Power surges are common events that may occur over 50 times a day in a given power system. While the vast majority of these surges are minor and do not pose any threats to devices, those which are greater in magnitude may cause serious damage or even complete destruction to associated electronics. To help attenuate the impact caused by transient overvoltage, distributors and end-users implement surge protection into their systems. Surge protection is facilitated by specialized components called surge protection devices, or SPD. SPDs are designed to limit the voltage reaching an electronic device by blocking or shorting the current. Such strategies may be met by the use of inductors, metal-oxide varistors, spark gaps, or gas discharge tubes. In this blog, we will focus on gas discharge tubes and what factors must be considered when deciding upon one.
One of the more notable pieces of engineering that makes complex power distribution easier and more affordable is busbars. Generally housed inside switchgears, panel boards, or busways, busbars serve to conduct an ample current of electricity. Instead of branching the main power supply at one location, busbars enable new circuits to branch off anywhere along the busway.
Printed circuit boards (PCB) are common to countless electronic devices, coming in the form of miniature assemblies with ICs and other components that facilitate standard operations. As PCB technology has continued to become more advanced and compact, the amount of heat generated per unit area has greatly increased. To best combat heat that can be detrimental to sensitive components, heat sinks are used for dissipation. For the most optimal cooling, thermal paste and thermal pad materials are implemented.
An impeller is a type of rotor that is often implemented in compressors and pumps in order to increase the pressure and flow of a fluid. Motorized impellers in particular are fan impellers which are fixed to the rotor of an external rotor motor, meaning that they can operate with lower bearing loads and minimal vibration. Motorized impellers also have the ability to serve as a rotating heat sink, ensuring that heat is well dissipated for optimal cooling. With the combination of multiple roles into a single assembly, a motorized impeller serves as an advantageous device for applications in which space is a concern.
Rheostats are variable or adjustable resistors used to divide voltage in applications that require the adjustment of resistance in an electrical circuit. Similar to potentiometers, rheostats are commonly used in applications that call for variable control for higher amounts of voltage. In this blog, we will discuss the construction, operation, and applications of rheostats.
A force sensor is a device used to measure the forces that act on an object. In general, force sensors measure tensile and pressure forces in addition to elastic deformations. However, there are many variants in which force can be measured and determined by the sensors. When determining what type of sensor is best for a certain application, factors such as desired measuring range and expected accuracy are the primary criteria to consider. If a precise value within a small range is needed, the more receptive the force sensor you will need. In this blog, we will discuss the main types of force sensors, how they work, and their benefits.
For anyone who has seen the inside of an aircraft cockpit, the multitude of monitors, switches, knobs, dials, and indicators spread throughout the room can make piloting seem like an impossible endeavor. Nevertheless, it is a matter of having pilots train and learn about the various systems and controls available to them, ensuring that they know how to pilot each aircraft model that they enter. While the layout and availability of various components may differ by aircraft, there are some common elements that span across most types. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common flight deck components and systems that pilots regularly use.
The aircraft battery is an important part of the electronic system, allowing for power to be provided during ground operations and emergencies, clearing faults, increasing the stability of DC buses, and more. Similar to other aircraft systems and components, the aircraft battery requires regular maintenance to ensure its health and efficiency. Depending on the construction of the battery and its chemical contents, there are a number of ways in which maintenance can be performed.
A heat exchanger is an important device that allows heat from a liquid or gas to pass onto a second fluid without the two fluids having to come into direct contact or mix with one another. More simply put, a heat exchanger transfers heat without transferring the actual source of the heat. Throughout the aerospace industry, heat exchangers are used for both for cooling and heating. They are used in aircraft of all sizes, both fixed wing and rotary, and in many different aircraft systems. In addition to the engine, they are frequently used to cool hydraulics, ram air, auxiliary power units, gearboxes, and many other components found in an aircraft.
Most aircraft modifications are designed with two goals in mind, to increase aerodynamics and reduce drag. There are three types of harmful aircraft drag that aircraft modifications aim to resolve: skin drag, form drag and interference drag. Skin drag is any part of the surface of an aircraft, form drag is drag caused by the shape of an aircraft, and interference drag is how air interacts with other parts and pockets of air surrounding the aircraft at any point of flight. Reduced aircraft drag has an array of positive benefits such as reduced fuel consumption, larger operational range, greater endurance and higher achievable speeds. Benefits like these motivate aerospace engineers and aircraft manufacturers to create new and useful wing and tail mods that fight against drag resistance and produce the most aerodynamic aircraft the world has ever seen.
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