How To Select The Best Resistor Technology For Specialist Applications

When choosing the best resistor technology for a specialist application it is important to go further than a simple review of datasheet parameters. The datasheets covering several different resistor constructions may appear to be similar but it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each resistor manufacturing method.

Thick Film Power Resistor Failure Modes

Thick film power resistor failure is often related to environmental or transient conditions that were not considered during the component design phase. Mechanical stresses, thermal issues, constant overload or surge conditions and mounting issues can all degrade the power resistor device or, in some cases, cause catastrophic failure. Handling issues, including ESD, can also have a major impact on the reliable operation of the resistor device.


How To Select A High Power Pulse Resistor

A surge or pulse condition may be defined as the application of a short term power level that exceeds the rated continuous power rating of the component. Due to their transient nature pulse events can be difficult to identify and quantify. Some design engineers, therefore, take a cautious approach and over design circuits and components to accommodate a pulse event.

High Power Heater Resistor Design

A high power heater resistor is often used in where the designer needs to apply a highly controlled level of heat to a small area such as in medical and laboratory fluid heating applications. They may also be used in more general applications such as condensation management, and anti-freezing in electronic equipment.

Custom Resistor Networks For Specialist Applications.

Network resistors may be used in a wide variety of applications to increase component density, reduce part count and increase factory throughput. They are regularly used in pull up/pull down resistor and terminating resistor applications with a wide range of variants available from several major manufacturers.

Resistor Networks In Resistor Ladder Applications

When a basic digital to analog conversion is required a resistor ladder is the perfect choice. In this post we discuss how to build a resistor ladder, application limitations and how resistor networks can mitigate the impact of those limitations.

Circuit Operation

High Surge Capability Thick Film Resistor Design

When surge or pulse conditions occur in electronic equipment resistors are often used to suppress the pulse and prevent damage to sensitive electronic components. Traditionally wire wound resistors were the technology of choice but today thick film surge resistor technology provides a cheaper, non-inductive, solution with a significantly smaller footprint.

Thick Film High Power Resistor Cooling Considerations

Thermal issues have a direct impact on the operational life of any thick film high power resistor hence resistor cooling is always a key issue to consider. In this post we consider air and liquid cooling and the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Key Power Resistor Application Considerations

When choosing a power resistor for any application it is important to consider more than the resistance value, power rating and tolerance. There any many factors that can affect the performance of the resistor, and the system as a whole, including thermal and mechanical issues and operational life.

Thermal Issues In Power Resistor Applications

Thermal performance has a direct impact on both mechanical issues and operational life and should, therefore, be the first issue to consider.

High Performance Resistor Networks Design and Applications

High performance resistor networks offer a number of advantages over discrete devices including higher density component packaging, improved system reliability, performance improvements and lower cost. In this post, we consider common applications for network resistors and key design issues.


Common applications for resistor networks include:

• Pull up / pull down resistors.
• Current limiting resistors.
• Termination resistors.
• Digital to analogue or analogue to digital converters.