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Electrical Switches – The Elementary Information

Sep 3rd 2015 at 2:24 AM

Everyone knows the function that a switch performs. It completes a circuit in the closed position which allows the flow of current, consequently leading to activation of whichever device it is powering. Switches are based on different electrical principles, and recently due to innovations there have been types of switches that function more effectively than the conventional electromechanical ones.

There are piezo switches, which are based on the concept of piezoelectric effect. For those who don’t know, piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials to generate electric pulses when mechanical stress is applied to them. The construction of this kind of switch includes an assembly which consists of a field electric transmitter, an integrated semiconductor device and others. For the switch to be turned “on”, a charge needs to be generated by the piezoelectric element, which in turn turns on the semiconductor device. This causes the switch assembly’s output to be active or “on” and the circuit is completed. For turning these switches off, the voltage needs to be dissipated in the gate resistor so that the field effect transistor is turned off.

A piezo switch is considered better than other kinds of switches (namely the electromechanical ones). The major advantage of this kind of switch is that it does not have any moving parts. The number of operations that this kind of switch can provide is to the tune of tens of millions of times – this is possible because wear and tear is minimum. These switches have a unique capability of being able to be concealed from the environmental conditions, making them weatherproof. They are constructed using stainless steel and other sturdy components to transform them into anti-vandal switches, since they are pretty hardy.

Then there are the capacitive touch switches. The most common application that employs these switches are public computer terminals – like the automated machine in cinema halls which you operate to generate your advanced booking ticket. This type of switch can be counted as the simplest thing close to tactile sensors. Capacitive switch mechanism consists of only one electrode. This electrode is kept beneath a non-conductive membrane such as glass or stiff plastic. There is constant charging and discharging involved so that the changes in the capacitance of the screen can be detected. The human body has capacitance characteristics, so that when a finger touches the screen of a capacitive switch, a difference in capacitance is registered which triggers the switch. Capacitive touch switch is usually put into objects that have a metal exterior but need switches. The smart phones that almost all people use today are mostly based on the capacitive touch based interface for the mobile screens. Before this technology, it was the resistive touch technology which was not quite sensitive, but was sturdy. It involved two electrodes and two membranes and application of pressure in order for the device to recognize touch and commands. Piezo switches can be counted as a category of capacitance switches.

To know more about piezo switch, visit

About The Author

Jennifer Stuart is an expert in industrial technology and machine control interfaces who also likes to write many interesting articles and blogs, helping manufacturers and industrial users understand these systems better and making informed choices. She recommends as the most reliable name to trust for circuit protection/ control, piezo switches & temperature control systems.

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