Selecting The Right Pressure Sensor

Pressure sensors are usually used to measure the pressure of liquids or gases.  These devices act as transducers which convert energy from one form to another; they use the pressure of the liquid or gas to generate a signal. Pressure sensors can also be used to measure variables such as fluid flow, speed, and water level. There are different types of pressure sensors which have different functions in production. It is important to select the right pressure sensor for your application so that it can function optimally and stand the test of time.

Differential Pressure Sensor
Differential Pressure Sensor – Image Source: Switches International

Gauge Pressure Sensor
Gauge Pressure Sensor– Image Source: Switches International

Common Pressure Sensors

There is a myriad of pressure sensors available for various applications; they can be used in airplanes, motor vehicles and in other industrial or engineering machinery. The most commonly used pressure sensors are listed below.

Absolute Pressure Sensors

Absolute pressure pertains to the volume of free space in an application, i.e. where there is zero pressure. Absolute pressure sensors are designed to measure pressure in relation to a high vacuum of free space. These sensors are commonly used to measure atmospheric pressure barometers or altimeters. In the food industry, these absolute pressure sensors are used to seal and preserve food.

Gauge Pressure Sensors

Gauge pressure is measured against ambient atmospheric pressure. The output of the gauge pressure sensor is influenced by a changed in atmospheric pressure, which is caused by changes in weather or altitude. The pressure in tyres is controlled by gauge pressure sensors.

Differential Pressure Sensors

These pressure sensors are used to measure the flow of pressure in two or more pressure systems. Differential pressure sensors are mostly used in domestic and industrial applications.



Tips for Selecting the Right Pressure Sensor

To help you avoid the cost and frustration of using the wrong pressure sensor, we have compiled a checklist to help you select the perfect pressure sensor for your application.

When looking for a pressure sensor, you must consider the following:

1.The type of pressure that needs to be measured:
Is it vented or sealed? If it is vented, you would need a gauge pressure sensor. If the pressure you are measuring is sealed, you would need an absolute pressure sensor.

2.Range of pressure:
This is a very important consideration when looking for the right pressure sensor. It is important to make sure that your pressure sensor can handle the pressure range needed for your application. If there is a mismatch between the pressure range of the sensor and your application, the pressure sensor will most likely be damaged.

3.Consider the output required:
This will be determined by whether the pressure sensor is a stand-alone device or if it is used with a controller. A stand-alone device usually comes with a visual display. If your device is used with a controller, make sure that the output of the sensor is aligned with the input requirements of the controller.

4.Determine the level of accuracy required:
Determining the accuracy you require from your pressure sensor will help you save a lot of money; if you require high accuracy, you may have to spend a lot more money than if you require low accuracy.


Now that you know what to consider when looking for a pressure sensor, it’s time to go to a reliable supplier to find what you are looking for. Switches International prides itself on providing high-quality switches and sensors.

Contact us today to find out about our wide range of pressure sensors.

About Switches International

Our company has vast experience embedded in it’s dedicated sales and technical staff. Our product lines extend to Proximity sensors, Valve Indication, Pressure sensors/switches, Rotary/Linear encoders, PhotoCell systems, Change-over switches, Speed, Temperature, Flow and Level sensors.

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