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Types of Stepper Motor:


There are three main types of stepper motors:

1. Permanent Magnet Stepper (can be subdivided in to 'tin-can' and 'hybrid', tin-can being a cheaper product, and hybrid with higher quality bearings, smaller step angle, higher power density)

2. Hybrid Synchronous Stepper

3. Variable Reluctance Stepper

4. Lavet type stepping motor

Permanent magnet motors use a permanent magnet (PM) in the rotor and operate on the attraction or repulsion between the rotor PM and the stator electromagnets. Variable reluctance (VR) motors have a plain iron rotor and operate based on the principle that minimum reluctance occurs with minimum gap, hence the rotor points are attracted toward the stator magnet poles. Hybrid stepper motors are named because they use a combination of PM and VR techniques to achieve maximum power in a small package size.


There are two basic winding arrangements for the electromagnetic coils in a two phase stepper motor: bipolar and unipolar.

A unipolar stepper motor has two windings per phase, one for each direction of magnetic field.

Since in this arrangement a magnetic pole can be reversed without switching the direction of current, the commutation circuit can be made very simple (e.g. a single transistor) for each winding. Typically, given a phase, one end of each winding is made common: giving three leads per phase and six leads for a typical two phase motor. Often, these two phase commons are internally joined, so the motor has only five leads.

Bipolar motors have a single winding per phase. The current in a winding needs to be reversed in order to reverse a magnetic pole, so the driving circuit must be more complicated; typically with an H-bridge arrangement (however there are several off the shelf driver chips available to make this a simple affair). There are two leads per phase, none are common.