Aircraft Electrical Systems and Resistance

In any electrical system, an induced voltage will result in a current that travels through the assembly. Based on the resistive property of various conductors, aircraft resistors, or other circuit elements, the flowing current voltage will be governed. Typically, the more resistance that is in place within a circuit, the more current will be impeded. By reducing resistance, an increased amount of voltage may travel through the system. As the management of electricity and electrical currents is crucial for the operations of a system and its safety, having a general understanding of resistance is very important.

There is no fine line between conductors and insulators, rather parts feature characteristics that allow them to lean more towards one or the other based on their environment, the amount of induced current, and other factors. The most optimal conductors are those that have a large number of free electrons, and these may commonly come in the form of materials such as copper, silver, gold, carbon, and water. Insulators, on the other hand, are those with few free electrons. Generally, popular insulators include rubber, ceramics, glass, and plastics. Some materials may feature a current flow which is between what we understand as conductors and insulators, those materials being called semiconductors.

Resistance may be determined or affected by a number of factors, those of which range in material characteristics to element length. A metallic conductor regularly has its resistance determined by its material, due in fact to the previously mentioned property of free electrons. Copper is often considered one of the greatest conductor materials due to its low resistance as compared to other metals. Aluminum has a lower conductive capability as compared to copper strands of the same length, though the benefit of such metals comes in the form of their low weight. As such, weight can be an important factor in some instances, especially for aircraft resistors.

Length is also a major determiner of resistance, and resistive properties are directly proportional to length. As a metal piece grows longer, so too does its resistance. For instance, a one-foot metallic strand may be cut, and a single volt of induced electricity may result in a current flow of 1 Amp due to resistance. If this same element was then cut into a two-foot strand, a single volt of induced electricity would result in a current flow of only 0.5 Amps. When applied to various real-world applications, the same proportional change between length and resistance can be seen. As such, one may always adjust the length of particular materials to further govern resistive properties to meet a certain need or requirement.

 As the electrical systems of aircraft are often held to very rigorous specifications and requirements, it is crucial that one procures the right materials and material lengths to implement resistance as needed to meet demands and safety endeavors. One should also consider the pricing of various elements, as one may be more cost-efficient for a particular need despite having lower or higher resistance. Whether you are searching for aircraft resistors, semiconductor materials, electrical hardware, or various aircraft components, there is no better alternative to ASAP Components.

 ASAP Components is a website owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we are a premier purchasing platform for new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that cater to a variety of industries and applications. Explore our various part catalogs as you see fit, and our team is always on standby to provide quotes for your comparisons as requested. To learn more about services or to initiate the purchasing process, give our team members a call or email at your earliest convenience and we would be more than happy to assist you however we can!


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April 22, 2021

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