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What is a Thermistor? And How are they Used?

What is a Thermistor? And How are they Used?

What is a thermistor? The word Thermistor is derived from the words THERMally sensitive resISTOR.

A thermistor is a thermally sensitive ceramic semiconductor which exhibits a change in resistance as the temperature changes.

How does a Thermistor Work?

There are two types of Thermistors, NTC Thermistors, ( Negative Temperature Coefficient) and PTC Thermistors, (Positive Temperature Coefficient).

NTC, (Negative Temperature Co-efficient), thermistors offer many advantages in the area of temperature sensing which include the sensitive measurement of temperature change, (-3% to -6% change in resistance per 1⁰C increase in temperature), making for a highly accurate means of temperature measurement.

A PTC thermistor is a thermally sensitive resistor whose resistance increases significantly with temperature.  PTC thermistors are commonly used in motor protection as current limiting devices.

Common Thermistor Applications

Having answered the question “What is a Thermistor?” we can now give a basic, general overview of how they are used:-

Thermistors are used as temperature sensors. They can be found in every day appliances such as fire alarms, ovens and refrigerators. They are also used in digital thermometers and in many automotive applications to measure temperature. 

Some more commercial uses for thermistors include applications in Industrial Electronics, Medical Electronics, Food Handling and Processing, Aerospace, Communication and Instrumentation.

What types of Thermistors can Variohm offer?

We have a range of thermistors which have been designed and approved for different industry applications. See our range of Space Qualified Thermistors, and our range of NTC Thermistors. We also offer many different types of temperature sensors, take a look at all of them here

Article published on: 17/07/2015

Article last updated on: 17/07/2015