A type of a Potentiometers that has two terminals, a rheostat is also popularly known as a variable resistor. This device is helpful in controlling devices such as audio equipment or volume control equipment. One of the distinct characteristics of this electrical component is its adjustable resistance. A rheostat has two kinds, namely the slider and the rotary type. It is useful in controlling big machines that are used for industrial purposes. Learn more about this electric device by knowing its functions, components as well as applications. In addition, it is also important to know how this device works.
The Characteristics of a Rheostat
A rheostat can easily be distinguished from the other kinds of Potentiometers because it has a long conductive wire. This wire is coiled into its body in a tight spiral. To avoid the exposure of this wire from dust and to prevent a short circuit or an open circuit, the contact points as well as the coil of this electric device are secured inside. Some of the materials that are used for making this device include metal ribbons and carbon disks. To make sure that this device will last for a long time, it is important to use materials that are known to have resistance change.
How Does a Rheostat Works?
To avoid having problems with this electrical device, it is important to have a background on the basic principles for using a rheostat. Unlike other electrical equipment, this type of potentiometer does not feature polarities, which means that its terminals will function the same even when they are reversed. Additionally, it is essential to know that a current will enter a terminal and will pass through the wire coil and then the contact points. Moreover, before using this device, it is advantageous to have knowledge on the Obamas law because it is applicable for rheostats.
Additional Information and Other Important Details About Rheostats
A rheostat is commonly used in lights that have special dimming features because it has the ability to set a limit for the current that will enter its terminals and pass through the bulbs of lights. Aside from dimming lights, this electrical device is very useful in controlling the motor speed in motor controllers. Additionally, it is also applied in small household appliances such as power tools, electric fans, mixers and blenders. Moreover, this device is used in instruments or equipment that test the resistance value of thermostats, cooktops and electric ovens.