What is RoHS ? Do APEM switches comply with this standard?

The RoHS Directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment".  This Directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

All APEM switches comply with the RoHS requirements.

What is IP69K protection?

The goal of this test is to simulate pressure cleaning conditions on a plant floor. In the test fixture, the switches German standard DIN 40050-9 extends the IEC 60529 rating system with an IP69K rating for high-pressure, high-temperature wash-down applications. Such enclosures must not only be dust tight (IP6X), but also able to withstand high-pressure and steam cleaning. The test specifies a spray nozzle that is fed with 80°C water at 8–10 MPa (80–100 bar) and a flow rate of 14–16 L/min. The nozzle is held 10–15 cm from the tested device at angles of 0°, 30°, 60° and 90° for 30 s each. The test device sits on a turntable that rotates once every 12 s (5 rpm).

The IP69K test specification was initially developed for road vehicles, especially those that need regular intensive cleaning (dump trucks, cement mixers, etc), but also finds use in other areas (e.g., food industry).


Cycle of 30 seconds
14 - 16 litres per minute
water 80°C
80-100 bar

How do I choose my APEM Switch?

The following features are the most important :
- Mounting
- Actuator type
- Current Rating
- Environment (sealing, ..)

What about obsolescence? Is it possible to find an old APEM series?

APEM as a man machine interface manufacturer since 1952 is able to supply you an old product manufactured 50 years ago! This is a real advantage for our customers in Aeronautics industry and Military industry.

Where are “S” contact option for high inrush current. Are they still available ?

These products are still available. Please consult us.

My application is subject to frost. Has APEM any specific product?

The 3500 toggle switch series and the IA pushbutton series are specifically dedicated to frost environments. Also the PBA piezoswitches, with their sealed construction and no moving part are resistant to frost.

Switches  Switches Switches

What is IP rating?

The IP Code (or International Protection Ratingsometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The digits ('characteristic numerals') indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. Where there is no protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with the letter X.

IP Ratings

What is the typical IP rating of a unsealed APEM product?


What is UL94-V0?

UL 94 is a plastics flammability standard released by Underwriters Laboratories of the USA.

The standard classifies plastics according to how they burn in various orientations and thicknesses. From lowest (least flame-retardant) to highest (most flame-retardant), the classifications are:

  • HB: slow burning on a horizontal specimen; burning rate < 76 mm/min for thickness < 3 mm.
  • V2 burning stops within 30 seconds on a vertical specimen; drips of flaming particles are allowed.
  • V1: burning stops within 30 seconds on a vertical specimen; no drips allowed.
  • V0: burning stops within 10 seconds on a vertical specimen; no drips allowed.
  • 5VB: burning stops within 60 seconds on a vertical specimen; no drips allowed; plaque specimens may develop a hole.
  • 5VA: burning stops within 60 seconds on a vertical specimen; no drips allowed; plaque specimens may not develop a hole.

What are typical switch application ?

 Please visit our page dedicated to our product applications.

How to estimate a current rating for inductive loads?

Is there any empirical mean? One possibility is to divide the rating under a resistive load by 2. It’s a good estimation.

Does APEM have switches with UL agreements?

Yes. The following series (some models within these series) meet these requirements: Ax, AS, AV, FM, S, SP, 1200, 13000, 1500, 2200, 25000N, 2600, 3600, 4100-4200, 4600, 4700, 5000, 55000, 57000, 600H, 600NH, 7000, 8000.

How to supply LED of illuminated switches?

A resistor must be serial-connected to the LED. If the resistor is integrated into the product (LPI, KR, KL) you only have to supply the appropriate DC voltage. On the other series, a resistor has to be serial connected to the switch. APEM gives the LED forward voltage and the LED forward current in the series brochure (depending on the colour, the brightness) to calculate the resistor value:

Resistor value = supply voltage - LED forward voltage 
                               LED forward current
On the IP and IR series, the resistor can be integrated into the product by APEM. Consult us.

What is the standard gold thickness on a plated contact?

0,65 µ

What is the stainless steel grade used on APEM products?

303 and 316L otherwised specified.

The 303 is a free machining version of 304 via addition of sulfur.  The type 316 is the next most common; for food and surgical stainless steel uses; alloy addition of molybdenum prevents specific forms of corrosion. 316 steel is used in the handling of certain food and pharmaceutical products where it is often required in order to minimize metallic contamination. 316 steel is also known as "marine grade" stainless steel due to its increased ability to resist saltwater corrosion compared to type 303. 
SAE designation UNS designation %Cr %Ni %C %Mn %Si %P %S %N
316L S31603 16–18 10–14 0.03 2 0.75 0.045 0.03 0.10
303 S30300 17–19 8–10 0.15 2 1 0.2 0.15 min -

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