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Sensitive quick digital thermometer

  1. Jun 14, 2010 #1
    I am wondering if anyone can advice on which kind of digital thermometer would be most suitable for the following conditions:

    1. It should quickly be able to detect a sudden increase in temperature. The actual temperature is not important, only the detection of a sudden change in temperature by at least 2 degrees Celcius within 10 seconds.

    2. The heat sensor of the thermometer should be of a flexible material (easily bends, e.g thin metal) and should be about 20 cm long and be able to detect the change of temperature anywhere along its length.

    Thanks for any advice!
    Best wishes,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    What is your application? Thermocouples can have a negligible thermal mass (quick response), but are very localized. Can you elaborate more on (2)?
  4. Jun 15, 2010 #3
    Hi Andy and thanks for your reply!
    It is for a device that will measure sudden change of temperature in clothes due to e.g sweating. It is for a very special project and the device needs to be small and flexible so that it does not destract the wearer. It also has to be low power consuming since it can not have a huge battery and it should be used for a long time. But I guess most electric thermometers do not consume so much power?
    It will be applied on different areas of about 20cm each for measuring and if a temperature increase occurs anywhere along that 20cm line, the device should register it.
    I hope this makes sense. What kind of thermometer would you suggest for this project?
  5. Jun 16, 2010 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    I don't know of any 'large area' thermometer. Most thermometers (and I include thermocouples, thermistors, RTD elements) are (basically) point-like detectors. Short of stitching together an assembly of fine-gage thermocouples, there are indicator dyes/inks/paints that may be sensitive enough:


    good luck!
  6. Jun 16, 2010 #5


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    I'd consider multiple thermocouples. The thermocouples themselves aren't the problem: the problem is how to view/record/transmit the data from a person to where you want to view/use it. Could you describe in some more detail how you physically hope to use the data? There are, for example, pager-sized data loggers that can take multiple inputs.

    Also a possibility, thermistors: you can wire a bunch of them together for an average temperature reading.
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