Know the Different Uses of Electrical Contacts

Electric contacts are generally a main component of electrical circuits that run in circuit breakers, relays, and electrical switches. These components are made of highly conductive metals that operate when they touch each other. Premium electrical contacts are composed of superior metals such as silver or gold. There are also electrical contacts that are made of cheaper metals, but are plated with more conductive ones.

The metals and materials used in making electrical contacts have superior electrical conductivity, unless they are applied in high power tools and equipment that require a more abrasive set of process. These highly-conductive metals include copper, palladium, platinum, silver, and gold. For specialized electrical contacts and components, materials such as molybdenum, nickel, graphite and tungsten are used to augment the configuration highly-conductive metals even further. All of these metals offer important properties in the production of electrical contacts such as, of course, conductivity, hardness, resistance to chemical decay, durability, size, form, and capability of handling current load without overheating.


According to the website for electrical contact manufacturing, electrical contacts come in various types. Diving into the many different applications of these pieces of metal entails learning about these different types.

EDM electrodes

These electrodes are electrical contacts that are applied in the process of electrical discharge machining–a manufacturing means that involves electrical discharges or sparks to form the desired shape. These are commonly used in building production parts and prototypes of several industries, including automobiles and electronics.

Electrical brushes

These brushes are applied in both low power and high power applications. These are generally used for powering low power and high power machinery, and with the addition of contact surfaces like slip rings. Electrical brushes that are made of metal are typically used for low power machinery and applications; while graphite brushes are being used for the high power ones.

Contact probes

Contact or spring contact probes possess a plunger-like structure and a helical spring inside of its body. These types of electrical contacts are designed and used to assess various electronic components such as printed circuit boards, connectors, and wire harnesses. In addition to this, you can also use them to probe and analyze batteries.

Battery contacts

As the name suggests, battery contact are specially created for battery applications. These electrical contacts are generally composed of a regular base metal, usually brass or steel, and a superior metal that is highly conductive and corrosion-resistant for its plating.

Welding electrodes

Welding electrodes are electrical contacts designed for a specific set of applications, like arc and plasma welding. These processes are very similar and involves the use of an electrode to conduct current and combine two workpieces together.

Furnace electrodes

Furnace electrodes are applied in the melting and heating of ceramics and metals in arc furnaces. These electrodes are generally composed of carbon-dependent materials.


Electrical contacts can be found in every system where there is an exchange of electricity, which is why we have developed so many types of it–each for a specific application and a set of intricate manufacturing processes.

February 2019
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