Super-sensitive temperature measuring equipment is used in industries where precision is crucial. Temperature measuring equipment has been cultivated to the point where it is quite advanced in its ability to provide readings and information in minute detail.
Considerable time, effort and resources have gone into the science of temperature measurement in order to satisfy the demands and requirements within this critical industrial niche.
Below is a brief look at some of the technology and equipment native to industrial temperature monitoring and measurement.
-Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD) – Also called resistive thermal devices or resistance thermometers, these electrical temperature measuring devices are extremely accurate. There are different styles of RTDs, but the same principle applies regarding temperature measurement. Basically, RTDs use metal (most commonly platinum, but nickel and copper are also used) to measure any changes in electrical resistance as temperatures rise and fall. RTDs can convey information directly into a monitoring source (PC, handheld, or other device), and can measure extreme industrial temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Smart Sensors – Sensors pick up changes in whatever they are assigned to monitor, whether it’s temperature, movement or electrical signals. Smart sensors go beyond the capabilities of what “normal” temperature sensors are expected to provide. Advanced processing capabilities allow smart sensors to gather and transmit information to a temperature indicator faster and more accurately than ordinary sensors.
-Thermocouple – The most widely-used and durable type of sensor, thermocouples are inexpensive and easy to use. They produce low-level currents (as a result of temperature differential) that allow them to power some of their own processes. They can also measure a wide range of temperatures. Thermocouples are very good when temperature measurements must be taken quickly, but are not generally as accurate as other sensors.
-Thermistor – The thermistor is very accurate within a limited temperature range. The material used in a thermistor is ceramic, silicon or polymer. Thermistors are small and inexpensive, but not as durable as some other types of sensors, such as the thermocouple.
Some of the industries requiring temperature probes and sensors for temperature monitoring include:
-The Steel Industry – Thermocouples are widely used in this industry to monitor the temperature of molten steel at various stages of production.
-Power plants – RTDs are used to monitor fuel and coolant temperatures. They are also used for temperature readings on nuclear power plant reactors.
-Microprocessor Manufacturers – This industry uses specially calibrated and programmable RTDs to monitor air temperature in extremely sensitive “clean room” environments.
-Aerospace (Military, NASA) – One of the many applications of temperature measurement and monitoring within this field is the critical feedback provided by such equipment for jet and rocket engines.
-HVAC – Heating, cooling and ventilation systems all require accurate temperature readings. Thermistors are commonly used to satisfy these requirements within the HVAC industry.
-The medical field and food industries also greatly rely on sensitive and consistent temperature measuring and monitoring.
Technology within industrial temperature measuring instruments continues to improve. These improvements are concurrent with the ever-changing needs of the users. Accuracy, the ability to monitor a greater temperature range and better reporting features are all works in progress within this critical field.