Types of Resistors

Loknath Das

There are different types of resistors that are available for electronic construction. Before understanding their types, let us try to understand what a resistor is and how does it work?

What is a resistor?

An electric component that is used in an electric circuit for limiting and regulating the flow of electric current is known as a resistor. The arrangement of resistors can be either in series or in parallel combination. Following are the characteristics of resistors:

  • They are temperature coefficient
  • They do not produce noise.
  • They can be used for maintaining high stability, current and voltage.
  • They are available in different sizes.

Types of resistors

There are four basic types of resistors and they are as follows:

  1. Carbon resistor
  2. Film or cermet resistor
  3. Wire-wound resistor
  4. Semiconductor resistor

Carbon resistor:

The most common type of resistor is a carbon resistor. They are cheap and are used for general purpose in an electrical and electronic circuit. The resistive element is made from the carbon dust and the clay powder. These resistors are ideal for high-frequency applications as they have low inductance. CR is the notation used as a prefix for example CR20kΩ. The resistance of the carbon resistor depends on the following parameters:

  • Amount of carbon added
  • Length of the cylindrical rod
  • The cross-sectional area of the cylindrical rod.

Film type resistor:

Film type resistors are used in place of carbon resistor because they have a high tolerance and high resistance value when compared to the carbon resistor. Film resistor consists of a metal film, metal oxide film and carbon film. For metal resistor nickel is used, tin-oxide is used for metal oxide film.

Wire-wound resistor:

The wire-wound resistor is made by winding a thin metal alloy wire. They are available for a very low ohmic value as they have a number of turns. They are used in the Wheatstone bridge. WH or W is used as a notation for the wire-wound resistor.

Interested to learn more about other classifications and types like types of radiation, types of forces, types of switches and other concepts of Physics like a linear accelerator, surface energy etc, visit BYJU’S.