AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Pneumatic and Hydraulic Pressure Sensors?

When systems take advantage of pneumatic or hydraulic technology for basic operations, it is crucial that pressure levels are able to be monitored and tracked to ensure that pressures are within optimal ranges or levels. Pneumatic and hydraulic pressure technology can be found in anything from vehicle braking systems to hydraulic presses, and incorrect pressure levels can potentially raise the risk of flammability, leaks, accidents, and other such dangerous incidents. As such, pressure sensors are a common element that may either monitor or control pressure levels, and we will discuss them in brief detail so that you may understand them better.

Similar to sensors in many other systems, the sensors that are implemented alongside pneumatics and hydraulics are capable of measuring the difference between two pressures or a pressure measured against an absolute value to determine differential or absolute pressure. Within pressure regulators, these sensors will be employed to detect and compare pressure values on each side of a valve, allowing them to check whether the inlet flow is the same as the outlet flow.

In order for pressure to effectively be tracked by various electronic devices, pneumatic and hydraulic pressure sensors are designed as transducers that generate an electrical signal proportional to the pressure that is measured. One of the most common elements of pneumatic and hydraulic pressure sensors is the diaphragm, that of which is constructed from silicon materials that bend when pressure is exerted by air, gas, or liquids. Based on the electrical resistance that is generated by force, the sensor’s output voltage is modified.

If the pressure sensor is intended to be used within power-steering applications, there may be a linear variable differential transformer. These feature a core that adjusts within a hollow tube, allowing it to have high precision in detecting the movement of a directional control valve. As such, the pressure sensor will allow for fluids to enter different system areas.

When shopping around for pneumatic and hydraulic pressure sensors, it is important to keep in mind that they will generally vary in the pressure with ranges between 0 and 200 bar. Furthermore, many sensors have a pressure limit as well, such devices malfunctioning or performing poorly when the limits are exceeded. To see how accurate a sensor may be, one should refer to what is known as the error band, that of which may come as a reading like “±0.05%.” Besides such concerns, other useful things to consider include whether input or output connection types are needed, what physical specifications are required, the most optimal dimensions and thread sizes, and much more.

Beyond purchasing considerations, there are also various limitations that are imposed on technology that varies based on the application and environment. As an example, hydraulic sensors and systems will often have to face harsh conditions that result from extreme heat, dust, water, and in some cases, radiation. If these hydraulics are situated within a heavy vehicle, assemblies will also contend with vibration, physical shock, and pressure spikes. With all of this, the sensors that systems depend on must be designed to overcome these conditions while having no loss in functionality or accuracy. As pneumatic sensors may face similar limitations or adverse conditions, conducting research prior to kick-starting the purchasing process is highly recommended.

Nevertheless, if you have narrowed down your particular needs and are ready to begin sourcing, there is no better database than NSN World for fulfillment. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we offer customers access to an unrivaled inventory consisting of billions of items that cater to a diverse set of industries and applications. As all part numbers listed on our website are ready for purchase at any time, we encourage you to fill out and submit an RFQ form for any items of interest that you find. By providing our team with information such as your desired quantities, prices, and shipping timeframes, we can best formulate a solution that caters to your specific needs. With team members readily available around the clock, we promise responses to submitted requests in just 15 minutes or less! If you have any questions or would like to speak directly to a representative, call or email us today, and we would be more than happy to discuss your needs!


December 14, 2022

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