Common Types of Electromechanical Switches and Their Importance

Electromechanical switches are important elements of many systems, allowing for a user to actuate certain processes through the control of contacts. While coming in the form of diverse switch types, electromechanical switches are notable for their use of electromechanical operations to make, break, and change the routing of current within a circuit. As electromechanical switches may range in use from the buttons of calculators to the management systems of large industrial machinery, recognizing the common types and their uses can be beneficial when designing or repairing a system.

1) Pushbutton Switches

Pushbutton switches are a type in which a button may be depressed to make or break the contacts of an assembly, and they are often momentary or latching in functionality depending on their type. Pushbuttons switches are commonly used for security alarms and other such applications, and such switches may come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

2) Rocker Switches

A rocker switch is a type that has the operational appearance of a seesaw as the switch is pressed on opposite ends to switch it back and forth between states. Commonly found on many electronic devices, rocker switches are useful for turning power on and off.

3) Tactile Switches

Tactile switches are designed to give a perceptible feedback to the user when actuated, often coming in the form of a click response. Such switch types only retain their powered state when pressed down, and they will switch off as soon as pressure is released. As small switches that are regularly found on PCBs, tactile switches may be used for keyboards, vending machines, security alarms, printers, and more.

4) Rotary Switches

Rotary switches are somewhat different from other types as they are operated by rotation. Such switches are quite beneficial for systems that have more than one setting, such as in fans, radios, and other similar equipment. To operate, the rotary switch utilizes its rotor and contact arm assembly to switch between various electrical circuits that are connected to the rotor.

5) DIP Switches

A DIP (Dual In-Line Package) switch is one in which a set of switches are contained within a single housing. Most often mounted on a PCB, DIP switches may be used to establish a range of electrical inputs through the management of individual switches. DIP switches are commonly used as an alternative to jumper blocks, and they may be arranged in a line or circle on the PCB.

6) Proximity Switches

Proximity switches are types with advanced capabilities as they can open or close an electrical circuit when an object simply comes within a certain distance of it. These switches are often used in security systems, robotics, and manufacturing equipment. Depending on the application and its needs, the four basic types of proximity switches are infrared, acoustic, capacitive, and inductive switches which each sense objects and their distance through varying means.

7) Slide Switches

Slide switches are similar to other two-position types, and they can control the current flow of a circuit as they are moved back and forth within their assembly. Slide switches may also be capable of connecting two circuits together with the ability to connect and disconnect them as needed. Slide switches are commonly used as the main power switch of many electrical devices and smaller circuits.

8) Toggle Switches

Toggle switches are actuated by levers that can move back and forth, and they may come in the form of maintained contact and momentary toggle types. Toggle switches are typically used for switching the power state of electronic devices when they are capable of maintaining contact positioning without the user holding the lever down. Generally, toggle switches may serve applications related to military and aerospace, commercial, industrial, instrumentation, and medical equipment.

9) Snap Switches

Snap switches, also known as micro switches, are those that can quickly make or break switches through a snap. Such switch types require little physical force for actuation, and their small movement is capable of changing the position of contacts at high speeds. Coming in various forms, the main applications for snap switches include serving the door interlocks of microwave ovens, the safety switches of elevators, vending machines, arcade buttons, and more.

Depending on your particular application and its needs, there are numerous switch types that may be used. Aerospace Aces is a premier supplier of aviation, NSN, and electronic parts, and we can help you secure the various electromechanical switches you need with competitive pricing. If you find particular items from our catalogs that you would like to procure, we invite you to start with a quote for your comparisons through the submission of an Instant RFQ form on our website. Get started today and see why customers choose to steadily rely on Aerospace Aces for all their operational needs.


January 10, 2024

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