Many industrial processes require surface-temperature measurement at a specific point while remaining isolated from ambient conditions such as with bearing housing, pipe temperature and shallow immersion in a fluid.

In these applications, the sensing element must have a fast response time, maintain contact with the surface and measure only the temperature located at the tip, according to Burns Engineering Inc., Minnetonka, Minn. The probe also must be mounted in such a way that it remains in firm contact to optimize heat transfer. Minimizing the affects of the outside environment is essential to accurately measure the surface temperature, cautions Burns in one of its online Application Notes.

Burns’ engineers have designed spring-loaded tip-sensitive sensors that maintain pressure on the probe, thereby allowing the probe to be in constant contact with the surface. A copper tip at the end of the probe serves a dual role. Copper’s conductive properties allow the probe to respond quickly to any change in temperature and also aid in isolating the sensing area. The unit’s sensing element is embedded in the copper tip, which minimizes outside environmental influences.

For more suggestions on the appropriate sensor for different challenging applications, go to and click on Technical Info, then Application Notes.