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Numerical Estimation of Errors of Temperature Measurements by Thermocouples Using Special Glues and Pastes
G. V. Kuznetsov* and K. M. Mukhammadeev**
Tomsk Polytechnic University, pr. Lenina 30, Tomsk, 634050 Russia
Received July 29, 2009
Abstract—Results of numerical modeling the temperature ﬁelds in a thermocouple junction with an ideal junction–material contact and with a gap ﬁlled with a special glue (or paste) near any boundary of the junction are presented. The inﬂuence of the conditions of the thermocouple–material surface contact on the temperature measurement error is estimated. DOI: 10.1134/S1810232810010030
It has been found  that truncation errors of temperature measurements by thermocouples in the conditions of intensive heating and nonideal contact with the material surface for nonstationary processes can reach 10 to 15% in the presence of air gaps. These errors can frequently be reduced using special glues and pastes with a high thermal conduction . Meanwhile, in measuring temperatures in metal structures, values of the thermal conductivity (λ) of suﬃciently heat-conducting glues and pastes remain in any case several times smaller than the corresponding λ for metals. For this reason, it is necessary to estimate the temperature measurement errors caused by a nonideal thermocouple junction–material contact. Up to now, no experimental or theoretical analysis of such measurement errors has been carried out. The aim of our work is numerical modeling of the thermal conductivity process in a multiply connected region representing a system of material–thermocouple–glue-ﬁlled gap and estimation of the temperature measurement error. The problem under consideration is of great practical importance because its resolution will make it possible to propose recommendations concerning the time of measurements ensuring minimal errors and also the reliability of results obtained in investigation of fast processes. During the investigation, the error introduced by the nonideal thermocouple junction contact was determined as a thermocouple temperature diﬀerence with ideal and nonideal contacts with the material used in the measurements. The relative temperature measurement error was determined by the formula δT = |Tj ni − Tji | Tj i · 100%,
where Tj i and Tjni are temperatures of the thermocouple junction with ideal and nonideal thermocouple– material contacts, respectively, K. Figure 1 shows a geometric model of the decision domain for ideal and nonideal contacts of the thermocouple junction with the material surface. Meanwhile, the presence of a gap was considered not only around the contact of two thermocouple thermal electrodes, but also near each boundary of the junction that has a rectangular proﬁle in the problem. The thermocouple electrodes are structurally homogeneous, but made of materials with diﬀerent thermophysical properties. The thermocouple is packed into the material. The thermophysical properties of the thermocouple junction comply with arithmetic means of the corresponding thermophysical properties of thermocouple electrodes.
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02 0. 1. d—decision domain size along Y . MUKHAMMADEEV Fig. A geometric model of the decision domain: (a) ideal thermocouple junction–material contact. (b) nonideal. 5—gap ﬁlled with air or glue. W/(m·K) Material whose temperature is measured Steel 20 Aluminaboronitride ceramics 40 16 Positive thermoelectrode Alumel Tungsten-rhenium alloy (5% rhenium)—VR5 32.205 1200 696 134 8688 19513 Numerical analysis of the temperature ﬁelds was done for thermophysical characteristics listed in the table. 19 No. 2—positive thermoelectrode. 1— Material sample.18 KUZNETSOV.4 157 Substance ﬁlling the gap Air Glue 0. 1 2010 . J/(kg·K) Density ρ. 4—thermocouple junction. JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING THERMOPHYSICS Vol. kg/m3 Negative thermoelectrode Chromel Tungsten-rhenium alloy (20% rhenium)—VR20 16 148 451 134 8750 19640 Thermocouple junction TKhA VR5/VR20 24. Thermalphysics performance of materials [4–6] Material Thermal conductivity λ. L—decision domain size along X.70 1005 1500 1. The temperature ﬁeld of the material–thermocouple–gap system was simulated via numerical solution by the ﬁnite-diﬀerence method  of the set of diﬀerential nonstationary thermal conductivity equations written for each element of the structure as: ci · ρi · ∂Ti ∂ = ∂t ∂x λi · ∂Ti ∂x + ∂ ∂y λi · ∂Ti ∂y . 3—negative thermoelectrode.7 167 942 133 8625 19385 430 1100 7800 3000 Speciﬁc heat c.
0 < x < L. This dependence is characterized by a prominent extreme value. ∂y ∂T1 = α · Tv − T1 |y=d . At the boundary y = d. y = d. JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING THERMOPHYSICS Vol. The mathematical model includes the initial condition: t = 0. 2—gap from the cold side of the junction. x = L. 0 < y < d. Figure 2 shows the relative error of temperature measurements as a function of time for a chromel-alumel thermocouple for a gap ﬁlled with glue for ensuring glue bonding of the thermocouple in the material. With time.NUMERICAL ESTIMATION OF ERRORS OF TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS 19 t > 0. 19 No. ci is the speciﬁc heat. Analyzing the results of mathematical Fig. 3 and 4) the maximal relative error caused by the nonideal contact decreases insigniﬁcantly. thermoelectrode thickness was 0. A nonideal thermocouple junction–material contact inﬂuences the temperature deviation in the center of the junction. The dependence of the relative temperature measurement error in the case of nonideal contact is nonlinear. y = 0. ∂y In numerical modeling. the time of reaching the maximal error does not practically depend on the substance that ﬁlls in the gap. i = 1. The error of thermocouple measurements also depends on the gap thickness.5 mm. T = T0 and the boundary conditions: equality to zero of temperature gradients at all boundaries except for y = d. the substance that ﬁlls in the gap is heated and the temperature measurement error decreases toward zero. and the gap thickness was 0. 2. compared with the case of an ideal contact in the initial period of temperature measurement. meanwhile. 5. Figures 3 and 4 represent results of numerical modeling of temperature ﬁelds for the steel– thermocouple–gap system at a heating temperature of 573 K. where ρi is the density. The cause of the extreme temperature measurement error is that the thermal conductivity coeﬃcient of the glue ﬁlling the gap in the case of a nonideal thermocouple junction–material contact is much less than that of the thermal conductivity of the material whose temperature is to be measured. 3—gap from both sides of the junction. 4—gap around the junction. 1 2010 . and i is the material index. The maximal error grows with increasing gap thickness. λi is the thermal conductivity. 3. While solving. 2. we imposed conditions of the third kind: x = 0. L = 40 mm. we applied a nonuniform diﬀerence mesh thickened in the zone of the thermocouple measurements. It has been observed that when the thermocouple is ﬁxed by a glue (Figs. 4. Relative temperature measurement error as a function of time at diﬀerent positions of the glue-ﬁlled gap: 1—gap from the heated side.3 mm. compared to the case of the air-ﬁlled gap. the geometric parameter values were: d = 10 mm. thermocouple junction of 1 × 1 mm. ∂x ∂T = 0. λ1 · ∂T = 0.
2—gap from the cold side of the junction. dashed lines—glue-ﬁlled gap: 1—gap from the heated side. When the gap is less than 30% of junction thickness. The results obtained in numerical modeling show that with a gap present from the heated side and from the “cold side” of the thermocouple junction. The measurement error is aﬀected most of all by a gap ﬁlled in with air or glue (hot paste) around the entire surface of thermocouple junction. 2—gap from the cold side of the junction. It has been found that the error increases as α grows. 3. the temperature measurement error is a bit higher than for the air gap. Maximal temperature measurement error as a function of heat transfer coeﬃcient. 3—gap from both sides of the junction. Solid lines—air gap. Fig. Maximal relative temperature measurement error as a function of gap thickness. 19 No. 4. dashed lines—glue-ﬁlled gap: 1—gap from the heated side. due to the low thermal conductivity coeﬃcient of the substance ﬁlling the gap between the thermocouple junction and the material sample (air and JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING THERMOPHYSICS Vol. the maximal relative error of temperature measurements decreases. At a high intensity of heating the material sample. the heat-transfer factor being constant. modeling of the nonstationary thermal conductivity for the system. using the glue. 1 2010 . In the course of mathematical modeling. we have revealed that as the heating temperature on the material surface is decreased. we assessed the inﬂuence of α on the material surface on the temperature measurement error for a nonideal contact.20 KUZNETSOV. MUKHAMMADEEV Fig. Solid lines—air gap. the inﬂuence on the temperature measurement error is insigniﬁcant and may be ignored in experiments. 3—gap from both sides of the junction. 4—gap around the junction.
NUMERICAL ESTIMATION OF ERRORS OF TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS 21 Fig. this JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING THERMOPHYSICS Vol. This ceramics is promising for fabricating gas-turbine plants . Fig. The inﬂuence of the coeﬃcient of heat transfer on a sample surface was analyzed in temperature measurements by tungsten-rhenium thermocouples (VR5/VR20) (Fig. 1 2010 . For a TChA thermocouple. A solid line—the air gap. the maximal relative measurement error for the glue-ﬁlled gap is even higher than for the air gap. a dashed line—the glue-ﬁlled gap. The gap between the material surface and the thermocouple junction was also ﬁlled with either air or glue. Therefore. The obtained results show that for a VR5/VR20 thermocouple. We also investigated the inﬂuence of a nonideal contact on the temperature measurement error for aluminaboronitride ceramics. A solid line—the air gap. Maximal relative error of temperature measurements in the aluminoboronnitride ceramics sample by a TKhA thermocouple versus heat transfer coeﬃcient. 19 No. 6). 5. the maximal relative error for this thermocouple is greater than that for the VR5/VR20.2%. glue) we do not obtain a suﬃcient rate of heating the thermocouple junction. The ambient temperature in the calculations was 1073 K.5 and 3. a dashed line—the glue-ﬁlled gap. From the obtained results we conclude that the measurement error for usual glues is between 0. 6. The error is maximal in the initial time period and then decreases substantially. the result is substantially diﬀerent. Maximal relative error of temperature measurements in the aluminoboronnitride ceramics sample by a VR5/VR20 thermocouple versus heat transfer coeﬃcient. thus. the temperature measurement error grows. 5) and TChA thermocouples (chromel-alumel thermocouples) (Fig.
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