Discussion in 'Supporting Physics' started by greenfingers, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. greenfingers

    greenfingers Sarah G

    Hi Guys
    How do I tell the difference between electrolytic and non electrolytic ? is it the length of the wires?
  2. I was told years ago that (usually - there are atypical examples) the electrolytic one are cylindrical cos of the plates and the non-electrolytic ones are the disc shaped ones

    For what its worth
  3. Nick Mitchener

    Nick Mitchener COMMITTEE

    yes I usually assume cylindrical are electrolytic. If they have a polarity marking they are electrolytic.
  4. the easiest way is to look for any sort of + and - markings near the terminals (which can be on either end or both at the same end). Some are not obvious, for instance I have seen electrolytics with a row of black arrows pointing toward the negative end. I don't think that the length of the wires will help. I think CovTech may be onto something, I don't think I've ever seen a non-cylindrical electrolytic, although I have seen cylindrical non-electrolytics.:confused:.

    You could always try connecting one up both ways round (carefully)!
  5. STEM1

    STEM1 Dave

    Electrolytics are usually polarised and will have +/- markings. They are usually built into an aluminium can. Axial types may have the -ve terminal connected to the can. The +ve comes out through a rubber bung, although this is not always visible.