ring is attached to the inner side of the tub with screws that are accessible through an access panel on top of the washer.
The small circular rings that form the outer edge of a washtub create a low spot where water accumulates so it flows evenly over the tub. Slowly rotating as the spin cycle begins, they tilt in opposite directions tipping one side further than the other until all sides are level with each other. That is when they have reached their point of balance.
A washing machine’s ring assembly (also called a balance ring) is composed of several parts. There are two hanger rings that hold the tub, four spacers that separate the hanger rings, and an outer ring that holds it all together.
The weight of the water in the tub keeps everything balanced perfectly, allowing clothes to move freely through the spin cycle. If the hanger rings are bent or out of level, the ring won’t rotate evenly and stop working effectively.
Note: If your washing machine’s balance ring is not working, change it with our proper guidelines or have your local appliance technician check it for you.
However, this method has some disadvantages:
1. The first and the main disadvantage is the load on the driving shaft. The shaft must be strong enough to carry not only its own load but also that of the ring. In addition, it should not slip on the ring.
2. Power loss by friction between the inner tube and outer drum. With the continuous movement in one direction, this power loss is also considerable.
3. Balancing ring has to be made so that it should have an elasticity. So that it may yield under the pressure of load on it and take its original position when no load is applied.
4. The combined load of the inner tub and the ring should not exceed the allowable limit for the shaft. Otherwise, its life will be short.
5. Fluctuations in speed are not convenient to take care of by suitable clutches or brakes because either over speeding or sudden stoppage may be dangerous due to inertia forces involved in it.
Therefore, the ring is the best practical solution but not perfect.