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Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for an Uplifting Experience 

When heavy objects need to be lifted, it is common practice to use hydraulic pressure to move them into place. Applications include trucks, diggers, dumpers, excavators, and bulldozers as well as hydraulic cranes. Cranes can lift shipping containers or heavy objects onto buildings or other places. Other applications include something as simple as lifting a garbage receptacle to dump its contents into a refuse truck – a semi-automated process. Of course, the amount of pressure available determines how much weight can be lifted. In some cases, the pressure could be perhaps 34.5 bar (500 PSI) or less. In other cases, it could exceed 689.5 bar (10,000 PSI).

Monitoring the pressure is part of the safety required to avoid accidents from lifting excessively heavy loads and exceeding the limits of the hydraulic system. It can also be helpful in identifying leaks in the system. However, it takes a special type of pressure sensor to be able to interface to the hydraulic fluid and withstand both the chemical and the temperature aspects of the application.

The common 1970’s pressure level of 150 bar (2,176 psi) has increased above 450 bar (6,527 psi) since 2010. Source: Hydraulics & Pneumatics.

A hydraulic truck crane that uses counterweights on the back of the cab to keep it from tipping over can have a counterweight gear pump that generates 96.5 bar (1,400 psi). This is much lower than the main pump pressure of 241 bar (3,500 psi).

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Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure in an Iron Lung

Before today’s respirators, patients with several breathing problems relied on a machine called an iron lung. Unlike the modern respirators that use positive pressure (greater than 1 atmosphere) that force air into the lungs, the iron lung was a negative pressure ventilator. The machine surrounded the person and the sealed cavity’s pressure was reduced to induce inhalation by the patient and then the pressure was increased to 1 atmosphere (15 psi or 750 mmHg). While all but obsolete today, these types of machines were extensively used when patients with polio were treated because of loss of muscle control that extended to their ability to breath. Thankfully, Dr. Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine to prevent polio (in 1953) and subsequent vaccines have eliminated polio as a health problem and today positive respirators using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors can be so small that they are portable.

The pressure gauge in this iron lung has been replace in modern respirators by MEMS pressure sensors. Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Water Pistol Pressure

Q. How do you elevate the basic water pistol experience?

A. By giving it more pressure.

Operating similar to the opposite of a hydraulic jack, a common water pistol employs Pascal’s Principle for a fluid at rest in a closed container: a pressure change in one part is transmitted without loss to every portion of the fluid and to the walls of the container. In equation form, it’s:

P1=F1/A1=P2=F2/A2

For the pressure to remain constant, if A1=n*A2, then F1=n*F2.

To take the water pistol to the next level, NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson conceived of the idea of a pressurized water gun with a pressure reservoir that became the Super Soaker. The ultimate Super Soaker used a constant pressure system (CPS) with a separate compression chamber that contained a thick-walled rubber balloon.

While the difference in the length and amount of the output (flow) of a standard water pistol vs. the Super Soaker vs. the CPS 2000 Mark1 Super Soaker is discussed in several blogs, the pressure in each is not. Those interested in pressure will just have to make their own measurements. All Sensors’ SPM 401 Series or CPM 602 Series pressure sensors with media isolation could provide those measurements.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure in Carbonated Beverages

In beverages such as beer and sodas and even water, pressure makes them better. In some cases, without the pressure, due to aging or simply leaving the container’s contents exposed to air, the beverage goes flat and is undrinkable.

The sugar content of homemade beer can create pressure differences from 36 psi for a high sugar content to 30 psi for half of that level. Commercial beers typically have carbonation that creates pressures up to 45 psi. Carbonated soft drinks typically have pressures from 30 to 50 psi. The actual pressure for a specific container/content combination can vary based on temperature, altitude and shaking.

Image via Alexander Kaiser, pooliestudios.com

While a pressure sensor on a bottle or can does not make any sense, commercial suppliers and even home brewers need to know what levels to expect so they can package their bubbly beverage in a safe container. In a production process, monitoring pressure of the carbonation source and sampling bottle/can pressures can also ensure consistent quality of the end product. In either case, pressure measurements provide valuable information.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com

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