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How To Choose a Thermocouple

If you’re buying a thermocouple for the first time, start by thinking about the temperatures that the device must withstand. We optimize different thermocouple calibrations for different temperatures, and choosing the wrong calibration could lead to inaccurate measurements. For example, if you’re working with cryogenic environments, you need a type T thermocouple. If you’re using the same thermocouple for several substances, a K-type thermocouple is better.

Next, consider the environment in which you’re going to use the instrument. Is the substance full of electrical activity? If so, we recommend an ungrounded thermocouple. Is the pressure extremely high, or is the substance full of hazardous materials? If so, an unexposed thermocouple is our top choice.

Your required response speed also affects your decision. Ungrounded thermocouples’ readings are the slowest. However, grounded thermocouples are not effective at preventing the thermocouple from forming an electric circuit with its sheath. Similarly, exposed thermocouples calculate temperatures the fastest, but without sheaths, they erode quickly in corrosive environments.

Finally, think about your plant’s current setup for thermocouples. If you want to mount your thermocouple on a wall already drilled with holes for the instrumentation, use those holes’ sizes to choose your sensor’s measurements. Similarly, if your team knows how to use one type of thermocouple, switching to another style may be difficult.

Common Types of Thermocouples

There are eight main types of thermocouples, but the K-type thermocouple and the J-type thermocouple are the most popular. K-type sensors are effective across many temperatures, and they’re popular choices for hospitals and food production. We recommend using a J-type thermocouple if you’re measuring the temperature of a reducing environment or a vacuum.

The K type, and J type, along with types T and E are what are known as “Base Metal” thermocouples. The types depend on variables such as temperature range, durability, resistance to vibration, chemical resistance, and more. Contact Hi-Watt Inc. to find out which type of thermocouple will suit your application.

Range of Applications

These industrial temperature sensors can be utilized for direct process insertion or with thermowell and protection tubes. A wide variety of designs, sheath materials, and diameter selections are available to suit a comprehensive range of applications.

Mineral-insulated thermocouples are rapid responders with intense temperature capacities and magnesium oxide insulation. Standard industrial thermocouples can feature Teflon and fiberglass insulated leads. They vary by temperature range and exterior diameter.

Hi-Watt supplies the most reliable temperature sensors from globally respected manufacturers. Our industrial temperature sensors and sensing instruments are available in general applications (tube and wire), mineral-insulated metal-sheathed, high-temperature, base metal, surface temperature, and other thermocouple categories.

Find Your Thermocouple From Hi-Watt Today!

Hi-Watt is a leader and trusted supplier of thermocouples and industrial temperature sensors. To learn more about our customizable products or to request a quote, contact us today.