Micro Snap Action Switches, Float Switches, Air Flow Sensors…

Inside the Switch: How Does it Work?

What is a Micro Switch?:

A micro switch, also known as miniature snap action switch, is a type of momentary contact switch. They are widely used as a sensor. It is a blunt edged rectangular structure having three output contact strips denoting common (ground), open and closed state respectively.

The actuator of these switches is a push button placed at either two positions along the edge of the switch for ease of operation. When the push button (plunger) is depressed, it triggers the contacts to open or close. This switch is widely used as a control application such as a door interlock, safety switches in elevators, coin detection in vending machines as well as many others.

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Operating Force in a Micro Switch:

Different applications require different amounts of operating force. For example, a switch that detects if your refrigerator door is open wouldn’t need to be as sensitive as a switch that detects when a coin is put into a vending machine. A more sensitive switch would work in both applications, but the more sensitive a switch is, the easier it is to accidentally be triggered. You also need to be carefully about getting a switch that isn’t sensitive enough, as that would result in the switch not being triggered when it’s supposed to be. Narrowing down the specific range for the force is crucial if you want a micro switch to work properly.

We are able to customize the operating force by altering the lengths of the actuators, which alters the amount of leverage the actuators have on the switch. The great thing about our switches is that we can customize them around your application, as opposed to you having to customize your application to fit the switch. Contact us today!

Terminology:Different Micro Switch Actuators

All micro-switches rely on a certain amount of force being applied to the actuator, which triggers opens or closes the circuit, depending on if the switch is normally open or normally closed. Micro switches are pretty basic in terms of their functionality. However, there are a few key terms you should know if you’re looking at buying or installing a micro switch.

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  • NC – NC stands for normally closed, which means that the switch is connected to a closed circuit which opens once the switch is activated.
  • NO – NO stands for normally open, which means that the switch is connected to an open circuit which closes once the switch is activated.
  • Operating Force – This is the amount of force needed to activate the switch. The switch will not activate if a force less than this amount is applied to the switch. In our switches this is measured in grams. Our standard micro switches have an operating force of 20 to 27 grams, though we do make switches that are above and below that range.
  • Free Position – How the switch sits when no force is being applied.

If you want a more in depth explanation with a handy diagram, check out this link.

Click here if you’re looking to purchase a Micro Switch, or Contact Us today if you have any questions or application inquires!

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