Contact pressure gauges

What are mechatronic measuring instruments?

Where electronic components or assemblies are integrated into mechanical measuring instruments. Thus, there is a purely mechanical on-site display giving either an additional electrical output signal or offering a switch function. The advantage of instruments like this is that, should the power supply or the measuring signal be disrupted or interrupted, the measured value can nevertheless still be read reliably on site.

What is a change-over contact?

When the set point is exceeded, simultaneously one circuit is opened (NC) and one circuit is closed (NO). Changeover contacts are denoted by the number 3 (SPDT).

What is a magnetic snap-action contact (model 821)?

The magnetic snap-action contact is a mechanical physical contact for switching loads of up to 30W 50VA. The signal output is achieved either ahead of or behind the movement of the actual value pointer. To close the circuit, the contact pin of the movable contact arm, just before reaching the set point, is attracted by the action of a permanent magnet mounted on the carrier arm. Through the holding force of the magnet, magnetic snap-action contacts are immune to vibration. To open the circuit, the magnet keeps the contact arm attracted until the restoring force of the measuring element exceeds the magnet's strength and the contact springs open.

What is a reed contact (model 851)?

Reed contacts are often used for switching small voltages and currents, since their hermetically-sealed design, in combination with contacts in inert gas, cannot become corroded on the contact surfaces. Their high reliability and low contact resistance make them suitable for a large number of applications.They include, for example, PLC applications, signal conversion in measuring instruments, signal lights, acoustic signal transmitters and many more.

What is an electronic contact (model 830.E)?

Electronic contacts are fitted with non-contact slot sensors. They are especially suitable for oil-filled gauges and should be preferred for low voltages and small DC loads, such as for the signal input for a PLC (programmable logic controller).

What is an inductive contact (model 831)?

Inductive limit switches in pointer gauges are fitted with non-contact electrical distance sensors (proximity sensors) in accordance with EN 50227. The output signal is determined by the presence or absence of a flag, moved by the actual value pointer within the range of the electromagnetic field of the proximity switch. They are mainly used in hazardous areas.

What is an isolating amplifier?

The isolating amplifier transmits digital signals from the hazardous area. The signal transmitters can be either sensors per DIN 19234 (NAMUR) or mechanical contacts. The input is securely isolated from the output and the power supply in accordance with DIN EN 50020. The output and the power supply are securely isolate from each other in accordance with DIN EN 50178.

What is ATEX?

ATEX is a widely-used synonym for the European Union ATEX directives. The name comes form the abbreviation of the French 'Atmosphere explosible'. The directive currently includes two directives in the field of explosion protection, namely the ATEX equipment directive, 94/9/EC, and the ATEX workplace directive, 99/92/EC.

What is meant by switching function?

Under switching function, we mean the opening or closing of an electrical circuit. Normally-closed contacts (NC, denoted by a 2) interrupt a circuit on rising pressure (clockwise); normally-open contacts (NO, denoted by a 1) close a circuit on rising pressure (clockwise).

Which standard regulates contact gauges?

Sliding and magnetic snap-action contacts fitted in pressure gauges and thermometers with housing diameters of 100 and 160 mm are governed by DIN 16085.

How does the measuring system for Model 7 differential pressure gauges with diaphragms behave outside the full scale value?

The plus or minus-sided overpressure safety, up to the maximum working pressure (PN40, PN100, PN250, PN400), is achieved through the metallic measuring element support surface arrangement.  Pressures within the permissible overload range leave no lasting damage on the measuring system.

How low is the temperature of the medium which is stored inside the cryogenic vessel when it reaches the pressure gauge?

A Cryo gas is a gas which is gaseous at ambient temperature and pressure and becomes liquid because of cooling and compression. Due to cooling and compression the volume of the gas can be reduced and thus it’s possible to store a huge quantity inside a vessel.

Typical liquid gases which are stored in closed vessels are nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and nitrous oxide.

The following chart shows the boiling point of these gases at ambient pressure and at 20 bar inside the vessel:

  Ambient pressure  20 bar
nitrogen -196°C -157°C
oxygen -183°C -140°C
argon -186°C -143°C
carbon dioxide Not liquid -19°C
liquefied natural gas  -162°C -107°C
nitrous oxide -88°C -16°C

The lowest temperature for liquid technical gases inside a vessel is -196°C of the liquid phase of nitrogen, if there is about 1 bar inside the vessel. If the temperature of the liquid gas inside the vessel increases, then the pressure inside the vessel increases as well.

A vessel for liquid gases always consists of two vessels: one inner vessel and one outer vessel. There is a vacuum between the vessels which are connected by steel rods. The vacuum isolates the inner vessel from the outside temperature to ensure that the temperature of the medium inside the vessel is less influenced by the ambient temperature.

There are two pipes which connect the inner vessel with the pressure gauge mounted outside the vessel. One connects the upper part of the vessel (gaseous phase) with the pressure gauge and the other connects the lower part of the vessel (liquid phase) with the pressure gauge. As soon as the gas in the pipe leaves the outer vessel, that is the isolated area, it will become gaseous.

Within the pipe, the medium will reach the ambient temperature before it reaches the gauge. As a consequence, the lowest medium temperature in the pipe outside the vessel is the ambient temperature. For our Cryo Gauges the lowest permissible ambient temperature is -40°C. The medium is always gaseous when it reaches the pressure gauge.

What happens when a model 7 differential pressure gauge with separation diaphragms made of elastomers is operated below the ambient temperature specified in the data sheet?

Below the permissible ambient temperatures, the accuracy deteriorates significantly, since the diaphragm (which is either made of FPM / FKM or NBR) stiffens at low temperatures.

What is the function of a three-way valve block?

With upstream pressure equalising valves it is possible to achieve uniform pressure loading from the plus and minus side, to avoid single-sided overpressure loading during both start-up and operation, and also to enable zero point checks during operation.

What is the function of a four or five-way valve block?

These pressure-equalising valves (with integrated shut-off, purge and vent valves) enable the pressure gauge to be vented on one or both sides and the supply line to be purged.

What do the abbreviations PGT and PGS stand for?

Model PGT (Pressure Gauge Transmitter) instruments are mechatronic pressure measuring instruments which display the pressure without needing external power, and simultaneously generate an electronic output signal. Model PGS (Pressure Gauge Switch) instruments are mechatronic pressure measuring instruments which display the pressure without needing external power, and simultaneously offer an electronic switching function.

What function does the Hall sensor provide in intelliGAUGE/intelliTHERM instruments?

The magnetic field that affects the Hall sensor comes from a moving permanent magnet, that is arranged at a fixed distance from the Hall sensor. Thus the angle of rotation of the permanent magnet in relation to the Hall sensor can be measured. In intelliGAUGE/intelliTHERM instruments a permanent magnet is fixed on the pointer, central to the pointer shaft. When the pointer turns, the magnet turns with it. Thus the angle of the field lines, which run between the two poles of the magnet, changes relative to the Hall sensor. Since for each angle of the field lines to the Hall sensor there is a different field strength, the Hall sensor generates a Hall voltage that is proportional to the angle of rotation of the pointer and thus proportional to the pressure.

Does the height above sea level have any effect on the measuring result of relative pressure measuring instruments?

No, this has no effect, since it is always the pressure differential from ambient that is measured.

What are the "little yellow levers" on the pressure gauge casing for?

Pressure gauges for pressure ranges under 363 psi (25 bar) generally have a filling plug with small levers. These yellow levers are closed on delivery, and must be opened on fitting, in order to prevent any possible pressure build-up in the case. This pressure in the case leads to inadmissibly high accuracy deviations for the gauge.

What is the Accuracy class?

The Accuracy class gives the error limits in percent of the measuring span.

When should a restrictor be used?

For pressure spikes or sudden pressure loading and unloading.

Why can some pressure gauges only be used up to an ambient temperature of 140°F (60°C)?

If the window of the pressure gauge is made from safety glass, then it can only be used up to an ambient temperature of 140°F (60°C). The safety glass is made from two glass discs. These glass discs are stuck together using a foil. If the temperature rises above 140°F (60°C), then the foil blisters. Consequently, the scale will no longer be able to be read reliably.

What can I do if the medium temperature with filled-gauges is over 212°F (100°C)?

You can use a pressure gauge syphon, a diaphragm seal or a capillary line as an additional cooling element in order to lower the medium temperature.

What is the difference between a standard pressure gauge and a safety pattern version?

A safety version (code S3 per EN837) has an additional solid baffle wall welded between the dial and the measuring system. In addition, the case has a back wall that can blow out completely. The window is typically made of laminated safety glass. If a pressure builds up in the housing (e.g. from a rupture in the Bourdon tube), this pressure will exhaust completely through the back wall, which is then ejected from the case by the pressure. A release of pressure through the window cannot occur, so there is no risk to personnel through splinters of flying glass. At WIKA these instruments are specially marked on the dial with an "S" in the circle.

Why does one have filled pressure gauges?

The filling fluid serves as damping for the moving parts within the case. As a result, damage caused by vibration and increased wear on the moving parts can be prevented.

What is the Hall effect?

If a constant current is running through a semiconductor component, and this component is then placed in a magnetic field, then a voltage (Hall voltage) is generated within this semiconductor component which is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field.

Which instruments are suitable for liquids with small measuring ranges?

Diaphragm pressure gauges up to 0.23 psi (16 mbar) are suitable for liquids (through self-emptying of the pressure chamber).