Pressure transducers are versatile devices that play a crucial role in various industries and applications. These ingenious instruments are designed to convert physical pressure into electrical signals, providing valuable data for monitoring and control purposes. Pressure transducers are essential tools to maintain precision, safety, and efficiency in the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, or healthcare sectors. In this article, we’ll explore the common applications of pressure transducers.
Pressure transducers are useful for industrial and laboratory data acquisition and control applications. While the number of applications is almost as limitless as the types of pressure transducers, here are some of the most common applications of pressure transducers:
- In engine test setup, measuring inlet, outlet, or system pressure.
- Preventive maintenance via measuring pressure drops in a line.
- Taking measurements of fluid height or level in tanks.
- Using a flush diaphragm pressure transducer to measure slurry/slush pressure.
- Sanitary pressure transducers used in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries.
Applications for Pressure Transducers
Measure the amount of water in a tank
- A submersible pressure transducer will be used with a submersible cable near the bottom of the tank to measure the water pressure above it.
- A gauge pressure transducer is used in an open system underneath the bottom of the tank or on an output line to measure the weight of the water to the top of the tank.
- A differential pressure gauge is used in a closed system to measure the pressure trapped between the top of the tank and the liquid.
Isolate a water pipe leak
To detect a break or leak in a pipe, multiple pressure transducers can be mounted to pipes above or below ground. The precise location of the leak is indicated by the transducer showing the largest pressure drop. A wireless pressure transducer also makes it possible to monitor for leaks remotely.
Detection of a gas leak
To detect a gas leak, you will need a reference pressure against which to measure the pressure going into the tank. If the pressure drops, the output rises, indicating the presence of a leak.
Monitoring gas pressure
When non-combustible gas is stored in a tank, a pressure transducer can measure the pressure and how that pressure might be affected by environmental factors like heat from the sun or cold temperatures. If measuring a combustible gas, you must use a transducer built with an explosive-proof housing or a hazardous pressure transducer that is certified safe to use with explosive gases.
Measuring pump pressure
There are several applications where the pressure produced by a pump is required. The size of the pressure transducer required is determined by the size of the pump. A micro-pressure transducer is required for very small pumps. A standard pressure transducer will suffice for larger pumps. However, in a larger pump, there is some concern about a water hammer, which can damage a pressure transducer. To avoid this issue, for larger pumps, you can move the pressure transducer downstream to allow the force of the pump to even itself out before it reaches the transducer.
Measuring pressure in a high-temperature environment
In some cases, measuring the pressure of a gas or fuel at extremely high temperatures is required. To protect the pressure transducer from these high temperatures, use the siphon effect, which involves moving the transducer away from the process and passing the fluid (liquid or gas) through a segment of metal pipe to dissipate the heat of the media being measured. The larger the tube in the siphon, the shorter the distance between the process and the pressure transducer.
Monitoring flow rates
Differential pressure transducers are among the most common ways to measure flow rates. A basic element, such as an aperture (plate) or venturi tube, is required for the process. This element causes a pressure drop by obstructing the flow of the pipe. The pressure drop is measured using the differential pressure transducer.
Taking Baghouse measurements
Differential pressure transducers can measure the different pressures on both sides of a large filter bag, known as a baghouse, used to clean particulates from the air brought out of a factory. As a bag collects particulates from the filtering process, the differential pressure increases across the bag because less air can get through the dirty filter bags. The clean air is sent to air conditioners and back to the factory, and the filter bags are replaced when needed.
Providing a pressure transducer to research and development
Pressure transducers are widely used in automotive, aerospace, and other industry test stands. Test stands can be found anywhere water pressures, fuel pressures, or air pressures on cars, planes, and other manufactured objects need to be measured.
Maintain pressure in food and beverage lines
Keeping the bottle-filling apparatus with the product is a major challenge for plants and farms that produce public drinking supplies. Special hygienic pressure transducers are used in brewing and dairy industries to detect pressure in bottling lines.
High-temperature steam pressure transducer
Pressure transducers for high-temperature steam are utilized when standard pressure transducers fail to function due to excessive temperatures. Normal-pressure transducers become temperature sensitive after a certain point due to the expansion of internal parts induced by temperature rise. Such modifications may result in output mistakes. Normal-pressure transducers are typically rated for temperatures ranging from 51° to 93° C.
On the other hand, high-temperature pressure transducers are specifically engineered to tolerate high steam temperatures. They typically use a piezoelectric core for pressure monitoring, making them resistant to high temperatures. Pressure sensors can monitor pressure at temperatures well above 1000°C. However, sensors for such harsh circumstances are only utilized for short-term measurements with intervals between them to cool the sensor.