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Product Info
Temperature Sensors

Temperature Sensors at United Electric Controls Co.

At United Electric Controls Co. we manufacture a broad range of temperature sensors. We design, engineer and manufacture:

All of our products are known for their consistent high reliability, cost effectiveness and durability. We are continually examining and improving our engineering, production and service operations to meet constantly changing customer requirements. Our ISO 9001 certification is objective proof of our company wide commitment to quality.

UE Temperature Sensor Group

UE has assembled a talented group of Temperature Sensor experts to form our Sensor Group at our Headquarters in Watertown, MA. This organization is specifically formed to serve our wide spectrum of customers. We have experienced professionals dedicated to producing the best temperature sensors for a wide variety of applications. This group consists of experts with extensive Temperature Sensor experience in:

  • Sales
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Supplier Development
  • Manufacturing and Quality Assurance
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing

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UE Temperature Sensor Customers

At UE we manufacture all types of Temperature Sensors and have customers purchasing both custom designed and standard catalog products.

OEM Sensors

United Electric Controls Co. excels in supplying today's manufacturers with temperature sensors that meet their needs. We can help you develop, and then manufacture the sensor that works with your product. UE brings many strengths to the OEM customer, including:

  • Sales personnel located around the world so they can be available to serve customers whenever and wherever they need assistance.
  • Engineering Expertise to work with your engineers to develop the right design.
  • Highly efficient manufacturing processes are designed to build your sensor economically and reliably.
  • Quick Response to Orders - UE can deliver your parts when you need them.

We manufacture temperature sensors for many different types of customers' applications. Some of our customers use UE Temperature Sensors in:

  • Scientific instruments - Storage and measurement
  • Food Equipment - Cooking, Storing and Cleanup
  • Medical equipment - Sterilizing, biological storage
  • Jet fighters, helicopters

Standard Catalog Products

United Electric Controls Co. has a broad selection of Standard Catalog Temperature Sensors that are designed for general industrial use. These are available for a variety of uses and come in many standard configurations. These standard products are available from our worldwide network of distributors or directly from our factory in Watertown, MA.

United Electric Controls Co. has General Purpose and Mineral Insulated thermocouples, wire wound and thin film RTDs as well as thermistors for all standard applications. In our catalog we offer a wide variety of styles of temperature sensors using these different sensing elements.

Temperature Sensor Styles

Temperature Sensors at UE are built in a broad spectrum of styles. They are:

  • Leadwire - Standard thermocouples with fiberglass, Teflon® or PVC insulation available with a variety of protective coverings including Teflon® sleeves.
  • Terminal Heads -Configurations including Enclosure Type 4 and 7 heads; with or without NUN (nipple-union-nipple) connections.
  • Process Mount - Double and single sided process mount styles and single sided instrument mounts.
  • Plugs - Standard and mini male plugs with and without leadwires.
  • Surface Mount - A variety of mounting options including washer styles, mounting lugs and weld pads; with fiberglass or Teflon® insulation.
  • Which Sensor Should I Use?

    When choosing which temperature sensor to use there are many things to consider. One very important decision is selecting the type of sensor that best fits your requirement. Below is a description of the types of Temperature Sensors that United Electric Controls Co. designs, engineers and manufactures. Each technology has advantages and limitations.

    Thermocouples

    Thermocouples can measure temperatures over wide ranges, inexpensively. They are very rugged, but they are not as accurate as RTDs and thermistors.

    A thermocouple is basically two strips of wires of dissimilar metals. These metal wires are joined at one end and the voltage is measured at the other end. Changes in the temperature at the juncture induce a change in electromotive force (emf) at the other end. As the temperature goes up, this output emf of the thermocouple rises, though not necessarily linearly.

    Here is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of thermocouples:

    Advantages Disadvantages
    Self Powered Non Linear
    Simple Low Voltage
    Rugged Reference Required
    Inexpensive Least Stable
    Wide Variety Least Sensitive
      Wide Temperature Range

    Thermocouple Types

    There are many different types of thermocouples. They are made of different types of wire and have very different properties, making one type better for a specific application than another. Below are descriptions of the types of thermocouples that United Electric Controls Co. makes.

    Type J

    The Iron - Constantan "J" curve thermocouple is the most widely used thermocouple; it is versatile and has a relatively low cost. It has a positive Iron wire and a negative Constantan wire and is recommended for reducing atmospheres. The operating range for this alloy combination is from 0° to 750°C (32° to 1380° F) for the largest wire sizes. Smaller size wire should operate in correspondingly lower temperatures.

    Type T

    The Copper - Constantan "T" curve thermocouple, with a positive Copper wire and a negative Constantan wire, is recommended for use in mildly oxidizing and reducing atmospheres at temperatures from 0° to 350° C (32° to 660 °F). They are suitable for applications where moisture is present. This alloy is recommended for low temperature work since the homogeneity of the component wires can be maintained better than with other base metal wires. Therefore, errors due to inhomogeneity of wires in zones of temperature gradients are greatly reduced.

    Type K

    The Chromel™ - Alumel™ "K" curve thermocouple is often used at high temperatures. It has a positive Chromel™ wire and a negative Alumel™ wire and is recommended for use in clean oxidizing atmospheres. The operating range for this alloy is from 0° to 1250° C (32° to 2280° F) for the largest wire sizes. Smaller size wire should operate in correspondingly lower temperatures.

    Type E

    The Chromel ™ - Constantan "E" curve thermocouple has the highest emf of all standard thermocouples. It has a positive Chromel ™ wire and a negative Constantan wire and is recommended for use in oxidizing, inert or dry reducing atmospheres or for short periods of time in a vacuum. These elements must be protected from sulfurous and marginally oxidizing atmospheres. Type E thermocouples can be used for temperatures from 0° to 900° C (32° to 1650° F).

    Thermocouple Insulation Types

    United Electric Thermocouples are available in three versions:

    GP - General Purpose thermocouples that are comprised of a pair of thermocouple wires inside a tube. These are used to measure temperatures of 260° C (500° F) or less.

    MI - For higher temperature applications, a Mineral Insulation can be added in the tube. For UE MI thermocouples compressed magnesium oxide is added inside the tube. These are used to measure temperatures of 260° C (500° F) and higher.

    BTC - Beaded thermocouples are mainly used in furnace applications.

    RTD's or Resistance Temperature Detectors

    RTD's are stable and have a fairly wide temperature range, but are not as rugged and inexpensive as thermocouples. Since they require the use of electric current to make measurements, RTD's are subject to inaccuracies from self-heating.

    An RTD capitalizes on the fact that the electrical resistance of a material changes as its temperature changes. RTD's rely on the resistance change in a metal. The resistance will rise more or less linearly with temperature.

    Traditionally, RTD's use a length of conductor (platinum, nickel iron or copper) wound around an insulator. Newer styles use a thin film of the conductor deposited on a ceramic substrate.

    RTD's are used to measure temperatures from -196° to 482° C (-320° to 900° F)

    Here is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of RTDs:

    Advantages Disadvantages
    Most Stable Expensive
    Most Accurate Current Source Required
    More Linear than Thermocouple Small delta R
      Low Absolute resistance
      Self Heating
      Less Rugged that Thermocouples

    Thermistors

    Thermistors tend to be more accurate than RTD's and thermocouples, but they have a much more limited temperature range because of their marked non-linearity.

    A Thermistor capitalizes on the fact that the electrical resistance of a material changes as its temperature changes. Thermistors rely on the resistance change in a ceramic semiconductor, with the resistance dropping non-linearly with a temperature rise.

    Thermistors can be a low cost solution to temperature measurement. They tend to have large signal outputs and their small size permits fast response to temperature changes. UE Thermistors are used to measure temperatures from -45° to 260° C (-50° to 500° F)

    Here is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of thermistors:

    Advantages Disadvantages
    High Output Non Linear
    Fast Limited Temperature Range
    Two-wire ohms measurement Fragile
      Current Source Required
      Self-heating

    IC Sensors

    The newest type of temperature sensor on the market is the integrated circuit (IC) temperature transducer. IC sensors can be designed to produce either voltage or current output and are extremely linear.

    IC sensors are a very effective way to produce an analog voltage proportional to temperature. They have a limited temperature range and are used to measure temperatures from -45° to 150° C (-50° to 300° F)

    Here is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of IC Sensors:

    Advantages Disadvantages
    Most Linear Temperatures limited to 150 degrees C
    Highest Output Power Supply Required
    Inexpensive Slow
      Self-heating
      Limited Configurations

    Temperature Sensor Sheath Materials

    Sheath Material Description Applications Temperature Range
    304 Stainless steel
    UE NonStandard Material
    A very good all purpose stainless steel of moderate cost. Food & Beverage
    Chemical Processing
    Dairy
    Hospital Equipment
    Pharmaceutical
    Nuclear Equipment
    Mild Corrosives
    Up to 875 degrees C (1,600 degrees F) for cyclical applications
    316 Stainless steel
    316 (L) UE Standard Material
    The best corrosion resistance of the Stainless steels. Good resistance to sulfur or chlorine bearing liquids. Marine
    Chemical Processing
    Food
    Petroleum Refining
    Pharmaceutical
    Pulp and Paper
    Textile Finishing
    Up to 875 degrees C (1,600 degrees F)
    Inconel ® 600 UE Non Standard Material This alloy is more expensive than SS but has higher corrosion resistance and better temperature tolerance. Furnace
    Chemical Processing
    Food Processing
    Nuclear Power Equipment
    Caustic Chemicals
    Up to 1,175 degrees C (2,150 degrees F)

    The Difference in United Electric Controls Co. Heat Trace RTD

    When you choose a United Electric Controls Co. Heat Trace RTD you simplify installation and reduce maintenance expenses. They are designed for use in any pipe or surface temperature measuring applications; these sensors have been specifically designed for use with electronic heat control products.

    United Electric Controls Co. Heat Trace products have:

    • Heat Transfer pad with excellent temperature response
    • Rugged stainless steel sheath provides excellent mechanical protection
    • Replaceable element design simplifies RTD replacement.
    • To replace a faulty element, you simply remove the head cover, disconnect the leads and remove the element. You then insert the new element and reconnect the leads. Your process is up and running in minutes.

    United Electric Controls Co. Temperature Sensor Accessories

    We offer accessories to accompany our temperature sensors.

    • Thermocouple Wire
    • RTD Wire
    • Temperature Sensor Heads and terminal blocks
    • Head mounted transmitters
    • Extension lead wire assemblies
    • Plugs and other terminations
    • Compression fittings
    • Thermowells and Protection Tubes


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