A wirewound resistor is a passive electrical device which can be used to limit or restrict current flow. In resemblance to their name, wirewound resistors are typically composed of metal wires which wrap around a metal core; this combination of parts helps mitigate the flow of an electrical current to a desirable level. Classified into two types, power wirewound resistors and precision wirewound resistors, each type exists to facilitate non-inductive and inductive applications, respectively. However, in the specific case of power wirewound resistors, the wiring acts as the resistor component while the metal core serves as the non-conductive source. Together, all parts making up a resistor must be capable of providing high resistance to current while operating at high temperatures without failure.
Regularly manufactured out of nichrome or manganin for their durability and strong resistance to electrical current, wiring applied to a metal core should be effective at maintaining high stability. Serving as the resistive element constructing a wirewound resistor, it is imperative that the wiring be made of a metal alloy for optimal resistance. Although, in regard to the resistor’s core, a non-conductive material like plastic, fiberglass, or ceramic can be used to construct the apparatus. In addition, to ensure a resistor can withstand high-temperature operations, they are routinely covered in an insulating material such as a vitreous enamel. This protective coating keeps unwanted heat from entering the resistor and potentially instigating a faulty reaction.
Employed within various electronic instruments where high accuracy and power dissipation is crucial, a wirewound resistor is typically installed in industrial or high power applications as a fuse or circuit breaker. Widely accepted for their approachable costs and their implementation within defense, aviation, aerospace, telecommunication, computer, audio/video equipment, electronic medical equipment, telephone switching systems, transducers, current/voltage balancing, current sensing, and more. Depending on one's particular applications, wirewound resistors come in over 20 different series to suit an array of mounting types and resistance ranges. Common wirewound resistors include precision, axial, tubular, and adjustable types, all of which produce reliable ranges in resistance, wattage size, and stability.
Though wirewound resistors are known for their stability and are often chosen over parts like metal oxide resistors, their resistance is contingent on three factors which can easily affect their performance. As the resistive qualities of a wirewound resistor are dependent on the type of wire that is applied, its length, and the width of its cross section, the inappropriate application of such parts can result in insufficient resistive forces required by a system. To avoid buying the incorrect part, let us remove the hassle, and give you a helping hand!
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