The practical use of TempCHEKs is for verification of the thermal uniformity and reproducibility of heat work delivered by a specific heating profile. TempCHEKs provide an easy method to digitize and record the firing process by using a digital micrometer to measure the final TempCHEK dimension, entering the dimension into the TempCHEK Trakker software that translates the final dimension into a temperature equivalent.

TempCHEKs are used widely in the Structural Clay and Investment Casting Industries but can also be used in Advanced Ceramics, Refractories, Sintering Dental Implants, Whitewares and Grinding Wheel Industries. TempCHEKs are made from carefully controlled ceramic materials that shrink over a fairly wide temperature range. They are measured once they have been exposed to the firing process and their dimension is used to determine the peak temperature they were exposed to.

The value of the TempCHEK is to provide verification that the kiln is delivering the expected amount of heat work each time a specific heating profile is applied and verify that the heat work is being delivered uniformly within the kiln ware load when multiple TempCHEKs are placed within the load setting. Software is available to automatically track your process temperatures for up to 9 locations by simply inputing the TempCHEK dimensions from each location after each firing. Temperatures are developed in air at a ramp rate of 1 degrees C per minute up to the setpoint with a 60 minute hold time. A correction graph is provided for hold times other than 60 minutes.

Ceramic Materials go through important changes as they are heated in a kiln, changes that are necessary to develop specific properties.  To produce a quality product, control over the heating cycle is known to be a critical variable in developing key product attributes.   Control of temperature alone is not an effective method for producing a quality product.  Ceramic materials are affected by both the temperature and the length of time they are exposed to temperature.   Properly monitoring both the time and temperature are essential for maintaining control.  TempChek measure the amount of energy input into the firing process, commonly referred to as heatwork, the combined effect of time and temperature.   TempChek are made from ceramic materials similar to those associated with producing ceramic products.    Therefore, the TempChek react to heatwork in the same manner as the ware.   A key reaction that ceramic materials undergo when heated is densification as observed by shrinkage.  Orton has developed the TempChek to undergo a high degree of shrinkage so it can be used to measure the heatwork within your process by precise measurement of its shrinkage.  The shrinkage measurement, when converted to a heatwork temperature, can represent the success or failure to reach a desired fired property. 

Orton produces 4 versions of TempChek covering the following temperature ranges:

TempChek products:

Low Temp TempChek                    850°C - 1100°C (1560°F- 2010°F)                Part Number P9031 LTS

Medium Temp TempChek             950°C - 1100°C (1740°F - 2010°F)               Part number P9032 MTS

High Temp TempChek                  1075°C - 1420°C ( 1970°F - 2580°F)             Part number P9033 HTS

Super Temp TempChek                1250°C - 1500°C (2280°F -2730°F)               Part Number P9034 STS

Why use TempChek and when are they used?

-For Process improvement

-For monitoring process control

-For Preventative maintenance

The actual temperature inside a kiln when measured by a thermocouple does not give a true representation of the amount of heat absorbed by the product within the kiln.  A thermocouple can only report the temperature at a fixed location, usually in the roof or along the sidewall of a kiln.   TempChek can be placed anywhere within the kiln to determine the amount of heatwork at that location.  The TempChek report the amount of energy absorbed over time within the ware setting by radiation, convection, and conduction.   The heatwork measurements can be used to monitor and improve the uniformity and repeatability of the process.

Thermocouples and electronic equipment used to control kilns are effective tools, but are subject to errors.  Thermocouples can degrade over their useful life and can break without warning.  Electronic controllers need to be calibrated and can drift off calibrated settings over time, all the while reflecting a false temperature reading.   Since TempChek are not subject to degradation, they can be relied on to report actual changes in the process.  Through daily use, they can be used to spot trends and react to them before the product is adversely affected. 

Can they be used for Statistical process Control?

Yes, using the Orton TempTracker software, up to nine locations can be monitored within a kiln to ascertain the uniformity of the kiln and the repeatability of the process.  Adjustments to gas burners or power outputs, dampers, ware setting patterns, and air flows can be noted on the control chart generated by the software and the reflected changes can be monitored.  Further fine tuning can be conducted until a steady state is achieved.   Orton provides the TempTracker software free to all of its customers.

How are they measured?

Gather the TempChek after completion of the firing cycle, measure the fired diameter using the Orton Desktop gauge.   Each TempChek can be labeled beforehand using a high temp marker or inscribing some identification into them with a scribe or the tip of a nail.   It is best practice to place the TempChek in as close to the same location every time.  Enter the measurement into the TempTracker software and monitor the results.  

How is the shrinkage transferred to temperature?

Orton conducts several firings in a tightly controlled kiln to generate data for the shrinkage conversion tables they provide with each batch of TempChek.  Orton engineers use a set heating profile when conducting calibration firings.  The profile uses a final heating rate of 60°C/hr followed by a one hour hold at peak temperature.   Additional data is available for adjusting the heatwork temperature for hold times greater or less than the standard one hour hold time.   The TempChek temperature is a representation of the amount of heatwork absorbed.    The temperature associated to the shrinkage value does not represent actual temperature.     For customers wanting to maintain even tighter control, Orton can work with you to develop firing data specific to your thermal profile, produce and set aside a specific batch of TempChek to last for an extended period of time, or set up blanket releases of product to spread out cost.  **

Tables are avaialble with each batch so the fired dimension can be turned into an equivalent temperature

Product features and benefits

  • Provides independent process temperature verification
  • Able to easily monitor temperatures in the load
  • High sensitivity to process changes
  • Temperatures reported do not drift over time
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to use
  • Shelf stable
  • Free software
  • Product identification on each part
  • Highly accurate gauge available for use with software
  • Technical support from Orton

Contact us today: support@ortonceramic.com or Call Us +1-614-818-1343 to speak with an expert.

View Products by Category:

TempCHEK LTS Low Temp 25/Sleeve

Range 850-1100C / 1560-2012F


TempCHEK MTS Med Temp 25/Sleeve

Range 950-1100C / 1740-2012F


TempCHEK HTS Hi Temp 25/Sleeve

Range 1100-1420C / 2010-2590F


TempCHEK STS S-Hi Temp 25/Sleeve

Range 1250 -1500C / 2282-2732F


TempCHEK Gauge Package

TempCHEK Gauge Package is a complete quality measuring system designed to ...


TempCHEK LTS Lo Temp 1,000/Case

1,000Pieces Lo Temp TempCheks


TempCHEK MTS Med Temp 1,000/Case

1,000 Pieces Med Temp TempChek


TempCHEK HTS Hi Temp 1,000/Case

1,000 Pieces High Temp TempCheck


TempCHEK STS SHi Temp 1,000/Case

1,000 Pieces Super High TempChek





Artem Trofimov joins Orton

Artem Trofimov has joined Orton as a Product Specialist in our Instrument Department.   Artem's experience...

Hot Disk Instruments added to Orton's Instrument Line

Orton is pleased to announce its partnership with Hot Disk of Gothenburg, Sweden representing Hot...

Jessica Putnam-Phillips on ClayShare

Jessica explains how Pyrometric cones help the firing process.  Click here to Watch her on ClayShare...