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What You Need To Know About Thermocouple Types

By Cathy Mercer

Advancements in temperature sensing instruments have led to the development of a wide range of thermocouple types. Thermocouples are temperature sensing devices. They have two conductors that are normally exposed to different types of temperatures. The temperature difference creates a potential difference across the conductors. Under normal conditions, the voltage produced across the two conductors is directly proportional to the temperature difference.

Thermocouples have become very popular in industry because of a wide range of reasons. For one, they produce an electrical signal, which makes them suitable for use in industrial control processes. Secondly, they have a wide temperature range. This means that they can be used to measure both low and high temperatures. They are also very accurate, thereby making them suitable for industrial feedback control processes.

Some of the properties that make thermocouples the most suitable temperature sensors in industries include; their ability to measure very low and extremely high temperatures, and their ability to work in very harsh environments. Their high accuracy is also a desirable characteristic. There are many other properties that are desirable in different industries.

Type K thermocouples are very popular in industry. This is because they can measure a very wide range of temperatures; from -200 degrees to +1350 degrees Celsius. The conductors in this device are made from chromel and alumel alloys. Other thermocouples are made from alloys consisting of aluminum, chromium, nickel, silicon and manganese among others.

Thermocouples normally corrode faster than any other temperature measuring instrument. This is largely due to the fact that they are usually subjected to extremely harsh conditions. Under normal industrial conditions thermocouples are in direct contact with extreme heat and corrosive chemicals. This can corrode them very quickly. Recalibration may be needed every now and then if the sensor is not replaced.

One advantage that thermocouples have over other temperature sensing instruments is that they are much cheaper. This means that they can be replaced easily where necessary. When replacing the sensor, it is important to ensure that the installed sensor has the same specifications as the corroded one. Most machines have specifications for thermocouples in their manuals, so be sure to check first.

Common types of thermocouples include type K, B, R, S, T, C, M, E, J and N among others. These instruments can measure different temperature ranges, so they have different applications. The conductors in these instruments are also made from different metals and alloys. When choosing an instrument, you need to consider the specifications like temperature range, tolerances and accuracy among other things.

In order to determine which thermocouple types are suitable for certain applications, you need to do some research. For instance, you should know the maximum and minimum temperatures in a process. You also need to know about the nature of chemicals and gasses that will be in contact with the temperature sensor. If the entire control process is based on temperature changes, you need to consider the tolerance of a sensor before you buy one. In industries, engineers are normally responsible for choosing such devices, so they should always be consulted.

Get to know all the thermocouple types from this site To learn more about this topic, visit today.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "What You Need To Know About Thermocouple Types." What You Need To Know About Thermocouple Types. 19 Apr. 2014. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mercer, C (2014, April 19). What You Need To Know About Thermocouple Types. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "What You Need To Know About Thermocouple Types"

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