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A Guide To Types Of Pressure Measurement

By David S. Chang

Pressure measurement

A pressure sensor is a device used to measure the pressure of gases or liquids. A sensor will detect the quantity of pressure and then represent this as a signal. Depending on the task at hand, the quantity could be force, length, or temperature. The signal in question is usually electric.  

Piezometers or pressure transducers are further common names for pressure sensors. Such devices are used across a wide range of industries from the field of aerospace to medical device manufacturing. There are several different types of pressure measurements. Depending on your business and project you might require gauge, differential, absolute or sealed pressure measurement. 

Gauge pressure sensors 

Gauge pressure sensors work to measure the input of pressure relative to atmospheric pressure. Due to exposure to the atmosphere, gauge sensors can often be affected by humid conditions. When installing gauge sensors, dry areas should be prioritized so that the circuits do not fail.

When a sensor reads a pressure of one bar, this translates as one bar higher than the pressure of the atmosphere. Ambient air pressure passes through a vent tube or hole. The tube or hole is found at the back of the pressure sensing component. To measure water levels or car tire pressure, one would use a gauge sensor. Gauge sensors are also used in relation to hydraulic applications. 

Differential pressure sensors 

With differential pressure, the sensor consists of two ports. These ports are inputs of high and low. The sensor functions to compare the difference between each port. Tubes connect the two ports, yet they also remain separate from one another. Differential sensors can be used to measure gas or liquid flows in ducts or pipes. These types of sensors can also be used to determine a potential blockage. Pump and filter monitoring tasks often require the use of differential sensors. 

Absolute pressure sensors 

These pressure sensors offer a measurement which is comparable to a reference of zero pressure. A vacuum point is used to compare every measurement taken. Each result gained will provide a greater value than the minimum represented by the reference. If you measure air pressure, you’d likely use an absolute pressure sensor. 

With weather-related barometric measurements, for example, an absolute pressure sensor could be used. A key advantage of these sensors is that they continuously measure against the same reference point. Absolute sensors can also ensure the correct pressure of vacuum packaging to seal food. 

Sealed pressure sensors

These sensors operate with reference to a sealed chamber that’s closed with atmospheric pressure. The sealed chamber works to protect the circuits of the sensor from too much humidity. A sealed pressure sensor is used in industrial applications and also in the industry of food and beverages. 

Whichever type of sensor your company requires, a pressure sensor manufacturer can provide you with the equipment. Depending on the application, the best way to measure will vary. In order to determine the correct sensor, you’ll need to closely consider your project. 

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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