A thermocouple is a widely used device for measuring temperature, and it plays a crucial role in various industrial applications. One of the most remarkable types of thermocouples is the platinum rhodium thermocouple, renowned for its accuracy, stability, and high-temperature capabilities. This article delves into the specifics of platinum rhodium thermocouples, their types, characteristics, and applications.

Platinum Rhodium Thermocouples

Understanding Platinum Rhodium Thermocouples

Platinum rhodium thermocouples are classified into different types based on their composition, primarily Type B, Type R, and Type S.

Type B Thermocouple

Composed of 70% platinum and 30% rhodium (positive leg) and 94% platinum and 6% rhodium (negative leg), Type B thermocouples are suitable for extremely high-temperature measurements. They can operate in temperatures ranging from 0°C to 1700°C. However, they only start generating significant thermoelectric voltage from around 600°C. Type B thermocouples are often used in environments where the highest levels of temperature measurement accuracy are required, such as in glass production, metal processing, and high-temperature research.

Type R Thermocouple

Type R thermocouples consist of 87% platinum and 13% rhodium (positive leg) and pure platinum (negative leg). They can measure temperatures up to 1600°C, which makes them suitable for high-temperature applications in environments slightly less extreme than those for which Type B thermocouples are used. Type R thermocouples are commonly employed in the chemical industry, where stable and accurate temperature readings are vital for the synthesis and processing of compounds.

Type S Thermocouple

Similar to Type R, Type S thermocouples are made of 90% platinum and 10% rhodium (positive leg) and pure platinum (negative leg). Their operating temperature range is slightly lower, from -50°C to 1600°C. Type S thermocouples are often used in industries where high precision and reliability are paramount, such as in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as for calibration standards due to their excellent stability.

Conductor materialTypeGradeSpec. of protection tube(mm)
Total lengthImmersion lengthDiameterMaterial of protection tube
Mini PtRh10-PtWRPS150-1500150-150099.9%

Characteristics of Platinum Rhodium Thermocouples

High Temperature Capabilities

One of the standout features of platinum rhodium thermocouples is their ability to measure extremely high temperatures. This makes them indispensable in industries that operate under harsh conditions where other thermocouples might fail.

Stability and Longevity

Platinum rhodium thermocouples are known for their remarkable stability over time. They show minimal drift, even under prolonged high-temperature exposure, ensuring consistent and reliable measurements. Additionally, their resistance to oxidation and corrosion further extends their useful life.


The precision of platinum rhodium thermocouples is another key advantage. They provide highly accurate temperature readings, which are critical in processes where even slight deviations can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Applications of Platinum Rhodium Thermocouples

Industrial Furnaces

Platinum rhodium thermocouples are widely utilized in industrial furnaces, where precise temperature control is essential for the production of high-quality materials. Their reliability and ability to withstand extreme temperatures make them ideal for monitoring and control in these settings.

Semiconductor Manufacturing

In the semiconductor industry, maintaining exact temperatures is crucial for ensuring the quality and performance of semiconductor devices. Platinum rhodium thermocouples are commonly used in these applications due to their accuracy and stability.

Research and Development

Platinum rhodium thermocouples are also employed in research and development environments, particularly in studies involving high-temperature reactions and materials science. Their performance ensures that researchers can obtain accurate and reliable data for their experiments.


Platinum rhodium thermocouples, encompassing Types B, R, and S, are essential tools in various industries requiring precise, high-temperature measurements. Their remarkable stability, accuracy, and longevity make them a preferred choice in demanding environments. Whether in industrial furnaces, semiconductor manufacturing, or cutting-edge research, platinum rhodium thermocouples play a crucial role in enabling accurate and reliable temperature monitoring, thereby contributing significantly to the success of these applications.

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