What You Need to Know About Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensor in an industrial setting

Have you used a refrigerator, microwave, water heater, or thermometer? If so, then you've used a temperature sensor. Temperature sensors find application both at home and in big industries, including geotechnical monitoring and manufacturing fields. They help in monitoring temperature changes in railway lines, bridges, concrete structures, concrete dams, boreholes, and even the soil.

What Temperature Sensors Are

Just as the name implies, a temperature sensor is a device that measures how hot (or cold) an object is. Typically, temperature sensors are temperature detectors or thermocouples that use electrical signals to provide temperature measurements.

How Does Temperature Sensors Work?

Industrial temperature sensors use diodes and transistors. When temperatures change, the voltage across these electrical components also changes. These changes are converted into readable electrical signals that are displayed on a screen. Other temperature sensors use vibrating wires to sense temperature changes. As the temperature changes, there are changes in tensile stress in these wires. These stresses are converted into electrical signals. Basically, a temperature sensor must have a component that responds to temperature changes.

What Temperature Sensors Are Used For

A variety of temperature sensors are in the market today. The one you choose will depend on the nature of the work you do. Temperature sensors are classified into two categories: contact sensors and non-contact sensors.

Contact sensors measure temperature when they are in contact with the object whose temperature is to be measured. They include thermistors and thermocouples.Non-contact sensors, on the other hand, measure thermal radiations from the objects whose temperature is to be measured. They find use in hazardous areas where contacts aren't possible.

Non-contact temperature sensors find application in thermal or nuclear power plants as well as in geotechnical monitoring and chemical manufacturing industries. Temperature sensors are also widely used in civil and structural engineering works. They are used to monitor changes in temperatures of concrete and steel structures to prevent structural failures.


A thermostat is a temperature sensor that uses a bimetallic strip to detect temperature changes. The bimetallic strip is made of two metals with different coefficients of linear expansion. The most common metals used in thermostats are tungsten, nickel, copper, and aluminum.


Thermistors are made of resistors that are sensitive to temperature changes. They are mainly made from the oxides of cobalt, manganese, nickel, or other ceramic materials, with a glass coating.

Want To Buy a Temperature Sensor?

When shopping for a temperature sensor and accessories, choose a reputable supplier with several years of experience in the industry. RAM Sensors is such a supplier. Our company has been in business for over three decades. We produce custom made temperature sensors for industrial application.

We provide high-quality products, including:

  • Remote Thermocouples
  • Thermocouples
  • Remote Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs)
  • Platinum Temperature Sensors
  • Temperature Sensing Accessories
  • Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) Sensors
  • Thermocouple Wire
  • Protection Tube Assemblies
  • Connectors
  • Thermowells, etc.

Contact an experienced sales representative today!