Relay sockets are used alongside electromechanical switches where the variation of current in one electric circuit controls the flow of electricity in another. They are made of metal or composite materials and are designed in a variety of shapes and sizes. Typically, they differ in terms of terminal type, which is a device that has the capacity to terminate a conductor. They also vary in the number of pins per blade and the socket receptacle style.
Generally, relay sockets attach to posts, studs, or other conductors, allowing them to establish an electrical connection. This connection is achieved using screws or by soldering wires and pins. Most relay sockets use 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, or 16 pins per blade. In terms of socket receptacle styles, circular sockets, lug sockets, cube sockets, blade sockets, and PCB sockets are most common.
As previously mentioned, relay sockets vary based on terminal type. The most commonly used are crimp terminal types and quick connect/disconnect variations. Crimp terminals utilize the physical compression or deformation of a contact wire barrel around a conductor to make an electrical and mechanical connection to the conductor. Meanwhile, quick connect/disconnect terminals do not necessitate the use of tools or other components to function properly.
Performance specifications are also a factor to consider when choosing a relay socket, some of which include a varying number of poles, maximum voltage limit, and maximum current limit. With regard to poles, single-pole (SP) sockets are utilized with relays that control one line with each throw. Next, double-pole (DP) sockets are used with relays that control two lines, where the first line is hot and the second is neutral. In addition to these variations, triple-pole (TP) sockets and four-pole (4P) sockets are also available.
Additional considerations include the product's specific electrical rating, dielectric strength, insulation resistance, and temperature range. In some applications, flame retardant, shatterproof, or other characteristics should also be kept in mind. Furthermore, you may also acquire relay sockets equipped with electrical or mechanical on/off indicators.
Lastly, there are several mounting styles available for relay sockets. For instance, through hole technology (THT) mounts components on a PCB by installing component leads through holes on the circuit board, and then soldering the leads in place on the opposite side of the board. Surface mount technology (SMT) allows for the soldering of component leads or terminals to the top of the circuit board.
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