Temperature Measurement Solutions for the Automotive Industry

Various types of temperature measurement devices, with an inventory of more than 10,000 different components, are available from OMEGA. Examples are thermocouple wire, infra-red camera, temperature sensors, pyrometers, and temperature controllers. This vast variety of products enables the company to provide the widest possible choice of solution for all types of automotive needs.

OMEGA offers a number of solutions and excellent support to the automotive customer. It is experienced in serving the principal marques in the Formula 1 and in the automotive industry. OMEGA is able to fully satisfy the high demand for quality and performance required by the extremely competitive automotive sector.

General Automotive Testing

Multi-locational temperature measurements are common in the automotive testing process. For measuring thermocouples in brakes, the thermocouple wire bundle can rapidly reach a stage in which the diameter begins to impact the structural integrity. To address this issue for a leading German car maker, OMEGA developed a 2.4-mm diameter extra thin and highly accurate shielded-type K thermocouple wire. To satisfy the customers’ requirements, the application needed high stringent special limits of error (SLE). OMEGA’s 5SRTC-TT-T and 5SRTC-TT-K thermocouple wires enable high performance temperature measurements, consistently and reliably. These thermocouples can tolerate rigorous conditions that have an IP65 (NEMA 4) housing. The robust system is also provided with an OS-102E non-contact infrared transmitter, and measures temperature in the range of -18 to 538 °C.

 

Brake Block and Disk Temperature Measurement

OMEGA leads the world in temperature measurement technology, and one of its major applications in the automotive industry involves measuring temperature of brake system components. Disk surface temperature directly affects braking performance, and hence, temperature measurement systems are vital in the development of efficient braking systems as well as for continuous monitoring in the finished product. The measuring system must record the highly variable temperatures existing on the brake disk and pad. Generally, thermocouples are fitted in the brake disk and within the brake pad, and collector rings are integrated in the circuit. Optical measurement systems such as thermal cameras, pyrometers, and thermal scanners are also used during the brake testing process. Surface pressure distribution within brake pads may also be determined using thermocouple systems.

Measuring Disk Brake Calipers of Racing Cars

Formula 1 and autosport witness even higher performance applications. For this purpose, OMEGA’s engineers have developed the Pt1000 pipe plug sensor temperature probes P10-M3-A-T2-1. This instrument measures the temperature of disk brake calipers of racing cars. The design is such that the probe can bear temperatures of over 680 °C and conditions of high shock and vibrations. Very high temperatures can alter the crystal structure of the brake disk surface and cause crack damage to the surface. Brake disk deflection significantly impacts the brake comfort as felt by the driver, since it is transferred into the steering wheel and the brake system. Moreover, the coefficient of friction (µ) changes when the temperature changes, resulting in brake torque variations (i.e., fading). Thus, a good knowledge of the temperature gradient between the brake disk and brake pad is essential.

Exhaust Gas Temperature Measurement

OMEGA has an unmatched range of surface thermocouple probe with wide temperature ranges and low response times for applications in which surface contact is needed such as monitoring of automotive exhaust temperature. These probes are available in all of the common thermocouple types for different applications (K, T, and J).

Turbo chargers are an important component in modern engines. They have high rotational speeds and come in different shapes and sizes, and thus, a turbo charger is now a complex subsystem in itself. It is important to shield the turbo from excessive temperatures during its service life since it is usually exposed to the high temperature exhaust stream. A temperature sensor with a quick response is an essential segment of the control loop. OMEGA produces a thin and robust thermocouple monitoring system by employing MI-insulated cable XL-N-MO-4.5MM-SLE to last the life-time of the car, with no compromise on mechanical strength.

 

Temperature Measurement on a Simulated Exhaust

Automotive testing requires manufacturers to test all components to their limits they are likely to encounter during the service life of the automobile. Many polymer components are found in modern vehicles and have to be subjected to heat stress tests, if they are proximal to a source of heat. For instance, the bumper is located near to the engine exhaust gas system, whose temperature can reach high limits. Therefore, the bumper material has to be tested to ensure that it is not adversely affected by the increased temperature of the exhaust, resulting in thermal degradation of the polymer or possibly a fire - in the worst-case scenario. In this state-of-the-art test, the exhaust system is subjected to a simulated heat from a custom electrical heater, thus avoiding the use of a car engine. OMEGA recommends a number of thermocouples to measure the temperature at different heat-vulnerable stress points. Generally, absolute accuracy is not important to this application; hence, wire thermocouples are chosen such that the application is cost-effective. It is cost-advantageous since these heat tests generally involve monitoring a large number of thermocouples in the entire route of the exhaust system. For improved safety, ease of set-up and strength, OMEGA recommends that glass fiber sheathing is employed to over-braid the thermocouple extension wire, using recognized IEC colors.

 

Infrared and Thermographic Pyrometry

The use of infrared and thermographic pyrometry to analyze heat distribution in car engines is very convenient for non-contact temperature measurement for testing automotive engine and during general inspection applications. A wide range of infrared guns, thermal cameras and infrared transmitters is available from OMEGA for remote temperature measurement and analysis. Noncontact infrared thermometers can measure heat energy originating from targeted engine components, and have the advantage of producing instant results in a test environment. They do not depend on direct physical contact and measure infrared heat energy that is directly radiated. Actually, the measurement is dependent on the emissivity (reflectivity) of the surface. The OmegaScope accurately measures surface temperatures from -23 °C to 871 °C with an accuracy of +/- 1%. Noncontact infrared thermometers work on ‘point and shoot’ principle and avoid dangerous contact with hot surfaces, moving parts, or high voltage wires. Thus, they are well-suited for quality control and rapid testing during trouble-shooting techniques.

Oven Temperature Profiling System

Automotive painting and coating depends on critical control of temperature so as to obtain the best paint finishes in material curing operations. OMEGA is one of the top temperature control solution providers, and can offer specific temperature profiling systems tailored to specific automotive applications. A very good example for this is the 8-channel oven data logger and thermocouple probe. This automotive oven temperature profiling system delivers instant feedback of the oven temperature in order to maximize the quality of paint and material cure operations. OMEGA can also custom-build an automotive oven temperature profiling solution to a specific requirement. The company has a comprehensive range of PID controllers, surface temperature probes, and switches as well as dedicated teams of engineers to provide the best tailored solution.

Air Conditioning Optimization, HVAC

Air conditioning is very important in modern vehicles; there are efficiency requirements to satisfy, as well as government regulations. A wide range of sensors, meters and data loggers is offered by OMEGA to measure CO2, temperature, humidity and pressure suitable for use during the design and testing phase of automotive HVAC systems. The range of products include IC temperature and RTD probes, differential pressure transmitter, data loggers, and wireless sensor system. These components provide HVAC monitoring systems to monitor crucial parameters to optimize air conditioning such as humidity, temperature and barometric pressure.

Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Dew Point Measurement

A broad range of transmitters and portable measuring instruments are available from OMEGA which are the benchmark for quality, accuracy, and reliability in measurement. For the automotive industry, environmental control is of very high importance to guarantee the highest level of materials quality and best performances during testing of engine.

Inline and Wireless Transmitters

Portable Instruments for Humidity Measurement

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by OMEGA Engineering Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit OMEGA Engineering Ltd.

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