MK5 Extruder: Thermal Riser Temperatures 1

Switch block - bottom
Switch block - bottom

The general idea: measure the Thermal Riser Tube temperatures, so as to figure out where to put the Thermal Cutout Switch that will kill the Thing-O-Matic if the cartridge heater drive circuitry gets stuck on. Ideally, there will be a location suitable for the 100 °C NC switch I have on hand, but you’d use the same technique to make sure any switch would work.

So, to begin.

With the Thermal Switch Block just over the bolt heads and the small heatsink just under the acrylic sheet at the top, a pair of thermocouples attached to my old Fluke 52 meter reported temperatures.

The top thermocouple (T2 data) touches, ever so gently, the small heatsink, so it’s reporting mostly heatsink temperature and bit of the surrounding air. It moved slightly after the first measurement, despite the masking tape visible in the upper right corner of the picture.

The bottom thermocouple (T1 data) is tucked into the small hole in the Switch Block, so it’s reporting the real block temperature that the Thermal Switch will eventually experience.

A third thermocouple is taped in the corner of the Z axis stage against the acrylic arch, directly beside a cartridge heater inside the insulation wrap. During these proceedings that temperature rose from 25 °C ambient (due, most likely, to hand warmth while positioning all this stuff) to about 35 °C.

And, of course, the standard thermocouple on the MK5 Core reports the actual temperature inside the insulation wrap.

I raised the MK5 temperature in 50 °C steps, then 25 °C to 225 °C, waiting until the Block temperature more-or-less stabilized, while recording temperatures every 5 minutes. On this time scale, the Thermal Core temperature stabilized over the course of a single measurement.

With at that in mind, the results look like this:

Thermal Riser Tube Temperature Graph - block on bottom
Thermal Riser Tube Temperature Graph - block on bottom

At normal extruding temperatures above 200 °C, the red trace shows the Switch Block running about 15°C above green Heatsink trace and topping out at 91 °C. The top of the Riser Tube is somewhat cooler with that big Block hanging on the bottom, too: 70 to 74 °C, rather than the 83 °C I measured there.

The Block temperature increases by 7 °C when the Core increases by 25 °C, obviously depending on a bunch of nonlinear effects. A rash extrapolation suggests a 100 °C switch would trip before the Core hit 275 °C.

However, that Block gets uncomfortably close to 100 °C, which is the point where the Thermal Switch will go click and kill the whole show. I’d rather have a bit more headroom to allow for warm summer weather and a heated build chamber.

So the next experiment puts the Thermal Switch Block at the top of the Thermal Riser Tube…

The original data:

Thermal Riser Temperatures - block at bottom
Thermal Riser Temperatures - block at bottom