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Practical Information
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Thermocouple Tolerances

Practical Tolerances

In practice, thermocouples can’t always be made to conform exactly to the published tables. So thermocouple output tolerances for both noble and base metal thermocouples are published as IEC 60584-2, and ASTM E-230, and manufacturers provide the sensors to these agreed limits (Table 3.3).

The tolerance values are for thermocouples manufactured from wires normally in the diameter range of 0.1mm to 3.0mm and do not allow for calibration drift during use. Thermocouples other than those listed in these standards are usually supplied with the manufacturers calibration tables.





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
Type + Leg - Leg 100ºC 500ºC 1000ºC Continuous Short Term Type Class 1 Class 2
K 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]
T COPPER
COPPER - NICKEL
Also known as: Constantan,
Advance™, Cupron™
46 –185 to +300°C –250 to +400°C Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
–40°C to +125°C
±0.5°C
125°C to 350°C
±0.004⋅ [t]
–40°C to +133°C
±1.0°C
133°C to 350°C
±0.0075 ⋅ [t]
J IRON
(magnetic)
Also known as: Fe
COPPER - NICKEL
Also known as:
Nickel-Copper,
Constantan, Advance™,
Cupron™
54 56 59 +20 to +700°C –180 to +750°C Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
–40°C to +375°C
±1.5°C
375°C to 750°C
±0.004⋅ [t]
–40°C to +333°C
±2.5°C
333°C to 750°C
±0.0075 ⋅ [t]
N NICKEL - CHROMIUM -SILICON
Also known as: Nicrosil
NICKEL - SILICON - MAGNESIUM
Also known as: Nisil
30 38 39 0 to +1150ºC -270 to +1300ºC 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]
E NICKEL - CHROMIUM
Also known as: Chromel™,
Tophel™, Chromium, Nickel
NICKEL - ALUMINIUM
Also known as: Nickel-Copper,
Constantan, Advance™,
Cupron™
68 81 0 to +800ºC -40 to +900ºC Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
–40°C to +375°C
±1.5°C
375°C to 800°C
±0.004⋅ [t]
–40°C to +333°C
±2.5°C
333°C to 900°C
±0.0075 ⋅ [t]
S PLATINUM - 10% RHODIUM
PLATINUM
8 9 11 0 to +1550ºC -50 to +1750ºC Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
0°C to +1100°C
±1.0°C
1100°C to 1600°C
±(1 +0.003 (t ⋅ 1100)°C
0°C to +600°C
±1.5°C
600°C to 1600°C
±0.0025 ⋅ [t]
R PLATINUM - 13% RHODIUM
PLATINUM
8 10 13 0 to +1600ºC -50 to +1700ºC Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
Temperature Range
Tolerance Value
0°C to +1100°C
±1.0°C
1100°C to 1600°C
±(1 +0.003 (t ⋅ 1100)°C
0°C to +600°C
±1.5°C
600°C to 1600°C
±0.0025 ⋅ [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.

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