Reprinted from MIL-PRF-23648D
A thermistor is a thermally sensitive resistor whose primary function is to
exhibit a change in electrical resistance with a change in body temperature.
Standard Reference Temperature
The standard reference temperature is the thermistor body temperature at
which nominal zero-power resistance is specified (25°C).
The zero-power resistance is the dc resistance value of a thermistor measured at a specified temperature with a power dissipation by the thermistor low enough that any further decrease in power will result in not more than 0.1% (or 1/10 of the specified measurement tolerance, whichever is smaller) change in resistance.
Resistance ratio characteristic
The resistance ratio characteristic identifies the ratio of the zero-power resistance of a thermistor measured at 25°C to that resistance measured at 125°C.
Zero-power temperature coefficient of resistance (alpha T)
The zero-power temperature coeffi-cient of resistance is the ratio at a specified temperature (T), of the rate of change of zero-power resistance with temperature to the zero-power resistance of the thermistor.
Negative temperature coefficient (NTC)
A NTC thermistor is one in which the zero-power resistance decreases with an
increase in temperature.
Positive temperature coefficient (PTC)
A PTC thermistor is one in which the zero-power resistance increases with an
increase in temperature.
Maximum operating temperature
The maximum operating temperature is the maximum body temperature at which the thermistor will operate for an extended period of time with acceptable
stability of its characteristics. This temperature is the result of internal or external heating, or both, and should not exceed the maximum value specified.
Maximum power rating.
The maximum power rating of a thermistor is the maximum power which a
thermistor will dissipate for an extended period of time with acceptable stability of its characteristics.
The dissipation constant is the ratio, (in milliwatts per degree C) at a specified ambient temperature, of a change in power dissipation in a thermistor to the resultant body temperature change.
Thermal time constant
The thermal time constant is the time required for a thermistor to change
63.2% of the total difference between its initial and final body temperature when subjected to a step function.
The resistance-temperature characteristic is the relationship between the
zero-power resistance of a thermistor and its body temperature.
The tem-perature-wattage characteristic of a thermistor is the relationship at a specified ambient temperature between the thermistor temperature and the applied steady state wattage.
The current-time characteristic is the relationship at a specified ambient
temperature between the current through a thermistor and time, upon application
or interruption of voltage to it.
Stability of a thermistor is the ability of a thermistor to retain specified
characteristics after being subjected to designated environmental or electrical