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Topic: Capacitors (Read 602 times) previous topic - next topic

adele

I am having trouble understanding the difference between Ceramic Capacitors and Electrolytic Capacitors. Can anyone let me know what the difference is? Can they be used interchangeably?

I read an article on it, but the article wasn't making any sense to me.

MorganS

No they are not interchangeable.

An electrolytic capacitor is polarised, like a battery. If you connect it the wrong way around, it will burst hot electrolyte over your workbench.

Ceramic capacitors aren't polarized so they are used in circuits that have both positive and negative voltage.

But it's expensive to make a big ceramic, so the larger capacitors in any circuit are usually electrolytic.
"The problem is in the code you didn't post."

TomGeorge

Hi,

http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/data/capacitor/capacitor_types.php

Should help,  Google is your friend.

Tom..... :)
Everything runs on smoke, let the smoke out, it stops running....

screwpilot

electrolitic:
polarized
hi capacity

polyester:
non polarized
mid-low capacity

ceramic:
non polarized
mid-low-low capacity

there are other specs and other less common types

Paul__B

electrolytic:
polarised (bipolar versions exist for special uses)
high capacity (over 1µF to many mF - "supercap" variants to many Farads)
capacitance not stable except "blob" tantalum, lifetime limited in most aluminium types, especially at elevated temperature or if not used!
Significant inductance except "blob" tantalum, so not suitable for high frequencies.

polyester:
non polarised
mid-low capacity
relatively large
very stable and accurate capacitance, which is not relevant for bypass use but important for frequency control.

ceramic:
non polarised
low to medium capacity (generally under 1µF)
compact
"NPO" stable capacitance types for values up to about 1 nF
low inductance and Equivalent Series Resistance, preferred type for (high frequency) bypass use

screwpilot


adele

Thanks for the replies.

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