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Whitepapers / Comparison of Temperature Sensors & Response Times
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Comparison of Temperature Sensors and Response Times
Comparison of Temperature Transducers
ThermocoupleRTDThermistor
Repeatability2°F to 15°F0.05°F to 0.1°0.2°F to 2°F
Stability1° to 2° drift per yearLess than 0.10% drift in five years0.2°F to 5°F drift in one year
Sensitivity10 to 50 microvolts/°C0.2 to 10 ohms/°C100 to 1,000 ohms/°C
Interchangeability±0.75%±0.5%±0.5%
Temperature Range-400°F to 4,200°F*-200°F to 1,600°F-150°F to 550°F
Signal Output0 to 60 millivolts1 to 6 volts1 to 3 volts
Unique FeaturesGreatest economy; highest rangeGreatest accuracy over wide spans; highly stableGreatest sensitivity; lead effects minimized by high impedance
LinearityExcellentExcellentPoor
Time Constants

The time constant of any sensor is defined as the time required for that sensor to respond to 63.2% of it's total output signal when subjected to a step change. The step change can be an increase in the parameter being measured. Five constants are required for a sensor to reach 99% of it's total change. The graph below illustrates this relationship.

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