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Iec 60320

The meaning of «iec 60320»

IEC 60320 Appliance couplers for household and similar general purposes[1] is a set of standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) specifying non-locking connectors for connecting power supply cords to electrical appliances of voltage not exceeding 250 V (a.c.) and rated current not exceeding 16 A.[2] Different types of connector (distinguished by shape and size) are specified for different combinations of current, temperature and earthing requirements. Unlike IEC 60309 connectors, they are not coded for voltage; users must ensure that the voltage rating of the equipment is compatible with the mains supply. The standard uses the term coupler to encompass connectors on power cords and power inlets and outlets built into appliances.

The first edition of IEC 320 (later renumbered IEC 60320) was published in 1970.[3]

Appliance couplers enable the use of standard inlets and country-specific cord sets which allow manufacturers to produce the same appliance for many markets, where only the cord set has to be changed for a particular market. Interconnection couplers allow a power supply from a piece of equipment or an appliance to be made available to other equipment or appliances. Couplers described under these standards have standardized current and temperature ratings.

The parts of the couplers are defined in the standard as follows.

Although the terms "male" and "female" are sometimes applied to these connectors, the terms are not used in the standards themselves. Gender references for connectors refer only to the contacts, not the complete connectors. "Male" refers to a pin contact and "female" to a socket contact. "Connectors" and "appliance outlets" are fitted with socket contacts, and "appliance inlets" and "plug connectors" are fitted with pin contacts.

Each type of coupler is identified by a standard sheet number. For appliance couplers this consists of the letter "C" followed by a number, where the standard sheet for the appliance inlet is 1 higher than the sheet for the corresponding cable connector. Many types of coupler also have common names. The most common ones are IEC connector for the common C13 and C14, the figure-8 connector for C7 and C8, and cloverleaf connector or Mickey Mouse connector for the C5/C6. Kettle plug (often jug plug in Australian English) is a colloquial term used for the high-temperature C16 appliance inlet (and sometimes, wrongly, for the mating C15 connector). "Kettle plug" is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to regular temperature-rated C13 and C14 connectors, which should not be used with heating appliances.

Detachable appliance couplers are used in office equipment, measuring instruments, IT environments, and medical devices, among many types of equipment for worldwide distribution. Each appliance's power system must be adapted to the different plugs used in different regions. An appliance with a permanently-attached plug for use in one country cannot be readily sold in another which uses an incompatible wall socket; this requires keeping track of variations throughout the product's life cycle from assembly and testing to shipping and repairs.

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