How Will the Sensor Interface Mechanically?

There are many ways to bring pressure to a sensor but, as always, there are several questions that must be answered before choosing.

  • Will the sensor be fitted permanently?
  • What type is the pressure port?
  • Can the port withstand the rated pressure?
  • Is there a cost for machining a mating part?
  • Which seals should be fitted?
  • Does the industry require special fittings?
  • What are the replacement options?
  • Does the sensor need to be removed for cleaning?

Most sensor manufacturers have standard ranges of sensors with standard ports. However, while this may appear to simplify the choice, it may hide additional costs for mounting, machining, seals etc. Also ensure that the seals and/or seal materials used are compatible with the media.

Beware hidden costs

Although using a standard product may appear to be the lowest cost option, it is important to consider mechanical reliability. For example, could shock or vibration in the application cause the sensor to work loose? And, once mounted, can the sensor be over-tightened? This will either ruin the sensor or a very become an expensive machine part.

Some of the common mechanical connections on pressure sensors are: BSP, UNF, metric, NPT, tube-titting, tlush, TRI-Clover, MJT, VCR, Swagelok, -3, Kwik-Release etc.

Many industries have their own standards and specifications that must be followed in order to obtain approvals. One of the most common is the food industry, in which no dead-pockets (bug-traps) are accepted, and all sensors are required to be flash with pipes etc.

Another standard is the gas industry where VCR connections are widely used. However, where mixed gases are used, the surface finish polish is important, as gas can be trapped in the pore holes of the material.

Whatever sensor is chosen, everybody involved in the application needs to understand that a sensor is an expensive high-technology measuring device, and not just another nail that you can hit with a hammer! Always use a spanner or other appropriate tool on the sensor’s designated mounting surface.

Read more: Index to all of our Technical Notes on Pressure

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