Important Terminology

There is a lot of information to know if you want to be able to work with thermistors accurately and efficiently. Familiarizing yourself with the language is important. This ensures that when you use your thermistor, it is being used correctly. Below are some of the most important terms and phrases to know.

Current-time characteristic - This refers to the connection linking the thermistor going through a current and time when the voltage is added or interrupted.
Dissipation Constant - This relates to the ratio of the change in a thermistor's power dissipation to the change in its body temperature.
Maximum Operating Temperature - This can also be referred to as maximum power rating. This is the maximum body temperature under which the thermistor will continue to operate during an extended period. It will run at this temperature without affecting its stability.
Maximum Power Rating - Over time a thermistor can dissipate. The maximum power rating refers to a state where the thermistor’s stability characteristics are not affected. Also referred to as the maximum operating temperature.
NTC - NTC stands for negative temperature coefficient. This refers to a type of thermistor that decreases in zero power resistance. This occurs when the thermistor's temperature goes up.
PTC - PTC stands for positive temperature coefficient, and it is the complete opposite of a PTC thermistor. The zero power resistance rises as its body temperature rises.
Stability - Stability is important for thermistors. Thermistors go through multiple sets of testing conditions. If they can sustain their characteristics and qualities during testing, they are considered stable.
Standard Reference Temperature - The standard reference temperature of a thermistor is 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperature - wattage characteristic - This refers to the relationship between the thermistor's temperature and the steady state wattage. This applies to a specified ambient temperature.
Thermal Time Constant - The thermal time constant is required when a thermistor changes 63.2% of the difference separating its initial and final body temperature.

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