S'plodin Electrolytic Capacitors
this page is hidden, and not searchable
Person has been banned

S'plodin Electrolytic Capacitors

Never put an electrolytic capacitor in backwards.

Why it happens

Electrolytic capacitors are constructed using an electrolyte-soaked piece of paper between two strips of aluminum foil. One piece of foil is oxidized and this ultra-thin coating of aluminum oxide becomes the capacitor's dielectric. Because this layer is so thin and has a high dielectric constant, a large amount of capacitance can be squeezed inside of a small space. Even more so when the foil is rolled up tightly.
Electrolytics have one flaw though; they are polarized. When a voltage greater than -1.5V hits the capacitor the aluminium oxide starts to reduce and its insulating properties are lost. This destroys the capacitive effect of the device and essentially the capacitor becomes a short circuit. A lot of heat is generated --heat which boils the electrolyte and causes pressure to build inside the capacitor.