What Are Pressure Sensors?

Pressure sensors are one of the convenient most tools you will find to control or monitor pressure. There are a number of applications that need accurate measurements of pressure and the slightest change in pressure would lead to drastic results. There are different types of pressure sensors that use different technologies, come in different designs, performances and price ranges. 

Pressure sensors can also be used to measure the flow of fluids and gases, the level of fluid or liquids, the change in pressure between two points, sensing the altitude, and testing leaks. The sensor technology in pressure sensors enable a safer work environment and play a critical role in the quality control of many industrial applications.

How do pressure sensors work?

Pressure sensors come with a sensing element that responds to a force applied by fluid or air pressure. The force applied will deflect the diaphragm inside the pressure sensor which is measured and converted into an electrical output. The readings are then monitored by electronic instruments and are used in a variety of different technologies.

Different types of pressure sensors and their applications

Though the pressure sensors can be categorized according to the range of pressures they measure, the temperature range in which they operate, and most importantly, what type of pressure they measure, they work on the same principle.

Absolute pressure sensor: If your application needs a pressure relative to a perfect vacuum or a constant reference, you need an absolute pressure sensor. For instance, if you constantly need to monitor a vacuum pump or require to take liquid pressure measurements regularly, an absolute pressure sensor would do the job.

Gauge pressure sensor: If you have ever checked your tire pressure, you would have seen how a gauge pressure sensor works. A gauge pressure sensor measures the pressure relative to atmospheric pressure. 

Vacuum pressure sensor: Used to measure absolute pressure relative to a vacuum, a vacuum pressure sensor can also be used to measure the difference between that low pressure and atmospheric pressure.

Differential pressure sensor: The differential pressure sensors are used to measure the difference between two pressure ranges. For instance, to measure pressure drops across two filters, you could use a differential pressure sensor; this helps you to find out whether you need to replace your filter or not. If you need to measure pressure drops across two filters or need to compare the pressure of two fluid levels or the gas flow in pipes or ducts or even detect a block in a pipe, differential pressure sensors can be used.

Sealed pressure sensor: Similar to the gauge pressure sensor in other working principles, the sealed pressure sensor only differs but they measure pressure relative to a fixed pressure rather than to the current atmospheric pressure.

Where are pressure sensors used?

Pressure sensors are increasingly used to monitor and control applications in industries such as industrial, medical, automotive, aeronautical, weather monitoring, manufacturing and building devices. 

Ready to find the best and affordable  pressure sensor for your business application? Click here to browse through some of the most commonly used automation and control gear components for your perusal.

Adrianna Tori

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