What is Paper Capacitor Used for?

What is Paper Capacitor

The capacitor is an electrical device that stores energy in the form of an electric field. Various types of capacitors can be used for charge storage or energy storage. One of them is paper capacitor. It is one of the most fundamental forms of capacitors. Let’s go further and discover more about paper capacitors here in Linquip.

What is Paper Capacitor?

As mentioned above, the paper capacitor was among the first form of capacitors. A Paper capacitor is known as “condenser” since it is made up of two conducting surfaces separated by an insulating substance. This substance is known as a “dielectric”. It is also a capacitor that likes to hold set quantities of charge value. To put it another way, a paper capacitor is a sort of fixed capacitor that holds a specific quantity of electric charge. As a result, it is  classified as a “fixed capacitor” type.

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What is Paper Capacitor

The manufacture of this sort of capacitor is straightforward. It is determined by the sheet of paper used. As a result, they are divided into two categories based on their structure. The manufacture of paper capacitor is classified into two types as follows:

  • Paper Sheet
  • Metalized Paper

A paper capacitor stores electric charge by using paper as the dielectric. The construction of a paper capacitor is comparable to that of a plastic capacitor. Instead of plastic, paper is utilized as the dielectric in paper capacitors. This capacitor is made out of aluminum sheets and paper sheets. To protect the paper sheet from the outside hazardous environment, it is coated or saturated in oil or wax. The aluminum plate of the paper sheet is sandwiched between the sheets, acting as a dielectric medium.

Aluminum, on the other hand, serves as an electrode. Paper is a poor conductor of electricity, preventing an electric current from passing between the metal sheets. This permits the electric field to pass through it. Paper and metal sheets are formed into cylindrical forms by rotating them. To protect it from outside air humidity, the entire cylinder is covered with wax or plastic resin, and two-wire leads are cut from the ends of two metal sheets.

What is Paper Capacitor

Paper capacitor is large and cumbersome. It is still used in some electrical applications, such as ceiling fans and air coolers. These capacitors, with capacitance values ranging from 1nF to 1uF, are utilized at power line frequencies. It holds a predetermined quantity of electric charge.

How does a paper capacitor work?

What is Paper Capacitor

A paper capacitor is made up of two metallic plates separated by a dielectric substance called “paper”. It is made up of both positive and negative plates. When an electric charge is supplied to the plates, a positive charge is drawn to one and a negative charge is drawn to the other. The electrical field is used to store this electrical energy. By discharging the capacitor, the gathered electrical energy is put to use. These are available in capacitances ranging from 500pF to 50nF. This results in a large leakage current.

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Do you know about Paper Capacitor Values?

The paper capacitor has a capacitance range of 0.001 to 2.000 microfarad and a high voltage range of up to 2000V. Initially, the paper serves as a dielectric medium between the two metal sheets. However, alternative materials, such as plastic, are increasingly utilized. These capacitors range in size from 300 picofarads to 4 microfarads and have a working voltage of 600 volts.

What is Paper Capacitor

What are the Applications and Uses of the Paper Capacitor?

As paper capacitor is a type of electronic device that collects and stores electrical energy in the form of an electric field, it’s utilized in a variety of high-voltage, high-current applications. Below are various applications of the paper capacitor. Some of them are:

  1. Paper capacitor has a wide range of electrical and electronic uses
  2. Paper capacitor is used in power conditioning systems that block DC impulses while allowing AC signals
  3. It is utilized in-car audio systems to supplement amplifier power as needed
  4. It is used as sensor for detecting air humidity, fuel levels, and mechanical strain
  5. Paper capacitor is used in electronic noise filtering, signal coupling and decoupling systems, and remote sensing systems
  6. utilized in signal processing systems such as tuners, speakers, dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), radio receivers, and analog equalizers.
  7. It is useful in screening applications.

What is Paper Capacitor

Advantages & Disadvantages of Paper Capacitor

The major advantage of utilizing a paper capacitor is that it has a set capacitance value. And the value of capacitance may be calculated throughout the manufacturing process. During the manufacturing process, the capacitance value is fixed.

However, this type of capacitor has disadvantages as well. The primary disadvantage is that it collects moisture in the air, lowering the dielectric’s insulating resistance. The dielectric medium is altered when it collects moisture from the air. Because of its absorbing tendency, the dielectric’s insulating nature is compromised.


In this blog post, we discovered that two metal sheets and one sheet of paper are required for the creation of the paper capacitor. Between the aluminum sheets, the paper acts as a dielectric. Aluminum sheets also serve as “electrodes”. The paper layer functions as an electric current barrier between the metal sheets.

We went further and found the various uses of this type of capacitor. We also found that paper capacitor, along with the benefits, has drawbacks too. The primary drawback of the paper capacitor is that it collects moisture from the surrounding environment, and lowers the dielectric’s insulation resistance. And want to find much more about paper capacitors? Leave your comments by registering at Linquip. If you also like this post, do not forget to share it with others.

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