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Relay contact minimum ratings

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borinsm

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If I have a relay with a minimum contact load spec of 100mA at 5vdc
does it mean I MUST provide at least 5vdc AND at least 100mA?

Also, if I happen to have a lower voltage AND current than each of those specs, what is the result - oxidation, or some other issue like depletion of materials from not meeting minimum something or other on the atomic level of the materials?

If oxidation or such is the issue with under driving the contacts, then how long should the contacts still last before issues show up - I can't find any info on this, I don't know if it's a matter of months, a few years, a decade or more...in other words is it reasonable to consider making a judgment call to just go ahead and use the contacts below spec ratings if I accept a long term failure in the application?

I'm looking to use the 5VDC 100mA contacts with 0.2 VDC 50mA

Also the reason I have such a high rated relay to begin with is it's DPDT and one of the positions is a higher current and voltage load but the other position is the lower contact load so aside from getting into custom relays I didn't know what else I could do.
 
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