What is a mica plate in the microwave
Mica is a mineral with dielectric properties that transmits and distributes radio waves of any power. On one of the inner walls of the microwave is a rectangular or square flexible silver plate with mica on it. The material protects the magnetron from grease and other dirt, allows the parts and body of the oven to withstand elevated temperatures, reflects and distributes microwaves evenly.
Fat accumulated on the protective plate is charred by the high temperatures. Coal has conductive properties, which is why sparks appear inside the chamber and a crackling sound is heard. When heated further the plate melts, develops breakdowns, ceases to work properly. If the screen burns through, an electric arc is produced which causes the electron-beam assembly to malfunction.
Washing the mica with a lot of water or a stiff brush threatens its deformation and breakage.
Any dirt on the walls of the wave guide channel takes a part of the radiation power, oxidation occurs. The food will be heated unevenly, the microwave will have to be used at maximum power, which will shorten its service life. Sparks, flares and a loud crackle mean that soon the fat will get on the magnetron’s cap and if you do nothing, it will burn out.
During the operation of microwave ovens, grease stains appear on the inner surface of the household appliance, which are difficult
Microwave ovens without a protective shield must not be used, they will not last long and food heated in them will be dangerous to your health. Foods will receive excessive exposure to radio waves. Symptoms of harm from the waves are similar to those of nicotine poisoning. After frequent use of defective equipment can develop or aggravate asthma, frequent dizziness (vertigo) will be observed, and in critical cases cramps will be added to the symptoms.
Causes of mica plate burnout
As a rule, mica burns due to splashes of food being cooked on it. After the plate has been sufficiently contaminated, arcing may occur between the protective cover and the magnetron antenna. Failure to correct this problem can result in localized burning of the magnetron antenna or its complete destruction.
The plate needs to be replaced if it is clearly in poor condition (gelled or simply soaked). Once we have found the malfunction, we need to proceed to neutralize it.
What to replace the mica for the microwave at home
Mica is great for microwave ovens. It is heat resistant, allows waves to pass through. It is a safe, affordable, and inexpensive material. Because of its brittleness, the plate is made on a flexible base.
The peculiarity of the product is that there is a possibility of its reuse. To do this, the damaged part is carefully removed. The whole surface is cleaned of grease and dirt, and the burnt area is sanded down. Turn the other side, so that the damage came to the wall of the chamber. Make new holes for fixing and reassemble.
How to Fix Sparking/Flashing Microwave. Mica Guide Cover Repair Waveguide Plate Replacement
If the part is burned and can not be reused, the question arises what to replace the mica plate for the microwave. The replacement part must be made of a material that has the following qualities:
Without observing these requirements, there is a risk of poisoning by harmful substances, the possibility of a short circuit, which will lead to a breakdown of the technique.
Tip. If you want to change the plate, it is advisable to get a mica strip.
If it is not possible to purchase a mica product, food-grade plastic is used. It is durable and resistant to high temperatures.
The detail is considered more durable than one made of mica, but it costs more.
To replace the mica for the microwave with your own hands is not difficult. First, make sure it’s the plate that’s the problem. Be careful not to damage the appliance and the new plate.
Important! Before repair work, be sure to disconnect the microwave from the power grid.
The process is the same, regardless of the material selected for replacement (mica or food-grade plastic):
- Remove the old plate. To do this remove the catches or unscrew the fasteners and remove the part.
- The product is cleaned of dirt, grease and soot to use as a stencil. Place on a sheet of mica or plastic and trace. Then cut out the new part using a knife and a metal ruler. Scissors can crush the edge of the product, causing it to deteriorate quickly.
- The part is grinded, removing notches and irregularities.
- Use a screwdriver to make mounting holes, if necessary.
- Clean the place where the plate is installed from dirt.
- Then the product is screwed or installed under the latches.
- After installation, check the serviceability of the equipment, connect to the network.
- A glass of water or any food is placed in the chamber and the appliance is turned on for 1 to 2 minutes. If the water heats up and no sparks appear, then the problem is fixed.
When to change it?
How to understand that the mica plate already needs to be replaced? If suddenly the microwave began to spark, crackle, these are the main signs that there is something wrong with the kitchen appliance. There can be many reasons for this. First, make sure that the microwave works with interruptions precisely because of a damaged mica part. There are several telltale signs that the mica plate is the problem. Let’s consider some of them:
- The surface of the element darkens or becomes stained.
- The plate’s flatness is deformed or contaminated with a lot of grease.
- On the part began to appear recesses, cracks.
- Element surface starts to crumble.
If at least one of these signs is present, it means that the mica plate must be urgently replaced. In addition, it is important to remember that a piece of mica requires constant care, periodically it must be taken out of the hole and washed, then, if there are no signs of the above, put back in place. Proper care of the mica element will allow the kitchen appliance to last longer in the household, uninterruptedly performing its functions.
Microwave mica analogs
It is best to replace a damaged mica element with a plate of the same material. Mica is freely available in online stores. If you can not find the original, use an analogue, which must meet the following requirements:
- Excellent resistance to high temperature;
- inability to accumulate static electricity;
- the ability to pass steam;
- ecological safety for people (the raw material should not contain toxic elements, otherwise heated food will be unsafe).
Optimal for this purpose fit the food plastic. nowadays it is quite often used even in professional workshops.
Food plastic instead of mica: pros and cons
The analogue of the mica plate has a lot of advantages, but it has disadvantages:
- Does not deform under the influence of high temperatures;
- burns out less frequently than mica due to its increased resistance;
- durable than mica, so it will last longer;
- quite high cost of the material.
choose the material to replace the mica plate with the utmost care: it is not uncommon that stores or workshops offer Teflon instead of food-grade plastic. It is less expensive, but loses in strength and durability. In addition, the food plastic is much easier to work with.
Important! Some people suggest replacing the mica screens with disc cartons or similar improvised materials. Do not do this under any circumstances. These parts are not designed to be heated, so they release toxic phenol and formaldehyde when exposed to heat.
The mica plate in the microwave is responsible for a number of important functions. If it is damaged, it must be replaced because the microwave oven will not work without it. Role of the plate:
How To Replace Mica Wave Guide on Panasonic Microwave
- It enables other parts of the microwave oven to withstand high temperatures.
- It protects important parts of the microwave oven from grease and dirt.
- It distributes the microwaves in the microwave evenly.
A mica plate can be replaced not only because it burns up. It can become very dirty, soggy or scratched, causing the microwave oven to malfunction.
It is not difficult to find a damaged plate. It is on the right side or top wall of the microwave, painted gray, rough to the touch, and shaped like a rectangular plate.
During the operation of the unit, this part performs a number of important functions:
Spoiled plate will not allow the household appliance to function fully. If sparks appear inside the appliance during operation, it should probably be replaced.
Doing the job
On a side note! Microwave mica plate can be made with your own hands.
To do this, take a piece of identical material and cut out a rectangle that matches the template. Be sure to remove irregularities by grinding the part. Drill holes for the screws on the sides, if that is the way of attachment.
The oven should work properly after these procedures.
When to change the mica in the microwave
It is not the mica that can cause microwave malfunction, but the waveguide or magnetron failure. So be sure to confirm if the part is defective before replacing it.
Advice! After removing the plate, make sure it is defective.
External signs that indicate the need for replacement:
If these signs are not present, the plate should be washed and put back.
The procedure of installing a new part may not lead to the desired result. In this case, it is necessary to call a craftsman or take the microwave to the service.
How to replace the mica plate
If you can not find a suitable element or just have the desire to experiment with new materials, you can find an alternative to mica.
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But first, the secret of the substance must be determined to understand what the replacement should be.
Mica plate in the microwave oven is fully functional due to the following properties:
- resistance to high temperatures;
- No accumulation of static electricity;
- The ability to pass steam well through the pores.
Accordingly, the material intended for installation should have these characteristics.
What can be used for replacement
At the moment, the most popular material instead of mica is food-grade plastic. It is a good alternative since it clearly has advantages over mica.
- Compared to standard material, food-grade plastic is more resistant to high temperatures.
- It is stronger and provides less chance of burning.
- This material is more durable and has better performance characteristics.
Its only disadvantage can be considered high cost and difficult to obtain. The food plastic part is difficult to make yourself, so you need to make only to order.
However, in some workshops this kind of replacement is already widely practiced. In addition, the high cost is compensated by the long service life.
Characteristics of the material
The choice of mica as a cover for the waveguide is not accidental. The material is completely transparent to microwave waves, but does not conduct electricity, perfectly withstands high temperatures, has a low cost. The main argument for using exactly mica is hygiene and safety. In its natural state, it is a mineral that crumbles easily. To get rid of such a defect, mica is applied to a flexible substrate. The result is a plate not more than 0,5 mm thick, which retains the best properties of the material. The obtained element fully meets all safety standards, so it is desirable to replace it with a similar one or one with the same properties.
Mica is a natural dielectric material that lets in radio waves. A distinction is made between three kinds: sheet mica, powder mica, and bloating mica.
In its natural state, the mineral is crumbly. To use it as a dielectric layer it is necessary to apply it on the elastic base. thickness is 0,4-0,5 mm. The color of the mineral is grayish-white and indeterminate.