Glossary of Terms

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  • Carrying current:The maximum current that can be passed through the already closed contacts of a switch. Contrast with “Contact Rating”.
  • CE:The CE mark is a symbol that indicates a product complies with the “essential requirements” of the European laws. It indicates conformity to the legal requirements of the European Union (EU) Directive with respect to safety, health, environmental, and consumer protection.
  • Chatter:Rapid opening and closing of contacts, usually exhibited during extreme vibration and/or shock.
  • Clearance (spacing):Distance through air between electrically live parts of opposite polarity or to ground.
  • Conductive Rubber:Elastomer filled with carbon or metallic particles which render the material electrically conductive.
  • Contact:The component of the switch that disengages to cause the actual circuit interruption.
  • Contact bounce (Bounce):The time during switching in which electrical instability (bounce) caused by the rebound of the contacts is observed. Relative mass of the contacts, forces and frequency of supporting members are all components that determine the extent of bounce. Total transfer time consists of the time for(...)
  • Contact Configuration:Poles, throws, and sequence designated by alpha characters.
  • Contact Force:The force that the movable contact in a switch exerts on the fixed terminal.
  • Contact Gap:The distance that separates two contacts when the circuit is open.
  • Contact Pressure:The amount of force holding the movable and stationary contacts together. While this should be termed Contact Force, by convention in the United States, it is called Contact Pressure.
  • Contact rating (Switching rating):The capacity to switch (connect or interrupt) an electrical load. Load characteristic (resistive, inductive, capacitive, power factor). Contrast with non-switching rating.
  • Contact Resistance (CR):Resistance, measured in milliohms, of an electrical circuit caused by the contacts.
  • Contact Wipe:Sliding of one contact on another during actuation of switch.
  • Contacts:Switch element, which directly provide make-break operation (circuit interruption).