The A – Z Guide of Thermocouple Types

A temperature measurement sensor is known as a thermocouple. This sensor consists of two dissimilar metal wires, connected at one end and attached at the other end to a thermocouple thermometer or other thermocouple proficient gadgets. Thermocouples can provide temperature readings over a wide range of temperatures when correctly calibrated.

Thermocouples may be useful as temperature controls in various devices, from an automotive use thermocouple to a standard thermocouple used in utility systems and regular appliances.

Thermocouples are present in various calibrations or metal configurations. The thermocouples known as N, J, K, T, and E are known as the “Base-Metal” and are the most frequent. High calibrations – also known as noble metal thermocouples – are also available, such as R, S, C, and GB.

Thermocouples Explained

Types of Thermocouples

There are four types of thermocouples, often notable with a capital letter heading as described at These are the exotic class, the upper crust class, the home body class, and the rarified class.

The following samples of uses are characteristic, but not limited, to each thermocouple type.

Type B

In exceptionally high-temperature applications, the Type B thermocouple is useful. This thermocouple, of all the different types, attains the maximum temperature limit. At extremely high temperatures, it retains high precision and stability. The production is below 1,112F (Type B) relative to other noble metals (type R & Type S) (600C).

  • Type B Spectrum of Temperature:
  • Grade 32 to 3100F thermocouple wire (0 to 1700C)
  • Wire Extension wire sort B, 32 to 212F Thermocouple grade (0 to 100C)
  • Precision (whichever is bigger):
  • +/- 0.5 percent Standard:
  • Special Error Limits: +/- 0.25%

Type E (95°C to 900°C)

At intermediate temperature scales of 1,000 F and below, Type E has a better signal & greater precision than Type K or Type J. In comparison, Type E, which constitutes nickel and chromium, is more stable than Type K, leading to its precision.

  • Calibration of Type E:
  • Wire grade thermocouple, -454 to 1600F (-270 to 870C)
  • Wire Extension wire of type E, 32 to 392F Thermocouple degree (0 to 200C)
  • Accuracy of Type E (more important):
  • Default: +/- 1.7C or +/- 0.5%
  • Special error limits: +/- 1.0C or 0.4%
  • Thermocouple applications in bare wire form E:
  • The range is approximately –418F to 1.652F (–250C to 900C) in oxidising or inert atmospheres.

Type J (95°C to 760°C)

The Type J is a widely used thermocouple for temperature control of inert and vacuum materials. This thermocouple is oxidation-sensitive, so that humid conditions or low-temperature control is not advisable. If this sensor is used above 760°C, the accuracy may be eternally diminished.

The Type J thermocouple is suitable for vacuum and inert metals surveillance and hot procedures, including the processing of plastics and resin.

Type K (200°C to 1260°C)

Thermocouple Type K constitutes either Alumel or Chromel. The distinguished makeup of the Alumel variation is 2% aluminium, 2% manganese, 1% silicon, and 95% nickel. For the chromel one, it is 10% chromium and 90% nickel.

Based on their extensive temperature range and durability, thermocouples of type K are relatively standard. In Type K thermocouples, conductor content is more chemically inert than Type T (copper) and Type J (Iron). While Type K thermocouples are less than Type T, J, and E, they are significantly higher than their nearest rival (Type N) and have been in use for longer.

Type K is a thermocouple of “general purpose” with broad temperatures. It is suitable for use in many sectors and processes with a range of sample types. Type K thermocouples are useful for checks on process plant temperatures, e.g., chemical processing and oil refining, and checking on heating systems’ protection.

Type N (95°C to 1260°C)

Type N also has an extensive range of temperatures but is ideal for regulating higher temperatures than Type K since it is more stable and oxidation-resistant.

These thermocouples are ideal for profiling temperatures in stoves and ovens, gas turbine and engine exhaust temperature calculation, and temperature control in the steel, iron, and aluminium industries during the manufacturing and smelting process.

Type R (870°C to 1450°C)

Type R is useful in applications with high temperatures. This makes it more expensive than Type S, with a higher proportion of rhodium. In terms of efficiency, Type R is very similar to Type S. It is often used in applications with lower temperatures due to its high precision and stability. The performance of Type R is a little higher, and the stability of Type S is increased.

  • Form R Spectrum of temperature:
  • Wire grade thermocouple, -58-2700F (-50 to 1480C)
  • Wire Extension Wire Sort N Thermocouple Grade, 32 to 392F (0 to 200C)
  • Precision (whichever is bigger):
  • Default: +/- 1.5 C or +/- 25%
  • Special Error Limits: +/- 0.6C or 0.1%

Type S (980°C to 1450°C)

Form S is useful in applications with very high temperatures. The biotech and pharmacy sector locations are wide. It is often used in applications with lower temperatures due to its high precision and stability. It is common to use Type S for a ceramic tube.

  • Form S Spectrum of Temperature:
  • Wire Maximum continuous working temperature: up to 2,912F (1600C).
  • Usage for short term: up to 3092F (1,700C)
  • Wire grade thermocouple, -58-2700F (-50 to 1480C)
  • 32 to 392F extension cable (0 to 200C)
  • Precision (whichever is bigger):
  • Default: +/- 1.5 C or +/- 25%
  • Special Error Limits: +/- 0.6C or 0.1%
  • Thermocouple implementations for Bare Wire Form J:
  • Type S can be used continuously and up to 3092F (1700C) for short-term purposes in inert and oxidizing conditions of up to 2912F (1600C).

Type T (250°C to 350°C)

It is common to use Type T in the food industry, mainly because of the high degree of precision it offers and because it functions well without oxidising in the presence of moisture. If a lower temperature calculation is usually appropriate, Type T is common. Type T thermocouples are suitable for food processing and production control to recognise possible food safety threats and comply with HACCP regulations. They are also ideal for low temperatures and cryogens.

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