Metallic Rectifiers -- Principles and Applications (1957) -- Contents and Intro

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1. Introduction

2. The Generalized Metallic Rectifier

3. Some Commercial Practices in Metallic Rectifiers

4. The Copper-Oxide Rectifier

5. The Selenium Rectifier

6. The Magnesium-Copper Sulfide Rectifier

7. Comparison of the Three Types Of Rectifiers

8. Classification of Metallic Rectifiers

9. Rectifier Circuits

10. Applications of Power Rectifiers

11. Applications of Small Current Rectifiers

12. Instrument Rectifiers

13. Metallic Rectifiers as Electrical Valves

14. Other Applications of Metallic Rectifiers

15. Silicon Rectifiers

Appendix I. Some Electrical and Metallic Rectifier Terminology

Appendix II. Classified Sources for Metallic Rectifiers

Appendix III. Classified Bibliography for Metallic Rectifiers



Without too much fanfare the metallic or semiconductor rectifier has become an important circuit component for use by the electrical or electronic designer, the engineer, and the technician because it facilitates rectification, instrumentation, and control. Although metallic rectifiers have been known since 1920 and have been used for more than 25 years in the laboratory and for railway signaling, their availability from commercial sources in standard stock sizes, their improved stability, and their competitive pricing have been notably apparent since World War II. The improved metallic rectifiers are not only useful for the conversion of alternating electrical energy into direct current energy, but, also, because of their simply attained one-way valve characteristic, they provide unique elements for control circuits.

There is scattered through the technical literature a host of valuable articles on metallic rectifiers covering both theory and application, but, as far as the writer is aware, there is no compilation of this material in a somewhat simple and practical form for the vocational or technical student or for the not too recently graduated electrical engineer.

Hence, for this type of reader and for the man who is more interested in the principles and applications rather than the actual manufacture or design of the metallic rectifier, this guide has been prepared to present the principles, types, and versatile uses.

For the more advanced reader, a fairly complete and classified bibliography on the subject is included in Appendix III at the rear of the guide to permit more detailed study.

By Leonard R. Crow



The writer gratefully acknowledges aid, photographs, and per mission to use material previously published. Credit for photographs have been indicated in the titles; in particular the following organizations have given photographs of metallic rectifiers and applications which are used in this guide:






Helpful material was obtained from technical literature supplied by General Electric and Westinghouse on copper-oxide and selenium rectifiers. Federal Telephone and Radio Corp., International Rectifier Corp., and Radio Receptor Co. supplied like material on selenium rectifiers.

The section on Magnesium-Copper Sulfide rectifiers would not have been present but for the kind permission of P. R. Mallory Co. and The Electrochemical Society, both of whom granted permission to use material from Samuel Ruben's article "Magnesium-Copper Sulfide Rectifier" published in the Society's Transactions, Vol. 87, pages 275-287 (1945). Moreover, the section on Instrument Rectifiers would have been absent but for H. B. Conant's permission to use the material from his booklet "Instrument Rectifiers."

Also see:

Transistor Circuits (1964)

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