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High Temperature Capacitors

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CHIPS Technology Circuits stocks high temperature capacitors in a variety of types (Axial,Radial, and Snap in).

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High Temperature Capacitors

History of the Electrolytic Capactior

The principle of the electrolytic capacitor was discovered in 1886 by Karol Pollak, as part of his research into anodizing of aluminum and other metals. Pollack discovered that due to the thinness of the aluminum oxide layer produced, there was a very high capacitance between the aluminum and the electrolyte solution. A major problem was that most electrolytes tended to dissolve the oxide layer again when the power is removed, but he eventually found that sodium borate (borax) would allow the layer to be formed and not attack it afterwards. He was granted a patent for the borax-solution aluminum electrolytic capacitor in 1897.

The first application of the technology was in making starting capacitors for single-phase alternating current (AC) motors. Although most electrolytic capacitors are polarized, that is, they can only be operated with direct current (DC), by separately anodizing aluminum plates and then interleaving them in a borax bath, it is possible to make a capacitor that can be used in AC systems.

Early small electrolytic capacitor from 1914, used as a decoupling condenser in crystal radios. It had a capacitance of around 2 microfarads.

Nineteenth and early twentieth century electrolytic capacitors bore little resemblance to modern types, their construction being more along the lines of a car battery. The borax electrolyte solution had to be periodically topped up with distilled water, again reminiscent of a lead acid battery.

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