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Pressure Measurement by Manometer The relationship between pressure and head is used to measure pressure with a manometer (also

know as a liquid gauge). Objective:

To demonstrate the analysis and use of various types of manometers for pressure measurement.

Gauge Pressure Does the flat tire on your automobile have zero air pressure? If it is ompletely flat! it still has the atmospheri pressure air in it. To be sure! it has zero useful pressure in it! and your tire gauge would read zero pounds per square in h. "ost gauges read the e# ess of pressure over atmospheri pressure and this e# ess is alled $gauge pressure$. %hile a useful measurement for many pra ti al purposes! it must be onverted to absolute pressure for appli ations like the ideal gas law. &in e a partial va uum will be below atmospheri pressure! the phrase $negative pressure$ is often used. 'ertainly there is no su h thing as a negative absolute pressure! but small de reases in pressure are ommonly used to entrain fluids in sprayers! in arburetors for automobiles! and many other appli ations. In the ase of respiration! we say that the lungs produ e a negative pressure of about () mm*g to take in air! whi h of ourse means a ) mm*g de rease from the surrounding atmospheri pressure.

%hen a system is at atmospheri pressure like the left image above! the gauge pressure is said to be zero. In this image! the system has been opened so that it is at equilibrium with the atmosphere. In the right image! the system has been losed and the plunger pushed down until the pressure reads about +, lb-in .. This implies that the absolute pressure has

been appro#imately doubled by ompressing the gas to half its volume (ideal gas law). &tandard atmospheri pressure in these /.&. ommon units is +).0 lb-in .! so this must be added to the gauge pressure above to get the absolute pressure.

1. The Piezometer Tube Manometer

The simplest manometer is a tube! open at the top! whi h is atta hed to the top of a vessel ontaining liquid at a pressure (higher than atmospheri ) to be measured. 1n e#ample an be seen in the figure below. This simple devi e is known as a Piezometer tube. 1s the tube is open to the atmosphere the pressure measured is relative to atmospheri so is gauge pressure.

This method an only be used for liquids (i.e. not for gases) and only when the liquid height is onvenient to measure. It must not be too small or too large and pressure hanges must be dete table.

2. The "U"-Tube Manometer

/sing a $/$(Tube enables the pressure of both liquids and gases to be measured with the same instrument. The $/$ is onne ted as in the figure below and filled with a fluid alled the manometric fluid. The fluid whose pressure is being measured should have a mass density less than that of the manometri fluid and the two fluids should not be able to mi# readily ( that is! they must be immis ible.

2ressure in a ontinuous stati fluid is the same at any horizontal level so!

3or the left hand arm

3or the right hand arm

1s we are measuring gauge pressure we an subtra t


If the fluid being measured is a gas! the density will probably be very low in omparison to the density of the manometri fluid i.e. rman 44 r. In this ase the term negle ted! and the gauge pressure give by an be

3. Measurement Of Pressure Difference Using a "U"-Tube Manometer.

If the $/$(tube manometer is onne ted to a pressurised vessel at two points the pressure difference between these two points an be measured.

If the manometer is arranged as in the figure above! then

5iving the pressure differen e

1gain! if the fluid whose pressure differen e is being measured is a gas and involving an be negle ted! so

! then the terms

4. Advances to the "U" tube manometer.

The $/$(tube manometer has the disadvantage that the hange in height of the liquid in both sides must be read. This an be avoided by making the diameter of one side very large ompared to the other. In this ase the side with the large area moves very little when the small area side move onsiderably more.

1ssume the manometer is arranged as above to measure the pressure differen e of a gas of (negligible density) and that pressure differen e is . If the datum line indi ates the level of the manometri fluid when the pressure differen e is zero and the height differen es when pressure is applied is as shown! the volume of liquid transferred from the left side to the right 1nd the fall in level of the left side is

%e know from the theory of the $/$ tube manometer that the height different in the two olumns gives the pressure differen e so

'learly if D is very mu h larger than d then (d/D)2 is very small so

&o only one reading need be taken to measure the pressure differen e. If the pressure to be measured is very small then tilting the arm provides a onvenient way of obtaining a larger (more easily read) movement of the manometer. The above arrangement with a tilted arm is shown in the figure below.

Tilted manometer.

The pressure differen e is still given by the height hange of the manometri fluid but by pla ing the s ale along the line of the tilted arm and taking this reading large movements will be observed. The pressure differen e is then given by

The sensitivity to pressure hange an be in reased further by a greater in lination of the manometer arm! alternatively the density of the manometri fluid may be hanged.


hoice Of Manometer

'are must be taken when atta hing the manometer to vessel! no burrs must be present around this 6oint. 7urrs would alter the flow ausing lo al pressure variations to affe t the measurement. &ome disadvantages of manometers8 &low response ( only really useful for very slowly varying pressures ( no use at all for flu tuating pressures9 3or the $/$ tube manometer two measurements must be taken simultaneously to get the h value. This may be avoided by using a tube with a mu h larger ross(se tional area on one side of the manometer than the other9 It is often diffi ult to measure small variations in pressure ( a different manometri fluid may be required ( alternatively a sloping manometer may be employed9 It annot be used for very large pressures unless several manometers are onne ted in series9 3or very a urate work the temperature and relationship between temperature and must be known9

&ome advantages of manometers8 They are very simple. :o alibration is required ( the pressure an be al ulated from first prin iples.