What Are Pressure Sensors?

Used to convert the pressure measurements of a gas or liquid into an electrical signal, pressure sensors have evolved over time to suit a myriad of applications and industries. As such, various sensor types have been created to measure specific parameters of flow, speed, water level, and altitude variables. Diverse among electrical networks, pressure sensors can often be found in systems using alarms, robotics, automation, industrial hydraulics, off-road construction tools, refrigerated systems, water-level identification devices, and more. Often referred to as pressure transducers, transmitters, or indicators, pressure sensors grew to take root within aviation, aerospace, automotive, marine, biomedical, manufacturing, and various other industries. Without the integration of a well-fitted pressure sensor, you risk jeopardizing part precision and accuracy, inevitably reducing production quality. While we may unknowingly use pressure sensors during our daily activities, because they are independently calibrated for different measurements, it is imperative to know how different sensors function and how they can be applied.

Becoming a renowned tool during the steam age, pressure sensors were first commercialized with the installment of Bourdon tube gauges. Visually reflecting any changes in pressure through the implementation of an indicator needle, Bourdon tube gauges used during the steam age rapidly advanced alongside improvements in technology. Over time, while supplementing aging parts for advanced pieces and adapting to suit various industries, pressure sensors have come to be grouped as either “force collectors” or “other” types. Diverse in measurement variables, temperature ranges, and part compatibility, modern pressure sensors are now capable of measuring absolute pressure, gauge pressure, vacuum pressure, differential pressure, and sealed pressure.

While they are common in application, pressure sensors can differ dramatically based on what materials they are cultivated from, the technology they use, design specifications, performance, application, and cost. Routinely manufactured as regulatory pressure switches, absolute pressure sensors are often used for systems requiring constant monitoring of vacuum pumps, liquid pressure measurement, industrial packaging, and other similar systems demanding a reference similar to a vacuum. Meanwhile, pressure sensors like gauge sensors are often used to determine an object's pressure by comparing it to an area of surrounding ambient pressure, or any relative atmospheric pressure. On the other hand, vacuum sensors measure pressure by comparing variables to those generated within a vacuum. On the contrary, differential pressure sensors compare the differences between two pressure measurements to calculate fluctuations in pressure, fluid levels, and flow rates. While relatively low in cost, as we see the demand for variations in sensor technology continue to grow, we may see the market for pressure sensor technology continue to diversify.

For commercial or industrial pressure sensors that may require additional support, such sensors can be manufactured out of piezoelectric materials. A low cost solution often made from inexpensive materials such as quartz, tourmaline, or gallium phosphate, piezoelectric pressure sensors are known for their endurance under stress from high temperatures, radiation, and electromagnetic fields. Though operable under harsh conditions, these sensors can only hold a fixed amount of charge before causing imperfections within surrounding insulating materials. Reducing the sensor's quality, resistance to environmental interference, and overall performance, piezoelectric sensors made from quartz often require periods of cooling time between operations.

Though reliable for monitoring a multitude of applications, pressure sensors are still susceptible to malfunctions if improperly applied. Alongside the disregard of proper maintenance, pressure sensors often meet the end of their lifespan due to mechanical damage, electrical damage, corrosion, and damage caused by having an overabundance of pressure within a system. By selecting the right pressure sensor parts for the job, like those capable of withstanding perpetual forces, typical damages experienced from malpractice or human error can be mitigated. Otherwise, like all factory parts, sensors are still susceptible to manufacturing defects, failure during transportation, premature failure, and general part failure from wear over time. If properly cared for, a typical sensor can last anywhere from five to fifteen years, though the approximate mean time to failure (MTTF) of pressure sensors can reach upwards of several hundred years.

At ASAP Aviation Hub, we are your first-stop shop for all of your pressure sensor and assembly part needs. When your components require replacement, rest assured knowing that we can easily help you obtain the parts you are in need of. As pressure sensors can ultimately be classified based on a number of properties, they must come built with different technologies to provide accurate results. As a dependable distributor of various pressure sensor boxes, pressure sensor holders, pressure sensor assemblies, and more, we invite you to browse our inventory for numerous industrial pressure sensors and their applicable parts. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


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