Thermocouple Manufacture

About the manufacturing of thermocouple device

Thermocouples are manufactured by connecting together two wires of different materials, where each material is produced so as to conform precisely with some defined composition specification. This ensures that its thermoelectric behavior accurately follows that for which standard thermocouple tables apply. The connection between the two wires is effected by welding, soldering or in some cases just by twisting the wire ends together. Welding is the most common technique generally used, with silver soldering being reserved for copper–constantan instruments.

The diameter of wire used to construct thermocouples is usually in the range between 0.4 mm and 2 mm. The larger diameters are used where ruggedness and long life are required, although these advantages are gained at the expense of increasing the measurement time constant. In the case of noble-metal thermocouples, the use of large-diameter wire incurs a substantial cost penalty. Some special applications have a requirement for a very fast response time in the measurement of temperature, and in such cases wire diameters as small as 0.1 µm (0.1 microns) can be used.

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