Kanthal® launches solution for Mineral Insulated Cable Thermocouple manufacturers

Opening up new possibilities, Kanthal® part of the Sandvik Group is introducing Thermothal® KM – a new alloy for Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) thermocouple manufacturers.

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Kanthal R&D developed Type KM, a new chemistry for the positive leg, to meet customer requirements in offsetting the Electric-Motive Force (EMF) deviation during thermocouple manufacture. Thermothal® KM will be available as stabilized wire. ”The advantages to the manufacturer are clear, by using Thermothal® KM thermocouple wire there is access to a larger supply of consistent, homogeneous material that their processes demand,” explained Sharon Dunn, Global Product Manager. ”Stabilized Thermothal® KM material offsets the impact of process EMF shifts. It’s a benefit for our customers.”

The idea leading to the development of the new product came from a problem in traditional MIC production, where heat and pressure during the process increase the wire’s EMF. Thermothal® KM compensates for the EMF shift and when finished cables are produced will meet ASTM and IEC specifications. This new material, developed specifically for MIC manufacturers, supports improved end products.

Sharon Dunn, Global Product Manager at Kanthal®“We believe the development of Thermothal® KM allows us to supply customers with material for demanding applications in a growing MIC thermocouple market,” added Sharon Dunn. ”A critical part of the project was working closely with customers to fully understand their requirements and the difficulties they faced during manufacture. This gave us the ability to best develop the material for the benefit of our customers. This new product allows customers to shift from sourcing multiple suppliers to one reliable supplier and keep less inventory.”

Headed by Kanthal® R&D Senior Engineer Lars-Åke Stridh, the research project reviewed the process and made adjustments until finding a solution. “Researching on a small scale we were confident of the positive effect it would have on the material but had to match our research with large scale production melts followed by intensive testing to fine tune the chemical composition,” explained Lars-Åke Stridh. “Now we are successfully producing the volume of Thermothal® KM wire we were looking to achieve.”

“By understanding our customers’ requirements, we believe we have achieved a significant leap in terms of material development as part of our Kanthal® Thermocouple portfolio. We will provide MIC manufacturers with a wire of outstanding quality and consistency in addition to Kanthal’s traditional thermocouple offerings,” concluded Sharon Dunn.

Kanthal® thermocouple wire is supplied to manufacturers of thermocouples for demanding applications worldwide. These applications include nuclear, aerospace, automotive, industrial applications, process plants as well as industrial furnaces where precise temperature measurement is critical.