Important Factors about Vacuum Gauges, an integral part of Vacuum Instrumentation

Vacuum Instrumentation is designed to perform under very high-pressure conditions in a variety of industries, be it food, computers, or even space. The entire performance of the appliance or the end results can differ if the optimal vacuum pressure is not applied. This makes it important to consider all the important factors while selecting the right equipment best suited for your needs.

Industrial equipment such as vacuum gauges have specific performance levels, accuracy, operation guidelines and limitations. Apart from this, one also needs to consider the process or application where they will be used, its compatibility to the existing system, and the overall cost and maintenance of the entire system.

To help you make a better and more informed decision when selecting vacuum instrumentation, we have listed a few of the factors you need to watch out for.

  1. Types of Vacuum Gauges

One can select from two different types of vacuum gauges which differ on the basis of both operation and performance parameters. These vacuum instrumentation are basically available as ‘Direct Gauges’ & ‘Indirect Gauges’.

  • Direct Gauges: Also known as gas independent gauges, these gauges do not depend on any particular type of gas for their performance. These gauges work only when the molecules present in the space have a physical effect which is only present at pressures above 10-4 mbar and above. For pressures below this, direct gauges won’t work effectively and hence are not to be use.
  • Indirect Gauges: Designed to measure the pressure based on the gas type, indirect gauges generally rely on two different methods for their measurement, thermal transfer and ionization. To calculate the pressure using indirect gauges, you first need to identify the gas present inside. Once you know the gas, apply the corresponding correction factor to find the pressure.

Direct gauges are considered more accurate, while the results of indirect gauges are considered more consistent. So, you need to carefully consider your requirements before installing either of them.

  1. The Vacuum Level

When considering vacuum instrumentation such as vacuum gauges, it is very important to know the vacuum level present under working conditions. Vacuum levels can be briefly classified as Rough, Medium, High and Ultra High levels. The pressure range for these four levels is generally between 1 mbar to 10 -12 mbar. Based on what we discussed in the last factor, Direct Gauges can be used for Rough and Medium vacuum level while indirect gauges can only be used for High and Ultra High levels.

Depending on the application, industry, and process, you may need to install a combination of different technologies to achieve the best and high accuracy levels through your vacuum instrumentation. As per professionals rough to medium level gauges have higher accuracy as compared to high and ultra-high vacuum levels.

  1. The Process or application where you are planning to use them

The process where they may be used and the surroundings too play an important role in the selection of the right vacuum instrumentation. One needs to carefully consider the impact of the following on the measurement readings.

  • Any dust or debris being a part of the process
  • The presence of any corrosive gases or liquids in the atmosphere along with water varpour
  • Vibrations being generated by the machinery
  • Presence of any radiation, magnetic and electrical fields

Cost & Maintenance

The overall cost and expenses related to its periodic maintenance also needs to be considered while selecting the best vacuum instrumentation, as that could would have a significant impact on the overall budget.

Select the vacuum instrumentation best suited for your needs

The higher the accuracy, more expensive is the solution, which makes it imperative that you identify your specific needs and source the instrumentation accordingly. Do consider all the other factors outlined in this blog, to make the right decision when it comes to your vacuum instrumentation.