Contact temperature sensors measure their own temperature. One infers the temperature of the object to which the sensor is in contact by assuming or knowing that the two are in thermal equilibrium, that is, there is no heat flow between them.
Many potential measurement error sources exist, as you can appreciate, especially from too many unverified assumptions. Temperatures of surfaces are especially tricky to measure by contact means and very difficult if the surface is moving. It is wise to be very careful when using such sensors on new applications.
The Measurements (Uses or Applications) page can lead you to many well-known solutions or examples of ones possibly similar to the one you are trying to solve. Why re-invent the wheel?
Two excellent reference by Baker et al. are listed in the References page and worth reading to get an idea of the complexities that can arise, how to test and get around them.
Surface temperature measurement problem can be solved in many cases through the use of non-contact sensors; they are almost ideal for those types of applications and are in use in many industrial plants worldwide in great numbers.
However, all sensors have their own set of complexities. It is an imperfect world, after all, but many imperfections can be expertly improved upon and overcome if one is diligent and resourceful.
Contact Sensor Vendors – FEATURED Spot
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Types of Contact Temperature Sensors
- Thermocouples (TCs)
- Resistance Thermometers (RTDs PRTs, SPRTs)
- Liquid in Glass Thermometers (LIGs)
- Filled System Thermometers (Filled)
- Bimetallic Thermometers (Bimetals)
- Semiconductor Temperature Sensors (Semi, ICs)
- Labels, Crayons, Paints, Tabs (Phase Change Devices)
- Other Temperature Sensors
- Thermodo & Its SmartPhone Apps
- Related Resources