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Technically these are not fuses but Polymeric Positive Temperature Coefficient (PPTC) Thermistors. Polyfuse device operation is based on an overall energy balance. Under normal operating conditions, the heat generated by the device and the heat lost by the device to the environment are in balance at a relatively lowtemperature,asshowninPoint1ofFigure-2.Ifthecurrentthroughthe deviceisincreasedwhiletheambienttemperatureiskeptconstant,the temperature of the device increases. Further increases in either current, ambient temperatureorbothwillcausethedevicetoreachatemperaturewherethe
Figure 2 – Operating curve in Point 3 of Figure-2. resistance rapidly increases, as shown as resistance varies with temperature

Any further increase in current or ambient temperature will cause the device to generate heat at a rate greater than the rate at which heat can be dissipated, thus causingthedevicetoheatuprapidly.Atthisstage,averylargeincreasein resistance occurs for a very small change in temperature, between points 3 and 4 of Figure-2. This is the normal operating region for a device in the tripped state. This large change in resistance causes a corresponding decrease in the current flowing in the circuit. This relation holds until the device resistance reaches the upperkneeofthecurve(Point4ofFigure-2).Aslongastheappliedvoltage remainsatthislevel,thedevicewillremaininthetrippedstate(thatis,the device will remain latched in its protective state). Once the voltage is decreased and the power is removed the device will reset.