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I have two capacitors, and they are both Metallized Polypropylene Film Capacitors, but they look pretty diferent to me, one is red, a little bit shiny with round corners like this:

enter image description here

and the other is yellow, opaque, with square corners and has a lot of information written on it:

enter image description here

Why are they so different even if they are in the same category of capacitors? Is it just aesthetics? different manufacturers? or are they used for different applications?

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The first thing to realize here is that you are looking at packaging differences. Your red one is a dipped coating applied to the inner capacitor to seal it up. The yellow one is packaged by pushing the internal capacitor into a small plastic "box" and the having some epoxy poured into the open end around the leads to seal it up.

You would need to look at the data sheets for the two parts to see of the performance specifications and ratings are suitable for your application. If they are the same then great from that standpoint. From there it becomes your design choice of what capacitor to use. There will be factors to consider in making that choice including:

  1. Cost per part
  2. PCB footprint area
  3. Part physical size
  4. Method of packaging the parts are shipped in
  5. How parts are handled upon assembly of the board
  6. Packing of adjacent parts on the PCB
  7. And there is also even a small bit of visual appearance you may want for your PCB.
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The Yellow one has UL rating. That might be critical in some applications, and also adds to the price of the capacitor.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What does it mean to have UL Rating? \$\endgroup\$ – DieDauphin Jul 12 '20 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was tested by Underwriters Laboratories in the USA, to verify it meets its specifications. \$\endgroup\$ – Lior Bilia Jul 12 '20 at 21:47

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