How to Prevent Vibration Damage to Thermocouples

Thermocouple in heater at an industry factory

All thermocouples utilize the Seebeck effect. This phenomenon occurs when a temperature difference between two metal conductors generates an electromagnetic force between them. The two metals are used together to measure changes in temperature. Because these pieces of equipment must operate at a particular temperature, thermocouples are essential, and if they are damaged, they will not function properly. Many times, these delicate pieces of equipment are damaged because of vibration. How do you prevent damage to thermocouples?

How Do Thermocouples Get Damaged by Vibration?

The main way that thermocouples become damaged is usually due to vibration fatigue. This causes the insulation to fail and the thermocouple could short circuit. You will know there is a damaged thermocouple when you begin to see abnormally high readings. The thermocouple could also become uncalibrated due to vibrations. If a thermocouple isn't calibrated, it isn't reading temperatures correctly.

How Are Thermocouples Protected Against Vibration?

Thermocouples are often covered with a protected metal sheath. That sheath helps to protect the thermocouple from vibration damage. If the thermocouple is housed within a metal sheath, there is much less chance of vibration.

However, there are times when the thermocouple is left unguarded or exposed in order to improve the time of response. Sometimes, this creates problems with vibration. There may also be an issue if the thermocouple is grounded close to machinery or other equipment, especially if there is a lot of noise.

How Can You Protect Thermocouples Against Vibration Damage?

One way to protect thermocouples against vibration damage is to purchase ones that are designed with extra protection against vibration damage. In many cases, these sensitive instruments are protected by an additional coil that helps to minimize vibrations.

You can also work to minimize vibration damage to thermocouples by grounding them wherever possible. Often these pieces are damaged due to static electricity, and grounding them prevents this problem.

You can also choose to check thermocouples regularly for vibration damage to make sure they are still properly calibrated. Constant reading of temperature will also help you determine if there is a problem with vibration in the machinery that is affecting your thermocouples.

RAM Sensors Are Industry Experts in Thermocouples

By making sure that your thermocouples are functioning correctly, your equipment will be guaranteed to function at the right temperature. Contact us today for more expert advice on thermocouple calibration and how to protect your thermocouples from vibration damage.