Thermocouple wire is made of alloys of alumel, copel, constantan, chromel. Physical features directly depend on a ratio of incoming components. Alumel alloy is very malleable. It is capable of keeping a lasting-quality for a long time. Constantan has a high real resistance that does not depend on temperature. Copel alloy that includes ferrum, chromel, cuprum has similar features with constantan: great thermoelectromotive force, minimal coefficient of a thermal expansion, high heat resistance up to a temperature of 600 °C and corrosion resistance. Chromel has a high heat resistance; it is characterized by an ability to change a thermoelectromotive force over a wide range.
Advantages of thermocouple wire:
— heat resistance;
— low density;
— high electrical unit-area resistance;
— minimal coefficient of linear temperature expansion;
— slight coefficient of thermal real resistance;
— high thermoelectromotive force in an operating thermal range is the most important feature.
By virtue of performance values, an alloy is widely used in modern pyrometry. The unique properties of a material are conditioned by its balanced composition. With an appearance of similar materials, there has become a possibility to refine a lot of production methods, where the manufacturing is coupled with a force of high-temperature and the aggressive environments. By virtue of these materials, it has become possible to provide a long-term and reliable working of a whole structure in a wide temperature range.
A thermocouple wire is intended to be used in a manufacturing of thermocouples and compensating lead wires, in measuring and conversion units of an automation system that work at the very high temperature. Thermocouple consists of electric conductor fumes, that are soldered in one end and placed into envinronment oriented for thermometry («hot junction»). Then, exposed ends are going to be placed into a thermostatic regulator (so-called cold junction).
Thermocouple work is based on a concept of thermoelectric effect. A potential difference appears between conductors and various materials when heating. For more precise index, there are used thermocouples with a high thermoelectromotive force at an imperceivable heating. They have positive electrodes: cuprum, chromel or ferrum. They can also have negative electrodes: alumel, copel or constantan. In therms of thermal emf, thermocouple copel-chromel (TCCh) that is used durably at temperatures up to 800 °C is number one; cuprum-copel is number two; then, in descending order is copel-ferrum (up to 760°C). Compensating lead wires carry out a transmission of potential to a registering gauge. For such wires there is used a cheaper wire: constantan, chromel, copel etc. Copel and constantan are utilized in measuring electrical gauge for manufacturing resistance standards.
Thermocouple types, scale ranges
t° 200 — 1000 °C — alumel — chromel;
t° 200 — 800 °C — copel- chromel;
t° 40 — 900 °C — constantan- chromel;
t° up to 300 °C — cuprum-constantan;
t° 0 — 760 °C — ferrum-copel;
t° into the inert atmosphere to 3000 °C — wolframium-rhenium;
very low cryogenic temperatures — ferrum-constantan;
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