A thermistor, or a thermally sensitive resistor, is a type of resistor whose resistance is dependent on the temperature. It is a two-terminal solid state thermally sensitive transducer manufactured from sensitive semiconductor-based metal oxides with sintered or metallized connecting leads onto a ceramic bead or disc. This design allows the product to change its resistance value in proportion to small changes in temperature. The word ‘thermistor’ is a combination of two words: thermal and resistor.
Thermistors are among the more commonly used temperature sensors. Other types of sensors include thermocouples, thermometer integrated circuits (ICs), and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs). Thermistors are used more because of their advantages over other types of temperature sensors. These advantages include lower cost, durability, and smaller size; hence, they are portable. However, several factors limit the growth of the thermistor temperature sensors market. They are slow response time and nonlinear output.
Based on type of thermistors, the thermistor temperature sensors market can be segmented into negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors and positive temperature coefficient (PTC) thermistors. NTC thermistors show a drop in their resistive value when the operating temperature around them increases. On the contrary, PTC thermistors exhibit an increase in their resistive value, when the operating temperature around them increases. NTC thermistors account for major share of the market, as they can be used in a majority of equipment where temperature has a role to play.
In terms of application, the thermistor temperature sensors market can be divided into temperature monitoring, temperature control, and others. The temperature monitoring segment holds key share of the market, as temperature monitoring can be used in many industries and works especially well in the lower ranges of temperature. The temperature control segment plays an important role in preventing damage to machinery and factories. The others segment constitutes negligible share of the market. It includes the use of the equipment in the form of self-regulating heating elements and self-resetting overcurrent protectors.
In terms of end-user industry, the thermistor temperature sensors market can be segregated into transportation, industrial, military, and others. Demand for thermistors is high in transportation and industrial segments. However, it also has widespread use in the military sector and the space industry (including satellites, launch vehicles, space tourism, and other equipment).
In terms of region, the thermistor temperature sensor market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa are expected to account for large share, considering the market is largely driven by the industrial sector. North America and Europe are mature markets and their growth prospects are expected to be limited during the next few years.
Leading manufacturers of thermistors in the world are Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Mouser, QTI Sensing Solutions, TEWA Electronics Group, Thermo Sensors Corporation, Siemens Process Instrumentation, Backer Howatt Inc., Sentrion Corporation, US Sensor Corp., Semitec USA Corp., Sen Tech Co. Ltd., and Shenzhen DXM Technology Co., Ltd.
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