First of all, we need to discuss the failure mode and what can be done. LEt's do a
Failure mode 1: coolend-fan stops working.
Let's assume the coolend-fan for whatever reason (cut cable, defect fan, burnt board...) stops working. As a result, the coolend starts to rise in temperature, as it doesn't drain as much heat into the room air as before. This directly leads to an increase of the hotend temperature, which results in a case differentiation:
- The hotend does not cope well with the loss of the heatsink and it triggers Thermal Runaway protection as for a given voltage bump the heating gets too high - the print gets aborted before the hotend reaches a temperature above 275 °C.
- The hotend does not trigger Thermal Runaway Protection but the controller alters its heating behavior and works the heater on a lower duty cycle. As long as the hotend temperature is ordered to stay low enough, we will get a lot of extrusion problems from heat-creep, but the PTFE seated into the heatbreak stays below the heater break's temperature, as the thermal mass of the coolend alone draws away thermal energy into the room, even without the fan that keeps it at room temperature. As long as you don't print at above 300 °C and the thermosensor is intact, the failure mode does not release any fumes that could result in Polytetrafluoroethylene Toxicosis.
Failure Mode 2: coolend fan stops Working, no TRP, Thermosensor OK
But what if TRP is off? Let's look at this Double Failure: The hotend does not trigger Thermal Runaway Protection (or it was turned off to begin with) and the temperature increases due to the lack of cooling from the coolend.
As the hotend reaches 275 °C (few printers print that hot, and they use specialized setups), it should trigger the next safety line: a MaxTemp error and cut power. Heating stops before the coolend gets to the dangerous zone of 300 °C, as the coolend always is less hot than the heater block.
Failure Mode 3: no TRP, Thermosensor broken
We are getting desperate and turn off TRP, then break or disconnect the thermosensor to get a static low temperature. NOW we are getting serious, as only with such a failure we can trick our controller to continuously heat the heater cartridge and not trigger any of the error conditions. Only now there is the mere possibility to heat the coolend over 300 °C.
Marlin Firmware is designed to carefully work with checks and balances to keep the heater block in the wanted margin, and it would need a deliberate manipulation of the software to disable all safety features in conjunction with the failure of the thermosensor for the printer to go into Thermal runaway in such a degree that the coolend goes over 300 °C. And then you have different problems: your printer surely is turning into a molten pile in that failure mode. The presence or absence of the coolend fan would just delay the inevitable, should you run such a fire hazard-machine
Configure and install a recent firmware distribution (Marlin 1.1.9 and Marlin 2.x come with TRP enabled by default) and be sure to have MaxTemp enabled at 275 °C and Thermal Runaway Protection on, and you have a 3-layer safety against PTFE-fumes.
Adding more layers surely is possible, but the cost-effect calculation gets worse starting there.