Pressure measurement
Encyclopedia
Many techniques have been developed for the measurement of pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

and vacuum
Vacuum
In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...

. Instruments used to measure pressure are called pressure gauges or vacuum gauges.

A manometer could also be referring to a pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

measuring instrument
Measuring instrument
In the physical sciences, quality assurance, and engineering, measurement is the activity of obtaining and comparing physical quantities of real-world objects and events. Established standard objects and events are used as units, and the process of measurement gives a number relating the item...

, usually limited to measuring pressures near to atmospheric. The term manometer is often used to refer specifically to liquid column hydrostatic instruments.

A vacuum gauge is used to measure the pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

in a vacuum
Vacuum
In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...

—which is further divided into two subcategories, high and low vacuum (and sometimes ultra-high vacuum). The applicable pressure range of many of the techniques used to measure vacuums have an overlap. Hence, by combining several different types of gauge, it is possible to measure system pressure continuously from 10 mbar
Bar (unit)
The bar is a unit of pressure equal to 100 kilopascals, and roughly equal to the atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level. Other units derived from the bar are the megabar , kilobar , decibar , centibar , and millibar...

down to 10−11 mbar.

Absolute, gauge and differential pressures - zero reference

Everyday pressure measurements, such as for tire pressure, are usually made relative to ambient air pressure. In other cases measurements are made relative to a vacuum or to some other ad hoc reference. When distinguishing between these zero references, the following terms are used:
• Absolute pressure is zero-referenced against a perfect vacuum, so it is equal to gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure.
• Gauge pressure is zero-referenced against ambient air pressure, so it is equal to absolute pressure minus atmospheric pressure. Negative signs are usually omitted.
• Differential pressure is the difference in pressure between two points.

The zero reference in use is usually implied by context, and these words are added only when clarification is needed. Tire pressure
Tire-pressure gauge
A tire-pressure gauge is a pressure gauge used to measure the pressure of tires on a vehicle. conditions can introduce a 13 to 15 percent variability in pressure due to temperature , and additional changes can result due to altitude...

and blood pressure
Sphygmomanometer
A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter is a device used to measure blood pressure, comprising an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just...

are gauge pressures by convention, while atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

s, deep vacuum pressures, and altimeter pressures
Altimeter
An altimeter is an instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. The measurement of altitude is called altimetry, which is related to the term bathymetry, the measurement of depth underwater.-Pressure altimeter:...

must be absolute. Differential pressures are commonly used in industrial process systems. Differential pressure gauges have two inlet ports, each connected to one of the volumes whose pressure is to be monitored. In effect, such a gauge performs the mathematical operation of subtraction through mechanical means, obviating the need for an operator or control system to watch two separate gauges and determine the difference in readings. Moderate vacuum pressures are often ambiguous, as they may represent absolute pressure or gauge pressure without a negative sign. Thus a vacuum of 26 inHg gauge is equivalent to an absolute pressure of 30 inHg (typical atmospheric pressure) − 26 inHg = 4 inHg.

Atmospheric pressure is typically about 100 kPa at sea level, but is variable with altitude and weather. If the absolute pressure of a fluid stays constant, the gauge pressure of the same fluid will vary as atmospheric pressure changes. For example, when a car drives up a mountain (atmospheric air pressure decreases), the (gauge) tire pressure goes up. Some standard values of atmospheric pressure
Standard conditions for temperature and pressure
Standard condition for temperature and pressure are standard sets of conditions for experimental measurements established to allow comparisons to be made between different sets of data...

such as 101.325 kPa or 100 kPa have been defined, and some instruments use one of these standard values as a constant zero reference instead of the actual variable ambient air pressure. This impairs the accuracy of these instruments, especially when used at high altitudes.

Use of the atmosphere as reference is usually signified by a (g) after the pressure unit e.g. 30 psi g, which means that the pressure measured is the total pressure minus atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

. There are two types of gauge reference pressure: vented gauge (vg) and sealed gauge (sg).

A vented gauge pressure transmitter for example allows the outside air pressure to be exposed to the negative side of the pressure sensing diaphragm, via a vented cable or a hole on the side of the device, so that it always measures the pressure referred to ambient barometric pressure. Thus a vented gauge reference pressure sensor
Pressure sensor
A pressure sensor measures pressure, typically of gases or liquids. Pressure is an expression of the force required to stop a fluid from expanding, and is usually stated in terms of force per unit area. A pressure sensor usually acts as a transducer; it generates a signal as a function of the...

should always read zero pressure when the process pressure connection is held open to the air.

A sealed gauge reference is very similar except that atmospheric pressure is sealed on the negative side of the diaphragm. This is usually adopted on high pressure ranges such as hydraulics
Hydraulics
Hydraulics is a topic in applied science and engineering dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation for hydraulics, which focuses on the engineering uses of fluid properties. In fluid power, hydraulics is used for the generation, control,...

where atmospheric pressure changes will have a negligible effect on the accuracy of the reading, so venting is not necessary. This also allows some manufacturers to provide secondary pressure containment as an extra precaution for pressure equipment safety if the burst pressure of the primary pressure sensing diaphragm
Diaphragm seal
A diaphragm seal is a flexible membrane that seals and isolates an enclosure. The flexible nature of this seal allows pressure effects to cross the barrier but not the material being contained....

is exceeded.

There is another way of creating a sealed gauge reference and this is to seal a high vacuum
Vacuum
In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...

on the reverse side of the sensing diaphragm. Then the output signal is offset so the pressure sensor reads close to zero when measuring atmospheric pressure.

A sealed gauge reference pressure transducer will never read exactly zero because atmospheric pressure is always changing and the reference in this case is fixed at 1 bar.

An absolute pressure measurement is one that is referred to absolute vacuum. The best example of an absolute referenced pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

is atmospheric or barometric pressure.

To produce an absolute pressure sensor the manufacturer will seal a high vacuum behind the sensing diaphragm. If the process pressure connection of an absolute pressure transmitter is open to the air, it will read the actual barometric pressure.

Units

The SI
Si
Si, si, or SI may refer to :- Measurement, mathematics and science :* International System of Units , the modern international standard version of the metric system...

unit for pressure is the pascal
Pascal (unit)
The pascal is the SI derived unit of pressure, internal pressure, stress, Young's modulus and tensile strength, named after the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and philosopher Blaise Pascal. It is a measure of force per unit area, defined as one newton per square metre...

(Pa), equal to one newton per square metre
Square metre
The square metre or square meter is the SI derived unit of area, with symbol m2 . It is defined as the area of a square whose sides measure exactly one metre...

(N·m−2 or kg·m−1·s−2). This special name for the unit was added in 1971; before that, pressure in SI was expressed in units such as N/m². When indicated, the zero reference is stated in parenthesis following the unit, for example 101 kPa (abs). The pound per square inch
Pounds per square inch
The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units...

(psi) is still in widespread use in the US and Canada, notably for cars. A letter is often appended to the psi unit to indicate the measurement's zero reference; psia for absolute, psig for gauge, psid for differential, although this practice is discouraged by the NIST.

Because pressure was once commonly measured by its ability to displace a column of liquid in a manometer, pressures are often expressed as a depth of a particular fluid (e.g. inches of water). The most common choices are mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

(Hg) and water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

; water is nontoxic and readily available, while mercury's density allows for a shorter column (and so a smaller manometer) to measure a given pressure.

Fluid density and local gravity can vary from one reading to another depending on local factors, so the height of a fluid column does not define pressure precisely. When 'millimetres of mercury
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

' or 'inches of mercury' are quoted today, these units are not based on a physical column of mercury; rather, they have been given precise definitions that can be expressed in terms of SI units. The water-based units usually assume one of the older definitions of the kilogram
Kilogram
The kilogram or kilogramme , also known as the kilo, is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units and is defined as being equal to the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram , which is almost exactly equal to the mass of one liter of water...

as the weight of a litre of water.

Although no longer favoured by measurement experts, these manometric units are still encountered in many fields. Blood pressure
Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, BP varies...

is measured in millimetres of mercury in most of the world, and lung pressures in centimeters of water
Centimetre of water
A centimetre of water is a less commonly used unit of pressure derived from pressure head calculations using metrology...

are still common. Natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

pipeline pressures are measured in inches of water, expressed as '"WC' ('Water Column'). Scuba divers
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

often use a manometric rule of thumb
Rule of thumb
A rule of thumb is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It is an easily learned and easily applied procedure for approximately calculating or recalling some value, or for making some determination...

: the pressure exerted by ten meters depth of water is approximately equal to one atmosphere. In vacuum systems, the units torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

, micrometre of mercury (micron), and inch of mercury (inHg) are most commonly used. Torr and micron usually indicates an absolute pressure, while inHg usually indicates a gauge pressure.

Atmospheric pressures are usually stated using kilopascal (kPa), or atmospheres (atm
Atmosphere (unit)
The standard atmosphere is an international reference pressure defined as 101325 Pa and formerly used as unit of pressure. For practical purposes it has been replaced by the bar which is 105 Pa...

), except in American meteorology
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

where the hectopascal (hPa) and millibar (mbar) are preferred. In American and Canadian engineering, stress
Stress (physics)
In continuum mechanics, stress is a measure of the internal forces acting within a deformable body. Quantitatively, it is a measure of the average force per unit area of a surface within the body on which internal forces act. These internal forces are a reaction to external forces applied on the body...

is often measured in kip
Kip (unit)
A kip is a non-SI unit of force that equals 1,000 pounds-force, used primarily by architects and engineers to measure engineering loads. Although uncommon, it is occasionally also considered a unit of mass, equal to 1,000 pounds, i.e. one half of a U.S. ton...

. Note that stress is not a true pressure since it is not scalar
Scalar (physics)
In physics, a scalar is a simple physical quantity that is not changed by coordinate system rotations or translations , or by Lorentz transformations or space-time translations . This is in contrast to a vector...

. In the cgs system the unit of pressure was the barye
Barye
The barye , or sometimes barad, barrie, bary, baryd, baryed, or barie, is the centimetre-gram-second unit of pressure. It is equal to 1 dyne per square centimetre....

(ba), equal to 1 dyn·cm−2. In the mts
Metre-tonne-second system of units
The metre-tonne-second or mts system of units is a system of physical units. It was invented in France, hence the unit names sthène and pièze, and was adopted only by the Soviet Union in 1933, and abolished there in 1955. It was built on the same principles as the cgs system, but with larger units...

system, the unit of pressure was the pieze
Pièze
The pièze is the unit of pressure in the metre-tonne-second system of units , used, e.g., in the former Soviet Union 1933-1955. It is defined as one sthène per square metre. The symbol is pz....

, equal to 1 sthene
Sthène
The sthène is the unit of force in the metre-tonne-second system of units , invented in France and used in the Soviet Union 1933-1955. The symbol is sn. It is also used to measure thrust. It is approximately 224 pounds force.1 sn := 1 t·m/s²...

per square metre.

Many other hybrid units are used such as mmHg/cm² or grams-force/cm² (sometimes as kg/cm² and g/mol2 without properly identifying the force units). Using the names kilogram, gram, kilogram-force, or gram-force (or their symbols) as a unit of force is forbidden in SI; the unit of force in SI is the newton (N).

Static and dynamic pressure

Static pressure
Static pressure
In fluid mechanics the term static pressure has several uses:* In the design and operation of aircraft, static pressure is the air pressure in the aircraft’s static pressure system....

is uniform in all directions, so pressure measurements are independent of direction in an immovable (static) fluid. Flow, however, applies additional pressure on surfaces perpendicular to the flow direction, while having little impact on surfaces parallel to the flow direction. This directional component of pressure in a moving (dynamic) fluid is called dynamic pressure. An instrument facing the flow direction measures the sum of the static and dynamic pressures; this measurement is called the total pressure
Total pressure
In physics, the term total pressure may indicate two different quantities, both having the dimensions of a pressure:* In fluid dynamics, total pressure refers to the sum of static pressure p, dynamic pressure q, and gravitational head, as expressed by Bernoulli's principle:p_0 = p + q + \rho g...

or stagnation pressure
Stagnation pressure
In fluid dynamics, stagnation pressure is the static pressure at a stagnation point in a fluid flow.At a stagnation point the fluid velocity is zero and all kinetic energy has been converted into pressure energy . Stagnation pressure is equal to the sum of the free-stream dynamic pressure and...

. Since dynamic pressure is referenced to static pressure, it is neither gauge nor absolute; it is a differential pressure.

While static gauge pressure is of primary importance to determining net loads on pipe walls, dynamic pressure is used to measure flow rates and airspeed. Dynamic pressure can be measured by taking the differential pressure between instruments parallel and perpendicular to the flow. Pitot-static tube
Pitot tube
A pitot tube is a pressure measurement instrument used to measure fluid flow velocity. The pitot tube was invented by the French engineer Henri Pitot Ulo in the early 18th century and was modified to its modern form in the mid-19th century by French scientist Henry Darcy...

s, for example perform this measurement on airplanes to determine airspeed. The presence of the measuring instrument inevitably acts to divert flow and create turbulence, so its shape is critical to accuracy and the calibration curves are often non-linear.

Applications

• Altimeter
Altimeter
An altimeter is an instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. The measurement of altitude is called altimetry, which is related to the term bathymetry, the measurement of depth underwater.-Pressure altimeter:...

• Barometer
Barometer
A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather...

• MAP sensor
MAP sensor
The manifold absolute pressure sensor is one of the sensors used in an internal combustion engine's electronic control system. Engines that use a MAP sensor are typically fuel injected. The manifold absolute pressure sensor provides instantaneous manifold pressure information to the engine's...

• Pitot tube
Pitot tube
A pitot tube is a pressure measurement instrument used to measure fluid flow velocity. The pitot tube was invented by the French engineer Henri Pitot Ulo in the early 18th century and was modified to its modern form in the mid-19th century by French scientist Henry Darcy...

• Sphygmomanometer
Sphygmomanometer
A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter is a device used to measure blood pressure, comprising an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just...

Instruments

Many instruments have been invented to measure pressure, with different advantages and disadvantages. Pressure range, sensitivity, dynamic response and cost all vary by several orders of magnitude from one instrument design to the next. The oldest type is the liquid column (a vertical tube filled with mercury) manometer invented by Evangelista Torricelli
Evangelista Torricelli
Evangelista Torricelli was an Italian physicist and mathematician, best known for his invention of the barometer.-Biography:Evangelista Torricelli was born in Faenza, part of the Papal States...

in 1643.
The U-Tube was invented by Christian Huygens in 1661.

Hydrostatic

Hydrostatic gauges (such as the mercury column manometer) compare pressure to the hydrostatic force per unit area at the base of a column of fluid. Hydrostatic gauge measurements are independent of the type of gas being measured, and can be designed to have a very linear calibration. They have poor dynamic response.

Piston

Piston-type gauges counterbalance the pressure of a fluid with a spring (for example tire-pressure gauge
Tire-pressure gauge
A tire-pressure gauge is a pressure gauge used to measure the pressure of tires on a vehicle. conditions can introduce a 13 to 15 percent variability in pressure due to temperature , and additional changes can result due to altitude...

s of comparatively low accuracy) or a solid weight, in which case it is known as a deadweight tester
A dead weight tester apparatus uses known traceable weights to apply pressure to a fluid for checking the accuracy of readings from a pressure gauge. A dead weight tester is a calibration standard method that uses a piston cylinder on which a load is placed to make an equilibrium with an applied...

and may be used for calibration of other gauges.

Liquid column

Liquid column gauges consist of a vertical column of liquid in a tube whose ends are exposed to different pressures. The column will rise or fall until its weight is in equilibrium with the pressure differential between the two ends of the tube. A very simple version is a U-shaped tube half-full of liquid, one side of which is connected to the region of interest while the reference
Reference
Reference is derived from Middle English referren, from Middle French rèférer, from Latin referre, "to carry back", formed from the prefix re- and ferre, "to bear"...

pressure (which might be the atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

or a vacuum) is applied to the other. The difference in liquid level represents the applied pressure. The pressure exerted by a column of fluid of height h and density ρ is given by the hydrostatic pressure equation, P = hgρ. Therefore the pressure difference between the applied pressure Pa and the reference pressure P0 in a U-tube manometer can be found by solving . In other words, the pressure on either end of the liquid (shown in blue in the figure to the right) must be balanced (since the liquid is static) and so . If the fluid being measured is significantly dense, hydrostatic corrections may have to be made for the height between the moving surface of the manometer working fluid and the location where the pressure measurement is desired except when measuring differential pressure of a fluid (for example across an orifice plate or venturi), in which case the density ρ should be corrected by subtracting the density of the fluid being measured.

Although any fluid can be used, mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

is preferred for its high density (13.534 g/cm3) and low vapour pressure. For low pressure differences well above the vapour pressure of water, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

is commonly used (and "inches of water
Static pressure
In fluid mechanics the term static pressure has several uses:* In the design and operation of aircraft, static pressure is the air pressure in the aircraft’s static pressure system....

" is a common pressure unit). Liquid-column pressure gauges are independent of the type of gas being measured and have a highly linear calibration. They have poor dynamic response. When measuring vacuum, the working liquid may evaporate and contaminate the vacuum if its vapor pressure
Vapor pressure
Vapor pressure or equilibrium vapor pressure is the pressure of a vapor in thermodynamic equilibrium with its condensed phases in a closed system. All liquids have a tendency to evaporate, and some solids can sublimate into a gaseous form...

is too high. When measuring liquid pressure, a loop filled with gas or a light fluid can isolate the liquids to prevent them from mixing but this can be unnecessary, for example when mercury is used as the manometer fluid to measure differential pressure of a fluid such as water. Simple hydrostatic gauges can measure pressures ranging from a few Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

(a few 100 Pa) to a few atmospheres. (Approximately 1,000,000 Pa)

A single-limb liquid-column manometer has a larger reservoir instead of one side of the U-tube and has a scale beside the narrower column. The column may be inclined to further amplify the liquid movement. Based on the use and structure following type of manometers are used
1. Simple Manometer
2. Micromanometer
3. Differential manometer
4. Inverted differential manometer

McLeod gauge

A McLeod gauge
McLeod gauge
A McLeod gauge is a scientific instrument used to measure very low pressures, down to 10-6 Torr. It was invented in 1874 by Herbert McLeod . McLeod gauges were once commonly found attached to equipment that operates under a vacuum, such as a lyophilizer...

isolates a sample of gas and compresses it in a modified mercury manometer until the pressure is a few mmHg
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

. The gas must be well-behaved during its compression (it must not condense, for example). The technique is slow and unsuited to continual monitoring, but is capable of good accuracy.
Useful range: above 10-4 torr (roughly 10-2 Pa) as high as 10−6 Torr (0.1 mPa),

0.1 mPa is the lowest direct measurement of pressure that is possible with current technology. Other vacuum gauges can measure lower pressures, but only indirectly by measurement of other pressure-controlled properties. These indirect measurements must be calibrated to SI units via a direct measurement, most commonly a McLeod gauge.

Aneroid

Aneroid gauges are based on a metallic pressure sensing element that flexes elastically under the effect of a pressure difference across the element. "Aneroid" means "without fluid," and the term originally distinguished these gauges from the hydrostatic gauges described above. However, aneroid gauges can be used to measure the pressure of a liquid as well as a gas, and they are not the only type of gauge that can operate without fluid. For this reason, they are often called mechanical gauges in modern language. Aneroid gauges are not dependent on the type of gas being measured, unlike thermal and ionization gauges, and are less likely to contaminate the system than hydrostatic gauges. The pressure sensing element may be a Bourdon tube, a diaphragm, a capsule, or a set of bellows, which will change shape in response to the pressure of the region in question. The deflection of the pressure sensing element may be read by a linkage connected to a needle, or it may be read by a secondary transducer. The most common secondary transducers in modern vacuum gauges measure a change in capacitance due to the mechanical deflection. Gauges that rely on a change in capacitances are often referred to as Baratron gauges.

Bourdon

The Bourdon pressure gauge uses the principle that a flattened tube tends to change to a more circular cross-section when pressurized. Although this change in cross-section may be hardly noticeable, and thus involving moderate stresses within the elastic range of easily workable materials, the strain
Strain
Strain can refer to:* Strain , variants of plants, viruses or bacteria; or an inbred animal used for experimental purposes* Strain , a chemical stress of a molecule...

of the material of the tube is magnified by forming the tube into a C shape or even a helix, such that the entire tube tends to straighten out or uncoil, elastically, as it is pressurized. Eugene Bourdon patented his gauge in France in 1849, and it was widely adopted because of its superior sensitivity, linearity, and accuracy; Edward Ashcroft purchased Bourdon's American patent rights in 1852 and became a major manufacturer of gauges. Also in 1849, Bernard Schaeffer in Magdeburg, Germany patented a successful diaphragm (see below) pressure gauge, which, together with the Bourdon gauge, revolutionized pressure measurement in industry. But in 1875 after Bourdon's patents expired, his company Schaeffer and Budenberg
Budenberg Gauge Company
The Budenberg Gauge Company was founded in 1850 by and and is now based in Irlam, Salford. The company is renowned for the manufacture of high quality pressure gauges, thermometers, valves and manifolds. Budenderg also produce monoflanges and close coupled systems, chemical seals, hygienic seals,...

also manufactured Bourdon tube gauges.

In practice, a flattened thin-wall, closed-end tube is connected at the hollow end to a fixed pipe containing the fluid pressure to be measured. As the pressure increases, the closed end moves in an arc, and this motion is converted into the rotation of a (segment of a) gear by a connecting link that is usually adjustable. A small-diameter pinion gear is on the pointer shaft, so the motion is magnified further by the gear ratio
Gear ratio
The gear ratio of a gear train is the ratio of the angular velocity of the input gear to the angular velocity of the output gear, also known as the speed ratio of the gear train. The gear ratio can be computed directly from the numbers of teeth of the various gears that engage to form the gear...

. The positioning of the indicator card behind the pointer, the initial pointer shaft position, the linkage length and initial position, all provide means to calibrate the pointer to indicate the desired range of pressure for variations in the behaviour of the Bourdon tube itself. Differential pressure can be measured by gauges containing two different Bourdon tubes, with connecting linkages.

Bourdon tubes measure gauge pressure, relative to ambient atmospheric pressure, as opposed to absolute pressure; vacuum is sensed as a reverse motion. Some aneroid
Aneroid
Aneroid may mean*The village of Aneroid, Saskatchewan*"without fluid", particularly in reference to barometers...

barometers use Bourdon tubes closed at both ends (but most use diaphragms or capsules, see below). When the measured pressure is rapidly pulsing, such as when the gauge is near a reprocating pump, an orifice
Orifice
An orifice is any opening, mouth, hole or vent, as of a pipe, plate, or a body.* Body orifice* Orifice plate* Calibrated orifice* Nozzle* Back Orifice-See also:* Choked flow* Needle valve* Venturi effect* Flow measurement...

restriction in the connecting pipe is frequently used to avoid unnecessary wear on the gears and provide an average reading; when the whole gauge is subject to mechanical vibration, the entire case including the pointer and indicator card can be filled with an oil or glycerin. Tapping on the face of the gauge is not recommended as it will tend to falsify actual readings initially presented by the gauge.The boudon tube is separate from the face of the gauge and this has ne effect on the actual reading of pressure. Typical high-quality modern gauges provide an accuracy of ±2% of span, and a special high-precision gauge can be as accurate as 0.1% of full scale.

In the following illustrations the transparent cover face of the pictured combination pressure and vacuum gauge has been removed and the mechanism removed from the case. This particular gauge is a combination vacuum and pressure gauge used for automotive diagnosis:
• the left side of the face, used for measuring manifold vacuum
Inlet manifold
In automotive engineering, an inlet manifold or intake manifold is the part of an engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders...

, is calibrated in centimetres of mercury
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

on its inner scale and inches of mercury on its outer scale.
• the right portion of the face is used to measure fuel pump
Fuel pump
A fuel pump is a frequently essential component on a car or other internal combustion engined device. Many engines do not require any fuel pump at all, requiring only gravity to feed fuel from the fuel tank through a line or hose to the engine...

pressure and is calibrated in fractions
Fraction (mathematics)
A fraction represents a part of a whole or, more generally, any number of equal parts. When spoken in everyday English, we specify how many parts of a certain size there are, for example, one-half, five-eighths and three-quarters.A common or "vulgar" fraction, such as 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, etc., consists...

of 1 kgf
Kilogram-force
A kilogram-force , or kilopond , is a gravitational metric unit of force. It is equal to the magnitude of the force exerted by one kilogram of mass in a gravitational field...

/cm² on its inner scale and pounds per square inch on its outer scale.

Mechanical details

Stationary parts:
• A: Receiver block. This joins the inlet pipe to the fixed end of the Bourdon tube (1) and secures the chassis plate (B). The two holes receive screws that secure the case.
• B: Chassis plate. The face card is attached to this. It contains bearing holes for the axles.
• C: Secondary chassis plate. It supports the outer ends of the axles.
• D: Posts to join and space the two chassis plates.

Moving Parts:
1. Stationary end of Bourdon tube. This communicates with the inlet pipe through the receiver block.
2. Moving end of Bourdon tube. This end is sealed.
3. Pivot and pivot pin.
4. Link joining pivot pin to lever (5) with pins to allow joint rotation.
5. Lever. This an extension of the sector gear (7).
6. Sector gear axle pin.
7. Sector gear.
8. Indicator needle axle. This has a spur gear that engages the sector gear (7) and extends through the face to drive the indicator needle. Due to the short distance between the lever arm link boss and the pivot pin and the difference between the effective radius of the sector gear and that of the spur gear, any motion of the Bourdon tube is greatly amplified. A small motion of the tube results in a large motion of the indicator needle.
9. Hair spring to preload the gear train to eliminate gear lash and hysteresis
Hysteresis
Hysteresis is the dependence of a system not just on its current environment but also on its past. This dependence arises because the system can be in more than one internal state. To predict its future evolution, either its internal state or its history must be known. If a given input alternately...

.

Diaphragm

A second type of aneroid gauge uses the deflection
Deflection (engineering)
In engineering, deflection is the degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load. It may refer to an angle or a distance.The deflection distance of a member under a load is directly related to the slope of the deflected shape of the member under that load and can be calculated by...

of a flexible membrane
Artificial membrane
An artificial membrane, or synthetic membrane, is a synthetically created membrane which is usually intended for separation purposes in laboratory or in industry. Synthetic membranes have been successfully used for small and large-scale industrial processes since the middle of twentieth century. A...

that separates regions of different pressure. The amount of deflection is repeatable for known pressures so the pressure can be determined by using calibration. The deformation of a thin diaphragm is dependent on the difference in pressure between its two faces. The reference face can be open to atmosphere to measure gauge pressure, open to a second port to measure differential pressure, or can be sealed against a vacuum or other fixed reference pressure to measure absolute pressure. The deformation can be measured using mechanical, optical or capacitive techniques. Ceramic and metallic diaphragms are used.
Useful range: above 10-2 Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

(roughly 1 Pa)

For absolute measurements, welded pressure capsules with diaphragms on either side are often used.

Shape:
• Flat
• corrugated
• flattened tube
• capsule

Bellows

In gauges intended to sense small pressures or pressure differences, or require that an absolute pressure be measured, the gear train and needle may be driven by an enclosed and sealed bellows chamber, called an aneroid, which means "without liquid". (Early barometer
Barometer
A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather...

s used a column of liquid such as water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

or the liquid metal mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

suspended by a vacuum
Vacuum
In everyday usage, vacuum is a volume of space that is essentially empty of matter, such that its gaseous pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure. The word comes from the Latin term for "empty". A perfect vacuum would be one with no particles in it at all, which is impossible to achieve in...

.) This bellows configuration is used in aneroid barometers (barometers with an indicating needle and dial card), altimeter
Altimeter
An altimeter is an instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. The measurement of altitude is called altimetry, which is related to the term bathymetry, the measurement of depth underwater.-Pressure altimeter:...

s, altitude recording barograph
Barograph
A barograph is a recording aneroid barometer. It produces a paper or foil chart called a barogram that records the barometric pressure over time....

s, and the altitude telemetry instruments used in weather balloon
Weather balloon
A weather or sounding balloon is a balloon which carries instruments aloft to send back information on atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed by means of a small, expendable measuring device called a radiosonde...

A radiosonde is a unit for use in weather balloons that measures various atmospheric parameters and transmits them to a fixed receiver. Radiosondes may operate at a radio frequency of 403 MHz or 1680 MHz and both types may be adjusted slightly higher or lower as required...

s. These devices use the sealed chamber as a reference pressure and are driven by the external pressure. Other sensitive aircraft instruments such as air speed indicators
Airspeed indicator
The airspeed indicator or airspeed gauge is an instrument used in an aircraft to display the craft's airspeed, typically in knots, to the pilot.- Use :...

and rate of climb indicators (variometer
Variometer
The term variometer also refers to a type of variable transformer or an instrument for measuring the magnitude and direction of a Magnetic field....

s) have connections both to the internal part of the aneroid chamber and to an external enclosing chamber.

Electronic pressure sensors

• Piezoresistive Strain Gage
Uses the piezoresistive effect of bonded or formed strain gauges to detect strain due to applied pressure.
• Capacitive
Uses a diaphragm and pressure cavity to create a variable capacitor
Capacitor
A capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in an electric field. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two electrical conductors separated by a dielectric ; for example, one common construction consists of metal foils separated...

to detect strain due to applied pressure.
• Magnetic
Measures the displacement of a diaphragm by means of changes in inductance
Inductance
In electromagnetism and electronics, inductance is the ability of an inductor to store energy in a magnetic field. Inductors generate an opposing voltage proportional to the rate of change in current in a circuit...

(reluctance), LVDT, Hall Effect
Hall effect
The Hall effect is the production of a voltage difference across an electrical conductor, transverse to an electric current in the conductor and a magnetic field perpendicular to the current...

, or by eddy current
Eddy current
Eddy currents are electric currents induced in conductors when a conductor is exposed to a changing magnetic field; due to relative motion of the field source and conductor or due to variations of the field with time. This can cause a circulating flow of electrons, or current, within the body of...

principal.
• Piezoelectric
Uses the piezoelectric effect in certain materials such as quartz to measure the strain upon the sensing mechanism due to pressure.
• Optical
Uses the physical change of an optical fiber to detect strain due applied pressure.
• Potentiometric
Uses the motion of a wiper along a resistive mechanism to detect the strain caused by applied pressure.
• Resonant
Uses the changes in resonant frequency in a sensing mechanism to measure stress, or changes in gas density, caused by applied pressure.

Thermal conductivity

Generally, as a real gas
Real gas
Real gases – as opposed to a perfect or ideal gas – exhibit properties that cannot be explained entirely using the ideal gas law. To understand the behaviour of real gases, the following must be taken into account:* compressibility effects;...

increases in density -which may indicate an increase in pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

- its ability to conduct heat increases. In this type of gauge, a wire filament is heated by running current through it. A thermocouple
Thermocouple
A thermocouple is a device consisting of two different conductors that produce a voltage proportional to a temperature difference between either end of the pair of conductors. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor for measurement and control and can also be used to convert a...

or Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) can then be used to measure the temperature of the filament. This temperature is dependent on the rate at which the filament loses heat to the surrounding gas, and therefore on the thermal conductivity. A common variant is the Pirani gauge
Marcello Pirani
Marcello Stefano Pirani was a German physicist known for his invention of the Pirani vacuum gauge, a vacuum gauge based on the principle of heat loss measurement...

, which uses a single platinum filament as both the heated element and RTD. These gauges are accurate from 10 Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

to 10−3 Torr, but they are sensitive to the chemical composition of the gases being measured.

Two-wire

One wire coil is used as a heater, and the other is used to measure nearby temperature due to convection
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

.

Pirani (one wire)

A Pirani gauge
Pirani gauge
The Pirani gauge is a robust thermal conductivity gauge used for the measurement of the pressures in vacuum systems. It was invented in 1906 by Marcello Pirani.-Structure:...

consists of a metal wire open to the pressure being measured. The wire is heated
Joule heating
Joule heating, also known as ohmic heating and resistive heating, is the process by which the passage of an electric current through a conductor releases heat. It was first studied by James Prescott Joule in 1841. Joule immersed a length of wire in a fixed mass of water and measured the temperature...

by a current flowing through it and cooled by the gas surrounding it. If the gas pressure is reduced, the cooling effect will decrease, hence the equilibrium temperature of the wire will increase. The resistance
Electrical resistance
The electrical resistance of an electrical element is the opposition to the passage of an electric current through that element; the inverse quantity is electrical conductance, the ease at which an electric current passes. Electrical resistance shares some conceptual parallels with the mechanical...

of the wire is a function of its temperature: by measuring the volt
Volt
The volt is the SI derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference, and electromotive force. The volt is named in honor of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta , who invented the voltaic pile, possibly the first chemical battery.- Definition :A single volt is defined as the...

age across the wire and the current
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

flowing through it, the resistance (and so the gas pressure) can be determined. This type of gauge was invented by Marcello Pirani
Marcello Pirani
Marcello Stefano Pirani was a German physicist known for his invention of the Pirani vacuum gauge, a vacuum gauge based on the principle of heat loss measurement...

.

Thermocouple gauges and thermistor gauges work in a similar manner, except a thermocouple
Thermocouple
A thermocouple is a device consisting of two different conductors that produce a voltage proportional to a temperature difference between either end of the pair of conductors. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor for measurement and control and can also be used to convert a...

or thermistor
Thermistor
A thermistor is a type of resistor whose resistance varies significantly with temperature, more so than in standard resistors. The word is a portmanteau of thermal and resistor...

is used to measure the temperature of the wire.
Useful range: 10-3 - 10 Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

(roughly 10-1 - 1000 Pa)

Ionization gauge

Ionization gauges are the most sensitive gauges for very low pressures (also referred to as hard or high vacuum). They sense pressure indirectly by measuring the electrical ions produced when the gas is bombarded with electrons. Fewer ions will be produced by lower density gases. The calibration of an ion gauge is unstable and dependent on the nature of the gases being measured, which is not always known. They can be calibrated against a McLeod gauge
McLeod gauge
A McLeod gauge is a scientific instrument used to measure very low pressures, down to 10-6 Torr. It was invented in 1874 by Herbert McLeod . McLeod gauges were once commonly found attached to equipment that operates under a vacuum, such as a lyophilizer...

which is much more stable and independent of gas chemistry.

Thermionic emission
Thermionic emission
Thermionic emission is the heat-induced flow of charge carriers from a surface or over a potential-energy barrier. This occurs because the thermal energy given to the carrier overcomes the binding potential, also known as work function of the metal. The charge carriers can be electrons or ions, and...

generate electrons, which collide with gas atoms and generate positive ion
Ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

s. The ions are attracted to a suitably biased electrode known as the collector. The current in the collector is proportional to the rate of ionization, which is a function of the pressure in the system. Hence, measuring the collector current gives the gas pressure. There are several sub-types of ionization gauge.
Useful range: 10-10 - 10-3 torr (roughly 10-8 - 10-1 Pa)

Most ion gauges come in two types: hot cathode
Cathode
A cathode is an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: CCD .Cathode polarity is not always negative...

and cold cathode, a third type that is more sensitive and expensive known as a spinning rotor gauge exists, but is not discussed here. In the hot cathode version, an electrically heated filament produces an electron beam. The electrons travel through the gauge and ionize gas molecules around them. The resulting ions are collected at a negative electrode. The current depends on the number of ions, which depends on the pressure in the gauge. Hot cathode gauges are accurate from 10−3 Torr to 10−10 Torr. The principle behind cold cathode
Cold cathode
A cold cathode is a cathode used within nixie tubes, gas discharge lamps, discharge tubes, and some types of vacuum tube which is not electrically heated by the circuit to which it is connected...

version is the same, except that electrons are produced in the discharge of a high voltage. Cold Cathode gauges are accurate from 10−2 Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

to 10−9 Torr. Ionization gauge calibration is very sensitive to construction geometry, chemical composition of gases being measured, corrosion and surface deposits. Their calibration can be invalidated by activation at atmospheric pressure or low vacuum. The composition of gases at high vacuums will usually be unpredictable, so a mass spectrometer must be used in conjunction with the ionization gauge for accurate measurement.

Hot cathode

A hot-cathode ionization gauge is composed mainly of three electrodes acting together as a triode
Triode
A triode is an electronic amplification device having three active electrodes. The term most commonly applies to a vacuum tube with three elements: the filament or cathode, the grid, and the plate or anode. The triode vacuum tube was the first electronic amplification device...

, wherein the cathode
Cathode
A cathode is an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: CCD .Cathode polarity is not always negative...

is the filament. The three electrodes are a collector or plate, a filament, and a grid. The collector current is measured in pico
Pico
Pico- is a prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of 10−12 or .Derived from the Italian piccolo, meaning small, this was one of the original 12 prefixes defined in 1960 when the International System of Units was established....

amps by an electrometer
Electrometer
An electrometer is an electrical instrument for measuring electric charge or electrical potential difference. There are many different types, ranging from historical hand-made mechanical instruments to high-precision electronic devices...

. The filament voltage to ground is usually at a potential of 30 volts, while the grid voltage at 180–210 volts DC, unless there is an optional electron bombardment feature, by heating the grid, which may have a high potential of approximately 565 volts.
The most common ion gauge is the hot-cathode Bayard-Alpert gauge, with a small ion collector inside the grid. A glass envelope with an opening to the vacuum can surround the electrodes, but usually the Nude Gauge is inserted in the vacuum chamber directly, the pins being fed through a ceramic plate in the wall of the chamber. Hot-cathode gauges can be damaged or lose their calibration if they are exposed to atmospheric pressure or even low vacuum while hot. The measurements of a hot-cathode ionization gauge are always logarithmic.

Electrons emitted from the filament move several times in back and forth movements around the grid before finally entering the grid. During these movements, some electrons collide with a gaseous molecule to form a pair of an ion and an electron (Electron ionization
Electron ionization
Electron ionization is an ionization method in which energetic electrons interact with gas phase atoms or molecules to produce ions...

). The number of these ions is proportional to the gaseous molecule density multiplied by the electron current emitted from the filament, and these ions pour into the collector to form an ion current. Since the gaseous molecule density is proportional to the pressure, the pressure is estimated by measuring the ion current.

The low-pressure sensitivity of hot-cathode gauges is limited by the photoelectric effect. Electrons hitting the grid produce x-rays that produce photoelectric noise in the ion collector. This limits the range of older hot-cathode gauges to 10−8 Torr and the Bayard-Alpert to about 10−10 Torr. Additional wires at cathode potential in the line of sight between the ion collector and the grid prevent this effect. In the extraction type the ions are not attracted by a wire, but by an open cone. As the ions cannot decide which part of the cone to hit, they pass through the hole and form an ion beam. This ion beam can be passed on to a
A Faraday cup is a metal cup designed to catch charged particles in vacuum. The resulting current can be measured and used to determine the number of ions or electrons hitting the cup...

• Microchannel plate detector
Microchannel plate detector
A micro-channel plate is a planar component used for detection of particles and impinging radiation . It is closely related to an electron multiplier, as both intensify single particles or photons by the multiplication of electrons via secondary emission...

The quadrupole mass analyzer is one type of mass analyzer used in mass spectrometry. As the name implies, it consists of 4 circular rods, set parallel to each other. In a quadrupole mass spectrometer the quadrupole is the component of the instrument responsible for filtering sample ions, based on...

The quadrupole mass analyzer is one type of mass analyzer used in mass spectrometry. As the name implies, it consists of 4 circular rods, set parallel to each other. In a quadrupole mass spectrometer the quadrupole is the component of the instrument responsible for filtering sample ions, based on...

with Microchannel plate detector Faraday cup
• ion lens and acceleration voltage and directed at a target to form a sputter gun
Sputtering
Sputtering is a process whereby atoms are ejected from a solid target material due to bombardment of the target by energetic particles. It is commonly used for thin-film deposition, etching and analytical techniques .-Physics of sputtering:...

. In this case a valve lets gas into the grid-cage.

Cold cathode

There are two subtypes of cold-cathode
Cold cathode
A cold cathode is a cathode used within nixie tubes, gas discharge lamps, discharge tubes, and some types of vacuum tube which is not electrically heated by the circuit to which it is connected...

ionization gauges: the Penning gauge (invented by Frans Michel Penning
Frans Michel Penning
Frans Michel Penning was a Dutch physicist. The Penning trap, used for storing charged particles, as well as the Penning mixture and Penning effect of gas discharge tubes are named after him. He also invented a type of cold cathode vacuum gauge known as Penning gauge.-External links:*...

), and the Inverted magnetron, also called a Redhead gauge. The major difference between the two is the position of the anode
Anode
An anode is an electrode through which electric current flows into a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: ACID ....

with respect to the cathode
Cathode
A cathode is an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: CCD .Cathode polarity is not always negative...

. Neither has a filament, and each may require a DC
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

Volt
The volt is the SI derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference, and electromotive force. The volt is named in honor of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta , who invented the voltaic pile, possibly the first chemical battery.- Definition :A single volt is defined as the...

for operation. Inverted magnetrons can measure down to 1x10−12 Torr
Torr
The torr is a non-SI unit of pressure with the ratio of 760 to 1 standard atmosphere, chosen to be roughly equal to the fluid pressure exerted by a millimetre of mercury, i.e., a pressure of 1 torr is approximately equal to 1 mmHg...

.
Likewise, cold-cathode gauges may be reluctant to start at very low pressures, in that the near-absence of a gas makes it difficult to establish an electrode current - in particular in Penning gauges, which use an axially symmetric magnetic field to create path lengths for ions that are of the order of metres. In ambient air, suitable ion-pairs are ubiquitously formed by cosmic radiation; in a Penning gauge, design features are used to ease the set-up of a discharge path. For example, the electrode of a Penning gauge is usually finely tapered to facilitate the field emission of electrons.

Maintenance cycles of cold cathode gauges are, in general, measured in years, depending on the gas type and pressure that they are operated in. Using a cold cathode gauge in gases with substantial organic components, such as pump oil fractions, can result in the growth of delicate carbon films and shards within the gauge that eventually either short-circuit the electrodes of the gauge or impede the generation of a discharge path.

Calibration

Pressure gauges are either direct- or indirect-reading. Hydrostatic and elastic gauges measure pressure are directly influenced by force exerted on the surface by incident particle flux, and are called direct reading gauges. Thermal and ionization gauges read pressure indirectly by measuring a gas property that changes in a predictable manner with gas density. Indirect measurements are susceptible to more errors than direct measurements.
• McLeod
• mass spec + ionization

Dynamic transients

When fluid flows are not in equilibrium, local pressures may be higher or lower than the average pressure in a medium. These disturbances propagate from their source as longitudinal pressure variations along the path of propagation. This is also called sound. Sound pressure is the instantaneous local pressure deviation from the average pressure caused by a sound wave. Sound pressure can be measured using a microphone
Microphone
A microphone is an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal. In 1877, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter...

in air and a hydrophone
Hydrophone
A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound. Most hydrophones are based on a piezoelectric transducer that generates electricity when subjected to a pressure change...

in water. The effective sound pressure is the root mean square
Root mean square
In mathematics, the root mean square , also known as the quadratic mean, is a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity. It is especially useful when variates are positive and negative, e.g., sinusoids...

of the instantaneous sound pressure over a given interval of time. Sound pressures are normally small and are often expressed in units of microbar.
• frequency response of pressure sensors
• resonance

European (CEN) Standard

• EN 472 : Pressure gauge - Vocabulary.
• EN 837-1 : Pressure gauges. Bourdon tube pressure gauges. Dimensions, metrology, requirements and testing.
• EN 837-2 : Pressure gauges. Selection and installation recommendations for pressure gauges.
• EN 837-3 : Pressure gauges. Diaphragm and capsule pressure gauges. Dimensions, metrology, requirements, and testing.