Tilt switches respond when a device or object is shifted out of position. They can be configured so that any tilt beyond a pre-set angle will trigger a specific response.
Tilt switches may be normally closed or normally open. A tilt switch manufacturer
will usually carry either configuration. These switches may also have standard or variable angle presets. Standard tilt angles most often range from 5 degrees up to 50 degrees but these parameters can be modified to other specifics.
Some of the most common applications of tilt switches are as part of safety-shutdown mechanisms. If an object is tilted or overturned, the switch can initiate a response that cuts power to the device. Space heaters, clothes irons, and electronic fans are just a few examples of equipment that employs tilt switches as part of a safety system.
Tilt switches can also be used to evaluate safe-handling. They can be used to collect data for industrial monitoring and training purposes, such as in the handling of machinery, packages, and other objects. Tilt switches can also be used in many aerospace, defense, and automotive applications to trigger emergency alerts, roll-over alarms, and to activate safe-arming responses.
The tilt angle and sensitivity of these switches can be customized to very specific activation parameters. Tilt switch manufacturers will make these switches from a wide range of materials, but virtually all tilt switches are mercury-free to comply with modern safety standards. In place of mercury, ball-bearings are used to detect a specific tilt angle.
Features like gold-plated connectors and nickel housing can improve conductivity and endurance. Such high-quality materials are considered a standard in aerospace and mil-spec switches.
What is a tilt switch used for?
Tilt switches are used to trigger a response once an object is tilted beyond a specific pre-set angle. They can be used to ensure safe-handling and as part of safety-shutoff systems in a range of different equipment. Tilt switches once used a small quantity of mercury to detect a disruption of position, but modern mercury-free tilt switches often use ball-bearings to sense changes in an object’s orientation. The movement of the ball-bearings will close or open a circuit, which will then initiate a response once that orientation is altered beyond a certain angle.
What does a tilt switch sense?
A tilt switch senses disruption or alteration in an object’s position. When the object is moved or tilted beyond a preset tilt angle, the switch senses and will respond to this change of state. Typically a tilt switch’s sensory range will be set along a specific horizon or axis.
What is a ball-bearing tilt switch?
A ball-bearing tilt switch will use one or more small ball-bearings to detect upsets or alterations in an object’s position. As the object is tilted beyond a specific angle, the bearings within the switch will roll and either close or open a circuit to trigger a response. Ball-bearing tilt switches are commonly used as mercury-free tilt switches. The ball-bearings inside are a safer alternative to the small amount of mercury that was once used as a standard in tilt switches.
What is a ball switch?
A ball switch is one way of referring to a tilt switch or tilt sensor. Ball-bearings are used within the switch to sense any upsets or changes in an object’s position. As the object is tilted beyond a preset angle, the ball(s) within the switch will roll and trigger the opening or closing of a circuit, which then prompts a response, such as an emergency shutdown, roll-over alarm, or mishandling alert.