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August 20, 2009
Temperature Fuses

A few years ago, the warmer on my Mr. Coffee stopped getting hot.  After taking the unit apart, I found a unique little device in series with the pot warmer.  It appeared to be a fuse, but it didn"t look like anything that I had ever seen in the "fuse-world".

When I called the company, they told me that this was a temperature fuse and would need to be replaced. (the story ends with me getting a new coffee maker).  The experience however opened my eyes to potential new markets when I was developing the OptiFuse products offering.

Temperature fuses (or sometimes referred to as thermal cut-offs) are unique indeed.  When you think fuse...you typically think about over-current protection...but this isn"t the case of when talking about temperature fuses...

A temperature fuse is just that...a fuse that opens when a certain temperature is exceeded rather than a certain current.  The big reason for this type of protection is the prevention of fires in home. 

The typical products incorporating a temperature fuse are those type of products that get hot such as:

  • Hair dryers and curling irons
  • Coffee makers
  • Hot water dispensers
  • Copiers
  • Printers
  • Water heaters
  • Electric frying pans and woks
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Electric irons
In each case above, the device must be protected from accidently getting too hot and perhaps starting a fire.

There are three general ratings of a temperature fuse:

  • The voltage of the circuit
  • The maximum amperage of the fuse (not to be confused with the amperage of the circuit)
  • The maximum temperature of the fuse before it opens 

The voltage rating of all OptiFuse temperature fuses is 250 VAC meaning that"s the maximum circuit voltage that the fuse can be use.

The operating amperages of the OptiFuse temperature fuses are 2A, 5A, 10A and 15A.  These operating amperages are the maximum amperages that the fuse may see.

The last rating is the opening temperature and are measured in degrees Celsius.  The temperatures typically range from 70° C to 240° C.  Once the fuse reaches this temperature, the fuse will open protecting the circuit from overheating.

Temperature fuses are "one-time" devices meaning once they open once they need to be replaced.

OptiFuse"s competitors for this item are not Bussmann or Littelfuse (neither of these companies offer any similar product), but rather Thermodisc (Emerson) and Elmwood Sensors (Honeywell).

Just one more way for OptiFuse distributors and users to cast a larger net over potential business opportunities.

Thank you once again for your continued support of OptiFuse where we strive to be your COMPLETE fuse supplier.

Jim Kalb




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