June 28, 2021 Applied Measurements Blogs Comments Off

Learn how to select the correct pressure sensor the first time!

At Applied Measurement, we supply the highest quality pressure transducers in the world. We are an industry leader for our range of both standard and custom pressure sensors, from board level components to fully amplified and packaged transducers.

A pressure transducer, often referred to as a pressure transmitter or pressure sensor, is designed for use in the pressure measurement of liquids and gases. A pressure sensor is a device that measures the pressure of a liquid and converts it into an analog electrical signal where the amount depends on the force the fluid exerts on surfaces it comes into contact with.

How do pressure transducers work?
To calculate pressure, the pressure transducer contains a force collector such as a flexible diaphragm which physically deforms when pressurised and a transduction element that transforms this deformation into an electrical signal. The strain produces an electrical resistance change proportionate to the pressure.

Pressure transducers are used in many control and monitoring applications such as flow, air speed, level, pump systems or altitude. We have put together a handy guide to the various types of pressure transducers and their applications, to help you select the most appropriate device to suit your needs.

What are the various types of pressure transducers?
Designed to measure pressure, pressure transducers use sensors that convert pressure into electrical signals. At Applied Measurement, we supply pressure transducers from TE Connectivity, across four categories. TE is the go-to engineering partner for today’s innovation leaders and technology entrepreneurs, helping to solve tomorrow’s toughest challenges with advanced connectivity and sensors solutions.

Industrial Pressure Transducers

Heavy duty or industrial pressure transducers feature a more rugged enclosure than other types of transducers. Designed to accommodate heavy industrial environments, they often feature a scalable 4-20mA output that provides greater immunity to electrical noise.

Key capabilities include:

  • Compact size
  • Vibration and shock resistant
  • Accurate, easy-to-read pressure gauge for monitoring output pressure
  • Operates in extreme conditions
  • Increases machine operational efficiency to limit downtime and failure

Board Level Pressure Sensors

A board level pressure sensor is a type of sensor that is typically mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) and is used to measure the pressure of gases and liquids. TE’s PCB mountable pressure sensors are suitable for various applications including air flow, gas flow and barometric air pressure. The products in this series cover cost-effective miniature barometric solutions as well as premium accuracy, temperature compensated or fully calibrated solutions with digital or analog output.

Key capabilities include:

  • Small in size and weight
  • Supply voltages from 1.5 to 5.0 VDC
  • Ideal for dry or non- corrosive gasses
  • Gel-coated versions suitable for harsh environments
  • Various configurations available with temperature outputs.

Media Isolated Pressure Sensors

A media isolated pressure sensor measures gauge, differential or absolute pressure by isolating a silicon strain gage chip in air-evacuated oil with a stainless steel, titanium, or nickel alloy diaphragm. These pressure sensors are suitable for a variety of applications and are available with various process connections, diameters and materials. They can be configured in various pressure ranges.

Key capabilities include:

  • Suitable for use with liquids or gases
  • Oil-filled and stainless steel in construction
  • Digital output protocols available include I2C or SPI interfaces
  • Available in gage, absolute, differential, sealed gage, and vacuum gage
  • Threaded, flush mount, weldable and O-Ring mount process connections

Water Level Pressure Transducer

Submersible level sensors work by measuring the hydrostatic pressure emitted by a liquid in the tank. They can be used to measure water pipe pressure and detect the level of substances that can flow. Such substances include liquids, slurries, granular material and powders. These sensors are extremely accurate and are compact in design so they can take constant level readings in almost any sized tank to monitor water usage and water quality. From analog to digital, standard to custom design, water level sensors easily adapt to any data system.

Key capabilities include:

  • Pressures from 1 to 3,015 PSI
  • Analog and digital output signals
  • Standard and custom configurations
  • Approvals for various hazardous locations
  • Compatibility with a wide range of liquids and gases
  • Measurements in gage, sealed, absolute, temperature, and conductivity pressure types

Choosing the right pressure transducer for your application
There are a multitude of pressure transducers suitable for a variety of applications. Each version has different features that will impact how it works and the applications it is most suitable for. Selecting the correct pressure transducer for your application requires you to answer a number of questions.

The six criteria below provide a framework for how to correctly pair pressure sensors with their specific application:

1. What is the application and measurement type? – Common types of pressure measurement include absolute, gage, differential, sealed and vacuum.
2. What is the pressure range? – What is the working measurement range of the sensor? You should choose this depending on your estimated maximum and minimum of media you are measuring.
3. What is the process fluid that is being measured? ¬ Selecting the correct pressure transducer depends on its compatibility with the fluid being measured. Common materials include stainless steel and high nickel content dependant on how corrosive and how the measured media reacts with the construction of the pressure sensor.
4. What is the temperature range and installation environment? – Extremes in temperature or vibration will limit which transducers will effect reliability and life of the sensor.
5. What accuracy is required? – Pressure transducers come in varying accuracies, ranging from 0.5% to 0.05%. For critically demanding applications, higher accuracies are desired.
6. What is the best output type? – Common output types include ratiometric, mV/V output, amplified voltage output, mA output and digital. Different output types would be selected depending on how far you are transmitting or what your instrumentation signal types can handle.

We are the sensor experts
As automation and (IOT) ‘Internet of things’ levels continue to trend on an upwards trajectory, which drives the need for high performance, accurate and durable sensors in harsh environments. There is a high need for cost effective, compactly designed sensors.

As industry leaders in test and measurement, Applied Measurement has been providing innovative and effective solutions for applications that involve measurement of physical parameters since 1976. We have the experience and expertise to supply the correct sensor for your application.

If you want to talk to someone about sensor solutions, contact us to discuss your requirements or application, we are always happy to help!