9 Types of Potentiometers for Reliable Results

When it comes to position sensors, there are many options available. You’ll never want to sacrifice quality, so how do you determine which potentiometer is the most durable and cost-effective for your application?

Here we highlight the key characteristics of nine of the most popular potentiometers available to give you a better idea of what works in your environment.

Medical machining with multiple types of potentiometers

Single Turn Conductive Plastic Potentiometers

Single turn conductive plastic potentiometers are high-resolution types of potentiometers. From industrial automation to medical devices, you’ll find these potentiometers in applications where high accuracy and reliability are critical.

This potentiometer is available in a range of sizes and measuring angles. It’s a versatile tool available in a variety of mounts, including bushing mount (panel mount), servo mount (ball bearings) and hollow shaft (through shaft).

Single Turn Wire-Wound Potentiometers

With life expectancies ranging from 100,000 to over a million turns,  single turn wire-wound potentiometers are a cost-effective solution for control electronics and measuring applications.If you need a sealed potentiometer that can withstand harsh environments, single turn wire-wound are a great choice.

Single Turn Hall Effect Potentiometers

One of the most distinguished types of potentiometers is the  single turn Hall Effect pot. These potentiometers were named after the physicist Edwin Hall, who introduced the world to the magnetic principle now used for sensors. These components provide precise analog feedback for position and control applications such as controlling the speed of power tool motors.

These potentiometers are valued for their long life, high accuracy, and low noise in an extensive array of industrial machinery.

Single Turn Inductive Potentiometers

Another tool for providing precise analog feedback in mechanical control systems is a  single turn inductive potentiometer. If you need a potentiometer that can withstand a lot of vibration, this one is highly prized for its rugged durability in extreme environments. These types of potentiometers are also highly accurate and low noise components.

Multi-Turn Wire-Wound Potentiometers

Multi-turn wire-wound potentiometers are great for closed-loop applications where the rotating angle to be measured exceeds 360º. Commonly used as a feedback sensor for gear drives as well as a high resolution panel setting device. Available in multiple shaft diameters, power ratings, and mounts, these potentiometers are extremely easy to use, long-lasting, and very cost-effective.

Multi-Turn Hybrid Potentiometers

Multi-turn hybrid potentiometers have become an industry staple for position sensing. These hybrids combine a smooth conductive plastic layer finish with the reliability and durability of the wire-wound element. 

If you need a high-resolution panel input controller for precision settings, these are a very popular option. Able to measure rotations exceeding 360º, these types of potentiometers will provide a clean signal over the life of the product.

Multi-Turn Hall Effect Contactless Potentiometers

If you want a potentiometer that allows you to program the measuring angle up to 200 turns, the  multi-turn hall effect contactless potentiometer is a low noise, durable choice. With endless mechanical rotation, a high life expectancy, and various shaft diameters available, it’s no wonder this component has become so widely used.

Linear Motion Conductive Plastic Potentiometers

linear motion conductive plastic potentiometer is a low-cost option for measuring linear motion. If you need a potentiometer that remains stable in extreme temperatures, this is an excellent solution. It’s known for its long life, high resolution, accuracy, and compact design. It’s high resistance to shock makes it a top choice for manufacturing environments.

Car being built in a factory

Linear Motion Hall Effect Potentiometers

Frictionless technology makes linear motion hall effect potentiometers very durable because it eliminates the wear and tear that comes from contact. Not only are they highly accurate, these types of potentiometers also stand up to harsh environments. If you need an option that provides a long operating life without friction, this potentiometer may provide a great return on your investment.

Get Expert Advice

From contaminants to extreme temperatures, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right potentiometer for your application. Getting advice from an established manufacturer like P3 America can save you a lot of time and money.

Each potentiometer from P3 America is manufactured in accordance with ISO9001 certification standards and meets or exceeds the standards for potentiometers in accordance with IEC 60393 and/or VRCI-P-100A. If you need help finding the right types of potentiometers,  contact one of our experienced sales engineers for more information.

Oct 28th 2019

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