Following is a definition of terms frequently used in the instrumentation, industrial automation and test & measurement communities.
Teflon: A fluorocarbon polymer used for insulation of electrical wires (trademark of DuPont Company).
TEMPCO: Abbreviation for “temperature coefficient”: the error introduced by a change in temperature. Normally expressed in %/°C or ppm/°C.
Temperature Error: The maximum change in output, at any measurand value within the specified range, when the transducer temperature is changed from room temperature to specified temperature extremes.
Temperature Range, Compensated: The range of ambient temperatures within which all tolerances specified for Thermal Zero Shift and Thermal Sensitivity Shift are applicable (temperature error).
Temperature Range, Operable: The range of ambient temperatures, given by their extremes, within which the transducer may be operated. Exceeding compensated range may require recalibration.
Terminal: An input/output device used to enter data into a computer and record the output.
Thermal Coefficient of Resistance: The change in resistance of a semiconductor per unit change in temperature over a specific range of temperature.
Thermal Conductivity: The property of a material to conduct heat in the form of thermal energy.
Thermal emf: See Seebeck emf
Thermal Expansion: An increase in size due to an increase in temperature expressed in units of an increase in length or increase in size per degree, i.e. inches/inch/degree C.
Thermal Gradient: The distribution of a differential temperature through a body or across a surface.
Thermal Sensitivity Shift: The sensitivity shift due to changes of the ambient temperature from room temperature to the specified limits of the compensated temperature range.
Thermal Zero Shift: An error due to changes in ambient temperature in which the zero pressure output shifts. Thus, the entire calibration curve moves in a parallel displacement.
Thermistor: A temperature-sensing element composed of sintered semiconductor material which exhibits a large change in resistance proportional to a small change in temperature. Thermistors usually have negative temperature coefficients.
Thermocouple: The junction of two dissimilar metals which has a voltage output proportional to the difference in temperature between the hot junction and the lead wires (cold junction) (refer to Seebeck emf).
Thermopile: An arrangement of thermocouples in series such that alternate junctions are at the measuring temperature and the reference temperature. This arrangement amplifies the thermoelectric voltage. Thermopiles are usually used as infrared detectors in radiation pyrometry.
Thermowell: A closed-end tube designed to protect temperature sensors from harsh environments, high pressure, and flows. They can be installed into a system by pipe thread or welded flange and are usually made of corrosion-resistant metal or ceramic material depending upon the application.
Thomson Effect: When current flows through a conductor within a thermal gradient, a reversible absorption or evolution of heat will occur in the conductor at the gradient boundaries.
Transducer Vibration: Generally, any device which converts movement, either shock or steady state vibration, into an electrical signal proportional to the movement; a sensor.
Transducer: A device (or medium) that converts energy from one form to another. The term is generally applied to devices that take physical phenomenon (pressure, temperature, humidity, flow, etc.) and convert it to an electrical signal.
Transient Vibration: A temporary vibration or movement of a mechanical system.
Transitional Flow: Flow between laminar and turbulent flow, usually between a pipe Reynolds number of 2000 and 4000.
Transmitter (Two-Wire): (1) A device which is used to transmit data from a sensor via a two-wire current loop. The loop has an external power supply and the transmitter acts as a variable resistor with respect to its input signal. (2) A device which translates the low level output of a sensor or transducer to a higher level signal suitable for transmission to a site where it can be further processed.
Triac: A solid state switching device used to switch alternating current wave forms.
Triboelectric Noise: The generation of electrical charges caused by layers of cable insulation. This is especially troublesome in high impedance accelerometers.
Triple Point (Water): The thermodynamic state where all three phases, solid, liquid, and gas may all be present in equilibrium. The triple point of water is .01°C.
Triple Point: The temperature and pressure at which solid, liquid, and gas phases of a given substance are all present simultaneously in varying amounts.
True RMS: The true root-mean-square value of an AC or AC-plus-DC signal, often used to determine power of a signal. For a perfect sine wave, the RMS value is 1.11072 times the rectified average value, which is utilized for low-cost metering. For significantly non-sinusoidal signals, a true RMS converter is required.
TTL Unit Load: A load with TTL voltage levels, which will draw 40 µA for a logic 1 and -1.6 mA for a logic 0.
TTL-Compatible: For digital input circuits, a logic 1 is obtained for inputs of 2.0 to 5.5 V which can source 40 µA, and a logic 0 is obtained for inputs of 0 to 0.8 V which can sink 1.6 mA. For digital output signals, a logic 1 is represented by 2.4 to 5.5 V with a current source capability of at least 400 µA; and a logic 0 is represented by 0 to 0.6 V with a current sink capability of at least 16 mA.
TTL: Transistor-to-transistor logic. A form of solid state logic which uses only transistors to form the logic gates.
Turbulent Flow: When forces due to inertia are more significant than forces due to viscosity. This typically occurs with a Reynolds number in excess of 4000.
Typical: Error is within plus or minus one standard deviation (±1%) of the nominal specified value, as computed from the total population.