Published on May 29, 2020
Intro: In chemical and petrochemical industries, oil and gas industries, aluminium industries, and machinery measurement, a device called thermocouple is used to measure temperature. A thermocouple consists of two lengths of wires composed of different metals. These wires are joined at one end, called a junction. The junction measures temperature in the form of an electric current. The thermocouple works on the principle of temperature difference between two junctions.
In some cases, such as threaded blind-hole measurements, surfaces subject to vibration, or application which requires positive contact for accurate reading, a conventional thermocouple is not good enough. Instead, a spring-loaded thermocouple is used. In such a thermocouple, the sensing tip is loaded with a spring to maintain contact even if the wall is moving.
Background: Recently, an aluminium extrusion company found itself in a spot of bother.
During aluminium extrusion, the round billets are heated up to 500°C in a furnace, and then pressed into a die. The extruded aluminium comes out in the same cast as the opening of the die. Since the billets move on rollers non-stop from the furnace to the die, it is vital that temperatures are measured fast and accurately.
Challenge: For long, the company had to be content using infrared thermometers and pneumatically operated thermocouple probe assemblies. However, these come with prohibitive price tags; furthermore, they are unstable and require constant maintenance. As a result, the manufacturing cost of the company rocketed sky-high.
Solution: At this point, Eureka Engg came to the rescue. They designed a new kind of spring-headed prong thermocouple. The new design consisted of a type K, bare-wire thermocouple with extremely sharp prongs with a diameter of eight millimetres. Fitted springs and insulators completed the design. When the prongs were pressed against the billets, the thermocouple measured the temperature within seconds.
Benefit: Thanks to Eureka Engg’s spring-loaded thermocouple prong, the making cost of the aluminium extrusion company has come spiralling down.
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