Custom Thick Film Resistors - Advantages and Disadvantages

When choosing resistors for use in demanding applications there are many issues to consider.

However, sometimes design compromises are not an option and custom thick film resistors are the only solution. In this post, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a bespoke resistor specifically designed for a particular application.

Choosing A Thick Film Power Resistor Substrate

Armed with the resistor performance specification and full details of the application a specialist thick film power resistor manufacturer will select the most appropriate substrate technology to deliver a reliable resistor solution at an appropriate cost.

There a four main substrate technologies used in thick film resistor manufacture, they are:

1. Alumina

2. Aluminium Nitride

3. Steel

4. Silicon

High Power Thick Film Resistors In High Temperature Applications

Resistors are used in a variety of demanding high power, high temperature applications. These applications include down hole, process applications and military systems. In this post, we discuss the impact of temperature on resistor performance, high power resistor technologies and design solutions to deliver long-term stable performance at temperature extremes.

Thick Film Resistors vs Bulk Metal Foil Resistors - A Comparison

The bulk metal foil resistor was first developed by Dr Felix Zandman (who went on to found Vishay) in the early 1960’s and is now a mainstream resistor technology. In this post, we compare the performance of bulk metal foil resistor technology with thick film.

Construction Comparison

The bulk metal foil manufacturing process involves attaching a bulk metal foil to a ceramic substrate using an adhesive. A photoetching process is then used to form the resistor pattern. The final step is to adjust the resistor value and tolerance using a laser.

Thick Film Custom Resistor Package Styles

Thick film resistor technology is the ideal choice for many applications. Other resistor technologies may outperform thick film in certain applications but are usually lower density and/or higher cost solutions. Thick film technology has excellent thermal properties and is low inductance. It also offers high resistance density (small size) and is comparatively cheap.

Thick Film Resistor Network In TCR Matching Applications

In this post, we discuss the potential measurement errors in sensitive analysis and measurement equipment caused by a mismatch in resistor TCR and how a thick film resistor network may be one possible solution.

Precision resistors are used in a wide range of measurement and analysis equipment. Voltage dividers and precision references are common in such applications with two (or more) resistors utilised to provide a known reference or input voltage

How To Specify A Custom Power Resistor

When a standard power resistor will not match the demands of a particular application a custom power resistor can be one solution. To ensure the resistor performs to specification over its full in service life close co-operation is required between the system design engineer and the application specific resistor manufacturer during the component design phase.

Why Resistors Fail Under High Energy Pulse Conditions

When trying to select the correct thick film resistor it is important to understand why resistors fail under pulse conditions. High energy pulses may occur in a wide variety of applications. They may be predictable or random events. It is important to understand the nature of the pulse event, the application and environmental conditions and select a resistor accordingly.

Under pulse conditions thick film resistors fail because they are unable to dissipate the heat generated in the resistor device by the electrical energy of the pulse.

Resistor Obsolescence And How To Spot Counterfeit Resistors

It may seem unlikely given their relatively low value compared to other components but counterfeit resistors continue to be a problem in the electronic component supply chain. Failure to spot a counterfeit device, before it is installed in the end equipment, can have catastrophic consequences.