Accurate Method For Calibrating Bimetallic Thermometers

Update:09 Jan 2019

Bimetallic thermometers are made up of bimetallic strip […]

Bimetallic thermometers are made up of bimetallic strips formed by joining two different metals having different thermal expansion coefficients. Basically, bimetallic strip is a mechanical element which can sense temperature and transform it into a mechanical displacement. This mechanical action from the bimetallic strip can be used to activate a switching mechanism for getting electronic output. Also it can be attached to the pointer of a measuring instrument or a position indicator. Various techniques such as riveting, bolting, fastening can be used to bond two layers of diverse metals in a bimetallic strip. However the most commonly used method is welding. Since two metals are employed to construct a bimetallic strip, hence the name.

How does a bimetallic thermometer work?

It's made up of two different metals bonded together, which expand by different amounts as they heat up. As the temperature changes, the bimetallic strip curves more or less tightly (contracts or expands) and the pointer, attached to it, moves up or down the scale.

To use the ice water method for calibrating bimetallic thermometers, fill a large glass with finely crushed ice. Add clean tap water to the top of the ice and stir well. Immerse the food thermometer stem a minimum of 2 inches into the mixture, touching neither the sides nor the bottom of the glass. Wait a minimum of 30 seconds before adjusting.

If a thermometer is ever dropped, you should go ahead and calibrate it. If a thermometer is going from a wide variety of temperatures (from freezing temperatures to boiling temperatures), it should also be calibrated more frequently.

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