Electrolytic Capacitors

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are made by layering the electrolytic paper between the anode and cathode foils, and then coiling the result. The process of preparing an electrode facing the etched anode foil surface is extremely difficult. Therefore, the opposing electrode is created by filling the structure with an electrolyte. Due to this process, the electrolyte essentially functions as the cathode.

Electrolytic capacitors are soaked in a liquid or paper impregnated with a liquid which is not a dielectric but when a voltage is applied creates a layer of aluminium oxide which acts the dielectric. The reaction is dependent on the polarity of the applied voltage. If the polarity is reversed the capacitor will produce a gas and is likely to explode or burst because of the pressure inside and so are not suitable for alternating current applications.

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