Thermocouple & RTD


Resistance thermometers, also called resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), are sensors used to measure temperature by correlating the resistance of the RTD element with temperature. Most RTD elements consist of a length of fine coiled wire wrapped around a ceramic or glass core. The element is usually quite fragile, so it is often placed inside a sheathed probe to protect it. The RTD element is made from a pure material, typically platinum, nickel or copper. The material has a predictable change in resistance as the temperature changes and it is this predictable change that is used to determine temperature.


A thermocouple is a temperature-measuring device consisting of two dissimilar conductors that contact each other at one or more spots, where a temperature differential is experienced by the different conductors (or semiconductors).

There are many types of thermocouples, each with its own unique characteristics in terms of temperature range, durability, vibration resistance, chemical resistance, and application compatibility. Type J, K, T, & E are “Base Metal” thermocouples, the most common types of thermocouples.Type R, S, and B thermocouples are “Noble Metal” thermocouples, which are used in high temperature applications.