In 2010 FSIP acquired the rights to manufacture GE parts and controllers for electric vehicles, which included the GE contactors. We transitioned over to marking all GE contactors with our logo. Although the logo has changed, the product continues to be manufactured to original GE specifications and materials.
Why buy original? Safety and increase in life of product. GE contactors are UL approved and the “knock-off” versions are not. UL testing and UL approval insures that the contactors are safe and will operate as specified and as rated by UL and the manufacturer.
UL Interruption Test
This test is conducted by operating the contactor at the maximum rated make and break current 100 times without welding.
UL Temperature Testing
UL specifies all material to have a flammability rating of V-0
GE Contactors run > 3 Million cycles
Knock-off Contactor failed between 250K-500K cycles (above)
GE tips are solid 90/10 or 85/15 Silver/Cadmium compositions. Knock-off tips are 90/10 Silver/Cadmium plating on a copper slug (below).
The above photo displays a cross section of the knock-off tip attached to the busbar. It is a copper slug coated with a .016” thick layer of Silver Cadmium in an effort to save cost. Solder voids shown above between the copper slug and busbar decreases conductivity and increases temperature when operating.
Knock-off contactors can be about 5-10% cheaper in price then the original GE but the life of the GE contactor is greatly increased because of the methods and materials used to manufacture them. More importantly using the knock-off versions becomes a safety hazard. One reason is due to the fact that the knock-off contactor is sealed, it can lead to premature failure caused by the electrical arc’s inability to escape in the tip enclosure. Also, the glossy housing is not fire retardant, and could possibly melt and even catch fire. Here is an easy way to quickly identify the “knock-off” version.
So…knock it off and buy the real deal!