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Choosing the right pressure sensor - contributed article by Honeywell Sensing & Control
Choosing the right pressure sensor
With the proliferation of modern sensing technology, choosing the right option can be something of a challenge. Here Jacqueline Leff, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Honeywell offers a simplified guide for designers and product specifiers in choosing the right pressure sensor.
Today’s pressure sensors are called on to work within the harshest of environments - with wide ranging temperatures, hostile and corrosive media – or sometimes to take the simplest of pressure readings.
Whether a particular pressure sensor is suitable for a specific application will depend in great part on the sensor’s attributes, the operating temperature and the environment it’s being specified for, and the job it’s being asked to perform.
So, how do you select sensors that address multiple customer-specific performance requirements? Here is a guide to finding just what you’re looking for based on your performance requirements or design needs.
First, decide what the application for the sensor is. Then, you’ll need to ask some of these basic questions, such as, how extreme are the temperatures or corrosive nature of the media being measured? Is the environment a vibration challenge? What is the pressure range that needs to be measured in psi, bar, inches of water, etc.? How much time are you willing to devote to the integration of the sensor, or must it be ready to implement and forget? What is the pressure type (gage, absolute, differential)? How accurate does the pressure measurement need to be? And, just as important, what are the size and price constraints?
Historically, there have been issues of stability such as drift over time, or how the sensors reacted to temperature and humidity extremes. Until recently, OEMs would have to calibrate their sensors, and end-users did the same. This was a major drain on time and effort, and the end application repeatability and reliability suffered.
Product design sizes continued to shrink, yet sensor miniaturisation often lagged. It was difficult to find modular designs and flexibility in a wide range of package styles and options. Figuring out if a specific sensor actually met accuracy specifications took longer than it should have. Finally, whenever recalibration was necessary, or when the sensors were changed out or upgraded, the process of recalibration started all over again.
Then pressure sensor design began to change. A new breed of silicon pressure sensors was unveiled that would radically affect the experience of design engineers because sensors could come pre-calibrated and temperature compensated. Advances in sensor technology meant that these devices were consistent, reliable and accurate. Of great importance to designers, these sensors also began to be more affordable.
read the entire article here - http://www.connectingindustry.com/Electronics/choosing-the-right-pressure-sensor.aspx