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Seebeck Changes Due to Residual Cold-Work and Reversible Effects in Type K Bare-Wire Thermocouples

  • E. S. WebsterEmail author
Article
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Abstract

Type K thermocouples are the most commonly used thermocouple for industrial measurements because of their low cost, wide temperature range, and durability. As with all base-metal thermocouples, Type K is made to match a mathematical temperature-to-emf relationship and not a prescribed alloy formulation. Because different manufacturers use varying alloy formulations and manufacturing techniques, different Type K thermocouples exhibit a range of drift and hysteresis characteristics, largely due to ordering effects in the positive (K+) thermoelement. In this study, these effects are assessed in detail for temperatures below \(700\, {^{\circ }}\hbox {C}\) in the Type K wires from nine manufacturers. A linear gradient furnace and a high-resolution homogeneity scanner combined with the judicious use of annealing processes allow measurements that separately identify the effects of cold-work, ordering, and oxidation to be made. The results show most K+ alloys develop significant errors, but the magnitudes of the contributions of each process vary substantially between the different K+ wires. In practical applications, the measurement uncertainties achievable with Type K therefore depend not only on the wire formulation but also on the temperature, period of exposure, and, most importantly, the thermal treatments prior to use.

Keywords

Base-metal Cold-work Drift Hysteresis Inhomogeneity Scanning Short-range ordering Thermocouples Type K 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Measurement Standards LaboratoryLower HuttNew Zealand

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