Hall effect switches for rugged, harsh atmospheres

An Apem Components product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Jan 13, 2011

Apem has introduced two Hall effect switches that are designed to work in the most rugged and harsh environments.

The new IH series of switches are low-maintenance, contactless, sealed pushbuttons that come in two versions: linear proportional output and momentary switch.

The switches are made of durable materials, including switch bushings of Zamak, a range of alloys with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminum, magnesium and copper.

Life expectancy for both versions is estimated at above 5 million cycles - at least 10 times more than the classic mechanical switch, which is rated for about 500,000 cycles.

With low behind-panel depth and IP67 sealing guaranteeing protection against the effects of water immersion from 15cm to 1m deep for 30min, the IH series suits customers looking to reduce maintenance - especially in remote military or outdoor locations where switch replacement may be difficult.

Those integrating switches into dashboards or panels with space issues will find the compact size and low profile critical factors.

The IH linear version is suitable for control valves or variable-speed drives.

Suitable applications include industrial controls, heavy-duty equipment and other handling applications where operators need to control motion and speed.

The linear version can also function as an additional axis for handgrip/joystick operations.

It is designed to react to the pressure exerted on the switch; response is proportional to actuator travel.

Hall effect technology ensures no contact, and low wear and tear for a reliable, long life.

Mechanical life for the linear version is estimated at 5 million cycles.

The switches feature outputs ranging from 0.5 to 4.5V.

The more the switch is pressed, the higher the output voltage.

One of the key features of the IH linear version is that it can be customised.

The switch can be tuned to three different operating forces - soft, standard and hard.

Linear output can also be customised.

While the standard version of the switch has an output of 0.5V for 0mm travel, this value can be changed upon customer request from 0 to 2V, to adapt to situations where the linear switch may be connected to another electrical circuit.

The voltage for maximum travel can also be tuned.

The IH linear version switch has also been tested and approved for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and is robust to disturbances.

EMC testing conducted in accordance with IEC/EN61000-4-3 showed 10V/m extend to radiated fields in a frequency range of 80 to 1,000Mhz.

The IH linear version is sealed to IP67 according to IEC 60529 and is rated to operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 85C.

The switch's total travel is 4mm.

It offers a case size of 12mm and a low behind-panel depth.

The IH momentary switch version is designed to withstand 5 million cycles and repetitive jogging.

It is especially appropriate for applications where positioning the load is critical, including material handling, loaders, lifts, trucks, buckets and shovels, and other applications requiring continuous operations.

Remote controls in rugged or outdoor environments would be an excellent application for the IH switch version.

The dome-shaped actuator is available in eight colors, and features a spring return that provides tactile feedback that the switch has been activated.

Separating the sealing membrane, the spring and the tactile feedback elements inside the switch optimises mechanical life by greatly reducing wear and tear.

The momentary switches are rated for 28V direct current (VDC) at a maximum of 50mA.

Supply voltage ranges from 3.5 to 24V DC.

In the off position, the IHS switch consumes 2.5 to 5mA.

Similar to the linear version, the IH switch version is also sealed to IP67, rated to operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 85C, and offers a compact size and a low behind panel depth.

The switch's total travel is 1.7mm and it has has an operating force of 6 +/- 2N.

APEM's new line of switches is suitable for those designing equipment for use in remote or rugged military or outdoor environments, or where switch replacement is difficult.

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