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Plastic Film & Paper Dielectric Capacitors

Plastic Capacitors, Inc., manufactures a wide variety of standard catalog Plastic film and/or Paper dielectric capacitors, high voltage transformers, AC to high voltage DC power packs, pulse forming networks and specialty L/C/R networks. We are particularly geared to produce one piece to larger production quantities.

Plastic Capacitors

First, let's define a capacitor: It is an electromechanical device capable of storing electrical energy (electrons). It differs from a battery, as a battery PRODUCES electrical energy as a by-product of chemical activity. A capacitor can function in a circuit like a battery. . . or a resistor, or an inductor, for that matter. It can also absorb energy, turning some into heat (the function of a filter capacitor).

The unit of capacitance is the FARAD, defined as the amount of coulombs charge per volt; a coulomb is a quantity of electrons and 1 coulomb is equal to a flow of electrons that produces 1 ampere in 1 second. Now that you know this, you can do your best to forget it!

A farad of capacitance is a LOT of capacitance. In high voltage, we generally deal in microfarads (mfd.) or picofarads (pf) which are one millionth of a farad and one millionth of 1 millionth of a farad, respectively. Infrequently used, a nanofarad is one thousandth of a microfarad.

In some ways, a capacitor has not changed much in over 200 years, since the first capacitors. . . Leyden jars. Simply, they were glass jars with a wrap of copper inside and outside: 2 conductors separated by a dielectric (non-conducting) material. Some hobbiests - Tesla Coil builders, particularly - still use this technique to build a cheap capacitor from old bottles and household aluminum foil.

Now, of course, there are ceramic capacitors, mica caps, tantalum wet slug, aluminum electrolytic, paper and/or plastic film capacitors and even (still!) glass dielectric capacitors.

We took our name from the fact that we were one of the earliest companies to use plastic, rather than paper or mica, as the dielectric in a high voltage capacitor. And, while there have continuous improvements in the quality and variety of films available, we still make many of our parts the same way that we did, over 60 years ago.

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