Common Risk Factors Involving Pressure Transducers

by Kevin on May 24, 2017

Pressure transducers or transmitters are very sophisticated and advanced instruments. While they can gauge accurately the amount of pressure in a particular media, people working with them need experience and know-how to make sure the results are not going to be erroneous. The risk factors would be a good guideline for those who will eventually use these instruments in the future.

Below are some of the causes that can impact on the outcome of the tests:

Fittings

The type of fittings will depend on the application. For instance, a tapered thread is typically used in the US. But when you are dealing with pressures of up to 10,000 psi, the data may be compromised. In Europe, the most common type is the G threads, which use a gasket instead of Teflon. The type of fittings on the front of the diaphragm is the mechanical process connector while on the back, you will find the electronics housing. A compensation circuit can also be installed to create accurate measurement in ever-changing temperatures.

Installation

Distance will also have a bearing on the accuracy of data. With the right pipeline, you can still gauge the pressure in large distances. However, speed may be compromised because it may take some time for the feedback to arrive and create an electrical signal.

Compatibility with the Media

A pressure transducer for cooking oil will not be the same with gas. But there are fittings that could match most media such as a Viton seal that affixes the ceramic diaphragm to the housing. Stainless material also is very adaptable in terms of offering protection to the instrument.

Electrical Output

Analog output is still being utilized in tests. The transducers you use may have different electrical supply needs although they generally range between 15 to 30 Vdc. Typically, 24 Vdc would be enough to provide the supply needs of most transmitters.

Indoor or Outdoor

Whether the tests are conducted indoor or outdoor will have bearing on the outcome. To make sure you control the conditions, building an enclosure when outdoors will guarantee the instrument is protected from the elements. Indoor conditions may also require some air-conditioning.

Amount of Vibration

Intense vibration will cause damage and shorten the lifespan of the pressure transducers. But this can be avoided with sufficient knowledge in the minimum standards of the mechanical construction. In some cases, you may need to custom-build the specifications because off-the-shelf products may not be enough to address your requirements. Another method is to isolate the transmitters from the shock or vibration through the installation of long pipes or the use of shock mounts.

There are other factors, of course, which can impact the data to be mined from the pressure transducers. While they are very real risks, the good news is there are also corresponding solutions. For the most part, manufacturers will be able to provide you with suggestions on how to install the instruments, and optimizing their operation. The main takeaways are don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

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