DC motor works only with DC supply whereas universal motor works with both AC and DC. Universal Motor only for AC and DC both another,  It is a commutated series-wound motor,  where the stator’s field coils are connected in series with the rotor windings through a commutator. It is often referred to as an AC series motor.

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A DC motor is any of a class of rotary electrical machines that converts direct current electrical energy into mechanical energy. The most common types rely on the forces produced by magnetic fields. Nearly all types of DC motors have some internal mechanism, either electromechanical or electronic, to periodically change the direction of current flow in part of the motor.

DC motors were the first type widely used, since they could be powered from existing direct-current lighting power distribution systems. A DC motor’s speed can be controlled over a wide range, using either a variable supply voltage or by changing the strength of current in its field windings. Small DC motors are used in tools, toys, and appliances.

The universal motor can operate on direct current but is a lightweight motor used for portable power tools and appliances. Larger DC motors are used in propulsion of electric vehicles, elevator and hoists, or in drives for steel rolling mills. The advent of power electronics has made replacement of DC motors with AC motors possible in many.

The universal motor is so named because it is a type of electric motor that can operate on AC or DC power. It is a commutated series-wound motor where the stator’s field coils are connected in series with the rotor windings through a commutator. It is often referred to as an AC series motor. The universal motor is very similar to a DC series motor in construction, but is modified slightly to allow the motor to operate properly on AC power. This type of electric motor can operate well on AC because the current in both the field coils and the armature (and the resultant magnetic fields) will alternate (reverse polarity) synchronously with the supply. Hence the resulting mechanical force will occur in a consistent direction of rotation, independent of the direction of applied voltage, but determined by the commutator and polarity of the field coils. 

Universal motors have high starting torque, can run at high speed, and are lightweight and compact. They are commonly used in portable power tools and equipment, as well as many household appliances. They’re also relatively easy to control, electromechanically using tapped coils, or electronically. However, the commutator has brushes that wear, so they are much less often used for equipment that is in continuous use. In addition, partly because of the commutator, universal motors are typically very noisy, both acoustically and electromagnetically.

DC Motor vs Universal Motor – Difference between DC Motor and Universal Motor

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