Plugs, and plug covers for increased safety and protection of the electrical system, are used in applications such as electrical power tools, lighting, audio and visual equipment, refrigeration units and a vast number of consumer items such as laptop computers, hairdryers, coffee machines and space heaters. Because of the versatility of designs and applications of electrical plugs, they are an integral part of industries like commercial, retail, residential, manufacturing, electronic, automotive, medical and more. Manufacturers of power cords and electrical components have to take into consideration a number of factors in the construction of electrical plugs. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) sets the standards for plugs used in the United States for both male and female components.
Quick links to Electrical Plugs Information
Types of Electrical Plugs
The two most commonly used plug types are: Type A with two conducting prongs – a live and a neutral contact and Type B with both a live and neutral contact and an additional prong which serves as a grounding mechanism for the connection and helps to prevent electrical shock. Both plug types are configured with a molded plastic body called a "jack" which holds the two blades apart, while the cord connects to the blades within the plug body. Electricity then flows through the blades, the blade-cord connection and the power supply cord, providing electricity to the equipment. As with any component used in the transference of electrical energy, there are important safety precautions to be considered in the manufacturing and applied use of electrical plugs. Polarization and grounding are especially important for certain higher voltage appliances and electrical equipment that carries a higher risk of shock when live. Sensitive electrical equipment and products should only be used with polarized or grounded type electrical plugs in order to protect both the user and the equipment from the potential effects of electric shock. A polarized plug is one in which the physical characteristics of the prongs allow the plug to be connected to the socket in only one way, whereas non-polarized plugs, such as two-pin plugs, are not restricted by direction and pin-shape. The electrical receptacle is connected to the power cord through the electrical plug and as different countries use varying voltages and manufacturing standards, items such as international power cords and plug adapters are also useful components of an electrical system.
Explosion-Proof Extension Cords
- Applications of Explosion-Proof Extension Cords
- Electrical plugs are male electrical connectors with metal blades, or contact prongs, which connect with openings in the corresponding female electrical receptacles, thus allowing the flow of electricity from the power supply to an object connected to the electrical plug. Electrical plugs typically have two or three prongs depending on the type of plug, and the application for which it is used. In order for the electrical circuit to be complete, the connection between the male and female plug needs to be sufficiently tight.
- Dangers of Power Cords
- Power cords are tricky to use. Although they are extremely helpful at conducting power and connecting machines to a power source (such as electric plugs), they can be dangerous if the wires are exposed. Many cords even have the potential of exploding and creating a burst of dangerous electrical shock to nearby people and machines.
- However, new manufacturers have now created an explosion-proof cord. This cord is specifically designed for use in environments that have a large amount of flammable gases and vapors. The cords are designed to extend the range of equipment and lighting in explosive environments.
- Design of Explosion-Proof Plug
- This kind of cord has an explosion-proof twist lock receptacle made of aluminum. The other end of the cord has an explosion-proof plug with a three pole, two wire design. The cord itself is made of corrosion-proof, chemical-proof, and abrasion-resistant flexible plastic. Some cords have an additional powder coating that makes them even more resistant to harsh environments.
- In harsh environments, this new cord design will significantly increase the safety level of extending the reach of machines, equipment, and lighting. The cords are less likely to short out, and will prevent dangerous explosions from the electrical source and the machine itself.
- Any industry that houses any flammable and explosive materials and environments will benefit greatly from the use of these new cord designs. If you would like to learn more about explosive-proof extension cords, contact a local cord manufacturer or distributor today for additional details.