Reasons Why Resistor Networks Are Preferred for Designing Electrical Circuits
When a set of individual resistors are arranged in such a way that they can function as a single component, such as arrangement is referred to as a resistor network. They function as a unit as opposed to using single and separate resistors. This arrangement is made while considering the total resistance value that should be to be supplied to the circuit. The most common design material used in this case is the thick film technology. It is preferred because of its favorable characteristics that include good capacity to handle power, high resistance output per unit area as well as its lower cost when compared to other materials. Highlighted below are some of the benefits of incorporating resistor networks into circuit designs.
There are numerous different applications for resistor networks. Those who create electronic products make use of resistor networks in various ways. This is because they have superior qualities to the individual discrete resistors. Commercial and military, as well as medical and industrial devices mainly make use of resistors in network. Some of the devices that use network type resistors are sensors and transistors. Different gadgets require that the network resistors be designed in different ways to mirror their unique properties. For instance, sensor resistors use value matching as an important property while those used in pull up/pull down applications do not need it.
Use of resistor networks creates the possibility of saving circuit board space. Vertical mounting of single line module networks of resistors is possible. This kind of design takes up considerably less space on the circuit board as compared to the single discrete resistors when mounted directly to the board. You can also adopt a high packing density of tracks and gaps because of the less space required for mounting.
Resistor networks enhance the heat dissipation capacity of the circuit. Heat dissipation is a major function of the resistors in an electrical circuit. Their arrangement on the circuit board should therefore be in such a way that it’s possible to achieve the maximum possible heat dissipation from the circuit. With resistors in network arrangement, one is able to achieve this objective. This is because they are normally mounted vertically on the board, allowing the air to flow more freely as compared to the discrete resistors.
It is possible to do value matching with a network of resistors. Value matching is a function of numerous factors such as the coefficient of temperature resistance, size of the resistors as well as the fluctuations of the load across the resistor. A resistor network is normally made up of resistors that have almost similar properties, if they are not all similar. This proximity or similarity in size and other characteristics makes value matching easier in networks than in single resistors.