Reply to post: PSUs

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'



I remember visiting a PSU factory in the early 80s and looking around their test/rework area. The ceiling was unusually interesting - the usual fibre tiles above the operator’s bench were peppered with hundreds of aluminium cans (from exploding electrolytic capacitors) lodged firmly in them. This was a well-known phenomenon in the early days, which is why modern electrolytics have an "X" pattern formed in the top of the can to allow them to rupture and gases escape without any ballistic effect.

I can also personally attest to "cratered chip" syndrome. I experienced this when applying power incorrectly to some 74LS TTL logic when I was a teenager. Likewise a black piece of hard epoxy became ballistic in the process and a smouldering and glowing piece of silicon instantly became visible beneath!


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