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Why do the reed switch blades need to be nickel/iron and why 52% nickel?

A magnetic field will only influence a metal that is ferromagnetic.  Both nickel and iron are ferromagnetic.  52% nickel is critical because its thermal coefficient of expansion exactly matches the glass’s expansion rate.

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IEEE LI Power Electronics Symposium (Rescheduled for 2022)
Time: November 04, 2021 (12:00 - 8:00pm EST)
Place: Hauppauge Radisson, 110 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge LI NY 11788
Booth No.: Standex Electronics, Renco Electronics
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