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     SIOV MetalOxideVaristors SIOV Metaloxide Varistors (B722*)   

pdf SIOV Metaloxide Varistors NT Series of ThermoFuse Varistors     

pdf Varistors Overwiew of Types


More types of Varistors - Catalogues:

Strap Varistors   Energy Varistors EPCOS  Thermal FUSE Varistors EPCOS SMD Disk Varistors  MultiPulse Disk Varistors S10 MultiPulse Disk Varistors S14 MultiPulse Disk Varistors S20 Ctvs bus systems EPCOS            

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Varistors from our stock, we also deliver less than minimun quantities EPCOS.



Varistor            varistor

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A varistor is an electronic component with a "diode-like" nonlinear current–voltage characteristic. The name is a portmanteau of variable resistor. Varistors are often used to protect circuits against excessive transient voltages by incorporating them into the circuit in such a way that, when triggered, they will shunt the current created by the high voltage away from sensitive components. A varistor is also known as Voltage Dependent Resistor or VDR. A varistor’s function is to conduct significantly increased current when voltage is excessive.

Only non-ohmic variable resistors are usually called varistors. Other, ohmic types of variable resistor include the potentiometer and the rheostat.

The most common type of varistor is the metal-oxide varistor (MOV). This contains a ceramic mass of zinc oxide grains, in a matrix of other metal oxides (such as small amounts of bismuth, cobalt, manganese) sandwiched between two metal plates (the electrodes). The boundary between each grain and its neighbour forms a diode junction, which allows current to flow in only one direction. The mass of randomly oriented grains is electrically equivalent to a network of back-to-back diode pairs, each pair in parallel with many other pairs.[1] When a small or moderate voltage is applied across the electrodes, only a tiny current flows, caused by reverse leakage through the diode junctions. When a large voltage is applied, the diode junction breaks down due to a combination of thermionic emission and electron tunneling, and a large current flows. The result of this behaviour is a highly nonlinear current-voltage characteristic, in which the MOV has a high resistance at low voltages and a low resistance at high voltages.

A varistor remains non-conductive as a shunt-mode device during normal operation when the voltage across it remains well below its "clamping voltage", so varistors are typically used to suppress line voltage surges. However, a varistor may not be able to successfully limit a very large surge from an event such as a lightning strike where the energy involved is many orders of magnitude greater than it can handle. Follow-through current as a result of a strike may generate excessive current that completely destroys the varistor. Lesser surges still degrade it, however. Degradation is defined by manufacturer's life-expectancy charts that relate current, time and number of transient pulses. The main parameter affecting varistor life expectancy is its energy (Joule) rating. As the energy rating increases, its life expectancy typically increases exponentially, the number of transient pulses that it can accommodate increases and the "clamping voltage" it provides during each transient decreases. The probability of catastrophic failure can be reduced by increasing the rating, either by using a single varistor of higher rating or by connecting more devices in parallel. A varistor is typically deemed to be fully degraded when its "clamping voltage" has changed by 10%. In this condition it is not visibly damaged and it remains functional (no catastrophic failure).

In general, the primary case of varistor breakdown is localized heating caused as an effect of thermal runaway. This is due to a lack of conformity in individual grain-boundary junctions, which leads to the failure of dominant current paths under thermal stress. If the energy in a transient pulse (normally measured in joules) is too high, the device may melt, burn, vaporize, or otherwise be damaged or destroyed. This (catastrophic) failure occurs when "Absolute Maximum Ratings" in manufacturer's data-sheet are significantly exceeded.

High voltage varistor

Important parameters are the varistor's energy rating in joules, operating voltage, response time, maximum current, and breakdown (clamping) voltage. Energy rating is often defined using standardized transients such as 8/20 microseconds or 10/1000 microseconds, where 8 microseconds is the transient's front time and 20 microseconds is the time to half value. To protect communications lines (such as telephone lines) transient suppression devices such as 3 mil carbon blocks (IEEE C62.32), ultra-low capacitance varistors or avalanche diodes are used. For higher frequencies such as radio communication equipment, a gas discharge tube (GDT) may be utilized. A typical surge protector power strip is built using MOVs. The cheapest kind may use just one varistor, from hot (live, active) to neutral. A better protector would contain at least three varistors; one across each of the three pairs of conductors (hot-neutral, hot-ground, neutral-ground). A power strip protector in the United States should have a UL1449 3rd edition approval so that catastrophic MOV failure would not create a fire hazard.


The response time of the MOV is largely ambiguous, as no standard has been officially defined. The sub-nanosecond MOV response claim is based on the material's intrinsic response time, but will be slowed down by other factors such as the inductance of component leads and the mounting method. That response time is also qualified as insignificant when compared to a transient having an 8 µs rise-time, thereby allowing ample time for the device to slowly turn-on. When subjected to a very fast, <1 ns rise-time transient, response times for the MOV are in the 40-60 ns range.[2]

Typical capacitance for consumer-sized (7–20 mm diameter) varistors are in the range of 100-1,000 pF. Smaller, lower-capacitance varistors are available with capacitance of ~1 pF for microelectronic protection, such as in cellular phones. These low-capacitance varistors are, however, unable to withstand large surge currents simply due to their compact PCB-mount size. MOVs are specified in voltage range that they can withstand.









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