Can we use copper wire as fuse wire? Give reasons.

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Hint: In electrical studies, Fuse is a safety device which protects the circuit from short circuits and over flow of current. A fuse wire is essentially used to break the circuit from the source during overloading, thus protecting the components from damage. Using this concept, explain whether copper can be used as a fuse.

Complete step by step answer:
A Fuse is a main component that melts when high current flows through the wire/strip, which stops the flow of current. Selecting a fuse wire, massively depends upon the thermal conductivity of the material along with its melting point.

This means that a fuse wire should be made of material that has a low melting point so that it readily melts in case of overshoot, and thus detaches the circuit from the source. Now, let us analyze whether copper suits the needs and requirements for a fuse wire.

Copper generally is used in normal wires, and hence there won’t be any different between a fuse wire and a normal connection wire. Copper is used in normal wiring due to its high melting point. Copper with a higher melting point won’t melt easily when there is a current overload and thus allow high current to flow through causing extensive damage to the components connected with it.

So, owing to the above reasons, it is not advisable to use copper wire as fuse wire, since there won’t be any difference between normal wire and fuse wire. It is very much advisable to use alloys in place of pure metals that have low melting point.

Note: The most commonly used fuse wire is made of alloy consisting of tin and lead. This is because of their comparative low melting point and their thermal conductivity. Apart from material, nowadays current operation of fuses are chosen to provide circuit protection.