How to Identify SMD Inductors

Electronic components can contain various types of inductors, such as SMD inductors or power inductors. Basically, an inductor stores energy and draws from it when necessary in a circuit. Here's a look at what an SMD inductor does and how to choose the right model for an application.

What Is an SMD Inductor?

An SMD inductor is mounted directly to the surface of a circuit board through a metal pad. It's typically made of a small coil wire, sometimes with a core at the center. The inductor acts as a choke, which prevents changes in voltage or current. Once a magnetic field is built, any change in current or voltage can result in magnetic flux, which can induce more voltage. SMD inductors are typically used to filter small electrical signals.

SMD Multilayer Inductors

An SMD multilayer inductor is viewed as a compromise between a ceramic inductor and SMD ferrite. These inductors are useful in filters and resonant circuits where low interference must be maintained, as well as in circuits with high packing density. In order to maximize these inductors, it's important to avoid using them in the self-resonant range. You should also be aware of the maximum loading capacity.

Also read: What Is an Inductor in a Circuit?

How Do You Identify an SMD Inductor?

In order to identify an SMD chip inductor, you'll need a digital or analog multimeter to measure resistance. The steps to measuring resistance are simple. You start by adjusting the multimeter to Ohm, setting it to the highest level of resistance. If the reading shows a constant value, it's a resistor unless the value is one. However, if the reading steadily increases to one, it's a capacitor.

Determining the value of an inductor involves finding numbers on the component or the packaging. The first two of three digits reflect the absolute value of the inductance, while the last digit represents the power of ten. The letter "H" is used to represent the level of inductance.

SMD inductors come in many different styles and sizes. Common inductor types include toroidal, wire-wound, air, and ferrite cores. The core can be composed of several materials, including ferrite, iron, and polymer. Even though SMD inductors are not polarized, the current moving through them can impact the magnetic poles. The main difference between inductors and resistors is that inductors generate a magnetic field.

Also read: Ferrite Core Inductors: All You Need to Know

Allied Components International Can Help You!

Knowing when to use SMD inductors versus other inductor types is important for maximizing equipment performance. Contact Allied Components International for more information about SMD inductors and to shop for a wide range of electronic components for your next engineering project.

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