Glossary

AJAX progress indicator
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  • Boot:
    A rubber part used to protect a switch from water or dust. Usually found between the button of a switch and the case inside of the switch. An external boot can be placed over a button or toggle lever to protect the switch from water or dust.
  • Bounce:
    Rebounding of moving contact from the fixed contact during contact transfer (during switch operation).
  • Brass:
    An alloy of zinc and copper
  • Break:
    An interruption in a circuit. Denotes the number of pairs of separated contacts the switch introduces into each circuit it opens.
  • Break Before Make:
    The moving contacts of a double throw switch interrupts one circuit before completing another circuit.
  • Bus Bars:
    Rigid conductors serving as a connection for two or more circuits.
  • Butt Contact:
    A contact mechanism in which the movable contact makes contact with the stationary contact without wiping motion between the surfaces. Typical of toggle and pushbutton switches.
  • Butterfly:
    The snap-action mechanism in a switch composed of the spring guide, two switch blades and extension spring: a double break mechanism.
  • Cadmium Oxide:
    A compound added to silver to make it more able to resist welding.
  • Capacitive load:
    A load in which the initial current on making (closing) of the contacts is higher than the steady state current. Current leads voltage in capacitive loads. See Resistive Load, Inductive Load, Power Factor, Inrush.
  • Capacity:
    Usually refers to the current handling capability of a switch.
  • 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.