DIN rails themselves are not particularly exciting but the global standardisation of their sizes ensures that components made for DIN rails will be compatible across countries and industries. So what are DIN rails, and what different types are there?
What is a DIN rail used for?
DIN rails are a global industry standard component rail-mounting system used for securely attaching electrical and industrial control products, such as circuit breakers, terminal blocks and electronic enclosures.
Who invented DIN rail?
Originally conceived in Germany the name DIN-Rail was based on the DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm) which translates to German Industrial Standard which defined the dimensions and tolerances of the rail in order to allow manufacturers to design mounting and assembly methods for products destined for assembly onto the rail.
The DIN Rail originated between a project with Phoenix Electrical Supply Company and the and the RWE (Rhine Westphalian Electrical Power Utility)
What are the different types of DIN rail?
35MM Top Hat TS35 DIN Rails
The 35mm wide top hat DIN rail is the most common DIN rail on the market, it will often be referred to as TS35 in some markets, this DIN rail is frequently used for mounting a wide range of electrical industrial control products and components, from circuit breakers and motor controllers to remote I/O, embedded platforms, and other printed circuit boards.
Top hat din rails are available in the TS35 standard at channel depths of both 7.5mm (standard) and 15mm (‘deep hat’). In general, it is the standard 7.5mm top hat that will be used for the majority of applications.
15mm Miniature Top Hat TS15 DIN Rails
In scenarios where space is critical, a miniature top had can be used which is just 15mm wide and these typically come with shallower depths of 5.5mm. These DIN rails are also often used for mounting smaller components such as compact junction boxes and relays.
32mm C section TS32 DIN Rails
The 32mm wide TS32 C section is not as common nowadays with the majority of installation witching tot he 35mm top hat option.
While you won’t see this style too often, it does offer superior support that other designs and can be used for applications where the components are particularly heavy such as power supplies and transformers.
As this is an older generation, most modern components and enclosures are not designed for it and therefore you will have to use an adaptor for TS35.
G-type TS DIN Rails
Named after the G shape they form, these feature a deeper recess at one side than the other.
The deeper of the two outer channels on a G-section DIN rail is usually positioned at the lower edge when the rail is panel-mounted, offering additional support for any heavier or higher-powered components you may wish to attach.
Slotted vs unslotted DIN rail sections
DIN rail is also available with or without mounting slots. Pre-manufactured mounting slots come in two different configurations, standard (6.3 x 18mm slots) or long slots (5.2 x 25mm slots). These pre-manufactured slots allow for quick and easy fastening of the DIN rail into the enclosure and eliminates the need for a punching tool.