Pt100 Sensor RTDs

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What is a Pt100 resistance thermometer?

resistance thermometer measures electrical resistance that increases proportionally with temperature, either positively (positive temperature coefficient, PTC) or negatively (negative temperature coefficient, or NTC). For industrial and laboratory applications, the most common type of sensor in resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) is the Pt100. The wires in a resistance thermometer can be made of copper, nickel, or tungsten, but platinum (Pt) is by far the most popular choice – even though this metal is more expensive – because it has an almost linear temperature–resistance relationship and excellent stability. The “100” in Pt100 means this sensor has a nominal resistance of 100Ω at ice point (0°C).


RTDs by WIKA: Excellence in choice and design

An industrial resistance thermometer usually consists of a complete assembly. The RTD is manufactured using MI (mineral-insulated) cables in which conductors, or wires, are protected inside hard-packed magnesium oxide (MgO) and encased in an outer jacket whose metal is suitable for the process conditions. Installed at the measuring of the probe is the Pt100 sensor. Often, the assembly also comes with a process instrument connection and a connection head. Depending on the application, the RTD will simply terminate at the connection head, or the connection will house a transmitter that sends signals to a device or control room.

WIKA designs and manufactures a wide range of high-quality RTDs for industrial temperature measurement:

  • Choice of sensors: Pt100, Pt1000, KTY (silicon), Ni1000

  • Accuracy classes B, A, AA

  • Maximum temperature from 122°F (50°C) to 1,112°F (600°C)

  • Minimum temperature from −40°F (−40°C) to −320.8°F (−196°C)

  • Spring-loaded or fixed RTD assemblies

  • Inserted directly into the process or used with a thermowell

  • Mounted on a surface (with bracket or contact block)

  • Temperature detection at one point or across a section (averaging RTD sensor)

  • Full-size or miniature design

  • Cut-to-length RTD sensor (fast temporary solution for failed sensors)

  • Explosion-protected versions for hazardous locations

  • Wire-wound for high accuracy across range) or thin-film RTDs for high-vibration applications

  • 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire resistance thermometers

  • Various connections: threaded, flange, flush diaphragm, etc.

  • With or without digital display

  • Excellent ingress protection

  • Several models with electropolished stainless steel, specifically for sanitary applications

Applications for Pt100 or Pt1000 resistance thermometers

The choice of Pt100 or Pt1000 depends on the application. In the process industry, Pt100 sensors are much more popular than Pt1000s for two reasons:

  • A Pt100 sensor comes in both wire-wound and thin-film versions, whereas Pt1000 sensors are almost always only thin-film.
  • Because it is so popular worldwide, a Pt100 sensor is compatible with a wider range of instruments and processes than the Pt1000.

Where the Pt1000 makes more sense is when the cable length is long, as its overall measuring error is a fraction of that of the Pt100. Also with battery-operated RTDs, the higher nominal resistance of the Pt1000 sensor has a positive effect on the energy balance of the instrument. As a result, those batteries enjoy a longer service life, meaning longer maintenance intervals and reduced service costs.

IEC 60751:2008 defines the exact characteristics of industrial platinum resistance thermometers and platinum temperature sensors. For more information on the properties of a Pt100 or Pt1000 sensor, see our datasheet on Operating limits and tolerances of platinum resistance thermometers per EN 60751: 2008.

Numerous industries rely on the accuracy, reliability, and fast response times of Pt100 RTDs. Contact our electronic temperature measurement (ETM) specialists for more information on which resistance thermometers are right for your specific applications.

caption: Characteristic curves of five different temperature sensing elements: Pt100, Pt1000, NTC, KTY, and Ni1000


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