A fuse is an electrical, electronic, or mechanical device that protects circuits from currents and overloads and ensures that circuits are protected. It was Thomas Alva Edison who invented the electric fuse in 1890. Fuse types are numerous, but they all perform the same function. Throughout this article, we will discuss the different types of fuse, their construction, how they work, how they operate, and how they are used in various electronic and electrical systems.
Purpose of fuse
These are to protect home appliances against damage caused by over currents or high currents. We prevent electrical problems in our homes by using fuses, and wire fires prevent appliance damage.
Your appliances can be damaged immediately when a fuse blows or is damaged, and this can cause an abrupt spark. Our appliances need fuses to prevent damage, so we need different types.
There are many shapes and sizes of fuses available for circuit protection. In the most common case, fuses are measured in amperes. They work even though they generate heat via their electrical resistance when additional current is present.
To achieve this, the fuse wire length should be kept as short as possible. In general, the shortest wire length imposes an equal resistance value because wire length is independent of the current rating.
Some common types of fuse
1. Surface mount fuse (SMD), chip fuse, radial fuse, lead fuse
Due to their small size and difficulty of replacing, SMD Fuses (Surface Mount Devices, also referred to as electronic fuses) are often used in DC power applications such as hard drives, DVD players, cameras, cell phones, etc., where space is essential.
2. The AC fuse
In contrast, in the AC system, the frequency of voltage changes from 0 to 60 times every second, allowing arcs to go extinct much more quickly. Because of this, AC fuses are a little bit smaller than DC ones.
Additionally, fuses can be classified according to the number of operations they perform.
3. Fuse cartridges
Motors, air-conditioners, refrigerators, pumps, and other electrical appliances that require high voltage ratings and currents are protected by cartridge fuses. In a wide range of applications, including industrial, commercial, and home distribution panels, they can be found up to 600A and 600V AC.
4. Cartridge Fuse Type D
In addition to the adapter ring, the base, the cap, and the cartridge, D-type fuse components are also found. An attached fuse base connects to a fuse cap, which houses a cartridge. A fuse link conductor makes contact with the tip of the cartridge, completing the circuit.
5. Fuses for DC circuits
Due to DC’s constant value, it is very difficult to extinguish fuse arcs caused by the melting of metallic wires. DC fuses reduce fuse arcing by reducing the distance between the electrodes.
6. A wide range of automotive, blade-type & bolt-type fuses.
Two metal caps are attached to the plug-in socket to wrap around the plastic body of these fuses (also known as a spade or plug-in fuses). Their primary purpose is to protect wires from short circuits and wiring in automobiles. In the automotive industry, glass tubes (also called Bosch fuses) are widely used as fuse limiters. As low as 12V to 42V is the rating of automobile fuses.
7. Fuses with high voltages
If circuit breakers are not working on transformers, such as power transformers, distribution transformers, and instrument transformers, high voltage fuses provide protection. Fuse rated for voltages higher than 1500V or higher than 13kV is known as high voltage fuses.
Metal elements such as copper, silver, and tin are generally used in high voltage fuses. Fuse link chambers can fill with boric acid if plugs of the HV type (High Voltage) are expelled.
8. Fuse with High Rupturing Capacity or cartridge fuse with link type.
A detailed description of the construction, operation, and applications of the HRC fuse (High Rupturing Capacity) have already been provided. Also covered are different HRC fuses, such as DIN type, NH type, blade type, liquid type HRC fuse, and expulsion type HV fuse, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Working of fuse
Current heats the fuses according to the principle of the fuses. Typically, it is made of thin strips of metallic wire-bonded with noncombustible materials. It connects the ends of these terminals. Whenever there is an electrical circuit, the fuse is connected in series.
Due to the low melting point of the fuse element, the fuse melts down when excessive current or heat is generated due to heavy current flows. When the current flow is excessive, the wire may break, and the current won’t flow. A new fuse with the appropriate rating can be used instead of the previous one.
In addition to zinc, copper, silver, and aluminum, the fuse can also be made from other metals. Furthermore, they act as a circuit breaker, which breaks the circuit in case of a sudden fault. The safety measure also protects humans from hazards and serves as a safeguard.
Pros of fuse
An electric fuse has the following advantages:
- Aside from being non-expensive, it doesn’t require any special care or maintenance
- Comparatively to circuit breakers, these devices are entirely automotive fuses and require little time to operate
- In abnormal conditions, fuses induce a current limiting effect because they are smaller in size
- This device can be used for overload protection as a result of its reversible time-current features
Cons of fuse
Electric fuses have the following disadvantages:
- If a fuse needs to be replaced, it can take some time
- The safeguarding element will not always be synchronized with the time-current feature.
A fuse provides functional electrical circuit over-current protection. The following are some primary fuse functions: between the human body and the electrical circuit, which serves as a barrier. Short courses are avoided using fuses.
A fuse is typically made of a current-conducting strip or wire of readily flammable metal that melts whenever the circuit it is part of is designed to carry a current more significant than that for which the fuse is intended, interrupting the circuit. In the past, home electrical systems frequently employed screw-plug fuses.
Electronics or electrical devices and machinery often contain fuses that act as small safety parts. Undoubtedly, it is the most critical component in various electrical circuits.
In the business, there is a lot of type of fuse available that can meet the needs of a variety of circuits.
The market offers various fuses, each with its benefits and applications. These self-acting braking devices provide load protection. Additionally, they are used in cable lines and motors to prevent short circuits from occurring.