Types of Temperature Sensors

Selection of the best temperature sensor element and assembly is critical to the thermal accuracy and performance of industrial equipment, analytical instrumentation, and medical devices. Operating environment, temperature range, sensor location, material compatibility and other variables need to be evaluated during the design process.

Durex helps customers select the best sensor element for their application, then designs sensor assemblies that optimize the performance of the sensor element.

Attributes Resistance
Detector (RTD)
Thermocouple Thermistor Integrated Circuit (IC)
Temperature Transducer
Symbol ----RTD Symbol-3 ----Thermocouple Symbol ----Thermistor Symbol ----Transducer Symbol
Signal Characteristics Resistance increase with temperature rise (PTC) Voltage increases with temperature rise Resistance decreases with temperature rise (NTC) Voltage or current increases with temperature rise
Construction Thin-film or wire wound 2 unlike metal alloys Sintered metals Silicone
Temperature Range -200 to 1475°F
(-129 to 802°C)
-400 to 4200°F
(-240 to 2316°C)
-100 to 500°F
(-73 to 260°C)
-70 to 300°F
(-57 to 149°C)
Temperature Accuracy Highly accurate Least accuracy unless purchasing special calibrated thermocouple Highly accurate Most accurate
(Shock & Vibration)
Somewhat sensitive to shock and vibration Generally considered most robust Somewhat sensitive to shock and vibration Most sensitive to shock and vibration
Linearity Across
Temperature Span
Linear Most Non-linear Non-linear Most Linear
Accuracy Drift over Life
of Sensor Element
Less drift than thermocouple Highly subject to drift Less drift than thermocouple Minimal drift
Response to Change
in Temperature
Fast response with thin-film RTDs Fastest response Fast response Fast response
Cold Junction Compensation
in Associated Temperature Controller
None Required None None
Cost of Sensor Element Thin-Film Low "Type E, J, J and T Lowest /
Type B, S, R (Noble Metals) Highest"
Low Low
Standard Temperature Control
Available with Sensor Input
Available Available Limited Availability Not Available

Download Temperature Sensor Element Selection Guide