Electronic circuit element serving as a switch
- In semiconductor testing, contactors can also be referred to as the specialized socket that connects the device under test.
- In process industries, a contactor is a vessel where two streams interact, for example, air and liquid. See Gas-liquid contactor.
A contactor is an electrically-controlled switch used for switching an electrical power circuit. A contactor is typically controlled by a circuit which has a much lower power level than the switched circuit, such as a 24-volt coil electromagnet controlling a 230-volt motor switch.
Unlike general-purpose relays, contactors are designed to be directly connected to high-current load devices. Relays tend to be of lower capacity and are usually designed for both normally closed and normally open applications. Devices switching more than 15 amperes or in circuits rated more than a few kilowatts are usually called contactors. Apart from