Pressure Sensors

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Pressure sensors are among the most useful sensors for industrial applications because pressure can be converted to determine the liquid level of a tank or the temperature in addition to measuring the amount of force that is placed on an object. Pressure can be used to determine the level of fluid in a tank by converting the amount of head pressure into the height of a column of the liquid. Pressure can also be used to determine temperature from conversion tables because there is a direct correlation between the temperature and the pressure of confined gases. Pressure can also be used to measure flow by calculating the pressure drop across an orifice plate. This means that you will see pressure sensors in a wide variety of sensor applications, but the basic theory of operation of the pressure sensor is all that is required to troubleshoot and repair all of these types of sensors. This series of articles will explain the terminology of pressure, the operation of the different types of sensors, and applications of using pressure sensors in industrial measurements.

It may be helpful to start this article series with several common problems you will face when you are working in industry. The first problem is that you are asked to select a sensor that can determine the amount of pressure that steam is exerting in a steam jacket that is used to heat the product your company is making. it's important to have a visual indication of the amount of steam and also have the sensor produce a 4-20 mA signal that can be used as the process variable for a closed-loop controller that controls the steam valve.

A second problem involves selecting a pressure sensor to determine the amount of vacuum (pressure below atmospheric pressure 14.7 psi) that exists in a product testing system that tests air-conditioning tubing. A third problem is to select a sensor that can measure the pressure of the hydraulic system on a plastic injection molding system that has pressures that reach 2000 psi.

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Related pages: Load Cells | Flow Meters