Thermocouple Assemblies Manufacturers
Thermocouples are heat sensors and temperature controls used to measure temperature in a wide range of industrial, commercial and residential applications. Thermocouples, often called temperature probes or temperature sensors, consist of two dissimilar metals connected at two points.
According to Seebeck’s principle, a voltage is always created between two dissimilar metals, and the voltage changes in proportion to exterior temperature changes; thermocouples harness this reaction to measure temperature changes. Thermocouple instruments have a basic construction, consisting of two metal wires connected at the base and with a bead at the tip. Type K thermocouples, the most universal type of thermocouple, are constructed of chromel (chromium and nickel alloy) and alumel (aluminum and nickel alloy) wires; type K thermocouples have relatively high temperature resistance and can be found in many everyday devices. For industrial purposes, high temperature thermocouple assemblies may be used in kilns, ovens, plastic extrusion machines, pressure chambers, water tanks, heat exchangers, parts washers and many other processors as water heater thermocouples, furnace thermocouples and in most temperature sensitive applications. Residential and commercial thermostats and temperature switches commonly use thermocouples as well. Thermowells and thermocouple wires are thermocouple accessories used to isolate the thermocouple device from damaging heat sources and to extend the reach. Alternatives to thermocouples include resistance temperature detectors, or RTDs, and thermistors which are used for high accuracy applications.
Some Leading Manufacturers
Garland, TX | 800-889-5478
Thermo Sensors Corporation is a leading manufacturer of thermocouples, thermowells, RTD’s, wire and thermosensors accessories. We have been serving a variety of industries since we first opened our doors in 1972. Our quality control program sets up apart from others in the industry. Customers can trust Thermo Sensors Corporation to provide them with the best products! Call us today or visit our website for more information!
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Mt. Airy, MD | 800-282-9100
When you work with Thermal Devices, you can expect dedication to quality and customer service. We specialize in the sale and application of cartridge heaters, industrial electric heaters, temperature controls, and accessories. We take the time to work with you personally to discover which product is right for your unique applications. For more information, visit us on the web or call us today!
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St. Francis, MN | 800-272-5709
We manufacture high quality thermocouples and industrial assemblies. We are located in St. Francis, Minnesota and serve a wide range of customers and industries. Our company has many years of manufacturing experience and can provide customers with quality thermocouple instruments. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more!
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Spring House, PA | 800-365-8766
Our measurement instrumentation delivers outstanding performance even under the toughest conditions – in hot, cold, or highly flammable environments. Our temperature transmitters for rail mounting, head mounting ore field mounting are the instruments of professionals delivering high-precision readings, maximum reliability and compatibility with various sensors.
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Quakertown, PA | 800-784-3783
Here at Thermocouple Technology, we engineer and manufacture a broad range of precision temperature measurement and monitoring products. We offer all kinds of thermocouples, including TECPAK™ MgO, tube, high temperature, boiler, and bayonet thermocouples. In addition, we also manufacture many types of RTD’s and thermowells. Whether you are working in research or industry, we have a temperature measurement solution for your applications!
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Danvers, MA | 978-777-0070
Hotwatt, Inc. has been a manufacturer of electric heating elements for over 60 years! We supply a variety of OEM’s in a wide range of industries. Our company offers various products including immersion heaters, air process heaters, cartridge heaters, strip heaters, foil and rope heaters, tubular heaters, band heaters, and more. Visit our website to learn more about our products! Contact us today for more information!
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Depending on the required temperature range and the intended environment for a thermocouple, it can be constructed with different combinations of metals and calibrations. The diameter of the thermocouple wire is typically used to determine the maximum temperature the thermocouple works with, although the calibration can also determine the full range. A thermocouple with a very thin wire will not have as broad a temperature range capacity as that with a thicker wire. When determining the best option for a type of thermocouple, there are a number of factors to consider. Thermocouples can vary widely in terms of temperature handling capacity, and so the desired or intended temperature range for a thermocouple should be decided upon. The various materials respond differently to temperature and other factors such as chemical exposure, abrasions or mechanical vibrations and therefore these factors should also be considered in material choice. Thermocouples are also often installed into already existing systems and therefore need to be designed or adjusted for compatibility and to ensure the most effective and accurate results are given to the operator.
Both RTDs and thermistors use principles of certain metals’ electrical resistance which varies with temperature. RTDs are by far the most accurate type of temperature sensor, offering accuracy of +0.5 percent; platinum resistance thermometers, the most common RTD material, can accurately measure temperatures between -200 and 800 degrees Celsius. Thermistors work similarly to RTDs, but are made from metal oxides which have an inverse resistance to increasing temperature. As temperatures rise, the resistance of a thermistor falls, giving rise to the pseudonym “negative temperature coefficient”, or NTC sensors. Unlike RTDs, thermistors may only accurately measure up to 200 degrees Celcius, limiting their applications to those which do not require higher temperatures. Thermistors are simpler and more cost effective than most RTDs or thermocouples with fast response times. In mid to low temperature applications, RTDs, thermocouples and thermistors may often be used interchangeably. Each of the metals used in thermocouples have specific capacities for measuring certain temperature ranges. There are three functional classes of thermocouple assemblies based on the metal used. Base metal thermocouples, or type T & J thermocouples, are good for measuring temperatures under 1000 degrees Celsius. Noble metal thermocouples, including types K, N, R and S thermocouples, measure up to about 2000 degrees. Lastly, type C refractory metal thermocouples can handle upward of 2600 degrees Celsius.
Most thermocouple assemblies are sheathed, that is covered with a protective tubing and insulator of sorts. There are three possible thermocouple junction types: grounded, ungrounded or exposed. In an exposed thermocouple, the tip of it protrudes out beyond the sheath, exposing it directly to the surrounding environment. This provides fast response to a change in temperature, and provides a reading of the temperature, but this type of reading is limited to non-corrosive and non- pressurized situations. Thermocouples often work together as part of a larger measurement or other data acquisition system. These systems are often computerized and have automated capabilities. They gather information from one or more signal inputs or sensor sources such as thermocouples and convert this information into a digital form for further analysis. While there are alternatives to thermocouples, they are the most popular temperature measuring device due to their low cost, simple construction and ease of installation. Most thermocouples have a wide temperature range, good repeatability and short response time; RTDs tend to measure with tighter accuracy than thermocouples, but they do not have nearly as high heat capacity and are more costly. Thermocouples are generally not sensitive enough for certain precision laboratory and testing applications, in which case thermistors and RTDs are used instead. The main types of thermocouples offer a broad range of application options which are not always met by other types of temperature sensors.