Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 8 (2002), Issue 2, Pages 101-109

Steady-state solution of the PTC thermistor problem using a quadratic spline finite element method

A. R. Bahadir

Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Arts and Science, Inönü University, Malatya 44069, Turkey

Received 24 April 2001

Copyright © 2002 A. R. Bahadir. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The problem of heat transfer in a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) thermistor, which may form one element of an electric circuit, is solved numerically by a finite element method. The approach used is based on Galerkin finite element using quadratic splines as shape functions. The resulting system of ordinary differential equations is solved by the finite difference method. Comparison is made with numerical and analytical solutions and the accuracy of the computed solutions indicates that the method is well suited for the solution of the PTC thermistor problem.