How to probe and avoid the heat

To process any commercial metal, it is vital to know precise processing temperatures to achieve desired properties for the final product. This is particularly true during the rolling of sheet aluminium where temperature can influence formability, appearance and mechanical strength.

Now, NIST and the Aluminium Association in the US have developed an eddy current probe that can operate in the harsh rolling mill environment and take a sheet’s temperature without contact with the metal.

NIST uses the aluminium sheet itself as the basic element of a resistance thermometer. The temperature is deduced from the relationship between electrical resistivity and temperature. A standard deviation of +/- 3 degreesC was achieved for the sheet temperature as it left the rolling stand and was coiled for cooling and shipment.

The accuracy of the eddy current technique approaches those of contact thermocouples applied to processed metal held stationary at the exit stand of the rolling mill.

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