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Wetted Contact

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000093561D
Original Publication Date: 1967-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Theodoseau, N: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Bounceless and wearless electrical contact is achieved with this wetted arrangement. The conductive fluid carried on the wick, by capillary flow from the indicated reservoir, is the static member of a contact pair. The wick itself can be conductive but is not contacted directly by the movable member of the pair. A source of current S and a load L complete the circuit between the pair. If greater mechanical freedom of the movable member is desired, the wetted contact arrangement can be duplicated in the circuit path. Thus commutative contact with both the illustrated wetted contact and another identical contact is made simultaneously by the movable member.

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Wetted Contact

Bounceless and wearless electrical contact is achieved with this wetted arrangement. The conductive fluid carried on the wick, by capillary flow from the indicated reservoir, is the static member of a contact pair. The wick itself can be conductive but is not contacted directly by the movable member of the pair. A source of current S and a load L complete the circuit between the pair. If greater mechanical freedom of the movable member is desired, the wetted contact arrangement can be duplicated in the circuit path. Thus commutative contact with both the illustrated wetted contact and another identical contact is made simultaneously by the movable member.

As the conductive fluid, many electrolytic solutions are satisfactory provided that the nonnegligible resistance of the fluid is compatible with the intended circuit function of the contact arrangement. For example a copper sulphate solution can be used for many applications. The wick is a porous material. The latter can be either nonconductive or conductive. Felt is an example of a useful nonconductive material. Porous bronze is an example of a useful conductive material.

It is possible to decrease circuit resistance in the path from contact to reservoir by various expedients. One arrangement uses a metal shim as both the retainer of the porous wick and as an electrical conductor shunting the wick. In another arrangement, the wick is dispensed with altogether and a column of a liquid metal, such...