Temperature Measurement Devices

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Throughout their history, temperature measurement devices have undergone many changes of shape, technology, and availability. The invention the Celsius scale for the mercury thermometer in 1742 (along with Celsius's methods of thermometer calibration) initiated the slow change that brought thermometers out of science labs and made them widely available. Mercury thermometers provided the basis for many other developments in the technology of temperature measurement devices (though they are no longer used in many parts of the world).

Currently, electronic temperature measurement devices, such as thermocouples, digital thermometers, and IR thermometers are the most widespread type of temperature sensing instruments. Most types of machinery, mechanical equipment and electronics incorporate temperature sensors. In many cases, a thermometer or some kind of temperature control is necessary for the machine to operate smoothly.

Professional Uses for Temperature Measurement Devices

Many different professions also count the thermometer as a primary piece of equipment. In manufacturing, thermometers are integral in the success of many production processes. For example, plastics manufacturers often use fixed mount infrared thermometers to gauge the temperature of their product from afar, without physically interfering with the production process.

Some professionals also use handheld infrared thermometers. For example, auto mechanics or engineers may scan machinery with an IR thermometer to search for signs of an overheating component. IR thermometers can also help spot abnormal temperature spikes that may signal leaky cooling systems of poor insulation in HVAC systems.


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