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Type K Thermocouple - Technical Information



Type K - Nickel-Chromium vs Nickel-Aluminium, IEC 60584-1

Thermocouple Type K, generally referred to as Chromel-Alumel, is the most common thermocouple in use today. Type K thermocouples are designed primarily for general temperature measurements in normal atmospheres. Maximum continuous temperature is about 1,100°C, although above 800°C oxidation increasingly causes drift and decalibration. For short term exposure, however, there is a small extension to 1,200°C. The device is also suitable for cryogenic applications down to -250°C.

Although Type K is widely used because of its wide temperature range and cheapness, it is not as stable as other base metal sensors in common use. At temperatures between 250°C and 600°C, but especially 300°C and 550°C, temperature cycling hysteresis can result in errors of several degrees. Type K thermocouples should not be used in reducing atmospheres unless protected by a suitable sheath and whilst Type K thermocouples are popular for nuclear applications because of its relative radiation hardness, Type N is a better choice for those applications.

Type K Thermocouples - Typical Constructions and Styles

Type K Mineral Insulated
Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples with Mineral InsulationRugged sensors, ideal for most applications. Vast choice of terminations e.g. pot seals, cables, connectors, heads etc.
Type K Swaged Tip
Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples with Swaged TipsFast response thermocouples ideal for industrial and other applications.
Type K Miniature
Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples in Miniature StylesIdeal for precision temperature measurements where minimal displacement and a fast response is required.
Type K Heavy Duty
Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples with Terminal HeadFor industrial applications such as furnaces, kilns, ovens, boliers, flues etc. Many types of sheath material available.
General Purpose
Type K Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples in different stylesA wide range of thermocouples to suit many applications. Hand held, surface, bayonet, bolt, patch styles etc.
ATEX/IECEx Approved
Type K Thermocouples
Type K Thermocouples with ATEX/IECEx certificationA large range of thermocouples with a variety of terminations such as pot seal, terminal heads etc.

K Type Thermocouple - Technical Data

Conductor Combination Approximate generated
EMF change in µV
per ºC change
(referenced to 0ºC) at:
Approximate Working
Temperature Range
Thermocouple Output Tolerances
to IEC 60584-1
+ Leg - Leg 100ºC 500ºC 1000ºC Continuous Short Term Type Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
NICKEL - CHROMIUM
Also known as: Chromel™,
Thermokanthal KP*, NiCr,
T1*, Tophel™
NICKEL - ALUMINIUM
(magnetic)
Also known as: Ni-Al, Alumel™,
Thermokanthal KN™, T2™, NiAl™
42 43 39 0 to +1100ºC -180 to +1350ºC Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
–40°C to +375°C
±1.5°C
375°C to 1000°C
±0.004 ⋅ [t]
–40°C to +333°C
±2.5°C
333°C to 1200°C
±0.0075 ⋅ [t]
–167°C to +40°C
±2.5°C
–200°C to –167°C
±0.015 ⋅ [t]
1. The tolerance is expressed either as a deviation in degrees Celsius or as a function of the actual temperature.
2. Thermocouple materials are normally supplied to meet the tolerances specified in the table for temperatures above –40 deg C. These materials however, may not fall within the tolerances for low temperatures given under Class 3 for Types T, E and K thermocouples. If thermocouples are required to meet limits of Class 3, as well as those of Class 1 and/or Class 2, the purchaser should state this, as selection of materials is usually required.

Cable Colour Codes for Type K Thermocouples

International Colour Code
to IEC 60584-3
BS 1843ANSI/MC96.1DIN 43714NFC 42324
IEC60584-3 Type K ThermocoupleBS1843 Type K ThermocoupleANSI MC96.1 Type K ThermocoupleDIN 43714 Type K ThermocoupleNFC 42324 Type K Thermocouple
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Tel.: 01895252222, Fax: 01895 273540, Email: info@tc.co.uk