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Ney Contact Manual - Electrical Contact Design


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The classic Ney manual is the perfect text for engineers who want a basic introduction to electrical and electronic contact design principles without an excessive emphasis on physics or complex mathematics. This "fundamentals" manual provides basic theory and hands-on design principles. Basic contact design discussed includes cantilever contacts, sliding contacts, potentiometers, and slip ring surfaces.   Deringer-Ney is one of the world's largest producers of custom designed electrical contact and contact assemblies.

Electronic Contact Design Theory

The engineer or designer who wants to develop or select electronic contact systems must first have a good understanding  of general contact theory. This knowledge must include a grasp of the nature of electrical contact surfaces, the cause and prediction of contact resistance, the effect of thin surface films, and the various thermal and arc phenomena that can occur in contact systems. These underlying principles will influence the performance of all contact systems, so their importance must  not be underestimated.  Download PDF

  • Electrical Contact Surface Topography
  • Elastic Deformation
  • Plastic Deformation
  • Constriction Resistance
  • Film Phenomena in Electrical Contact Systems
  • Constriction Thermal Effects
  • Non-arcing Systems
  • Arcing Systems
  • Friction of Sliding Electrical Contacts
  • Wear in Electrical Contact Systems
  • Lubrication in Sliding Electrical Contacts
  • Erosion in Sliding Contacts
  • Electronic Noise in Sliding Contacts
  • Electronic Noise in Wirewound Potentiometers
  • Environmental Effects on Electronic Contacts

Properties of Materials

Material properties enter even into the most basic engineering design considerations.  Such factors as hardness, elastic modulus, resistivity, high temperature performance, and other variables will make the difference between a good design or a design that will not meet the application requirements.  Many mechanical and electrical properties will be discussed in detail in the sections below. Download PDF

  • Mechanical Properties
  • Alloy Classification
  • Alloy Descriptions
  • Properties at Elevated Temperatures
  • Thermal-Electrical Properties

Contact Design and Application

There are many things to consider when designing electrical switch systems leading to the classic engineering compromise between competing designs. Simultaneous attainment of all ideal characteristics is impossible, however, each critical characteristic could be optimized.  The designer of electrical contact systems must consider the acceptable levels of each characteristic required to meet the demands of the application. Download PDF

  • Cantilever Design
  • Sliding Contact Applications
  • Make and Break Switch Applications

Miscellaneous Topics

  • Multiple Contact Points
  • Wear Volume Determinations
  • Detection of Pores In Plated Surfaces
  • Specimen Preparation for Knoop Hardness Tests
  • Useful Conversion Factors

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