Capacitors are manufactured in a
variety of styles. Each uses different construction materials and exhibits
different functional characteristics. Capacitors are generally grouped into one
of two classifications, electrostatics or electrolytics. Electrostatic capacitor technologies are
named for the dielectric material used in their construction, for example
ceramic and mica; while electrolytics are named for their anode material (on
which the dielectric oxide is formed), for example tantalum and aluminum. No one
style has all the superior attributes over any other, and some are better for
particular applications. The capacitors in this section are divided into their
technical categories as illustrated in Figure 1 of the Capacitor Packaging section. Derating factors vary substantially because each style has
different performance characteristics and failure mechanisms.
The various Capacitor sections
present general comparison information between all capacitor styles, and the
capacitor Derating section present specific derating and application information
for each capacitor category. Detailed information is available from capacitor
manufacturers and MIL-HDBK-198.