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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 form of motor widely used, as 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 brushed motor used for portable power tools and appliances. Larger DC motors are currently used in propulsion of electric vehicles, elevator and hoists, and in drives for steel rolling mills. The advent of power electronics has made replacement of DC motors with AC motors possible in many applications.