View A Video on Pressure Transducers - A Quick Introduction
Pressure transducers are devices that convert any physical force being exerted on them into electrical energy. In the simplest and most general definition, a transducer is any device that converts energy from one form to another. Pressure transducers take energy gained from pressure and convert that energy into electricity. Transducers are key components in pressure sensors (also called pressure transmitters), and though the terms are frequently used interchangeably, a pressure transducer is technically just one part of a pressure sensor.
Despite the imprecision of the label, the term "pressure transducer" can be used to describe a pressure sensor without creating much confusion, mostly because pressure transducers are applied almost exclusively as pressure sensors. Miniature sensors, pressure calibrators, pressure regulators, level transmitters and other pressure sensor varieties all require the use of pressure transducers to measure and report pressure levels in an area. Temperature transducers and torque transducers are also somewhat imprecisely named, but that imprecision does not typically cause confusion; they are also used to convert input energy into electrical energy for the purposes of measurement. Air pressure sensors are among the most common pressure sensors. The three main air pressure sensor categories, absolute pressure sensors, atmospheric pressure sensors and differential pressure sensors, distinguish themselves from each other based on how they measure air pressure relative to ambient pressure.There are numerous varieties of pressure sensors, and they are classified according to the range of pressure they measure, the operating temperature range and the kind of pressure they measure. The five main categories of pressure sensors include absolute and differential sensors as well as gauge, vacuum and sealed pressure sensors. Absolute pressure is measured against a perfect vacuum, which is 0 pounds per square inch (PSI). Atmospheric pressure, for example, is ~14.7 PSI at sea level as measured by an absolute pressure sensor. An air pressure sensor determines the pressure of air flow and provides a convenient and accessible way to understand the reading. These sensors are typically used with air compressors or pneumatic tools. Barometric or atmospheric pressure sensors provide readings of the pressure from the so-called weight of the air and are frequently used in meteorology. Differential pressure sensors calculate the difference between two or more pressures as measured by various inputs in the unit. They measure drops in pressure and the rate of flow within enclosed or pressurized vessels. Miniature sensors are designed for use in critical medical or biological applications where instruments should provide a very low intrusion volume.
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combination of the error of nonlinearity, repeatability and hysteresis,
expressed as a percentage of full scale
- A load applied alongside or parallel to and concentric with the primary axis.
- The sensitivity of a sensor that is preferably in a straight line but also usually has minute non-linearity. BFSL takes all the data points from the curve and describes a straight line through these data points so that the divergence (and thus the error) between the curve and the straight line is at a minimum.
- The maximum amount of pressure that may be applied to an object without the object rupturing.
- A test in which known values of pressure are applied to the instrument and output readings are recorded under specific conditions.
- The volume of the pressure port of a transducer at room temperature and barometric pressure.
- The difference between the actual measured pressure and a fixed reference point.
- The difference between the true value of the pressure that is sensed and the value indicated by the transducer.
- The voltage or current applied to the input terminals of the transducer to supply its proper operating conditions.
- Pressure measured relative to ambient pressure.
- The maximum difference in output within the range when the value is approached with increasing pressure and then with decreasing pressure for full range traverses.
- The maximum deviation of the calibration curve (average of upscale and downscale readings) from a straight line positioned to pass through the upper and lower range values.
- Undesirable signals that can increase the amount of error. Examples of noise include radio frequency interference, electromagnetic interference, hum from power lines and broadband or white noise.
- The electrical signal that results from applied pressure to the transducer.
- The greatest pressure desired that is sensed during a measurement session.
- An orderly change in pressure over a specific time.
- The closeness of agreement among a number of consecutive measurements of the output for the same value of the input under the same operating conditions, approaching from the same direction, for full range traverses.
- The part of the transducer that reacts directly as a response to pressure.
- A change in the pressure that is being measured or controlled.
- The rated output signal of a transducer without a load applied and rated excitation, typically articulated as a percent of rated output.