Failures and Pressure Gauges

Update:28 Nov 2019

One way to reduce the number of gauges in a plant is to […]

One way to reduce the number of gauges in a plant is to stop installing them on the basis of habit (such as placing a pressure gauge on the discharge of every pump).

If the gauge indicates the pressure (or pressure drop) in the process, that information is valuable only if one can do something about it (like cleaning a filter); otherwise it is useless.

If one approaches the specification of pressure gauges with this mentality, the number of gauges used will be reduced. If a plant uses fewer, better gauges, reliability will increase.

Failures and Pressure Gauges

Two common reasons for gauge failure are pipe vibration and water condensation, which in colder climates can freeze and damage the pressure gauge housing.

The delicate links, pivots, and pinions of a traditional gauge are sensitive to both condensation and vibration. The life of the filled pressure gauge is longer, not only because it has fewer moving parts, but because its housing is filled with a viscous oil. This oil filling is beneficial not only because it dampens pointer vibration, but also because it leaves no room for humid ambient air to enter. As a result, water cannot condense and accumulate.

Available gauge features include illuminated dials and digital readouts for better visibility, temperature compensation to correct for ambient temperature variation, differential gauges for differential pressures, and duplex gauges for dual pressure indication on the same dial. Pressure gauges are classified according to their precision, from grade 4A (permissible error of 0.1% of span) to grade D (5% error).

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