Types of Resistor Carbon, Composition, Film and Non Linear

Types of Resistor Carbon, Composition, Film and Non Linear

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There are 6 types of resistor depending upon their construction, power dissipation capacities and tolerance of the value. Such as (Carbon Composition Resistor, Metal Film Resistor, Carbon Film Resistor, Non Linear Resistor, Varistor, and Thermistor). Before explaining each types of resistor i will tell you definition of resistor. Let’s see below.

A resistor offers resistance to the flow of current. The resistance is the measure of opposition to the flow of current in a resistor. More resistance means more opposition to current.

The unit of resistance is ohm and it is represented as Ω. When one volt potential difference is applied across a resistor and for that one ampere of current flows through it, the resistance of the resistor is said to be one Ω. Resistor is one of the most essential passive elements in electrical and electronics engineering.

Types of Resistor Carbon, Composition, Film and Non Linear

It is some time required to present electrical resistance in various circuit to restrict the flow through it. Resistor is an element of circuit which does the same. For example, series connected resistor restrains the current moving through the light transmitting diode (LED).

In addition to that resistors serve many other purposes in electrical and electronic applications. The most basic necessity of a resistor is that its estimation of electrical resistance ought not fluctuate with temperature for a wide range.

That means resistance variation with temperature must be as negligible as workable for a wide scope of temperature. In other word the temperature coefficient of resistance of must be least for the materials by which a resistor is made of. Here we will discuss mainly about types of resistor.

Carbon Composition Resistor

This type of resistor is very commonly used low cost resistor. The construction of carbon composition resistor is very simple. It is also commonly referred as carbon resistor. It is for the most part made of carbon clay composition secured with a plastic case.

The lead of the resistor is made of tinned copper. The main advantages of these resistors are that they are easily available in local market in very low cost and they are very durable too. In any case, the main disadvantage is that they are particularly temperature sensitive.

These resistors are available in wide range of values. It is accessible in as low as 1 Ω value and it is likewise accessible in as high as 22 Mega Ω value.

The tolerance range in resistance of carbon structure resistor is of ± 5 to ± 20 %. Such resistor has an inclination of electric noise because of entry of electrical current from one carbon molecule to other.

Where low cost is the main criteria of designing a circuit rather than it’s performance, these resistors are normally used.

These carbon resistors are provided with different colored band on their cylindrical body. These color bands are code for the resistance values of carbon composition resistor along with their tolerance range.

See Also: Resistance Variation with Temperature (Coefficient of Resistance)

Metal Film Resistor and Carbon Film Resistor

Basic structure of this type of resistor is built by methods for film testimony procedure of affidavit a thick film of resistible material, for example, unadulterated carbon or metal on to a protecting center.

The ideal estimation of resistance of metal film resistor or carbon film resistor can without much of a stretch be gotten by either cutting the layer of thickness or by cutting helical sections of reasonable pitch along its length.

That means for different resistance values, the length and depth of the helical grooves is maintained accordingly.

Metal Film Resistor

Metallic contact cap is fitted at both ends of the resistor. The tops must be in contact with resistible film or helical notches. The lead wires are welded to these end tops.

Metal Film Resistor or Carbon Film Resistor can be made up to a value of 10,000 MΩ and size of this kind of resistor is a lot littler than wire wound resistor.

Because of their constructional highlights these resistor are completely non – inductive. The accuracy level of metal film resistor be of solicitation ± 1 % and they are sensible for high assessment applications.

Carbon film resistor givers lower tolerances and littler estimations of electrical resistance than those accessible with metal film. However the carbon film posses a mildly negative temperature coefficient of resistance which is very useful for certain electronic circuit.


This is a special resistor that is used in electrical circuit. The word means that it is thermal resistor. Its resistance value changes with the change in the temperature value.

Most of the thermistors have the negative temperature coefficient which means its resistance will fall down when the temperature value increases. The temperature coefficient may be positive as well.

It is constructed by the use of various metals such as nickel, cobalt, copper etc. Also it can be prepared from the semiconductor devices as well. We can obtain a resistance upto a few mega ohms value.

They are used to detect the small temperature changes, when there is a temperature change, however small, there will be a large change in the value of the resistance. Also they are used for voltage stabilization and remote sensing.

See Also: What is Temperature Coefficient of Resistance?

Non Linear Resistor

They are also known as varistors. They are popular for having the non linear V-I characteristics curve. That is its resistance is not uniform and it does not obey OHM’s law. They are made of materials such as silicon carbides, zinc oxide.

They are of three types:

  1. Silicon carbide disc type varistor.
  2. Silicon carbide rod type varistor.
  3. Zinc oxide type varistor.

Light Dependent Resistor

As the name suggests its resistance value depends on the intensity of light falling on it. This is made of cadmium sulfide containing a very small number of electrons when not illuminated.

When light ray of a particular intensity falls on it electrons are ejected and hence the conductivity of it increases. That is it offers low resistance when light falls on it and offers high resistance in the dark or no light condition.

They are only light dependent up to a wavelength of 680 nm. Mathematically we can say that, R = KE Where, K and α are constant. R is the resistance value in ohm. E is the intensity of illumination in lux.

See Also: Resistances in Series and Parallel Combinations

Types of Resistor Carbon, Composition, Film and Non Linear Conclusion

After going through the above types of resistor we can now establish how resistor works, it’s not too hard to learn about resistor. Do you understand? I hope you enjoy when reading this article, thank you.