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Academic Year 2014 - 2015


GRP. # 1
MARCH 25, 2015



The measurement of Pressure is one of the major process measurements used for process
control. The pressure of almost any liquid or gas that is stored or moved must be known to
ensure safe and reliable operations. Pressure is defined as force divided by the area over
which that force is applied. Force is anything that changes or tends to change the state of rest
or motion of a body. Area is the number of unit squares equal to the surface of an object.


Strain-gauge pressure sensing devices

The Instrumentation and Process Control Training System comes with pressure sensing
elements that use diaphragms to detect changes in pressure. A diaphragm for a pressure
measurement device is usually made from a thin sheet of metal. The diaphragm may be flat
or may have concentric corrugations. Figure 2-1 shows how two corrugated discs can be put
together to form a capsule diaphragm.

When a diaphragm is under pressure, it deforms proportionally to the magnitude of the

pressure and a strain gauge measures the deformation of the diaphragm. Whatever the type
of strain gauge(s) in the pressure-sensing device, the deformation of the diaphragm(s) due to
the pressure is converted into a change of electrical resistance. An electrical circuit called a
Wheatstone bridge measures this change in electrical resistance. Figure 2-2 shows a quarter-
bridge strain gauge circuit. In industrial measurement devices, this circuit is usually modified
to compensate for the wires resistance and for the effect of temperature on the strain gauge.

Figure 2-1 Top-view Figure 2-2

and side-view of a Wheatstone bridge
capsule diaphragm coupled with a
strain gauge
Pressure in a water system

To illustrate how pressure works in a system with a fluid flowing through pipes and pieces
of equipment, we will use the water system schematized in Figure 2-3. In this system, the pump
pushes the water in the pipe connected to its outlet. The pressure developed in the system
depends on the resistance offered by its components. If a valve is closed, the resistance is infinite
and the pressure before the closed valve is the maximum pressure developed at the pump outlet,
as Pascals Law predicts. If all the valves are open, water flows through the system and the
resistance allowing pressure to build up in the pipes comes from the friction of water with the
pipe wall and from restrictions due to components or to changes in the geometry of the pipes.
Figure 2-3 shows a system with an unpressurized tank and with a pressure gauge (PI6) installed at
the end of the loop, where the water returns to the tank. For such a system, the gauge displays a
pressure of 0 Pa (0 psi) since there is no resistance to the water flow after this point. In short, the
system develops a maximum pressure immediately after the pump outlet and the closer the flow
is to the outlet, the smaller the pressure in the system because there is less resistance ahead. This
reduction in the pressure after a component or after a length of pipe is called pressure loss.

Figure 2-3 Pressure in Water System

What is bleeding?

When you connect a pressure-sensing device to a pressure port, you must fill the impulse
line linking the instrument to the pressure port with the process fluid. This is especially
important if you are measuring the pressure of a process using a liquid, such as measuring the
pressure in a pipe filled with water. Filling the impulse line with the process fluid helps to
avoid inaccurate pressure measurements due to the compression of air that may be trapped
in the impulse line or in the pressure-sensing device. The procedure for purging air from both
the impulse line and the instrument is called bleeding.

The Procedure is divided into the following sections:

Setup and connections

Bleeding the pressure gauge
Measuring pressure with a pressure gauge
Measuring the air pressure in a pressurized column
The differential-pressure transmitter
Bleeding a differential-pressure transmitter
Measuring differential pressure using a differential-pressure transmitter


EXERCISE 2-1 Pressure Measurement

9. 36 KPa (5.2 psig)

10. YES

11. 69 KPa (9.8 psig)

37. 7 KPa


Review Questions:

1. How is pressure created in a flow system?

All molecules move and they need space to move in. Pressure happens when molecules
are shoved together and bump into each other exerting force against each other and likewise the
container that they are in. Pressure is the result of attempting to stifle molecular movement. The
molecules don't want to be close to each other so they push back in all directions attempting

2. What is the difference between a gauge pressure reading and an absolute pressure reading?
The simplest way to explain the difference between the two is that absolute pressure uses
absolute zero as its zero point, while gauge pressure uses atmospheric pressure as its zero point.
Due to varying atmospheric pressure, gauge pressure measurement is not precise, while absolute
pressure is always definite.
3. What are the two basic types of pressure measurement devices? How do they operate?
LIQUID MANOMETERS - manometer is any device used to measure pressure. However, the word
manometer is commonly used to mean a pressure sensor which detects pressure change by
means of liquid in a tube.
ELASTIC PRESSURE SENSOR - Elastic pressure sensors are so called because something flexes,
stretches, or temporarily deforms when a pressure is applied.

4. What is a bourdon-tube pressure gauge of the C type? How does it operate?

The C-shaped Bourdon tube has a hollow, elliptical cross section. It is closed at one end
and is connected to the fluid pressure at the other end. When pressure is applied, its cross section
becomes more circular, causing the tube to straighten out, like a garden hose when the water
is first turned on, until the force of the fluid
pressure is balanced by the elastic resistance of the tube material. Since the open end of the
tube is anchored in a fixed position, changes in pressure move the closed end. A pointer is
attached to the closed end of the tube through a linkage arm and a gear and pinion assembly,
which rotates the pointer around a graduated scale.

5. What is a strain-gauge pressure transmitter? How does it operate?

A pressure transducer, often called a pressure transmitter, is a transducer that converts

pressure into an analog electrical signal. The conversion of pressure into an electrical signal is
achieved by the physical deformation of strain gages which are bonded into the diaphragm of the
pressure transducer and wired into a wheatstone bridge configuration. Pressure applied to the
pressure transducer produces a deflection of the diaphragm which introduces strain to the gages.
The strain will produce an electrical resistance change proportional to the pressure.

6. What is the purpose of the ZERO and SPAN adjustment knobs on the Pressure Transmitter of the
Process Control Training System?

Zero adjustments typically take one or more of the following forms in an instrument:
Bias force (spring or mass force applied to a mechanism)
Mechanical offset (adding or subtracting a certain amount of motion)
Bias voltage (adding or subtracting a certain amount of potential)

Span adjustments typically take one of these forms:

Fulcrum position for a lever (changing the force or motion multiplication)
Amplifier gain (multiplying or dividing a voltage signal)
Spring rate (changing the force per unit distance of stretch)
7. What is the purpose of the two bleeding ports on the Pressure Transmitter of the Process
Control Training System?
When you connect a pressure-sensing device to a pressure port, you must fill the impulse
line linking the instrument to the pressure port with the process fluid


8. 4 LPM AT 3.6 V




2 1.5
3 2.5
4 3.6
5 4.0
6 5.0
7 6.0
8 7.1
8.5 8.0


0 2 4 6 8 10


Review Questions:

1. How does the Rotameter of the Process Control Training System operate?
Rotameters is based on the variable area principle: fluid flow raises a float in a tapered
tube, increasing the area for passage of the fluid. The greater the flow, the higher the float is
raised. The height of the float is directly proportional to the flowrate.
2. Why does the pressure loss through the Rotameter of the Process Control Training System
remain nearly constant as the flow rate is increased?
Rotameters are known as gravity-type flowmeters because they are based on the
opposition between the downward force of gravity and the upward force of the flowing fluid.
When the flow is constant, the float stays in one position that can be related to the volumetric
flow rate. That position is indicated on a graduated scale.

3. How does the Paddle Wheel Flow Transmitter of the Process Control Training System operate?
The paddle wheel flow meter is a cost effective device typically used for water or water
like fluids. These meters, like the turbine meter, require a few pipe diameters of straight pipe on
the inlet and on the outlet. Chemical compatibility should be verified when not using water. The
rotor of the paddlewheel sensor is perpendicular to the flow and contacts only a limited cross
section of the flow.

4. What is the purpose of the SPAN adjustment knob on the Paddle Wheel Flow Transmitter?
The maximum measurable level is determined by the maximum height the liquid can
reach above the primary sensing element of the pressure transmitter. The maximum level to be
measured is adjusted by using the span knob of the transmitter.

5. What are the advantages and limitations of Paddle Wheel Flow Meter?
Paddle Wheel Flowmeters can include meters with rotating paddle wheels, propellers, or
multi-jet disks the rotating component provides a pulse when passing either a magnetic or optical
sensor. The frequency of the pulses is proportional to the velocity of the fluid at one point in the
pipe or channel. These designs offer relatively high accuracy for their low cost; some insertion
versions are very easy to install.
In addition to the oil and gas industries, paddle-wheel flowmeters are used in utilities.
Paddle-Wheel Flowmeters offer a fast response time and are easy to maintain. They can also be
difficult to install and require a full pipe.
Paddle wheel meters work best with clean fluids as particulates can prevent the paddle
from spinning properly. Not suitable for gases. Requires a turbulent flow profile (consistent fluid
velocity across the pipe diameter) for accuracy. Requires a straight run of pipe before and after
the flow meter to allow swirl patterns in the flow stream to dissipate Paddlewheel meters may
not function properly with high viscosity fluids where the flow profile is laminar. The pipe must
be full; any air in the line may lead to inaccuracies.

Pressure measurement is important for many reasons. It can provide information needed
to determine a systems flow rate.
Pressure measuring devices can also allow operating pressures to be monitored, so that
any necessary adjustments can be made. Since the pressure in any fluid is not constant from
one point to the next, it is important to measure the pressure at different points in the system.
A rotameter requires no external power or fuel, it uses only the inherent properties of
the fluid, along with gravity, to measure flow rate. A rotameter is also a relatively simple
device that can be mass manufactured out of cheap materials, allowing for its widespread
use. Since the area of the flow passage increases as the float moves up the tube, the scale is
approximately linear. Clear glass is used which is highly resistant to thermal shock and
chemical action.
But Due to its use of gravity, a rotameter must always be vertically oriented and right way
up, with the fluid flowing upward and to its reliance on the ability of the fluid or gas to displace
the float, graduations on a given rotameter will only be accurate for a given substance at a
given temperature.
Control valves are valves used to control conditions such as flow, pressure, temperature,
and liquid level by fully or partially opening or closing in response to signals received from
controllers that compare a "set point" to a "process variable" whose value is provided by
sensors that monitor changes in such conditions
Paddle wheel meters work best with clean fluids as particulates can prevent the paddle
from spinning properly.