How Thermal Fuses Operate Versus Thermal Switches

The United States Electrical Manufacturing Industry, which is generally divided into the three subsectors: electrical equipment, electrical appliances, and electrical components, has a few issues to deal. Currently, there’s a 20% structural cost burden that the industry has to endure compared to other markets around the world, but that’s not all.

Within this industry, there is often confusion over the difference is between a thermal fuse and a thermal switch. While they do not sound that different from each other, they actually are! Read on for how the two operate differently.

Thermal Fuses
The major thing to note about thermal fuses is that they’re also known as thermal cutoffs, like electrical fuses. What happens within a thermal fuse is, once it heats up, there is a small pellet that melts. Then, a spring is released, breaking the connections and severing all contacts. After the spring has been discharged you must replace the thermal fuse. This means it can only be used once, and after it’s been set off, it must be replaced. This is where many get confused. They think that a fuse is a switch, but a switch can be used more than once, while a fuse is single use only. You may also get thrown off by different brand markings; Elcut brand, for example, uses unique markings on their products.

Thermal Switches
A thermal switch, on the other hand, can be reset once the temperature has fallen again. These are also commonly known as thermal resets or thermal cutouts, and have a variety of applications. The was they work is usually through a metallic strip in a glass bulb. The device usually makes a clicking sound before opening into a cone shape when heated. Once the temperature has fallen again, it closes itself back up. Unless there was an extreme case where damage was done, the thermal switch is reusable, often for numerous other occasions. One of their most common uses, in fact, is to warn a user of a power overload.

Have you ever worked with either of these devices or with a thermal fuse company? Which one do find easier and/or safer to use?

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