A microswitch is a type of momentary contact switch. It is also called miniature snap action switch and is widely used in the automotive, medical, and electronics industry. The term “micro” used in its name is the name of the company that first started manufacturing it. They are available in various switching configurations and actuator styles and are made up of various materials like polyester, phenolic plastic products, etc.
STRUCTURE OF MICRO-SWITCHES
The actuator of the micro-switches generally has a hinged-wheel placed over their push button which can be pressed even with a little force applied on it. This actuates the switches and it returns to their off state when the force applied is removed or is less than the activation force. Internally, they are made up of a stiff strip of metal which is supported by a spring. The metal strip flips if enough force is applied on the push button present outside. The metal during its action produces a clicking sound which is similar to the sound of a mouse click commonly used.
USES OF MICRO-SWITCHES
These switches are used in many industrial areas. They are used in many places and items which we use in our daily life like cars, home appliances, industrial equipment, etc. Some common uses are-
They are used in printers to detect paper jams.
They are used in vending machines also as a jam detector as well as to sense coins when entered into the machine.
They are used as a safety apparatus in lifts.
They are used in microwaves as door interlocks.
They are used to detect the valve’s open-close position.
They are used in control circuits of appliances like lamps, small-size motors, solenoids, etc.
They can be also used as limit switches, control switches, or used to create time mechanisms when used with the combination of various devices.
eg. A motor-driven cam and a switch can create a timer mechanism; rollers, plungers, or levers with a micro switch can form a limit switch, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF USING MICRO-SWITCH
As compared with other switches available in the market, the micro-switches are extremely reliable. As they are accurate in their functioning, they can be used repeatedly without any chance of failure. They also provide a variety of switching positions that can’t be achieved with the other switches available in the market. Due to this reason, they are used in many safety-related products.
Another major advantage that they provide is in terms of their durability. They are engineered to be durable and even a less expensive micro-switch can provide you with more than 10 million cycles of its operation.
Considering their price, they came quite inexpensive comparing with other similar purpose switches. If purchased in bulk-order, they are the cheapest option with the best quality switch product available in the market. So, combined with their reliability, durability, and cost-effectiveness, they are one of the most popular and crucial devices available in the electronics market.