Buttsworth, David R. (2001) Assessment of effective thermal product of surface junction thermocouples on millisecond and microsecond time scales. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 25 (6). pp. 409-420. ISSN 0894-1777
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Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1016/S0894-1777(01)00093-0
Surface junction thermocouples are used extensively for transient heat flux measurements, but their accuracy is dependent on the effective thermal product (TP) of the gauge and this can be a function of the time scale of interest. In the present work the response of surface junction k-type thermocouples was investigated experimentally using a water droplet calibration technique (for millisecond times scales) and a small shock tube (for microsecond time scales). Different junctions formed by scalpel blade scratches and abrasive paper were investigated. When scratches from scalpel blades were used to form the junction, the TP identified from the water droplet calibrations consistently differs by approximately 20% depending on whether the junction was made on the chromel or alumel substrate, in accord with existing thermal properties data. However, the shock tube calibrations indicate that for scalpel-scratched junctions there is considerable variability in thermocouple response time due to effective junction depth variations produced during construction. In contrast, junctions formed with abrasive paper produced rise times consistently less than 1s, but the water droplet and shock tube experiments both indicated significant variability in the effective TP for these gauges. The consistency in TP for scalpel-scratched junctions for millisecond time scales and the variability for junctions created with abrasive grit for both the millisecond and microsecond time scales is attributed to the differences in the effective proximity of the junction to the insulation between chromel and alumel substrates. For junctions created with abrasive grit, the effective TP is approximately 30% smaller for microsecond time scales than it is for millisecond time scales.
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