What do Differential Pressure Sensors Measure?

For a manufacturer of highly technical systems and products, there is strong worldwide competition. The process requirements for your solutions are always increasing. Customers have ever higher expectations of your range of products and systems.

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Which pressure sensor system should you use in this situation?

Differential Pressure Sensor

Which differential pressure sensor provides the exact application, quality and cost benefits that you and your customers require – from the measurement parameters to the design and process integration?

For many industries, along with the healthcare sector, pressure is a vital physical value and pressure measurement a correspondingly important task. Today, electronic sensors are used to take these measurements. They provide accurate and reliable readings even in the smallest pressure ranges assuming, that is, that each sensor is in the correct place. There are a wide variety of absolute, relative and differential pressure sensors but this article focuses primarily on the differential pressure sensor - more specifically, the piezoresistive (diaphragm-based) measuring principle and the thermal (flow-based) measuring principle.

Modes of Differential Pressure Sensor

Differential pressure sensors have two individual pressure connections enabling them to measure the difference between two pressures. This could potentially be a positive (p1 > p2) or a negative (p1 < p2) differential pressure dependent on the calibration of the sensor.

Uses of Differential Pressure Sensor

Differential pressure sensors are typically used in:

  • medical technology: to determine respiratory or gas flows*
  • air-conditioning technology: recording air flows*
  • filter monitoring: measuring the pressure upstream and downstream of the filter*

*Volume flow measurement in pipelines and flow channels (for example, respiratory flow in medical technology or air flows in air-conditioning technology etc.) are taken using differential pressure sensors with extremely small pressure ranges of only a few millibar.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by First Sensor AG.

For more information on this source, please visit First Sensor AG.


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