Skip to content

K-Type Thermocouple

What is a Type K Thermocouple?

A thermocouple puts out a voltage signal related to the temperature difference between to points. It has no dedicated sensing element but instead consists of two joint wires made from different metals. In case of the type K thermocouple, one wire is made of chromel and the other wire is made of alumel.

Characteristics of Type K Thermocouples

Thermocouples are the simplest sensors in the world – what is easier than just putting two wires together? A thermocouple is physically very robust and can measure in an extremely wide temperature range (up to 1,150 °C for type K). It can also be built in miniature diameters as small as 0.25 mm. As opposed to RTD like Pt100 and Pt1000, wire length and wire diameter do not cause measurement errors with thermocouples.

Generally speaking, a thermocouple’s signal is much weaker than that of an RTD. This makes it more sensitive to electrical interference. Also, if you require a high resolution, it may not be the best choice. An important advantage of the type K over the type J thermocouple is that its leads are resistant to oxidation.

The K type thermocouple is one of the most widely used thermocouples. At Italcoppie, we largely focus on type k thermocouple with overmoulded connector or cable transition for industrial applications

Mineral Insulated K-Type Thermocouples

Discover Products

Mineral insulated K type thermocouple with overmoulded standard connector. Bendable and robust.

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple, overmoulded standard connector

Series: TCM
Measuring range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: compensated
A K Type Thermocouple made from mineral insulated cable with an overmoulded black M12 connector

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple, overmoulded M12 connector

Series: TCSV12
Measuring range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: compensated
Mineral insulated K type thermocouple with overmoulded M8 connector. Bendable and robust design

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple, overmoulded M8 connector

Series: TCSV8
Measuring range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: compensated

Get in touch with

Jacopo Baronio

Jacopo Baronio

Mineral insulated K type miniature thermocouple with overmolded miniature connector. Bendable design

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple, overmoulded miniature connector

Series: TCOSTD
Measuring range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: compensated
Mineral insulated K type thermocouple with overmoulded cable transition. Bendable and robust design

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple, overmoulded cable transition

Series: TCEPAK
Measuring Range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: compensated
Mineral insulated temperature probe with connection head. Available as Pt100, Pt1000 or thermocouple

Mineral insulated K Type thermocouple with connection head

Series: ATITC
Measuring Range: up to 1,150 °C
Sensor: Type K
Connection: DIN B connection head

Get in touch with our experts

Fill out the form and we will get back to you within two business days. Or simply give us a call right away!

Contacts

Jacopo Baronio

Jacopo Baronio

Frequently asked questions about type K

The K-type thermocouple is one of a total of eight thermocouples standardised in DIN EN 60584: type B, type E, type J, type K, type N, type R, type S and type T.

In the processing industry and in mechanical engineering, experience has shown that type K and type J are the most popular (up to 1,200 °C). Type N, practically a kind of successor to type K, is slowly gaining in importance among the standard thermocouples.

The precious metal thermocouples type B, type R and type S are made of platinum and rhodium and are correspondingly high-priced. They are mainly used in the glass and heavy industry (up to 1,700 °C).

The thermocouple type K consists of a nickel-chromium and a nickel wire. It is standardised for temperatures between -40 and 1,200 °C. It is used, for example, to measure combustion chamber and exhaust gas temperatures.

Yes, thermocouples age depending on their environmental conditions. Due to influences such as thermal ageing or chemical impurities, the thermoelectric voltage changes over time – a measurement error, also called drift, occurs. Thermocouples with precious metals such as type R and S are less affected by this.

The functioning of the thermocouple is based on its material pairing. It is essential that the thermoelectric properties of the connecting cable correspond to those of the thermocouple so that the measurement result is not falsified. Depending on the requirements, a “true” thermocouple cable or a compensating cable is used.

In the case of the thermocouple cable, the connecting cable consists of the same material pairing as the thermocouple itself. This is the technically best solution, but often the most expensive.

The compensating cable is a cheaper alternative. Here, materials are used that have very similar thermoelectric properties as the thermocouple itself within a certain temperature range.

Of course, the same applies to connectors: we only use compensated connectors for our thermocouples.

Thermocouples and their limits of error are standardised in DIN EN 60584. There are tolerance classes 1 to 3. Class 1 is the one with the highest accuracy.

Generally speaking, thermocouples are less accurate than e.g. a Pt100 or a Pt1000. So if you need maximum accuracy, you are better off with a resistance thermometer (provided the temperature range is suitable).

Thermocouples have other advantages: some types can be used in very wide temperature ranges and can tolerate much higher temperatures. In addition, thermocouples have a lower thermal mass and can be built in smaller diameters. This contributes to extremely short response times.

We manufacture the sheathed thermocouple from a mineral-insulated metal sheathed cable (MIMS cable). Its outer sheath is made of stainless steel, inside the two wires run in densely pressed magnesium oxide powder. Compared to open thermocouples or those protected only by a sleeve, sheathed thermocouples are way more durable and robust.

Regarding the response time of a sensor, the following rule of thumb applies: If you double the diameter, you quadruple the response time. So choose the diameter wisely!

As with all temperature sensors, the immersion length should be at least 5x the diameter of the sensor to avoid thermal bridges.