What Are the Different Types of Pressure Measurement?

Pressure sensor schematic

There are 4 Main Types of Pressure Measurement

  • Gauge – Reference to atmospheric pressure.
  • Sealed – Referenced to a sealed chamber closed with atmospheric pressure (approximately 1bar).
  • Absolute – The reference is a vacuum (0bar or no pressure).
  • Differential – Where the sensor has two ports for the measurement of two different pressures.

All pressure measurements are made with respect to a reference pressure and are expressed in those main terms.

Gauge (G)

Gauge pressure sensors measure the input pressure (of your media) with reference to ambient atmospheric pressure (vented to atmosphere). Gauge is used to measure pressure relative to ambient conditions, such as with car tyre pressure. As the sensors are open to the atmosphere, they are susceptible to humidity. Care must be taken that units are installed in dry areas (otherwise internal circuitry can fail).

Sealed (S)

Measures the input pressure (of your media) with reference to a sealed chamber closed with atmospheric pressure (approximately 1bar). This protects the internal circuitry of the sensor from humidity. This range is normally restricted to minimum 7bar and above. Outside installations or where the equipment may be washed are good application examples.  Our industrial pressure sensors are ideal.

Absolute (A)

Absolute pressure sensors measure the input pressure (of your media) with reference to a vacuum chamber at 0bar (evacuated and hermetically sealed). Specified where absolute pressure measurements are required, eg barometric pressures, or where equipment needs to have all the air removed.

Differential (D)

Here the reference pressure is neither ambient nor internal to the sensor. The sensor is supplied with two ports – high and low inputs – and will measure the difference between the two. Generally used for filter measurement applications.  See our range of differential pressure sensors.

Application Examples

TypeDefinitionApplication Examples
GaugeReference to atmospheric pressure.Car Tyre
Water Level Measurement
Chamber Pressure
Hydraulic Applications
SealedReferenced to a sealed chamber closed with atmospheric pressure (approximately 1bar).For use in Aggressive Media
Industrial Applications
Washdown Environments
Food and Beverage
AbsoluteThe reference is a vacuum (0bar or no pressure).Barometric
Weather Stations and Meteorological Applications
DifferentialMeasuring the difference between two pressure port readings.Filter and Pump Monitoring
Air Conditioner
HVAC Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Clean Room Monitoring

Like the above article? Why not read our other sensor reference articles.

We have a wide range of pressure sensors, transducers and transmitters that are ideal for many applications and industries. Custom designed sensors are also available.

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