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Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.

Venkateshan

Sub Module 2.4

Thermistors
Resistance thermometry may be performed using thermistors. Thermistors

are many times more sensitive than RTD’s and hence are useful over limited

sintering mixtures of metallic oxides of Manganese, Nickel, Cobalt, Copper,

Iron etc. They come in different shapes as shown in Figure 29. Resistance of

temperature relation is known to follow the law

⎛1 1 ⎞
β⎜ − ⎟
RT = R0 e ⎝ T T0 ⎠
(15)

Here is a constant and all the temperatures are in Kelvin, To is the ice point

Glass
Envelope

Disc type Rod type Bead type

Thermistor Thermistor Thermistor

Figure 29 Typical thermistor types

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkateshan

A typical thermistor has the following specifications:

R0
R 25 = 2000 Ω, = 18.64 (16)
R 70
This thermistor has a value of 3917 K and a resistance of 6656 at 0oC.

We may compare the corresponding numbers for a standard Platinum

resistance element.

R 0 = 100 Ω, R 70 = R 0 (1 + 0.00385 × 70) = 1.2695 R 0

Hence, we have

R0 1
= = 0.788 (17)
R 70 1.2695

The resistance change is thus very mild in the case of a PRT as compared to

above is shown plotted in Figure 30.

7000

6000

5000
Resistance, Ω

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
0 20 40 60 80 100
o
Temperature, C

Figure 30 Variation of thermistor resistance with temperature

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkateshan

Rs
Thermistor
Battery

Rp
Voltmeter

resistance of the thermistor in parallel with Rp varies nearly linearly as shown

in Figure 32. The circuit is basically a voltage divider circuit. The potential

that is related to the temperature of the thermistor.

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkateshan

Data Linear (Data)

500
450

Equivalent Resistance, Ω
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
o
Temperature, C

3

If the series resistance is chosen as R s = 500 Ω and the battery voltage is 9

V, the voltmeter reading varies as shown in Figure 33. The output decreases

monotonically with temperature and the non-linearity is mild.

4.5

4
Output across thermistor, V

3.5

2.5

1.5

0.5

0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
o
Temperature, C

Figure 33 Variation of voltage across thermistor as a function of its

temperature

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkateshan

Example 11

¾ A thermistor has a resistance temperature relationship given by

⎡ ⎛ 1 1 ⎞⎤
R = R 0 exp ⎢β ⎜ − ⎟ ⎥ . For a certain thermistor R0 =80000 Ω where
⎣ ⎝ T T0 ⎠ ⎦

R, Ω 10980 2575 858

¾ Using the above data estimate β. Use this β to estimate the resistance

of the thermistor at 10 and 110 oC. Compare the data with the values

o Taking logarithms and rearranging, we have

ln ( R R 0 )
β=
[1 T − 1/ T0 ]
o The tabulated data in the above expression will thus give three

values for β. The average of these three values should give the

best estimate for β. The values of β are 3506, 3503 and 3495 K.