Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thermocouples Used in The Plastics Molding and Forming Industry

Thermocouples Used in The Plastics Molding and Forming Industry

The term "plastics thermocouple" refers to a thermocouple used in the plastics, packaging, and rubber industries. Plastic thermocouple installations include injection molding, thermoforming, vacuum forming, and extruding machines to precisely measure the temperature of the plastic molds and nozzles. While plastic thermocouples come in various configurations such as bayonet, washer style, shim style, nozzle, and right angle, their essential components remain the same. 

Plastic thermocouples are typically calibrated to ANSI types J or K. Thermocouples lead wire comes in a variety of insulation and protection options, including high-temperature fiberglass, PVC, stainless steel braided fiberglass, and stainless steel flexible armor cable. Bare leads, male thermocouple jacks, female thermocouple plugs, or spade lugs are the most common electrical connections. 

Bayonet designs are straight or right-angle configurations, with industry-standard bayonet fittings easily retrofitted to most injection molding and plastics processing equipment. These fittings have adjustable depth and are spring-loaded to contact the media. The thermocouple sensing junction is welded or crimped directly to the washer or shim in washer and shim thermocouples. 

Bayonet thermocouples have a tube and wire design with stranded thermocouple cable running the length of the probe, and a metallic sensor is a stainless steel from the 301, 304, or 316 series. The thermocouple has either a grounded or an ungrounded junction. While the probe has a speedy response, a grounded T/C junction welded to the probe's tip can conduct electrical noise back to the instrumentation. An ungrounded junction is isolated from the metallic sensor and prevents the transmission of electrical noise. On the other hand, Ungrounded T/C junctions are slightly slower to respond to temperature changes.