Showing posts with label thermocouple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thermocouple. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dissimilar Metal Junctions (How Thermocouples Work)

When two dissimilar metal wires are joined together at one end, a voltage is produced at the other end that is approximately proportional to temperature. That is to say, the junction of two different metals behaves like a temperature-sensitive battery. This form of electrical temperature sensor is called a thermocouple:

This phenomenon provides us with a simple way to electrically infer temperature: simply measure the voltage produced by the junction, and you can tell the temperature of that junction. And it would be that simple, if it were not for an unavoidable consequence of electric circuits: when we connect any kind of electrical instrument to the thermocouple wires, we inevitably produce another junction of dissimilar metals. The following schematic shows this fact, where the iron-copper junction J1 is necessarily complemented by a second iron-copper junction J2 of opposing polarity:

Junction J1 is a junction of iron and copper – two dissimilar metals – which will generate a voltage related to temperature. Note that junction J2, which is necessary for the simple fact that we must somehow connect our copper-wired voltmeter to the iron wire, is also a dissimilar-metal junction which will also generate a voltage related to temperature. Further note how the polarity of junction J2 stands opposed to the polarity of junction J1 (iron = positive ; copper = negative). A third junction (J3) also exists between wires, but it is of no consequence because it is a junction of two identical metals which does not generate a temperature-dependent voltage at all.

The presence of this second voltage-generating junction (J2) helps explain why the voltmeter registers 0 volts when the entire system is at room temperature: any voltage generated by the iron-copper junctions will be equal in magnitude and opposite in polarity, resulting in a net (series-total) voltage of zero. Only when the two junctions J1 and J2 are at different temperatures will the voltmeter register any voltage at all.

Reprinted from "Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation" by Tony R. Kuphaldt – under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Common Temperature Sensors Used in Industry

Temperature SensorsTHERMOCOUPLE
Due to their simplicity, reliability, and relatively low cost, thermocouples are widely used. They are self-powered, eliminating the need for a separate power supply to the sensor. Thermocouples are fairly durable when they are appropriately chosen for a given application. Thermocouples also can be used in high-temperature applications.

Thermocouple Advantages:
  • Self-powered
  • Simple
  • Rugged
  • Inexpensive
  • Many applications
  • Wide temperature range
  • Fast response
Thermocouple Disadvantages:
  • Nonlinear output signal
  • Low voltage
  • Reference required
  • Accuracy is function of two separate measurements
  • Least sensitive
  • Sensor cannot be recalibrated
  • Least stable
Resistance temperature detectors are attractive alternatives to thermocouples when high accuracy, stability, and linearity (i.e., how closely the calibration curve resembles a straight line) of output are desired. The superior linearity of relative resistance response to temperature allows simpler signal processing devices to be used with RTD’s than with thermocouples. Resistance Temperature Detector’s can withstand temperatures up to approximately 800 C (~1500 F).

RTD Advantages:
  • More stable at moderate temperatures
  • High levels of accuracy
  • Relatively linear output signal
RTD Disadvantages:
  • Expensive
  • Self-heating
  • Lower temperature range
Thermistors work similarly to RTD’s in that they are a resistance measuring device, but instead of using pure metal, thermistors use a very inexpensive polymer or ceramic material as the element.

Thermistor Advantages:
  • High output
  • Fast
  • Two-wire ohms measurement
Thermistor Disadvantages:
  • Nonlinear
  • Limited temperature range
  • Fragile
  • Current source required
  • Self-heating

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hotfoil-EHS Manufacturing and Distribution Facilities

Hotfoil-EHS, Inc. is an organization with over 70 employees and an impressive engineering capability. Through continued re-investment of profits, Hotfoil-EHS acquired additional large fabrication facilities and today is a full-service engineering, design, and manufacturing company of industrial heating equipment. Their Hamilton, NJ headquarters provides 68,000-square-feet of manufacturing space, with other manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Chattanooga, TN, LaPorte, TX, and Birmingham, England.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

The TAU: A Perfect Solution for Fast, Strong, and Inexpensive Thermocouple, Stud, and Pin Welidng

Thermocouple attachment unit (TAU)
Thermocouple attachment unit (TAU) used for creating
thermocouples quickly and inexpensively, plus welding
studs and pins to metal structures.
Are you buying pre-made thermocouples? Do you know how easy it is to make your own? Are you always looking for a fast and easy way to attach studs or pins to a target structure? A thermocouple attachment unit (TAU) is the answer. TAU’s will help you save time and money in the fabrication of welding thermocouples and stud/pin welding.

Thermocouple attachment units (TAUs) are small, self contained spot welders that achieve superior results for welding thermocouple junctions and attachment. They are portable and are easy to use. Also known as thermocouple welders, these units are provide a capacitive discharge (as the energy source) in a compact, self-contained, hand welding unit. They are designed to form very strong, free standing junctions in just seconds using standard thermocouple wire. There's no need for clamping, bracketing or strapping. TAUs provide a direct bonding method for thermocouples, pins and studs that is quick, easy, and low-cost while still providing accurate temperature measurement.

Thermocouple attachment units continue to enhance their power outputs which creates more potential uses for TAUs. Higher power output opens doors to a broader application base. Higher power TAUs can be used to weld thermocouple pairs but also can be used to weld studs, rods and pins to a wide variety of metal structures. For example, a common use for TAU’s is attaching insulation pins to welding insulation blanket support.

An internal power supply constantly recharges an internal battery giving the operator portability in field thermocouple welding. Readily available controls allow for easy adjustment based on wire size and material.

Thermocouple attachment units offer a very convenient and economical method of forming and attaching thermocouple sensing wires, studs, and pins where and when you need them. Models vary based on requirements. Some models accommodate a greater range of wire sizes and materials, handling wire up to 14 gauge and capable of creating weld junctions in under a second. Because the power supply provides a short recharge interval, multiple welds can be done very quickly (4-6 welds per minute).

For more information on thermocouple attachment units, contact:

2960 East State Street Ext.
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Phone # 609.588.0900
Fax # 609.588.8333

Thursday, January 21, 2016

HofoilEHS - Your Preferred Source for Pre and Post Weld Heat Treating

HotfoilEHS is a premier manufacturer of pre weld and post weld heat treating equipment. EHS manufactures and sells pre and post-weld heat treating equipment including power consoles, ceramic mat heaters, thermocouple attachment units, pin welders, Brinell testers, Poldi hardness testers, thermocuple wire, insulation, and accessories.

The below video is a little shameless, self promotion.

Power consoles are standardly offered in 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 zone configurations with a variety of control and recording systems.

Twin heating modules, with and without recorders, and optional ramping controllers are available from EHS.

For special projects, EHS can provide mineral insulated (MI) heating circuits designed into a blanket-type layout, using clips to attach the circuits to a wire mesh in a configured pattern. The circuits are CSA and FM Approved for hazardous and non-hazardous areas.

EHS also offers short or long term rentals on power consoles, temperature recorders, and ceramic mat heaters along with complete support and training services.

EHS engineers, designs, and manufactures proven systems to effectively complete any project more efficiently than competitive systems, while staying within budget. Years of application experience and successful installations have produced thousands of happy customers.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Introduction to Thermocouples

Schematic of Type K Thermocouple
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
A thermocouple is a temperature sensor that produces a micro-voltage from a phenomena called the Seebeck Effect. In simple terms, when the junction of two different (dissimilar) metals varies in temperature from a second junction (called the reference junction), a voltage is produced. When the reference junction temperature is known and maintained, the voltage produced by the sensing junction can be measured and directly applied to the change in the sensing junctions' temperature.

Thermocouples are widely used for industrial and commercial temperate control because they are inexpensive, fairly accurate, have a fairly linear temperature-to-signal output curve, come in many “types” (different metal alloys) for many different temperature ranges, and are easily interchangeable. They require no external power to work and can be used in continuous temperature measurement applications from -185 Deg. Celsius (Type T) up to 1700 Deg. Celsius (Type B).

thermocouple attachment unit
Thermocouple attachment unit
For pre-weld heat treatment, Type K thermocouples are generally used. Thermocouples can be directly attached to the workpiece by spot welding the junction of Type K thermocouple wire. The attachment is done with the help of a TAU, or thermocouple attachment devices. Thermocouples are attached so that there is firm contact between the sensing tip and the assembly being heat treated.