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RESISTANCE TEMPERATURE DETECTORS
INTRODUCTION A resistance temperature detector (commonly called RTD, resistance bulb, etc.) assembly consists of (1) an element (2) a support or bobbin for the element (3) a protection tube or sheath (4) connecting wires which extend from the element to the termination end (5) a means of securing the connecting wires to the termination end, and (6) a means of connecting it to the resistance-measuring equipment.

Resistance temperature detectors (R.T.D.) or resistance thermometry is based on a well-known principle that most metals increase in resistivity when their temperature is increased, and on cooling to the original temperature, will return to the original resistivity. The resistance-temperature curves of pure metals, e.g., platinum and nickel, over definite spans makes them ideal materials for the elements in resistance thermometers. Laboratory resistance temperature detectors of pure platinum, fully annealed and strain free, have been chosen as the International Standard of Temperature Measurement from liquid oxygen [(LO2)-182.97 deg C] to the melting point of antimony [(sb) + 630.5 deg C]. Range -250 to +500 deg C for platinum. Temperature coefficient: .003915 ohms/ohm/ deg C and .00385 ohms/ohm/ deg C. (0.00385 or din standard has been adopted as the world and USA standard.) Pure nickel has been widely used as a temperature-sensitive element over the range of -700 deg C to +3000 deg C principally because of its low cost and high temperature coefficient of resistivity. ADVANTAGES

The main reasons for its selection are: 1) the exceptional stability and 2) the repeatability of the resistance thermometer. unlike thermocouples.= -----E Rx . This high output can then be fed directly into recorders. RTD's can also be read out on precision laboratory bridges and digital ohmmeters. or digital readouts which can be calibrated to read very precise increments of temperature over wide dynamic ranges. No ice baths or compensation circuits. temperature controllers. transmitters. If the detector impedance is assumed infinite Eo Rx -.) . High Output . do not require a reference point.R Rs -----Rs + R - where R = Ratio Arms Rx = Probe resistance (at temperature x) Rs = Balancing arm (equal to Rx at lowest temperature which may be variable for zero set.The pre-eminent position of the resistance thermometer as a precision temperature measuring instrument is demonstrated by its selection to define the International Temperature scale from -260 deg C to +660 deg C.Resistance thermometers. resistance thermometers permit the use of simpler indication and control instruments. BASIC INSTRUMENTATION A simple Wheatstone bridge circuit with a reasonable high impedance detector is recommended for reading out RTD probes. No amplifiers are needed and the resulting system is less expensive and more reliable. Greatest Accuracy .Absolute Measurement .With an output of 50 to 200 times that of a thermocouple. USES Resistance Thermometers can be used for a wide variety of industrial applications. A high electrical output can be obtained by using the RTD with many types of simple resistance bridges.

the ratio arms (R) should be as large as possible (at least 10 times Rs) to minimize bridge non-linearity. is to be inserted. and how best it can be supported or mounted. What length of immersion would be required for your application. TYPICAL APPLICATIONS PRECISION PROCESS TEMPERATURE CONTROL Textile Chemical Food Brewing AUTOMATIC TEMPERATURE CONTROL Test Chambers Oven Temperature Plastic Extruders Injection Molders Solder Pots Bearing Temperature READILY AVAILABLE RTD INSTRUMENTS: Digital Temperature Indicators 12-Inch Round Chart Recorders Branom Steam Control Systems and Multipoint Rtd Indicators Crompton and Jewell Rtd Analog Meters and Setpoint Controllers Red Lion digital Indicators and Controllers R. two identical probes can be used in adjacent arms of the bridge (second one replaces Rs). which would necessitate a tip sensitive. The temperature and/or temperature range of the media to be measured accuracy excellent at room temperature. 6. 5. In the case of platinum wire. head with connector. How the point of measurement can be made. fixed fitting. or PID GLOSSARY OF TERMS . provisions for zero setting (if desired) should be moved to one of the R arms. when the probe undergoes any reasonable temperature excursion. 2. To protect the probe and minimize the errors due to self-heating.D. then the R. The O. or a thermowell.Such a bridge is non-linear.I. CONSIDERATIONS FOR RTD SELECTION 1. an operating current of 1 MA is recommended. or a large area which would make a stem sensitive more desirable.D. In this case. To measure temperature difference. of the tube.S. Whether in a small area. How the R.D. Transmitters and Trips and 36 Point Alarm Monitors Rustrak Miniature Recorders West Rtd Controllers: On-Off. 3. 4. Hi-Lo Limit.T. has to be supplied with either a compression fitting. If pressure or vacuum has to be maintained.T. This current can be controlled by choice of R or L.

Use shielding and twisted-pair wire. and use the largest rtd you can that will still give you the response you need. 2 1/4 inch od x any practical length ss sheath 100 ohm plt RTD ( 00385) .The ability of an RTD to retain its repeatability (and other specified performance characteristics) for a relatively long period of time. This self-heating does appear as a temperature error. the RTD is somewhat more fragile than a thermocouple and some care should be taken to protect it 3. This is usually specified in watts or millivolts/ deg C. SENSING ELEMENT . oil or water flowing at a specified velocity. or any other thermally conductive medium. A typical value for selfheating error is 1/2 deg c per milliwatt in free air.The length of time required for the output of an RTD to respond to 63. Use 3 wire or 4 wire cable.internal heating resulting from electrical energy dissipated within the resistance sensor.2% of a step change in temperature. use the minimum current possible.00385) RTD for surface mounting.The conformance of the RTD's measured output to a standard calibration curve calibrated by a governmental standards agency such as NBS or calibrated on equipment directly traceable to NBS. a device which provides a useable change in resistance to a specified temperature change.GLOSSARY OF TERMS RTD .The resistance measured between specified ininsulated portions of an RTD (such as between sensing element and outer case) when a specified DC voltage is applied.Denotes resistance temperature detector. water or oil flowing at a specified velocity. 2. This is determined by the amount of power it takes to raise the output of the sensor 10C under certain conditions such as air. RESPONSE TIME . A current is and must be passed througout the RTD to provide a voltage that can be measured. REPEATABILITY . 1/8 inch x 2 inch encapsulated 100 ohm platinum (.The maximum current recommended to be applied to a particular RTD to prevent burn out or open circuiting. This current causes joule (I2R) heating within the RTD. and in the same direction. This is determined by the sensor wire diameter and the configuration. MOST COMMON RTD TYPES 1. STABILITY . This is usually specified in air. Due to its construction. INSULATION RESISTANCE . MAXIMUM SAFE CURRENT .The electrical portion of an RTD (Resistance winding) in which the change originates. If you immerse the RTD in a liquid. CALIBRATION ACCURACY (INTERCHANGEABILITY) . PRACTICAL PRECAUTIONS 1. To reduce self heating errors. avoid stress and steep gradients. you will dissipate the self-heating aspect to a negligible error. SELF-HEATING .The ability of the RTD to reproduce consecutive readings when the same temperature is applied to it consecutively under the same conditions. use large extension wire.

00385)-available with 1/8 inch.2. or high temperature plastic (450 or 850 deg f) heads. 1/4 inch od x any practical length ss sheath 100 ohm plt RTD (. Contact Us: Seattle :: Spokane :: Portland :: Sacramento :: Boise Copyright © 2002 All Rights Reserved Last Updated: 19-Nov-2002 . 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch brass or ss fitting or with standard wells and with aluminum or cast iron heads.

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