The humble 63mm (2.5") glycerine gauge is the device of choice in hydraulic circuits worldwide, installed to reassure the user that all is fine, or not. But what if, rather than reassuring you, it was lying to you?
It is, after all, a mechanical device designed in 1849 to measure steam pressure and then adopted in more and more applications. Now every time someone mentioned pressure measurement they thought glycerine gauge. The use of a liquid like glycerine was a necessary addition in a hydraulic system as a dry gauge flutters far too much to make it readable, so the damping effect of the treacle like glycerine was a perfect solution to ensure the needle didn't move faster than the eye could see, or a delay of about 350 milliseconds. But what if a hydraulic valve is wearing out in months instead of years and your glycerine gauge says the pressure never exceeds 200 bar (3000 psi), therefore it can't be due to over-pressure, can it?
Well, actually a lot can happen in 350ms that might be going unnoticed. Only by using a fast reacting pressure transducer can you see any pressure spikes that may be contributing to the valve failure. Like in any discipline, you have to use the right tool for the job, as my old wood-work teacher taught me, “you don't use a hammer to put in a screw”.
Find out everything you need to know to ensure you select the right pressure measuring device for your job, by downloading this comprehensive guide today.
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