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Table 19-4. Typical Failure Rates for Sensing Elements (Reference 88 and various data sources) Sensor Transducer Classification Sensor Transducer Technology Failure Rate A* Thermal RTD Resistive 1.50 Thermal Thermistor Semiconductor 3.50 Thermal Thermocouple * Thermoelectric 5.00 Thermal Infrared Emissivity 7.50 Thermal Thermostat Bimetallic 20.00 Mechanical Force/Pressure Force transducer Semiconductor 4.00 Mechanical Force/Pressure Strain gauge Resistive 7.50 Mechanical Force/Pressure Strain gauge Semiconductor 23.00 Mechanical Force/Pressure Torque transducer Magnetic 4.50 Mechanical Force/Pressure Load cell Strain gauge 23.00 Fluid Fluid pressure sensor Piezoelectric 13.00 Fluid Fluid flow sensor Resistive 14.30 Fluid Fluid level sensor Capacitance 10.70 Fluid Air flow sensor Vane meter 8.50 Optical Photodiode Semiconductor 0.16 Optical Phototransistor Semiconductor 0.65 Optical Photodetector Semiconductor 0.03 Optical Infrared sensor Semiconductor 7.50 Optical Solar cell Photovoltaic 1.00 Position Analog potentiometer Resistive 1.50 Position Digital potentiometer Semiconductor 2.50 Position LVDT Transformer 7.50 Position Rotary encoder Optical 8.00 Position Rotary encoder Magnetic 5.00 Sensors and Transducers 19-16 Revision B

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