A fault current limiter (FCL) is a device that is designed to reduce the impact of fault currents on electricity networks and increase the availability of such networks to consumers. One particular FCL technology that is currently attracting worldwide attention, from both researchers and commercial engineering companies, is the saturated core FCL. This device utilizes the change in permeability between the saturated and unsaturated states of a magnetic core to provide both low steady state losses and effective fault current limiting. Typically the core is saturated using an electromagnetic coil, which can be either superconducting or non-superconducting. Although there have been several studies on the electrical characteristics of this device, the transient magnetic behavior has been largely overlooked. In this paper the magnetic flux characteristics of saturated core FCLs are experimentally analyzed. The study includes the magnetic behavior during both the initial biasing of the cores and during transient fault conditions. The influence of FCL topology and alternative low-cost core materials, on the flux characteristics and overall device performance, is also discussed. © 1965-2012 IEEE.