What are the Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum Gauge?

Choosing the right vacuum gauge for the pump or any other process is an important task. Knowing which vacuum gauge will be the right fit for your process will help you to have a better outcome and impact the larger scheme of things.

Usually, one has to go over hordes of the manufacturer’s product line and their specification to understand the various vacuum gauges available in the market, and from that choose the one that works best for your process.

This article helps to shed light on the various important factors which need to be considered to pick the right vacuum gauge for your process. A vacuum gauge’s performance is determined by various elements such as its operating range and accuracy levels. Based on the type of process, a different vacuum gauge will be applicable. Other factors also include the type of interface system and the cost of maintenance.

At Zenith, during our many years of selling vacuum gauges, we have come across a wide range of customers and have helped answer their questions. In this article, we are collating the information required to choose the right vacuum gauge for the job.

1. What are the Vacuum level and accuracy you are looking for?

Usually, when you are unsure of the right vacuum gauge, you’d think having one that works “for the whole range” of pressures will be good for your process. There are vacuum gauges that can cater to this entire range, but they are highly expensive. Knowing the pressure range for your system will help determine the cost-effective and workable vacuum gauge.

Here is a general classification and ranges:

  • Rough Vacuum: Above atmosphere to 1mbar
  • Medium Vacuum: From 1mbar to 10-3 mbar
  • High Vacuum: From 10-3 mbar to 10-9 mbar
  • Ultra-High Vacuum: From 10-9 mbar to 10-12 mbar

By choosing one or more vacuum gauges with varying ranges, it is possible to get measurements across an entire pumping range.

The rough and medium vacuum ranges have higher accuracy as compared with the high and ultra-high vacuum range. Choosing the right vacuum range, with the necessary accuracy is finding an intersection between the pressure gauges and accuracy levels.

2. Type of Application or Process impacts the Vacuum Gauge Choice

Working condition and the environment in which the vacuum gauges need to operate impacts the type of vacuum gauge used for the job.

Whether the process involves dust or debris, the presence of corrosive gases like chlorine or other acidic mixtures in the water vapour, vibrations, venting frequency, X-ray radiation exposure and other electric and magnetic fields, contributes towards your choice of vacuum gauge.

3. System interface

The vacuum gauges will output a signal. Most of the applications use a simple 0-10 V signal whereas some industrial applications still use a 4-20mA output signal. This signal is converted into pressure by calculating simple equations. Lately, digital data collection protocols becoming commonplace.

4. Cost and Maintenance

As we have discussed, choosing a high-level accuracy or a wide range of pressure measurements is going to be an expensive option. Knowing which accuracy level is acceptable for your process will help reduce the cost of the vacuum gauges. You may want 0.1% accuracy, but if you could get 1% accuracy at half the cost, knowing which accuracy level is optimum will determine the cost factor.

Find Vacuum Gauges to suit any purpose at Zenith Instruments

The Magnehelic Gauge – highly accurate, with a choice of over 80 models available making it perfect for a wide range of requirements. Shock-resistant, its design features no manometer fluid, enabling it to be used in high and low temperatures without evaporating or freezing. This is the industry standard for measuring fan and blower pressures, air velocity, and more.

Connect with our team at Zenith today!

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