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Definition, Products Informations:

-   In electronics and in electrical engineering, thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor and can also be used as a means to convert thermal potential difference into electric potential difference. They are cheap and interchangeable, have standard connectors, and can measure a wide range of temperatures. The main limitation is accuracy; system errors of less than one degree Celsius (°C) can be difficult to achieve.

Thermostat - A thermostat is a device for regulating the temperature of a system so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint temperature. The thermostat does this by controlling the flow of heat energy into or out of the system. That is, the thermostat switches heating or cooling devices on or off as needed to maintain the correct temperature. Thermostats can be constructed in many ways and may use a variety of sensors to measure the temperature. The output of the sensor then controls the heating or cooling apparatus.

PLC Controller - A programmable logic controller (PLC), or programmable controller is a digital computer used for automation of industrial processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time, otherwise unintended operation will result.

Thermometer - is a device that measures temperature or temperature gradient, using a variety of different principles. The word thermometer is derived from two smaller word fragments: thermo from the Greek for heat and meter also from Greek, meaning to measure. A thermometer has two important elements, the temperature sensor (e.g. the bulb on a mercury thermometer) in which some physical change occurs with temperature, plus some means of converting this physical change into a value (e.g. the scale on a mercury thermometer). Industrial thermometers commonly use electronic means to provide a digital display or input to a computer.

Type T (copper–constantan) thermocouples are suited for measurements in the −200 to 350 °C range. Often used as a differential measurement since only copper wire touches the probes. As both conductors are non-magnetic, type T thermocouples are a popular choice for applications such as electrical generators which contain strong magnetic fields. Type T thermocouples have a sensitivity of about 43 µV/°C.

Type C (tungsten 5% rhenium – tungsten 26% rhenium) thermocouples are suited for measurements in the 0 °C to 2320 °C range. This thermocouple is well-suited for vacuum furnaces at extremely high temperatures and must never be used in the presence of oxygen at temperatures above 260 °C.

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Informations, Definitions:

A variety of thermocouples are available, suitable for different measuring applications. They are usually selected based on the temperature range and sensitivity needed. Thermocouples with low sensitivities (B, R, and S types) have correspondingly lower resolutions. Other selection criteria include the inertness of the thermocouple material, and whether or not it is magnetic. The thermocouple types are listed below with the positive electrode first, followed by the negative electrode.

Type K (chromel–alumel) is the most commonly used general purpose thermocouple. It is inexpensive and, owing to its popularity, available in a wide variety of probes. They are available in the −200 °C to +1200 °C range. The type K was specified at a time when metallurgy was less advanced than it is today and, consequently, characteristics vary considerably between examples. Another potential problem arises in some situations since one of the constituent metals, nickel, is magnetic. The characteristic of the thermocouple undergoes a step change when a magnetic material reaches its Curie point. This occurs for this thermocouple at 354°C. Sensitivity is approximately 41 µV/°C.

Type E (chromel–constantan) has a high output (68 µV/°C) which makes it well suited to cryogenic use. Additionally, it is non-magnetic.

Type J (iron–constantan) is less popular than type K due to its limited range (−40 to +750 °C). The main application is with old equipment that cannot accept modern thermocouples. J types cannot be used above 760 °C as an abrupt magnetic transformation causes permanent decalibration. The magnetic properties also prevent use in some applications. Type J thermocouples have a sensitivity of about 50 µV/°C.

Type N (nicrosil–nisil) thermocouples are suitable for use at high temperatures, exceeding 1200 °C, due to their stability and ability to resist high temperature oxidation. Sensitivity is about 39 µV/°C at 900°C, slightly lower than type K. Designed to be an improved type K, it is becoming more popular.

Types B, R, and S thermocouples use platinum or a platinum–rhodium alloy for each conductor. These are among the most stable thermocouples, but have lower sensitivity, approximately 10 µV/°C, than other types. The high cost of these thermocouple types makes them unsuitable for general use. Generally, type B, R, and S thermocouples are used only for high temperature measurements. Type B thermocouples use a platinum–rhodium alloy for each conductor. One conductor contains 30% rhodium while the other conductor contains 6% rhodium. These thermocouples are suited for use at up to 1800 °C. Type B thermocouples produce the same output at 0 °C and 42 °C, limiting their use below about 50 °C. Type R thermocouples use a platinum–rhodium alloy containing 13% rhodium for one conductor and pure platinum for the other conductor. Type R thermocouples are used up to 1600 °C. Type S thermocouples use a platinum–rhodium alloy containing 10% rhodium for one conductor and pure platinum for the other conductor. Like type R, type S thermocouples are used up to 1600 °C. In particular, type S is used as the standard of calibration for the melting point of gold (1064.43 °C).

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