A comparative review of thermocouple and infrared radiation temperature measurement methods during the machining of metals

Emilios Leonidas, Sabino Ayvar-Soberanis, Hatim Laalej, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jon R. Willmott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


During the machining process, substantial thermal loads are generated due to tribological factors and plastic deformation. The increase in temperature during the cutting process can lead to accelerated tool wear, reducing the tool’s lifespan; the degradation of machining accuracy in the form of dimensional inaccuracies; and thermally induced defects affecting the metallurgical properties of the machined component. These effects can lead to a significant increase in operational costs and waste which deviate from the sustainability goals of Industry 4.0. Temperature is an important machining response; however, it is one of the most difficult factors to monitor, especially in high-speed machining applications such as drilling and milling, because of the high rotational speeds of the cutting tool and the aggressive machining environments. In this article, thermocouple and infrared radiation temperature measurement methods used by researchers to monitor temperature during turning, drilling and milling operations are reviewed. The major merits and limitations of each temperature measurement methodology are discussed and evaluated. Thermocouples offer a relatively inexpensive solution; however, they are prone to calibration drifts and their response times are insufficient to capture rapid temperature changes in high-speed operations. Fibre optic infrared thermometers have very fast response times; however, they can be relatively expensive and require a more robust implementation. It was found that no one temperature measurement methodology is ideal for all machining operations. The most suitable temperature measurement method can be selected by individual researchers based upon their experimental requirements using critical criteria, which include the expected temperature range, the sensor sensitivity to noise, responsiveness and cost.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4693
Number of pages23
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


  • metallurgy
  • temperature
  • monitoring
  • thermocouples
  • infrared radiation


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