How to Select a Thermocouple?

When selecting the right thermocouple sensors, there are many things that need to be considered.
Customers often come to us with a drawing, specification, photo or just an idea of what they want and we generally take it from there.

Alternatively, you may simply have a new application which needs temperature measurement and have never purchased this type of product. Again, we are able to help.

Below we discuss the 7 steps you need to consider in order to get the right thermocouples for your application.

1. Calibration

Do you know the thermocouple type you need? Such as type K, T, or J. If not, this is the first thing you need to consider. Whatever you are connecting the thermocouple to normally determines this. Also, this will determine the thermocouple accuracy.

2. Application

What is being measured? Is the thermocouple measuring a liquid, surface or a gas? Does it have to sit in a pipe or a vessel or is it part of a machine or apparatus?

3. Environment

What considerations need to be thought about? E.g. Does it need to be chemically resistant, IP rated, ATEX approved, food use, high vibration?

4. Location

How is the thermocouple fixed to the application, such as; wall mounted, hand held, outside or inside. Does it need a fitting to be held in place?

5. Operating Range

(E.g. 0 – 1000 Deg C) This is the main limiting factor when choosing a thermocouple as it determines the materials used in the construction and also the calibration type in many cases.

6. Physical Considerations

What are the length, diameter and size requirements? Does it need to be bent or extremely long?

7. Connection to Application

What is the thermocouple being connected to? Does it need a terminal head, connector, wire or transmitter?