What’s Inside – 1 : Electrolytic Capacitors

December 25, 2009 at 11:41 (Technology) (, , )

All of us have seen them – maybe used them too. And we theoretically know what’s inside them, but how many have cut open to see what’s actually inside?

The victim : A 4.7uF electrolytic Capacitor rated for up to 400V operation.

Electrolytic Capacitor

Electrolytic Capacitor


1) The external sheath
2) Terminal hold
3) Casing
4) Aluminum ribbon
5) Paper soaked in Dielectric

The operation procedure :

Cut open the plastic coating which acts as a label as well as a protective sheath. use any sharp object. I used my teeth.

The aluminum canister housing the metal sheets is now exposed. Cut it off with any metal cutter. I used my tested wire stripper – teeth wouldn’t work.

You’ll see two tightly woven aluminum sheets. The terminals at the bottom of the capacitor are connected to these sheets. Sandwiched between the sheets is a kind of brown paper impregnated with a dielectric of gel-like consistency, sticky to touch.

In this case the victim could not be restored to its original state :( .

Electrolytic Capacitor

Electrolytic Capacitor


This was a very basic demo of things to come.

Stay tuned.

2 Comments

  1. dakota said,

    if you get Dielectric in your mouth and swallow it it can be harmful don’t do that agen use a razor blade or scissors. just wonted to warn you

  2. pKs said,

    Thanks for the advice. will be helpful for future dissectors. I was careful enough not to swallow.

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