Accurate pressure calibration is critical to most operations. Pressure gauges are used across many industries from gas and oil to sanitary to chemical to different manufacturing applications. In fact, pressure gauges have been developed to measure pressure from gases, liquids, vapors or solid bodies in many different circumstances.
A very common pressure gauge is the kind with Bourdon tubes. They are accurate, simple to operate, sturdy, and can be used in varied circumstances. Since they need no external source of power, they are very reliable.
Gauges that can be relied on for accuracy are critical to cost-effectiveness, saving time, money and productivity loss. Therefore, testing of these gauges on a regular basis should be an essential operational task. Some of these gauges are installed in very inhospitable environments. Knowing what to look for to prevent failures is also key to ongoing maintenance.
Different Pressure Gauges for Different Applications
Installation of the best gauge for your application is critical for the longevity of the equipment according to WIKA, USA. The following is a summary of the most common gauges available.
- Commercial Pressure Gauge: If you are in the HVAC, refrigerator, ventilation or food and beverage industry, a commercial pressure gauge will suit your needs.
- Industrial Pressure Gauge: In the oil and gas, alternative fuels, chemical and mobile hydraulics industry you will need damage proof instruments. These gauges are constructed of stainless steel.
- Process Pressure Gauge: In the case that your application is located in an extreme environment, you will require a gauge that can withstand vibration, pulsation, pressure spikes, corrosion and temperature variation. The temperature variation can be as a result of the ambient temperature or the process temperature. There are many devices to accommodate both. For example, there can be different mounting options to isolate the gauge from the environment. In a processing temperature variation, cooling systems can be applied, or pigtail steam system can be used to moderate the temperature.
- Low-pressure Gauge: These gauges can operate in corrosive environments as well. The gas or liquid that is being measured needs to be the type that does not obstruct the pressure system.
- Seal Gauges: These are for environments where it is critical to have no leaks such as in the waste management, chemical, oil and gas, drug and process industries.
- High Precision Test Gauges: If your environment is very sensitive, you will require these special gauges for pressure monitoring.
- Differential Gauges and Duplex Gauges: Many industries require several readings such as high and low or static process pressures.
- Absolute Pressure Gauges: These devices measure absolute pressure without any variation in the barometric pressure. They are used in measuring condensation and vapor pressures.
- Vacuum Gauges: These gauges measure pressure which is lower than the ambient atmospheric pressure.
- Pressure Recorders: These gauges not only display the data, but they record it as well. They can record the gauge pressure, absolute pressure, temperature, current and voltage to a determined point of time that can be 10 times per second. They will store up to 1 million data points.
- Pressure Transmitter Gauges: These gauges are very versatile for many important reasons. They are able to measure both the actual pressure and the difference in pressure. They can alert the operator of changes before a disaster occurs. Pressure transmitters can withstand almost any environment, including being completely submerged. They are constructed so that they are immune to both radiation and electromagnetic fields. They can also become part of your system to transmit readings from other gauges.
Other engineering considerations could be valuable in your situation when selecting a gauge. It may be vital that the gauge be able to swivel so that it can be easily seen. The scale needs to be appropriate for the variation of pressure you require. Corrosive environments can be isolated from the gauge through seals. System vibration can also be an issue. “One of the most common causes of pressure gauge failure is exposure to continuous vibration,” according to Flow Control. Vibration can also cause inaccuracy in readings or failure of the instrument. A common practice is to use a liquid-filled pressure gauge.
If you are in doubt about what type of gauge to install for your application, check with the manufacturers who will assess your unique application.
Pressure Gauge Calibration
Once you have determined the best pressure gauge for your circumstance, you next important step for safety, cost-effectiveness, and accuracy of information is to set up a system for testing your equipment.
Reliable companies can test many different types of equipment including:
- Pressure Gauges
- Standard Test Gauges
- Digital Pressure Indicators
- Differential Gauges
- Pressure Calibrators
- Pressure Transmitters
- Pressure Recorders
- Vacuum Gauges
And if you have a gauge that is unique to your situation, do not hesitate to contact precision measuring companies to access their expertise.
You are able to call in the technical team when you suspect a problem. They can come to your facility, or you can send the equipment to them if that is appropriate.
However, in many circumstances, it is best to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis. You can schedule testing for pressure calibration once or twice a year to test all of your pressure gauges.