Cartridge fuses are a low cost electrical safety device that is used to protect electrical circuits and appliances. They are cylindrical in shape and have a contact point at each end. Cartridge fuses are typically constructed from ceramic, glass or porcelain.
Cartridge fuses contain a piece of wire that melts when too much current flows through the circuit. When the wire melts, it breaks the circuit which prevents any damage. This is often referred to as burning out or blowing out. Put simply, when a fuse blows, the circuit is broken. Once a fuse has blown, it will need replacing in order to make the circuit complete again, and allow the flow of current.
Most cartridge fuses are general purpose and feature no time delay, however, some heavy duty options will have a time delay features that enables motors to start up.
Cartridge fuses are a relatively cheap way of protecting electrical equipment from short circuits and overcurrent. They are incredibly safe as they do not produce flames, arcs or gas when they burn out and break the circuit. Their speed of operation is also incredibly quick, as they react almost instantly.
Cartridge fuses are available in a range of standard current rating variants. When choosing the correct fuse for your application, you should choose a fuse with a nominally higher current rating than the device that it is being used in. This means that if there is a slight, harmless power increase, the fuse will not blow.