Most resistor spark plugs use a "monolithic" resistor, generally made of graphite and glass materials, to filter the electrical voltage as it passes through the center electrode. This "filter" reduces RFI to an acceptable level. Although this type of resistor develops from 1000 to 5000 ohms of resistance, there is no significant loss of voltage to affect ignitability at the electrodes in modern automotive ignition systems.
However, outboard marine engines utilizing a CDI system have a much lower voltage output, which would be compromised by a standard resistor plug. Therefore, an inductive resistor is used. In this method, a coiled nickel wire is inserted into the center stem, and held in place by a spring.
This coil basically acts as an electromagnet, inducing a magnetic field around the center stem, creating a natural "field" resistor, and reduces RFI to acceptable levels. This method creates only 40 ohms of physical resistance, compared to the 1000 to 5000 ohms of resistance in "monolithic" resistor plugs.
While NGK Inductive Resistor Spark Plugs cost more than standard resistor plugs, they provide major benefits in late-model marine outboard applications.