Navigating the intricate world of temperature sensors, this section provides in-depth insights into Thermistors and Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs), as discussed in the article “Thermistors and Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs)” on Instrumentation Tools. Among the simplest classes of temperature sensors are those where temperature induces a change in electrical resistance. In this category, a basic ohmmeter transforms into a thermometer, interpreting resistance as a temperature measurement.
Thermistors, composed of metal oxide, exhibit either an increase (positive temperature coefficient) or decrease (negative temperature coefficient) in resistance with rising temperature. On the other hand, RTDs, crafted from pure metal wire like platinum or copper, consistently experience increased resistance with higher temperatures. The key distinction lies in linearity: thermistors, highly sensitive yet nonlinear, are suitable for applications where extreme accuracy is not critical, while RTDs, less sensitive but exceptionally linear, find use in situations demanding precise temperature measurement.
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