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. The switch is termed as “micro” based on the name of the company who first started manufacturing the switch commercially. 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. 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 others.
Door interlocking on a microwave oven, leveling and safety switches in elevators, vending machines and to detect paper jams or other faults in photocopiers. In production, the micro switch can aid in the operation of conveyor belts and product filling. Micro switches are commonly used as tamper switches on gate valves, on fire sprinkler systems and other water pipe systems, where it is necessary to know if a valve has been opened or closed.
Among their applications are product detection sensor, machinery, industrial controls and vehicles. Home security alarms are triggered with movement of a door or window and convertible tops are also controlled using a micro switch. They are usually rated to carry current in control circuits only, although some switches can be directly used to control pumps, solenoids, counters, small motors, fans, or other devices. Special low-force versions are used in vending machines or with a vane attached to detect air flow. Micro switches may be directly operated by a mechanism, operated by pressure on the extension lever or operated by a sensing mechanism such as a Bourdon tube. The snap-switch mechanism is enclosed in a housing with actuating lever, float, leaf, whisker or roller to aid in operation of the variety of needs.
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