Causes of Thermocouple Failure, Part 1

A malfunctioning thermocouple can lead to incorrect measurements and create big problems. Thermocouples are built to be resilient, but there are a few factors that can cause thermocouple failure. This week, we’ll go into how metal fatigue and oxidation are both potential threats to your thermocouples.

Causes of thermocouple failure and how metal fatigue and oxidation are both potential threats to thermocouples

Metal Fatigue

Like everything, thermocouples can’t stay new forever. A good thermocouple is going to be used, and that can lead to metal fatigue. Changes in temperature can cause regular expansion and contraction in metal, which will cause thermocouples to weaken over time. After enough time, metal fatigue can cause a thermocouple to break.

Thermocouples that are regularly exposed to extreme heat stress or extreme conditions are more likely to go through metal fatigue. If thermocouples start to give out unusual readings, it may be suffering from metal fatigue.


Oxygen is great for people, but it doesn’t always extend the life of a thermocouple. The presence of oxygen causes a reaction in the thermocouple that can wear down the part and make the wires become thinner and more brittle.

Oxidation can be caused by a small amount of oxygen making its way into a sealed environment and reacting with the pure metal of the thermocouple. Make sure to check your sealed thermocouples regularly to ensure that the integrity of their seals haven’t been compromised and can continue to operate without fear of oxidation.

High-quality Thermocouples from GeoCorp

Thermocouple failure can lead to incorrect readings and unplanned downtime. GeoCorp can provide you with high-quality thermocouples that are designed to meet your needs and are built to resist factors like metal fatigue and are sealed properly to prevent oxidation.

Give us a call at 419-433-1101 or contact us online today to talk to one of our experienced sales technicians about how our thermocouples can benefit your business.

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