Understanding Thermocouple Time Constants & Response Times

We are often asked about the responsiveness of sheathed mineral insulated Thermocouples.

Here are some important terms and factors to know...

Time Constant

When researching the responsiveness of a thermocouple you will most often see it expressed as a Time Constant. The Time Constant of a thermocouple is defined as the time required for the sensor to respond to 63.2% of its total output signal when subjected to a step change in temperature.

Response Time

The Time Constant of a thermocouple is not the same as the Response Time. When someone wants to know the Response Time of a thermocouple, they really want to know how long it takes the thermocouple to reach its full output. Five Time Constants are required for the thermocouple to respond to 99.3% of the total step change temperature.
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Thermocouple Time Constants Chart
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