Brake Rubbing Temperature Sensors

Unique Thermocouple Assemblies for Special Uses
Typical rubbing thermocouple setupSturry, UK — TKSensors designs and manufactures a core range of bespoke products described below. It has over 12 years experience of producing unique and specific thermocouple assemblies to customers requirements that could not normally be acquired from normal outlets.

Specials include one-off sensor assemblies and production quantity for University projects and research establishments.

RUBBING or CONTACT Thermocouple HTA1001
The type K, rubbing or contact thermocouple, reference HTA1001 available from TKSensors (TKS) is normally used to monitor brake or clutch disc temperatures either mounted on a moving vehicle or within a test cell dyno operation as well as monitoring or controlling temperatures to conveyor belts and steel wire being moulded into specialised tyre manufacture.

These assemblies can be used on any smooth moving surface that requires high or low temperature monitoring or controlling if used with additional electronics.

Designed and ruggedly constructed to withstand the extreme conditions and very high temperatures generated by all vehicle usage including everyday car, van and lorry use, all forms of motor sport as well as the F1, industry, research and university establishments but not exclusively.

This assembly has a fine adjustment available to reduce the effects of rubbing friction heat between the stainless steel rubbing shoe and the disc or surface being measured and thereby giving a more realistic and accurate output of the transferred temperatures and temperature variations.

The ???shoe??? has been designed to transfer the heat very quickly to the thermocouple whilst at the same time dissipating the heat into the atmosphere instead of along the spring support wires and thereby prolonging the accuracy and life of the assembly.

The spring wire diameter and length are optimised to provide constant pressure for an uninterrupted output of temperature readings due to ???bouncing??? of the assembly between the thermocouple sensor and the measuring surface during road or track usage.

The thermocouple is a mineral insulated (MI) cable, for greater durability and longer life with an insulated measuring junction to avoid feedback or interference from static or other electrical sources whilst in operation. (This is more of an issue on moving vehicles where the electrical system is ungrounded).

These products are being exported and used all round the world and have become a recognised method of monitoring the high temperatures brake/clutches generate and have benefited designers in evaluating a range of differing materials for use in these areas.

HTS specification for the above assembly is as follows:
??? 0.5mm (0.020???) diameter, Mineral Insulated (M.I.) thermocouple.
??? 310ss sheath material.
??? Insulated Junction (ungrounded) from sheath at temperature measuring tip.
??? Type K thermocouple conductors (wires).
??? Simplex Circuit (single circuit) (2 wire).
??? Fully adjustable tensioning of the ss floating rubbing shoe to reduce friction heat.
??? Accuracy of thermocouple output generally ??1.5??C or 0.007% of the temperature.
??? Thermocouple temperature range: -40??C to + 1100??C at rubbing shoe.
??? Mini flat pin thermocouple plug in IEC Colours (green).
??? 5mm (0.20???) diameter fixing hole.
??? Insulation resistance of 10+Gohms at 100V

RUBBING or CONTACT Thermocouple HTA1001A

An alternative to the above assembly is the HTA1001A which is used in exactly the same way and has the same specification but has the thermocouple wrapped around the spring wire to provide additional support when used in high vibration situations.

RUBBING or CONTACT Graphite/Carbon Tip Thermocouple HTA1006
Another alternative assembly HTA1006 for use in the same process of brake/clutch temperature sensing but again not exclusively and may not be quite as rugged or has the fine adjustment is the graphite/carbon tip, type K, rubbing or contact thermocouple.

Again for measuring the high temperatures generated by brake and clutch use or any smooth surface the graphite/carbon tip is used because it allows the heat to transfer quickly and also is self-lubricating which again reduces any friction heat and wear of the thermocouple and disc material.

This is a cheaper alternative which again has been used extensively in this area of temperature measuring.

HTS specification for the above assembly HTA1006 is:
??? Type K, thermocouple conductors (single circuit) (2 wires).
??? Graphite/Carbon contact or rubbing tip to reduce the effects of friction heat.
??? Insulated (ungrounded) Junction within the graphite tip.
??? Stranded conductor wires with ss overbraid.
??? Fitted with mini flat pin, type K plug in IEC Colours (green).
??? Accuracy of thermocouple output generally ??1.5??C or 0.007% of the temperature.
??? Thermocouple temperature range: -40??C to +1000??C at contact tip.
??? Stainless steel (ss) sprung support plate with 2 x 3.2mm (1/8???) fixing holes.

EMBEDDED Thermocouple HTA1003

The embedded, type K thermocouple, reference HTA1003 is again used for the high temperature measurement of brake pads or clutch discs and are usually embedded into the pad/disc itself to measure and monitor the heat being transferred from the pad/disc to the plates and visa-versa.

This assembly can also be used in any situation that requires a thermocouple to be positioned within the fabric of a range of materials and for the measurement, monitoring and controlling of temperature.

HTS specification for the above sensor HTA1003 is:
??? Type K thermocouple conductors (single circuit) (2 wires) other types available.
??? High temperature, up to 1000??C with some limitations (please enquire).
??? Insulated tip junction (ungrounded).
??? Class 1, stranded conductor with ss overbraid (for improved durability).
??? Mini flat pin connector can be fitted as required on request.
??? Accuracy of thermocouple output generally ??1.5??C or 0.007% of the temperature.
??? Thermocouple temperature range: -40??C to +1000??C at measurement tip.
??? Stainless steel tip.
??? Tip sensitive response

To discuss your requirements, please contact Tim King at tksensors [at] Tel: +44 07926 755585

29 Herne Bay Road
Sturry, Kent. CT2 0NJ. UK

Tel: +44 07926 755585

2 comments on “Brake Rubbing Temperature Sensors

  1. Interesting question, but I think several suppliers of temperature sensors, at least in the USA, have addressed this problem in the past. Doing it with thermocouples could be a subject to several incidental errors from the friction on a thermocouple. But there are numerous thermocouple suppliers that may be willing to supply you with equipment. One of the more useful measurements we have seen is reported using a non-contact sensor by Micro Epsilon, a German Company with many worldwide offices. See their online page at Also Motec, an Australian firm, sells an infrared sensor designed for just that purpose. It’s online at

  2. am carrying out a research on vehicle brake pad, how can i get a thermocouple that i can use to determine interface temperature of the pad and the disk using a constructed test rig.
    am in nigeria

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