As the Pt100 is an RTD sensor, let’s look first at what an RTD sensor is.
The abbreviation RTD comes from “Resistance Temperature Detector.” It is a temperature sensor in which the resistance depends on temperature; when temperature changes, the sensor’s resistance changes. So, by measuring the sensor’s resistance, an RTD sensor can be used to measure temperature.
RTD sensors are most commonly made from platinum, copper, nickel alloys or various metal oxides.
Platinum is the most common material for RTD sensors. Platinum has a reliable, repeatable and linear temperature-resistance relationship. RTD sensors made of platinum are called PRT, “Platinum Resistance Thermometer.” The most common platinum PRT sensor used in the process industry is the Pt100 sensor. The number “100” in the name indicates that is has a resistance of 100 ohms in 0°C (32°F) temperature. More details on that later.
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