Reasons Why Resistor Networks Are Preferred for Designing Electrical Circuits
A resistor network consists of a single component which has several resistors connected together. They function as a unit as opposed to using single and separate resistors. They are combined with the objective of providing a resistance that is required for the entire circuit. The most common design material used in this case is the thick film technology. Thick film material is used because of its superior characteristics that include better power handling capacity, high resistance values per unit area and also lower cost in comparison with other materials. Here are some of the advantages of using resistor networks in circuit design.
Resistor networks find a whole range of applications in different fields. Resistor networks find a wide range of applications across the electronics industry. The network resistors usually have better qualities than the single discrete resistors. Commercial and military, as well as medical and industrial devices mainly make use of resistors in network. They are incorporated into sensors, transistors, and various other devices. 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.
Space can be saved on the circuit board by using resistor networks. 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. One of the greatest functions of a resistor network in a circuit is to get rid of the accumulated heat. They should therefore be arranged in a given way to achieve maximum heat dissipation from the board. The resistor network arrangement is the most ideal arrangement to achieve the maximum heat dissipation possible. The resistors are mounted in a vertical position on the board, meaning that there is space for the free movement of air amidst the components, a phenomenon that may not be achievable with discrete resistors.
Value matching is possible. 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. Its crucial to ensure a similarity of properties for the individual resistors that make up the network. And it is this similarity in properties such as size of individual resistors that makes value matching possible for the resistor networks.