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Thermocouple devices are the most widely used devices for measurement of temperature in the metals industry. Favorable characteristics of these devices include good accuracy, suitability over a wide temperature range, fast thermal response, ruggedness, high reliability, low cost, and great versatility of application. Thermocouples are grouped into two broad categories, namely, standard thermocouples, including five base-metal thermocouples and three noble-metal thermocouples that have been given letter designations, and nonstandard thermocouples, including iridium-rhodium, platinum-molybdenum, platinel, and tungsten-rhenium thermocouples. This article discusses the basic principles, classification, and properties of thermocouples, and the techniques for insulating and protecting thermocouple wires from the operating environment.

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