IEEE Transactions on Devices and Materials Reliability, Vol.10, Issue.3, pp.374-380, 2010

Failure Precursors for Polymer Resettable Fuses

Shunfeng Cheng, Student Member, IEEE
Prognostics and Health Management Laboratory,
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742

Kwok Tom, Member, IEEE
Army Research Laboratory,
Adelphi, MD 20783 USA

Michael Pecht, Fellow, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742 USA,
Prognostics and Health Management Center,
City University of Hong Kong,
Kowloon, Hong Kong


Resettable fuses have been widely used in overcurrent or overtemperature circuit protection designs in computers, automotive circuits, telecommunications equipment, and medical devices. Abnormal behaviour of a resettable fuse can damage a circuit. This paper identifies and experimentally assesses the failure precursor parameters of a polymer positive temperature coefficient resettable fuse. It is shown that the degradation of the resettable fuse can be monitored, detected, and predicted based on the monitoring of these precursor parameters.

Keywords: Failure modes, mechanisms, and effects analysis (FMMEA), failure precursors, polymer positive temperature coefficient (PPTC), prognostics and health management (PHM), resettable fuse, trip.

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