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February 10, 2010
Fuse Link Designs


Recently I talked with a distributor whose customer was upset with Bussmann because they had changed their fuse link design from a "saw-tooth" design to a more standard wire link design on the Bussmann AGC series.

The problem was that customer was now opening fuses on start-up with the new fuse link design and wanted to look at options of how to solve the problem.

The distributor was curious to understand how the link design made a real difference in the performance of the fuse as both are rated at the same current (in this particular case it was an AGC-5 fuse). 

I explained that the saw-tooth design was used to get some additional time-delay from the fast-acting fuse.  By using the saw-tooth link, there was additional surface area to remove the heat that causes a fuse link to melt

Fuse Link Designs

In the illustration above, the red area of the saw-tooth design is the "extra" surface area that allows for additional heat removal. 

Bussmann’s new design, that using only fusible wire, doesn’t have the extra area and therefore opens sooner. 

The solution to the customer’s problem lies in using a true time-delay fuse (which is intended to solve this exact type of problem) or up-sizing the ordinal fast-acting fuse to allow for the in-rush current.

To be fair to Bussmann, was the only manufacturer left using a saw-tooth design (it is a more costly way to manufacture fuses) so they did not do anything wrong.  Unfortunately for the customer, with Bussmann now eliminating this design, they are now forced re-engineer their fuse to work within their application.

Thanks to everyone for you continued support of OptiFuse where we try to provide answers to ensure better customer designs.

Jim Kalb


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