Why Worry About Ageing?

I am sure we can all agree that every day we get one day older, and even if we don’t realise it “things” change over the years. Most items have a life expectancy: even the latest ICs on the market carry an estimated lifetime.

Such ageing effects are of course worse where there are moving mechanical parts involved, as we know from a car’s bearings, engine parts etc that wear out after a certain time and require replacement.

However, it is not always “things“ that wear out. Sometimes materials change characteristics, get weaker, softer, harder, disintegrate, drift etc.

Sensors age too

All these effects are present on any sensor, thanks to the nature of its construction. Every physical sensor (without exception) is measuring some form of movement, and so is bending, stressing etc.

Therefore, even though sensors are designed to operate within the elastic area of the material used and theoretically have infinite lifetimes, all sensors exhibit some level of “drift” (or deregulation) with time.

It is therefore important to discuss long-term stability with the sensor supplier. This is homework that will pay off by reducing field problems in the future.

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

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