The benefits of using a Liquid Filled Pressure Gauge over a dry gauge
Liquid filled pressure gauges are similar to dry utility pressure gauges but are filled with liquid. These types of gauges are suitable for all the same oil, gas, liquid and solid industries as the dry gauges. Typically the liquid inside is a type of oil or alcohol like glycerin or glycerol. Oils are chosen for their high viscosity, meaning that they will resist change as a liquid.
Vibration is any machines worst enemy; it can loosen bolts and parts over time causing the gauge to fail. A gauge is technically a simple machine, which therefore inherits the problems of vibrations that larger machines have. Over a long enough period of time and vibration, any gauge will come apart and fail. The screws, bolts, dials, and fittings will simple rattle away from each other until it is unusable or completely dismantled. Machines or systems that create pressure often have significant vibrations, such an air compressor or power washer. Motorcycles have various gauges on them such as the oil pressure gauge, and are notorious for their heavy vibrations. Many people choose an oil filled pressure gauge for their motorcycle for that reason. The vibrations in automobiles are often dampened for the consumers comfort; nonetheless cars often utilize an oil filled gauge. Aside from completely ruining a gauge, vibrations can make getting an accurate reading of the pressure levels difficult or impossible. Simply airing up your car\’s tires with a compressor can be frustrating when the readout isn’t clear because the dial keeps bouncing around. Over inflating your tires or under-inflating your tires can be dangerous as a driver, passenger, or even the air compressor operator.
Glycerin is oil like substance which has been historically derived from processes such as making soap. Glycerol is a refined version of glycerin that is also an alcohol. Glycerin is a common liquid used in these liquid filled pressure gauges. Glycerin can limit the effect of vibrations significantly if not almost completely. Machines that require consistent readings every time will need to replace their gauge periodically to ensure safety and productivity. The working temperature range for glycerin filled gauges is normally between 30 to 160 degrees. Silicone oil will withstand a wider temperature range (from -50 degrees to 300 degrees), but will also be more expensive.
Liquid filled pressure gauges are certainly a higher quality instrument for any pressure related application. With that being said, these gauges often cost significantly more. If you are using a gauge for something that has large amounts of vibrations you will save time, money and possibly even some lives if you spare the extra dollar initially. Only avoid oil filled gauges if they are not suitable for the temperature ranges that you will be operating in.
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Preston Shamblen – Thou shalt not lose!