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International Journal of Thermophysics

, Volume 36, Issue 2–3, pp 444–466 | Cite as

Measurement of Inhomogeneities in MIMS Thermocouples Using a Linear-Gradient Furnace and Dual Heat-Pipe Scanner

  • E. S. WebsterEmail author
  • D. R. White
  • H. Edgar
Article

Abstract

This paper describes a linear-gradient furnace and a thermocouple homogeneity scanner that, together, measure changes in the Seebeck coefficient as a function of time and temperature. The furnace first exposes the test thermocouple to all temperatures in the range spanned by the furnace gradient. The homogeneity scanner then measures the Seebeck coefficient along the length of the thermocouple. By correlating the position on the thermocouple with the temperature in the furnace, changes in the Seebeck coefficient can be correlated with the temperature to which that part of the thermocouple was exposed. Repeat exposures for different durations allow the rapid accumulation of data describing drift versus temperature and time. The known profile of the furnace combined with the high resolution of the dual heat-pipe scanner enable the detection of Seebeck coefficient changes of less than 0.02 % over sub-millimeter distances. The high resolution of the scanner also minimizes the underestimation of short-range changes in the Seebeck coefficient. With the addition of other treatment processes, such as annealing, quenching, and cold work, the system can assess the full variety of reversible and irreversible effects in thermocouples. Preliminary experiments on base-metal thermocouples confirm much of the known long-term behavior. However, the system has also exposed the rapid onset of some of these effects at low temperatures, the large amount and variability of cold work in new thermocouples, and large variations between different thermocouples of the same type.

Keywords

Gradient annealing Gradient furnace Inhomogeneity Linear furnace Thermocouples 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Measurement Standards LaboratoryLower HuttNew Zealand

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