Traditional Fuses vs. PTCs

October 26, 2018

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Traditional Fuses vs. PTCs

Fuses and PTCs are both overcurrent protection devices, though each offer their own unique operating characteristics and benefits. Understanding the differences between the two technologies should make the choice in selection easier, depending on the application


The most obvious difference is that PTCs are automatically resettable whereas traditional Fuses need to be replaced after they they are tripped. Whereas a fuse will completely stop the flow of current (which may be desired in critical applications) after most similar overcurrent event, PTCs continue to enable the equiment to function, except in extreme cases.


Because they reset automatically, many circuit designers choose PTCs in instances where overcurrent events are expected to occur often, and where maintaining low warranty and service costs, constant system uptime, and/or user transparency are at a premium. They are also often chosen in circuits that are difficult to access or in remote locations, were fuse replacement would be difficult.


There are several other operating characteristics to be considered that distinguish PTCs and fuses, and it is also best to test and verify device performance before use within the end application.


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