[AMRadio] Oil filled capacitors


D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Tue May 20 01:38:33 EDT 2008


I ALWAYS mount mine terminals up.  I have seen too many oil  leaks to trust 
doing it otherwise.

One of the reasons that the EPA is so paranoid about PCB is that it gives 
off dioxin when it burns.  They are worried that the building might catch 
fire and incinerate the oil.

Except for burning it at high temperature, the toxicity of the oil has been 
blown out of proportion.  Until some time in the late 50's or early 60's, 
brake fluid reportedly contained PCB to make it hold up under high 
temperature.  The amount that has leaked into the environment from radio 
capacitors and transformers is a  drop in the bucket compared to its 
automotive use.

The property of PCB that makes it so useful is that it is an excellent 
electrical insulator while a  good conductor of heat.  Usually, a substance 
that is a  good heat insulator is a good electrical inulator (glass for 
example) while a good conductor of heat is also a good conductor of 
electricity (copper and other metals is a  good example).  That makes it an 
excellent dielectric for capacitors and transformers.  It is also effective 
in conucting heat away from brake components.

Don k4kyv 



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