Switch Manufacturing For All Industries

Crush switches are special components that will trigger a response when the switch’s housing, or can, is crushed after coming into contact with a force. Once activated, they can be used to trigger a response, such as a safety mechanism or emergency alarm.

Some of the most common settings of crush switches are on various equipment and machinery, as well as on munitions. They are used in systems that require emergency shutdowns, alerts, and safe arming actions when a sudden or abrupt force comes into contact with the object.  Check with a seasoned switch manufacturer to get the right specs for your project. 

Compared to other sensory devices, crush switches are fairly simple. The contact of the switch remains open until a force or impact closes the circuit and activates the switch. As a result, these types of switches are also categorized as normally-open. Once the impact is made and the housing is crushed, the switch will remain latched, even if the force ceases or is removed.

Crush switches are considered reliable and economical for many general applications, but they don’t provide a tight or precise activation. This is due in part to their simpler design and standardized function. It is still possible to customize them by modifying the length of the can. When more customization is required in a switch that must respond to force, an impact switch can be a preferable alternative.

Crush switches do allow for varied lead configurations. Co-planar crush switches have two leads that are both positioned on the top of the switch. One is the hot lead and the other is the ground lead, which is internally welded to the switch’s header. The housing of the switch closes the circuit between both leads upon being crushed.

Single lead crush switches do not have a separate ground lead; instead, the housing itself serves this purpose. The housing is soldered to the PC board. A center pin is soldered to the hot pad, which is also positioned on the PC board. The switch will be closed as an impact crushes the housing and creates a contact between these components. 

Highly conductive, enduring materials are typically used to create the components that make up the switch. Higher quality or military-grade switches will usually feature gold plating on the contacts and corrosion-resist nickel is used for the housing.  

What are crush switches used for?

Crush switches are devices that trigger a reaction upon being impacted or crushed by an abrupt force. They are used in many systems, including various equipment and machinery, to activate a range of responses. They can trigger safe-arming mechanisms in munitions or emergency alerts in industrial and vehicular applications, such as forklifts. They are used when a basic crash or impact detection system is needed and can be an economical alternative to more advanced devices, such as impact and acceleration switches.    

Are crush switches and impact switches the same thing?

Sometimes crush switches and impact switches are used interchangeably to refer to the same type switch. While they perform a similar function, there are differences in their form. The major difference is that impact switches do not remain latched once the force that triggered the switch is removed. In crush switches, the circuit will remain connected even when the triggering force is no longer affecting the system.

Impact switches are also somewhat more advanced in their construction and allow for tighter activation parameters as a result. Crush switches are not as complex and therefore cannot be customized much apart from the length of the can. The simplicity of crush switches means that they are more standardized and less expensive to produce.