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Something that looks like a fuse
I think your hypothethis is exactly backwards. As Delmarey suggested, were it a FUSE, it would only conduct at low currents, opening at high (lightning) currents. Not what you want!
John Parker (jparker11) is more likely correct in suspecting that it is a thermal weld (cadweld).
Further to John Parker (& others): I have been unable to locate ANY INDEPENDANT data suggesting that "Dissipation" systems actually "neutralize" the vessell''s static charge before lightning strikes. Most "Dissipators" (I''ve seen) will make less than ideal Air Terminals (Franklin Rods), which (unlike dissipators) would best present a ROUNDED end (3/8" - 1/2" diameter) to the leader/strike.
Would greatly appreciate direction to any independant research on the effectiveness of dissipators..
In actuality, I belive that lightning mitigation systems merely provide a prefered path to ground for any lightning currents. They are properly installed to minimize the likelyhood of side flashes, and induced currents.
It''s a complex issue, with much misinformation out there (incomplete and/or wronge).
As previously stated, pictures might help identify this "fuse-like" item.