Failure analysis of electrical contacts
Disconnectable contacts are an indispensable part of switching appliances. According to their different structures, they can be divided into the following types: (1) Knife contact: it has a simple structure and can be divided into surface contact and line contact, which are widely used in low-voltage switches and high-voltage disconnectors. (2) Butt joint contact: It has the characteristics of simple structure and fast action, but the contact surface is unstable and varies greatly with the pressure. It is easy to rebound during operation, without self-cleaning effect, and the contact is easy to be burned by electric arc. This contact is usually used for distribution circuit breakers with rated currents below 1000 A and below 500 A
With the development of high voltage, high current, miniaturization and long life of switching devices, the electrical properties of contact materials are required to be higher and higher. Nanometer contact materials have become a hot spot in the research and preparation of contact materials.
The material property of contact is one of the key factors affecting the working characteristics and electrical life of vacuum switchgear. Almost all early vacuum switches used tungsten, molybdenum and other refractory pure metals as contact materials. This contact material has a series of advantages, such as appropriate breaking performance, good compressive strength and welding resistance, appropriate thermal conductivity and conductivity, low ablation rate during arc combustion, long contact life, etc. It is widely used in breaking small current vacuum switch. However, high melting point pure metal contact materials have many shortcomings, such as breaking current and high cut-off level, which limit the application range of vacuum switches.