In the world of inductors, it can be challenging to determine which type would be the best fit for a particular application. SMD Power Chip Inductors and Through-Hole Inductors have their respective benefits and drawbacks. This blog comprehensively compares both types of inductors, along with examples of various applications. By understanding each type’s working principles, pros, and cons, electronic goods manufacturers can make a more informed decision on which inductor would be the best choice for their specific needs.
What Are SMD Power Chip Inductors?
Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a way of manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCBs) by soldering electrical components to a substrate material (typically fiberglass or epoxy resin) instead of drilling holes to insert individual components. SMT or SMD power chip inductors use surface-mount technology to attach components to the board. SMD inductors are also available as dual inductors. These dual inductors are available in dual-winding and provide optimum performance. The inductor is constructed as a metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) and a metal film deposited on a printed circuit board. This type of inductor has a lower DC resistance than a through-hole inductor, making it more power efficient. It also has a higher Q value, which measures the inductor’s ability to store energy. Furthermore, it has tight tolerance and is more compact than through-hole inductors. One of the popular choices for SMD power chip inductors is bourns inductors.
What Are Through-hole Inductors?
High current inductors or through-hole inductors are constructed with an inner core made of coiled copper wire. This wire is then covered with a shield, usually made of plastic or metal. The inductor is then connected to the circuit board via pins or leads. These pins lead to a hole in the circuit board, which is soldered to make the connection. Through-hole inductors can carry higher currents and are more durable than SMD power chip inductors, making them suitable for higher-power applications. However, they are also larger, heavier, and less tolerant of assembly variations.
Working Principle of SMD Power Chip Inductors
The working principle of SMD power chip inductors is based on transforming electrical energy into magnetic energy. This process occurs in a system comprised of a semiconductor dielectric material, which acts as a medium for the electrons to flow. As current flows through the semiconductor material, it creates a magnetic field that stores energy within the inductor. This stored energy is then released in a manner proportional to the current flow rate through the inductor.
Working Principle of Through-Hole Inductors
The working principle of through-hole high current inductors is based on the same principle as SMD power chip inductors. However, the coil of copper wire is the medium for the flow of electrons. As current passes through the inductor, it creates a magnetic field that stores energy within the inductor. When the current decreases, the magnetic field collapses, and the stored energy is released. This stored energy is then mediated as a voltage across the inductor.
Pros and Cons of SMD Power Chip Inductors
The main advantage of SMD power chip inductors is their smaller size, making them more suitable for smaller printed circuit boards. This type of inductor also has a higher power output and a lower DC resistance, making it more power efficient. They are also more tolerant of assembly variations, which tend to fit flush with the board’s surface. However, SMD power chip inductors are more fragile than their through-hole counterparts, making them susceptible to damage or malfunction if not appropriately handled.
Pros and Cons of Through-Hole Inductors
Through-hole inductors tend to be larger, have high current inductors, are heavier, and are less tolerant of assembly variations. However, they are sturdier and more durable than SMD power chip inductors, making them suitable for higher-power applications. Furthermore, their nature of having pins makes them easier to solder and less likely to be affected by mechanical shocks.
Applications of SMD Power Chip Inductors
SMD power chip inductors are commonly used in digital circuits, as they are more tolerant of variations in assembly. They are also used in power supply circuitry, as they are more compact than through-hole inductors. Additionally, they can be used in high-frequency switching applications such as power inverters and DC/DC converters due to their higher power output.
Applications of Through-Hole Inductors
Also known as automotive inductors, through-hole inductors are often used in circuits that require more power than SMD power chip inductors can facilitate. They are suitable for high-current power supplies and voltage regulators and can also be used in DC/DC converters, voltage converters, motor control circuits, and automotive inductors. They are also used in RF applications due to their superior resistance against mechanical shock.
So, Which One Is Best?
Inductors are standard electrical components in many circuits that conduct energy in various ways. In particular, they store, filter, and transfer energy in power supplies, filters, and signal processing applications. But what type of inductor should you choose for your application? There are two main types of inductors: SMD power chip inductors and through-hole inductors. Both are popular choices, but which one is best for your application?
First, let’s start with SMD power chip inductors. These are surface-mount components that are commonly found in a variety of circuits. They have a shallow profile that allows them to be placed in tight locations. They are also easy to install since they don’t require soldering or other specialised tools. Another advantage of SMD power chip inductors is that they are relatively inexpensive and available in various sizes, shapes, and inductance values.
However, SMD power chip inductors are not the best choice for high-power applications since they cannot transfer large amounts of energy. They also require an extra layer of protection if they are to be used in an environment with high humidity or vibration.
The second type of inductor is the through-hole inductor. These are larger than SMD power chip inductors and have a more robust construction. As a result, they are better suited for high-power applications and can transfer more energy than their SMD counterparts. Additionally, automotive inductors or through-hole inductors are more reliable in high-vibration and humidity environments since they are not as susceptible to environmental changes as SMD inductors. They also require soldering to install correctly and can provide more accurate inductance values.
The choice between SMD power chip inductors and through-hole inductors will depend on the application and the requirements of the circuit. SMD power chip inductors are an excellent choice for low-power applications due to their low profile and affordability. However, through-hole inductors are the way to go for high-power applications due to their robust construction and ability to transfer more energy than their SMD counterparts.
In conclusion, both SMD power chip inductors and through-hole inductors have advantages. When choosing between the two, consider the circuit’s application and specific requirements. Then, select the type of inductor that provides the best combination of size, performance, and price for your application.
These tips will make an informed decision between SMD power chip inductors and through-hole inductors. In conclusion, both types of inductors have merits and demerits, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine the best electromechanical component for your application.