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Resettable fuse-PPTC

OVERVIEW

Polyfuses is a new standard for circuit protection .It is re-settable by itself. Many manufactures also call it as Polyswitch or Multifuse. Polyfuses are not fuses but Polymeric Positive temperature Coefficient Thermistors (PPTC). We can use several circuit protection schemes in power supplies to provide protection against fault condition and the resultant over current and over temperature damage. Current can be accomplished by using resistors, fuses, switches, circuit breakers or positive temperature coefficient devices. Resistors are rarely an acceptable solution because the high power resistors required are expensive .One shot fuses can be used but they might fatigue and they must be replaced after a fault event. Another good solution available is the resettable Ceramic Positive Temperature Coefficient (CPTC) device. This technology is not widely used because of its high resistance and power dissipation characteristics. These devices are also relatively large and vulnerable to cracking as result of shock and vibration. The preferred solution is the PPTC device, which has a very low resistance in normal operation and high resistance when exposed to fault. Electrical shorts and electrically overloaded circuits can cause over current and over temperature damage. Like traditional fuses, PPTC devices limit the flow of dangerously high current during fault condition. Unlike traditional fuses, PPTC devices reset after the fault is cleared and the power to the circuit is removed. Because a PPTC device does not usually have to be replaced after it trips and because it is small enough to be mounted directly into a motor or on a circuit board, it can be located inside electronic modules, junction boxes and power distribution centers.

THE BASICS Technically Polyfuses are not fuses but Polymeric Positive Temperature Coefficient Thermistors. For thermistors characterized as positive temperature coefficient, the device

resistance increases with temperature. The PPTC circuit protection devices are formed from thin sheets of conductive semi-crystalline plastic polymers with electrodes attached to either side. The conductive plastic is basically a non-conductive crystalline polymer loaded with a highly conductive carbon to make it conductive. The electrodes ensure the distribution of power through the circuit. A polymeric PTC device comprises a non-conductive crystalline organic polymer matrix that is loaded with carbon black particles to make it conductive. While cool, the polymer is in a crystalline state, with the carbon forced into the regions between crystals, forming many conductive chains. Since it is conductive (the "initial resistance"), it will pass a given current, called the "hold current". If too much current is passed through the device, the "trip current", the device will begin to heat. As the device heats the polymer will expand, changing from a crystalline into an amorphous state. The expansion separates the carbon particles and breaks the conductive pathways, causing the resistance of the device to increase. This will cause the device to heat faster and expand more, further raising the resistance. This increase in resistance substantially reduces the current in the circuit. A small current still flows through the device and is sufficient to maintain the temperature at a level which will keep it in the high resistance state. The device can be said to have latching functionality Polyfuses are usually packaged in radial, axial, surface mount, chip or washer form. These are available in voltage ratings of 30 to 250 volts and current ratings of 20 mA to 100A. PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION

PPTC circuit protection devices are formed from a composite of semi-crystalline polymer and conductive carbon particles. At normal temperature the carbon chains form low resistance conductive network through the polymer. In case an excessive current flows through the device, the temperature of the conductive plastic material rises. . While cool, the polymer is in a crystalline state, with the carbon forced into the regions between crystals, forming many conductive chains. Since it is conductive (the "initial resistance"), it will pass a given current, called the "hold current". If too much current is passed through the device, the "trip current", the device will begin to heat. As the device heats the polymer will expand, changing from a crystalline into an amorphous state. The expansion separates the carbon particles and breaks the conductive pathways, causing the resistance of the device to increase. This will cause the device to heat faster and expand more, further raising the resistance. This increase in resistance substantially reduces the current in the circuit. A small current still flows through the device and is sufficient to

maintain the temperature at a level which will keep it in the high resistance state. The device can be said to have latching functionality . When the temperature exceeds the device's switching temperature, the crystallides in the polymer suddenly melts and become amorphous. The increase in volume during melting of the crystalline phase cause separation of the conductive particles and results in a large non-linear increase in the resistance of the device. The resistance typically increases by 3 or orders of magnitude. When the power and fault are removed, the PPTC device will cool. As the device cools, it regains its original crystalline structure and returns to a low resistance state where it can hold the current as specified for the device. This cooling usually takes a few seconds, though a tripped device will retain a slightly higher resistance for hours, slowly approaching the initial resistance value. Since a PPTC device has an inherently higher resistance than a metallic fuse or circuit breaker at ambient temperature, it may be difficult or impossible to use in circuits that cannot tolerate significant reductions in operating voltage, forcing the engineer to choose the latter in a design.

Operating Parameters
Initial resistance: The resistance of the device as received from the factory of manufacturing. Operating voltage: The maximum voltage a device can withstand without damage at the rated current. Holding current: Safe current through the device. Trip current: Where the device interrupts the current. Time to trip: The time it takes for the device to trip at a given temperature. Tripped state: Transition from the low resistance state to the high resistance state due to an overload. Leakage current: A small value of stray current flowing through the device after it has switched to high resistance mode. Trip cycle: The number of trip cycles (at rated voltage and current) the device sustains without failure. Trip endurance: The duration of time the device sustains its maximum rated voltage in the tripped state without failure. Power dissipation: Power dissipated by the device in its tripped state. Thermal duration: Influence of ambient temperature.

Hysteresis: The range between where the device trips and where the device returns to a conductive state.

APPLICATIONS
These devices are often used in computer power supplies, largely due to the PC 97 standard (which recommends a sealed PC that the user never has to open), and in aerospace/nuclear applications where replacement is difficult. Another application for such devices is protecting audio speakers, particularly tweeters, from damage when over driven: by putting a resistor or light bulb in parallel with the PPTC device it is possible to design a circuit that limits total current through the tweeter to a safe value instead of cutting it off, allowing the speaker to continue operating without damage when the amplifier is delivering more power than the tweeter could tolerate. A fuse will also protect the speaker but when a fuse blows the speaker cannot operate until the fuse is replaced. These devices are sold by different companies under various trademarks, including PolySwitch (TE Connectivity), OptiReset (OptiFuse), Everfuse (Polytronics), Wayon",Polyfuse (Littelfuse) and Multifuse (Bourns, Inc.). General electronic applications Motors, fans and blowers If the motors are under overload, the extremely fine wire will be damaged by overheating. Install of PPTC in motorsand blowers to prevent from overheating if overloaded. Industrial process controls Computer applications Keyboard/ mouse The operating current of keyboard/ mouse are usually from 200 to 500 mA, but in a short circuit the current will increase many times. Using PPTC in series between the connector and host power supply will limit the current cut the keyboard/mouse port to the specified maximum. Hard disk driver Battery applications Rechargeable battery packs

Using strap type PPTC in series within battery pack will avoid the followed faults occurring. a. Shorting of the positive and negative terminals. b. A runaway charging condition in which the charger during charging, fails to stop supplying current to the packagewhen it is fully charged. c. Using the wrong charger or the pack is reverse changed.

Prismatic lithium battery

Automotive applications Automotive harness The conventional solution in wire harnesses is that groups similar circuits together and protects them with a single fuse.In order to limit risk of fire, the wire high current carrying capability, and the oversized wire is commonly used. If anyone circuit under the same fuse short, the other circuits will all stop. PPTC devices can be installed to each circuit,which allows the optimum wire to be selected. And the other hand, the circuits don't have to be through the central fusebox, thus reducing the length of wire required.

Telecom applications Network equipment The telecom networks are potentially exposed to AC power crosses, thunder hazard, induced over current in the networks.The PPTC devices which are in series with line feed resistor and in paralleled with MOV will protect against these faultsand prevent network equipments from damage.

These devices are sold by different companies under various trademarks, including PolySwitch (TE Connectivity), OptiReset (OptiFuse), Everfuse (Polytronics), Wayon",Polyfuse (Littelfuse) and Multifuse (Bourns, Inc.).

REFERENCES

Raychem circuit protection products- Tyco Electronics

http://www.littelfuse.com/resettable-ptcs.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyfuse

SEMINAR REPORT POLYFUSE (PPTC)

PRANAV PARTH TYAGI 2K10/EE/068