Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 50, Number 1, April 2010
Focus on Electrical Contacts
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||26 February 2010|
New contact material for reduction of arc duration for dc application
Metalor Technologies (France) SAS, Electrotechnics Division, BP 29, 28190 Courville-sur-Eure, France
2 University of Rennes 1, IPR, 35042 Rennes, France
3 CRETA, CNRS, 25 avenue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France
4 Institut Néel/CNRS-UJF, 25 avenue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France
5 Metalor Technologies SA, Technology Products Department, 2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Corresponding author: Laurent.firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 January 2010
Published online: 26 February 2010
The phenomenon of arcing is the major cause of electrical contact degradation in electrical switches. Degradation involves contact erosion and/or welding. The use of special contact material and that of specific material processing may permit contact erosion to be reduced, in particular by shortening the arc duration. A short review of these approaches is presented in the first part of this paper. In the second part, the development of a new self-blowing contact material is described. This material has been tested under dc voltages from 14 V to 42 V. A reduction of the arc duration by a factor of 4 approximately was obtained as was a concomitant reduction of the extinction gap to less than 2 mm. This material will contribute to achieving better reliability in high current-high voltages breaking devices, and will aid in their miniaturization, e.g. in relays.
© EDP Sciences, 2010
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