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Six Things To Know About Capacitors

1. What is a capacitor?

A capacitor is an electronic component that stores energy. The energy builds between two metal plates (positive and negative charges).

When A/C voltage is applied, a passage of energy occurs through a dielectric.

2. What is a dielectric?

A capacitor’s dielectric is an insulation material like air, glass, ceramic, tantalum, polyester, polycarbonate, mica, oil and vacuum that separate the electrodes of a capacitor.

3. Do all capacitors have polarization?

Capacitors can be polarized or non-polarized. Non polarized capacitors can be installed without regard to polarization. For example most aluminum electrolytic capacitors are polarized. On the other hand film capacitors are non-polarized. One should remember that capacitors are also rated for AC and DC voltage.

4. What mounting types are available for capacitors?

In general there are a few types of capacitors terminals:

  • through hole, printed circuit board (PCB), axial, and radial terminals
  • surface mount terminals (SMD)
  • screw type terminals

5. What are typical tolerances for capacitors?

The most popular tolerances are:

  • 20% denoted by letter "M"
  • 10% denoted by letter "K"
  • 5% denoted by letter "J"

Tolerance ratings for capacitors can go as low as 0.1% (letter “A”) and as high as -15 + 75% (letter “U”)

6. Where to buy capacitors?

In our, over 100,000 square feet facilities we gladly service the electronic industry with products from AVX, CDE, GE, Kemet, Panasonic, Sprague and Vishay, these are just a few that we carry. Please, don’t hesitate to contact us; you have to see it for yourself!