IEN Industry Seminar Series — Advancing Pressure Measurement through Instrumentation

Jeff C.

Jeff Christian of WIKA Instruments is presenting two sessions at the Advancing Pressure Measurement through Instrumentation seminar at the Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology on December 1st, 2016.

The first session is titled “Challenges, Applications and Considerations for Gauges and Transducers.” The second session is titled “Innovations in the Real World: Applying Pressure Measurement Technologies.” The second session particularly focuses on recent instrument-related innovations in nanotechnology and the semiconductor industry.

The first session kicks off at 8:45 a.m., and the second session ends at 12:45 p.m.

The seminar is being held at the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Room 1116, and attendees are encouraged to bring a friend or colleague.

Session 1 – Challenges, Applications and Considerations for Gauges and Transducers

Session 1 is an overview of pressure measurement and the instrumentation industry today. It covers all the basics, including types of pressure scales, units for pressure measurement, accuracy and the various types of mechanical and electronic pressure measuring technologies. Selection criteria for both mechanical gauges and electronic pressure transmitters are also discussed.

Session 2 – Guided Tour of IEN Cleanroom and Lab

After the first session, seminar attendees will be given an exclusive guided tour of the IEN cleanroom and lab.

Session 3 – Innovations in the Real World: Applying Pressure Measurement Technologies

Session 2 starts with a brief history and overview of pressure measurement and milestones for technological developments in pressure gauges and pressure transmitters. Next, Christian focuses on recent innovations in the electronic and nanotechnology sectors.

In his presentation, he offers a number of examples of material innovation in the semiconductor industry. In terms of recent instrument innovations, Christian highlights diaphragm gauges, which offer sensitive gauge workings greater protection from various media as well as a minimal flow path that reduces dead-space and minimizes the potential for contamination.

He also points to the development of modern integrated switches that provide additional discrete output signals for gauges and transducers, and are used in monitoring and control processes for facility and environmental safety.

Other innovations highlighted in the presentation include a smart zero potentiometer with a patented design that prevents damage and eliminates the need for a protective cover, sensor-on-gland technology whereby a CVD/PVD deposition process is used to apply the strain-gauge directly on the transducer’s sensor orbitally welded to the process gland, and ultra-compact design that is focused on the smallest possible product footprint for locations with space constraints and limited geometries.

You can sign up for the Advancing Pressure Measurement through Instrumentation seminar at http://ien.gatech.edu/isswika.

A complimentary lunch will be provided with registration to the seminar, and attendees are eligible to receive three professional development hour credits.

The Impact of Fluoride on Pressure Gauges and Diaphragm Seals

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Fluoride is added to drinking water in many areas as an important nutrient for the health of human teeth. Too much fluoride in the water, however, can lead to corrosion of pipes or equipment, including sensitive pressure gauges, pressure transmitters, and diaphragm seals.

That said, the concentration of fluoride typically added to drinking water is so low that there is minimal risk of corrosion of piping or equipment.

Low Concentrations of Fluoride in Water Do Not Cause Corrosion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that at the level of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service for fluoride in public water supplies, the fluoride ion has little to no ability to cause corrosion.

According to the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, “the corrosive influence of fluoride in drinking water is not significant compared with other ionic influences [especially chlorides].”

Moreover, the CDC highlights that fluoridating the water supply using fluorosilicates contributes to improved water stability with reduced overall potential for corrosion because the silicates settle on and stabilize the internal pipe surface.

Of note, adding fluorosilicates to high-purity groundwater with little natural buffering can, however, lead to a slight increase in corrosion.

Special Hybrid Alloys Are Resistant to Fluoride

Some areas, however, have naturally high fluoride levels in the groundwater. This can lead to the local water utility having to treat the water with reverse osmosis or other methods to make the water potable.

If you are dealing with naturally high fluoride levels in local water or you have manufacturing or refining processes that involve media containing fluoride, you will need a diaphragm seal made of a special fluoride-corrosion-resistant material to protect your sensitive measuring instruments.

The engineers at WIKA can work with your team to recommend seals made from or coated with special hybrid alloys designed to resist fluoride corrosion. The WIKA team also points to research that shows hybrid alloys with high molybdenum and low chromium content offer superior resistance to fluoride-containing environments, especially high-temperature fluoride environments. While the WIKA Diaphragm Seal team of experts can offer advice and information on the type of material to use, the customer has the ultimate final word on the decision.

If fluoride corrosion is a problem at your facility or if you’ve got any questions about measuring instruments, give the experts at WIKA a call and we’ll get you on the right track.

Making Your Diaphragm Seal Compatible with Your Process Media

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A growing number of modern refining or manufacturing processes require the use of highly corrosive materials, or the ability to operate at very high or very low temperatures. In most cases, standard pressure and temperature measuring instruments cannot be used for these applications as these sensitive devices literally can’t take the heat (or extreme cold) for long periods of time.

Extremely hot, cold, or corrosive processes require specialized measuring instruments, typically including a protective diaphragm seal. In extreme temperature cases, the diaphragm seal should be constructed of a corrosion-resistant material, such as Stainless Steel 316 series or several Hastelloy grades, Monel alloys or tantalum to name a few.

Common Specialty Materials for Diaphragm Seals

WIKA customers can order custom diaphragm seals made from over 25 specialty materials, and our experienced engineers will help you to identify suitable material for your specific application. Given that the customer has the final word materials such as Hastelloy C276, Hastelloy C22, Monel 400, and tantalum are materials commonly used in diaphragm seals for chemical and petrochemical applications.

In some cases, the entire diaphragm seal is constructed of the special material. For a more economical alternative, a layer of a corrosion-resistant material is attached to the surface of a steel diaphragm seal with a metallic bonding process.

Hastelloy C22 and C276 alloys are frequently used for wetted parts in chemical process technology and equipment. These alloys have excellent corrosion resistance against acids at high temperatures, various solvents, chlorine-based media, formic and acetic acid, or brine/salt solutions, and can be used in a broad range of applications.

Diaphragm seals and other equipment made of Monel 400 are also relatively common in the chemical industry. This alloy is highly resistant to organic and inorganic acids, caustic alkali solutions, and salts in a variety of operating conditions. Monel 400 offers better protection from reduction reactions than it does from oxidation reactions.

Tantalum is highly resistant to corrosion, roughly equivalent to glass or platinum, but it is quite expensive. Very few organic or inorganic materials will corrode this rare metal at room temperature. The reason tantalum is so resistant to corrosion is that a layer of tough tantalum pentoxide that inhibits chemical reactions forms quickly on surfaces exposed to air.

WIKA Technical Director of Diaphragm Seals Raimund Weissner emphasizes the goal with specialty material diaphragm seals is to help the customer select the most economical material for the seal to get the job done. For example, there’s probably no need to pay for an expensive tantalum diaphragm seal if a relatively inexpensive Hastelloy C276 seal will work just as well.

Let the pressure measurement experts at WIKA help you figure out the ideal material for your diaphragm seals so you can give your valuable instruments maximum protection at reasonable cost. Give WIKA a call today, and we’ll get a conversation started about what specialty materials are the best fit for your applications.

 

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Ending Confusion between a Diaphragm Valve and a Diaphragm Seal

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It’s easy to get confused with all the specialized technical terminology you hear in business today. One common problem in the instrument industry caused by terminology is confusing a diaphragm seal and a diaphragm valve.

Of course, both devices operate using a flexible diaphragm that can transmit pressure effects, but an engineer will tell you the similarities end there.

Diaphragm Valve

A valve is a mechanical device by which the flow of a liquid or gas may be started, stopped, or regulated by a movable part that opens, closes, or partially obstructs one or more passageways. Valves come in scores of types and sizes for specific applications.

A diaphragm valve is one well-known type of valve. The primary working part of a diaphragm valve is the diaphragm, a flexible membrane that will bulge under pressure to actuate the movement of a valve. WIKA does not sell diaphragm valves.

Diaphragm Seal

The primary working part of a diaphragm seal is also a diaphragm, but in this case, the flexible membrane transmits a pressure effect from a process media through a fill fluid to a pressure gauge or sensor where it is measured.

A diaphragm seal is used to physically separate a pressure measuring instrument from a potentially damaging process medium (i.e., extremely hot, cold or corrosive media). Diaphragm seals made of special alloys can dramatically extend the useful life of pressure gauges and transmitters in the refining and chemical processing industries where corrosive media are common. Manufacturing and packaging in the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries often involves very hot or cold processes, so many instruments used to monitor these processes include a diaphragm seal.

Dealing with the Confusion

WIKA Technical Director of Diaphragm Seals Raimund Weissner has been in the business for quite a while, and he has said that he gets at least a handful of calls a year from small manufacturers or independent repair shops who are looking for a replacement part for a diaphragm valve.

He, of course, has to regretfully inform the callers that they will need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement part because WIKA manufactures diaphragm seals, but not diaphragm valves.

When not busy clearing up terminological confusion in the industry, Weissner and the WIKA team are, however, available to answer any questions you have about diaphragm seals or measurement instruments more generally. They’ll even answer your terminological questions. WIKA sells more diaphragm seals than anyone else in the world. Let us put that expertise to work for you to make certain your questions are answered and your expensive instruments are fully protected.
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How the Right Pressure Sensor Can Help You Minimize the Effects of Uncontrollable Conditions

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Increasing material costs, unplanned equipment downtime, unpredictable weather, government regulations – the list of uncontrollable issues facing industries today goes on. In particular, the mining, construction and agriculture sectors encounter these problems annually, and manufacturers of mobile machinery need solutions to minimize these effects on their bottom line.

What if a pressure sensor could provide manufacturers a way to reduce machine downtime, prevent No Failures Found (NFF) and reduce warranty claims? Working with leading companies in the off-road vehicle industry, WIKA developed the MH-3 pressure sensor, which is their third generation pressure sensor for mobile working machines. This latest edition features diagnostic and signal clamping capabilities.

The MH-3’s built-in diagnostics identify the causes of permanent as well as temporary failures, eliminating guesswork in the field and unnecessary component removal. A chip inside the sensor keeps records of failures and abnormal operations, storing it for future use in troubleshooting and routine maintenance.

The MH-3 pressure sensor also features signal clamping, which allows one to pre-define the lower and upper ranges of the output signal. Signal clamping helps prevent momentary shutdowns, erratic machine behavior and premature component failure due to pressure spikes and overpressure conditions.

The in-field diagnostics of the MH-3 allows field technicians to quickly determine if a pressure sensor has failed, where on the machine it’s located and even help answer questions like why the machine went down in the first place. The MH-3 is robust and durable, with a case made of a highly resistant fiberglass reinforced thermoplastic (PBT). Even extreme temperature shock does not affect its performance. A metallic shield provides excellent electro-magnetic protection, and the hermetically-welded thin-film measuring eliminates the need for additional sealing against leaks.

The MH-3 pressure sensor is shock and vibration resistant, in addition to including WIKA’s Cavitation Dampening System (CDS) which reduces the effects of cavitation and  pressure spikes. These features make the pressure sensor the best choice for load monitoring, load moment limitation and hydraulic drive control in:

  • tractors, harvesters and sprayers
  • excavators, bulldozers and backhoes
  • forklift trucks, industrial trucks and industrial lifts

Customer satisfaction and your reputation are on the line. Let the experts at WIKA help you select the right pressure sensor for your mobile working machine to improve reliability, reduce downtime and decrease warranty claims. Call WIKA today.

Make Sure You Have the Right Size Diaphragm Seal to Get the Job Done

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Size is an important consideration when selecting a diaphragm seal to protect your expensive pressure measuring instruments. Size in this case does not refer to the external dimensions of the diaphragm seal device, but to the size of the internal flexible diaphragm seal that transfers the pressure from the process media to the fill fluid. (The fill fluid then transfers the pressure to the instrument for reading.)

A Diaphragm Seal Must be Big Enough to Get the Job Done

A diaphragm seal must be big enough to displace a sufficient volume of fill fluid to drive the pressure gauge or transmitter through its full range. This means that pressure instruments measuring relatively high pressure ranges can use small diaphragm seals, but those measuring lower pressure processes need larger diaphragm seals to create enough flow to take the instrument to the top of its range.

Something to keep in mind is the lower the pressure range, the larger the diaphragm seal needs to be. That is a good rule of thumb because lower pressure systems require the greater volume displacement of a larger diaphragm to create sufficient displacement to drive the system.

By the same token, smaller diaphragms (lower volume displacement) are usually sufficient for higher pressure applications.

A corollary to the rule of thumb above is the larger the gauge, the more displacement is needed by the diaphragm to drive the system. By the same token, smaller gauges are generally preferred for low pressure applications.

The general rule of the lower the pressure, the larger the diaphragm required and vice versa applies to diaphragm seals used with pressure gauges or pressure transmitters.

Using Larger Diaphragm Seals can Increase Measurement Accuracy

Another important consideration is that the use of a smaller diaphragm seal on a relatively low-pressure process will lead to less accurate measurement.

For example, in a relatively low-pressure application using a 1.5-inch diaphragm seal on a pressure transmitter used to measure the liquid level of a tank, your error would be as high as 12.1 inH2o. If you move up to a 2-inch diaphragm seal, your error drops all the way to 1.7 inH2O; and if you use an extra-large 3-inch seal, you will have a mere 0.5 inH2O error.

The size of the seal is just one of a number of important factors to consider when choosing a diaphragm seal to protect your instruments. Give the pressure gauge and transmitter experts at WIKA a call and let us walk you through the diaphragm seal selection process. We’ll make sure you’ve got the right instrument and the right seal for the job.

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Diaphragm Seals Protect Instruments in Ultra-Low Temperature Processes

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Diaphragm seals protect expensive measuring instruments from direct contact with potentially dangerous process media. Adding a diaphragm seal to a pressure gauge or sensor offers protection from corrosive media and mitigates the impact of both high- and low-temperature process media.

The negative impact of high temperatures on virtually all mechanical and electronic devices is well known, but not everyone is aware that exposure to very low temperatures can also damage sensitive equipment, particularly long-term exposure to extreme cold.

Diaphragm Seals Insulate Against High and Low Temperatures

Most measuring instruments can handle temperatures from below freezing to around 200°F without any additional protection, but at temperatures below zero or above 212°F, a diaphragm seal or other temperature mitigation device is recommended.

You can read more about the use of diaphragm seals in high temperature applications in this WIKA blog.

Materials behave differently at very low temperatures, and researchers have developed a number of manufacturing processes to exploit this fact. Recent research in the field of cryogenics has focused on how some materials become highly efficient superconductors at extremely low temperatures (below -238°F). This research has led to breakthroughs in scanning technology such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) commonly used in medicine today for diagnostic purposes.

WIKA is working hard to keep up with the demands of modern refrigeration technology. For example, the use of a diaphragm seal and a special temperature dissipation device and/or a long capillary line enables the measurement of process media as low as -202°F.

Diaphragm Seal Fill Fluids for Low Temperature Applications

Extremely low temperature applications require the use of a special fill fluid in the diaphragm seal assembly to avoid freeze ups. Standard halocarbons can be used at temperatures to approximately -60°F, special types of silicone oils or halocarbons are good at temperatures as low as -130°F, and methylcyclopentan won’t freeze up until temperatures are below -200°F.

Making sure that your pressure gauges and sensors provide accurate readings throughout their lifetimes means greater safety and less expensive downtime. Call or email the diaphragm seal experts at WIKA today to learn more about how diaphragm seals can protect your expensive instruments, no matter what temperature your processes require.

 

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An Overview of Temperature Switching Technology

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Have you ever thought about the thermostat on your heating/air conditioning unit? A thermostat or mechanical temperature switch is a remarkably useful and reliable device, as it is capable of switching on or off thousands of times based simply on changes in ambient temperature, with no battery or other power source required.

Mechanical temperature switches are used in a broad range of applications, especially in industrial machines and mobile working machines in the agriculture, construction and material handling industries.

Understanding Temperature Switches

Mechanical temperature switching technologies operate on several different principles. When a predetermined temperature is reached, a bellows, bimetal disc or a temperature-sensitive fluid or vapor will expand to actuate a mechanical micro switch that can either open or close the circuit. A mechanical temperature switch plays a crucial role in industrial machine and mobile working machine operation by turning systems on or off when a specific temperature is reached.

Mechanical temperature switches are most commonly used to limit system temperatures by activating a fan to cool radiators for engine systems, transmission systems, hydraulic systems, cutting tool systems or even brake systems. The advantages of using a mechanical temperature switch include low cost, ruggedness, does not require a power source and simplicity of operation.

WIKA’s Model TFS35 Bimetal Temperature Switch

With WIKA’s TFS35 temperature switch, temperature sensing is carried out by a bimetal disc that snaps over to open or close when the nominal switching temperature (NST) is reached. When the device cools to the reset switching temperature (RST), the switch snaps back again to its original state. The bimetal disc in the model TFS35 temperature switch does not carry a current, which eliminates any possibility of imprecise switching do to arcing.

The TFS35 bimetal temperature switch is available in two contact designs:

  • Normally Closed (NC) which opens a circuit when the switching temperature is reached.
  • Normally Open (NO) which closes a circuit when the switching temperature is reached.

For both designs, when the system temperature reaches the reset switching temperature, the contacts return to their original state.  Let the engineers at WIKA show you how our electrical and mechanical switch line can help you save money, improve safety or more accurately monitor machine temperatures. Call or email WIKA’s Technical Support if you have any questions or if you just want someone to fill you in on the advantages of using WIKA pressure and temperature measurement instruments.

 

An Overview of Temperature Measurement with Bimetal Thermometers

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Sometimes a technology is so useful it becomes the standard for several decades. Such is the case with bimetallic spring temperature measurement devices, which have been used to indicate temperature for more than a century.

With bimetal temperature indicating systems, as the temperature increases, the bimetallic spring, which remains coiled at room temperature or below, uncoils. This causes a pointer to move, indicating the temperature. The advantages of bimetal temperature gauges are their relatively low cost and robust design; however, a major disadvantage when compared to electrical temperature devices is that a person must be physically present at the point of measurement to take the reading.

Although not generally used for mobile working machines, bimetal temperature gauges are used in a variety of applications in the machine building, chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power and energy and water-wastewater industries.

Basic Operating Principle of Bimetal Temperature Gauges

Bimetal temperature gauges are generally produced as a helical or spiral tube. The measuring system consists of two strips of metal with different expansion coefficients that are welded or bonded. The deformation of the bimetal strip into a helix or spiral shape creates a rotational movement when the temperature changes. Given that one end of the bimetal helix is firmly clamped, the other end will rotate to move the temperature gauge pointer shaft.

WIKA Type TI.30 and TI.50 Bimetal Thermometers

The Model TI.30 and model TI.50 are two of WIKA’s most popular indicating-type bimetal thermometers. These robust bimetal temperature gauges will provide accurate temperature even in challenging environments. Both bimetal temperature gauges are available with a scale range of-100 F to + 1000 F with an accuracy of +/- 1.0% full scale value per ASME B40.3, Grade A.

ti 30 TI.30

TI 50TI.50

They include a process grade design, all stainless steel case construction, easy to access external zero reset, hermetically sealed, and are available with silicone case filling or dampened movement for high-vibration applications.

The experts at WIKA can help you with any of your temperature or pressure measurement needs. Just give us a call or drop us a line and our technical service specialists will get you a quote or answer any question you have.

How to Choose the Right Fill Fluid for Your Diaphragm Seal

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A diaphragm seal is designed to protect expensive instruments. It operates by transferring the pressure effect of a process media through a membrane-like seal to a fill fluid that then transfers the resulting pressure wave to a pressure gauge or sensor at the head of the assembly for measurement. This allows accurate pressure readings without directly exposing the delicate workings of the pressure instruments to potentially damaging media.

Selecting the Right Diaphragm Seal

Adding a diaphragm seal to your instruments is recommended if the instruments are to be used to measure corrosive process media or very high or very low temperature media. Selecting the right diaphragm seal for a specific application, however, requires knowledge about the location of the instrument, process connection size and type, process pressure and temperature limits and any nontechnical limitations on fill fluids (such as nontoxic fill fluids for sanitary applications).

Choosing the Right Diaphragm Seal Fill Fluid

The diaphragm seal experts at WIKA note that fill fluid characteristics largely determine the seal system performance, both in terms of response time and temperature dissipation. Various characteristics of fill fluids must be taken into account in selecting an appropriate fill fluid.

As mentioned above, an initial consideration in choosing a diaphragm seal fill fluid is process media compatibility. The process media temperature and pressure are also important factors because all fill fluids expand or contract with changes in temperature.

Keep in mind that the fill fluid viscosity and density have a direct relationship with the measurement response time. A more viscous fill fluid leads to a longer response time. Also, a fill fluid with a higher density may have an impact on mounting.

Types of Fill Fluids

Glycerin, silicone oils and halocarbons are the most commonly used diaphragm seal fill fluids, but WIKA actually offers around 50 different fill fluids for specialized applications. Note that extremely high and low temperature (refrigeration) applications often require the use of a special fill fluid.

The engineers at WIKA also point out that a fill fluid other than glycerin is required for vacuum and compound gauges. Note that glycerin fill fluid should not be used when there is a capillary line between the instrument and diaphragm seal.

Don’t hesitate to contact WIKA technical sales if you have any questions about diaphragm seals or to learn more about how to find the ideal fill fluid for your measurement assemblies.

 

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Selecting an Electrical Temperature Transmitter for Mobile Machines

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Mobile working machines such as tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, backhoes, mining machines, forklifts, and industrial trucks work day in and day out under extremely harsh conditions. It is important to monitor the temperature of their systems to prevent downtime and ensure continued performance. There are primarily two types of temperature measurement technologies for mobile working machines. The first is using a resistive temperature detector (RTD’s) and is based on the principle that the electrical resistance of a metal increases as temperature increases. By using this relationship a temperature measurement can be inferred by measuring the resistance of the RTD element. The problem with this measurement technique is that the temperature to resistance relationship must be stored in the machines computer and when replacing the RTD probe during field repairs, the same RTD element must be used or the relationship will not be valid, resulting in temperature errors and poor machine operation.

The second temperature measurement technology that eliminates some of the inherent problems of using a plain RTD sensor is a temperature transmitter. A temperature transmitter combines a temperature sensor (an RTD for example) and a transmitter in the same instrument. The RTD measures the temperature while the transmitter amplifies and transmits the signal to a controller or computer system. The advantage a temperature transmitter has over just using an RTD sensor is that it converts the temperature measurement into a known current or voltage signal that is proportional to the temperature being measured. Another advantage is that when different parameters are being measured on mobile working machines, the output from the different instruments can be rationalized into a common interface such as 4-20 mA or 1-5 V so all devices are communicating in the same language.

In most industries, transmitters are becoming intelligent instruments largely because they are microprocessor based. Most of these devices are now regarded as “smart” devices that can be programmed to achieve a desired result. The WIKA model TR33 temperature transmitter for mobile working machines is one such device. The transmitter contains an EEPROM that can be programmed to changing conditions on the machine. Using WIKA’s free software developed specifically for the model TR33, the customer can adjust measuring range, temperature units, damping, fault signals, interference immunity and device TAG number. The fault signal feature is especially useful for mobile working machine manufactures. By defining a predefined fault signal field technicians can quickly identify if the transmitter needs to be replaced by reading the output signal of the transmitter. The predefined fault signal also prevents field technicians from replacing good working transmitters until a problem can be identified. By using the model TR33 temperature transmitter with fault signal capability the machine manufacture can reduce warranty costs associated with the time to repair the machine and the age old practice of replacing easily serviceable or suspect components in an effort to get machines back into service.

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For mobile working machines that operate in explosive or hazardous atmospheres like mining machines, WIKA created the model TR34 temperature transmitter. It contains all the features and capabilities of the model TR33 but with the added benefit of being intrinsically safe. All WIKA temperature transmitters come in a variety of process connections; stem insertion lengths and diameters, and electrical connectors that you can be sure you will find a temperature transmitter that fits your design needs.

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WIKA offers full lines of probes, switches, and transmitters to measure engine, transmission, hydraulic, cooling and other system temperatures in mobile machinery. Give the temperature transmitter experts at WIKA a call and let them walk you through the selection process. They’ll make sure you’ve got the right temperature transmitter for the job.

 

 

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Extreme Process Temperatures Need Diaphragm Seals with Cooling Elements

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Heat will degrade almost any mechanical or electronic device over time. Similarly, extreme process temperatures have been shown to dramatically reduce the functional lifetimes of sensitive measuring instruments, such as pressure gauges and sensors.

A diaphragm seal is designed to protect your expensive measuring instruments from degradation caused by corrosive or high-temperature media.

Designed in a variety of shapes, sizes and functionalities for specific applications, diaphragm seals are devices with fluid-filled space sealed off by a flexible diaphragm. The flexibility of the seal means the pressure effects of the process media will be transmitted through the diaphragm and can then be measured at the other end of the fluid-filled space.

The engineers at WIKA report that a diaphragm seal itself will dissipate approximately 100°F of heat, and up to 300°F can be dissipated if you add a cooling element, such as a heat sink, to the seal assembly.

How a Heat Sink Works

A heat sink provides sensitive equipment with protection against both high and low process temperatures. A heat sink works by having the air flow on the heat exchanging fins equilibrating (reducing or increasing) the temperature of the diaphragm seal fill fluid. In effect, a heat sink is a temperature-dissipating buffer that at least partially equilibrates the temperature of the fill fluid before it reaches the pressure measuring instrument.

As a general rule, the longer or larger a heat sink is, the more temperature it can dissipate, as surface area is the key factor in dissipation efficiency.

WIKA Offers Custom Cooling Element Design

A number of specialized industrial processes today operate at extremely high or extremely low temperatures, and these extreme conditions require specially designed measuring devices. WIKA’s experienced engineers can work with your team to help develop a custom diaphragm seal measurement solution to handle process temperatures ranging from below -100°F to +750°F.

WIKA’s technical representatives can help you select the perfect off-the-shelf diaphragm seal and heat sink assembly for your applications up to 500°F.

For very high temperature applications, your team will consult with WIKA’s engineering professionals to develop a custom diaphragm seal cooling element assembly specifically designed for your application.

Don’t let your high- or low-temperature processes damage your expensive pressure measurement gauges and sensors. Call or email the diaphragm seal experts at WIKA, and our knowledgeable technical staff will help you assess your needs and find an ideal solution for your specific needs.

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Finding the Best Temperature Probe for Mobile Working Machines

equipment in water

Tractors, harvesters, combines, bulldozers, excavators, drilling machines, crushers, forklifts, and other mobile machines typically work under very harsh conditions. Monitoring the temperature of their systems helps to ensure lasting performance and minimal downtime.

Electrical temperature probes are one of the most common devices used for measuring temperature in these types of applications. The sensors in the probes are generally resistance temperature detectors (RTDs). The resistance of RTDs varies with temperature, and since the temperature-resistance relationship is known, it is a convenient and reliable way to measure temperature. RTDs for mobile working machines are usually made of a pure metal such as platinum or nickel and are passive devices that do not require a power source. The cost of RTDs is relatively low compared to other temperature measurement technologies and they are durable with a very long life span.

Depending on the application, you can mount an electrical temperature probe on the surface of the system to be measured, or you can insert the probe directly into the process. Both configurations are good options to monitor temperature in tanks, reservoirs lines, pumps, motors and radiators of mobile working machines. WIKA has developed a variety of electrical temperature probes using RTDs to satisfy the different needs of the mobile machinery industry.

Types of Electrical Temperature Probes

WIKA’s insertion probes, such as the TF43 model, come with a hot rubber coated sensor and cable for watertight protection, and are available with single or double insulated lead wires. They measure temperatures from -58°F to +221°F, and come with flying leads or an electrical plug connector according to customer specifications.

tf43

Surface electrical temperature probes eliminate potential leak paths and fluid contamination. WIKA’s surface probe TF44, for example, is very easy to install and can be mounted in tight places. Its small aluminum sleeve provides excellent thermal transfer and fast temperature response times. It comes with flying leads or electrical plug connectors, and its design allows it to measure higher temperatures that range from -58°F to +392°F.

TF44

WIKA also offers screw-in electrical temperature probes with either electrical plug connections, such as in model TF35, or an integrated silicone cable directly connected to the body of the sensor, like that of model TF37. These compact designs come in a variety of materials, dimensions, connections, and sensors. Screw-in electrical probes have high resistance to vibration and extremely high resistance to shock, which make them perfect for modern mobile machines.

TF35

WIKA has a full line of probes, switches, and transmitters to measure hydraulic, engine, transmission, and other system temperatures in mobile machinery normally used in agriculture, construction, mining, and material handling. WIKA has specifically designed its electrical temperature probes to withstand the harsh environments most frequently associated with these mobile working machines. WIKA offers customers almost unlimited possibilities, designing probes to meet specifications and provide optimal performance for each application.

WIKA’s experts can help you evaluate your application, look at the advantages and disadvantages of the available solutions, and can guide you through the selection of the most appropriate temperature measurement instrumentation. Call a WIKA expert today for a consultation.

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Get the Diaphragm Seals You Need Fast with WIKA Express Lane

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Time is money and money is time. It’s that simple. WIKA gets it. And with this understanding, we offer as many cost-effective, productivity-enhancing, and efficient options as possible to our customers – to save them time and money. WIKA’s Express Lane Program does just that with diaphragm seals.

The WIKA Express Lane Program provides customers with fast ordering and delivery of a variety of standard diaphragm seals that protect measuring instruments in the refining, petrochemical, and chemical industries.

With the Express Lane Program, you can order high-quality, reliable WIKA diaphragm seals in an array of configurations, along with select accessories that may also be needed. Customers can choose from All Welded System seals, standard welded seals (threaded and flanged), and mini seals. The diaphragm seal assemblies to choose from include the XSEL® 23X.34 size 4.5″ process gauges and 23X.54 sizes 2.5″ and 4″ stainless steel gauge. The 23X.54 gauge features all stainless steel construction, from case design to all wetted parts, while the 23X.34 gauge in 4.5″ has a turret-style fiberglass thermoplastic case and stainless steel wetted parts. Equipped with Swiss-made movements for reliability, both of these designs for the process grade gauge ensure long service life in the harshest, most demanding environments.

Typically, diaphragm seal products require a lead time of at least 12 business days, while nonstandard products may require longer lead times based on the order and available capacity. However, if you need a diaphragm seal order shipped in less than 12 business days, the WIKA Express Lane Program offers 3 convenient ordering options:

Express Lane Option Express Lane Program Charge Maximum Quantity
5 Business Days 1.35 x standard shipping 50 pieces
2 Business Days 2 x standard shipping 5 pieces
1 Business Day 3 x standard shipping 2 pieces

Whether you are trying to deal with an unplanned shutdown or you neglected to order the seals you need for upcoming scheduled maintenance, or just simply want a diaphragm seal fast, WIKA is here to help you with a convenient and secure turnaround method for your equipment.

Find out what WIKA can do for you. Just give us a call at 1-855-EXP-DS-01 (855-397-3701) or send an email to ExpressDS@wika.com to learn how the WIKA Diaphragm Seal Express Lane  can help you save time and money.

Tips for Correctly Installing Pressure Gauges

3d human carry a big tool in hands

Are your gauges installed properly? WIKA’s FAST team of audit experts knows that all too often this isn’t the case. Not installing your gauges properly can lead to premature gauge failure and prevent you from troubleshooting issues with equipment or processes.  Don’t let this happen at your plant. Use these six tips for proper gauge installation the next time you install a gauge.

  1. Select the Right Gauge

Before you pull out a wrench, first make sure you have the right type of gauge for the application. The pressure gauge you choose must be the correct one for the:

    • Expected pressure range to be measured
    • Process media or fluid
    • Process temperature
    • Vibration levels

Even if you install the gauge perfectly, you could face the same problems you had before the installation if the gauge isn’t the right one for the job.

  1. Apply Force Through Spanner Flats

Once you’ve chosen the correct gauge, pay attention to how you screw the gauge in. Rather than turning the case by hand, use a wrench to apply force through the spanner flats. Applying the force through the case or terminal box could damage the case connection. Not applying sufficient torque could result in leaks.

  1. Seal the Deal

Notice the type of threads on the gauge before you seal it. If the gauge has parallel threads, seal it using rings, washers, or WIKA profile seals. If the gauge has tapered threads, additional sealing means, such as PTFE tape, are recommended. This is standard practice for any pipe-fitter because tapered threads do not provide complete sealing on their own.

  1. Use a Clamp Socket or Union Nut with Straight Thread

When tapered threads are used, the installer has the luxury of adjusting the gauge even after sufficient torque has been applied. This allows for convenient orientation of the gauge face. However, with straight threads the face orientation is not adjustable. For that reason, you should use a clamp socket or a union nut to connect the gauge. These will allow you to correctly orientate the gauge after the socket has already been seated on the sealing ring or washer.

  1. Leave Space for Blow-out

For personnel safety, some gauges come with options such as blow-out back. If the gauge ever becomes dangerously over-pressured to the point of rupture, the force from the rupture would be directed through the back of the gauge and not in the direction of anyone standing in front of the gauge face. With these types of products, it is important that the gauge back is not blocked by debris and dirt. Make sure you leave at least 15 millimeters of free space behind the blow-out back.

  1. Vent the Gauge Case

Some gauges come with a small valve on top of the case. Users who don’t understand the purpose of the valve are confused about why it’s included. During shipment, liquid-filled gauges can go through temperature changes that create internal pressure build-up. This can cause the gauge pointer to be off zero. When installing the gauge, open the compensation valve to allow this pressure to vent. It should then be closed again to prevent any external ingress. After you mount the gauge, set the compensating valve from CLOSE to OPEN.

A pressure gauge can do its job only if it’s installed properly. Whether you’re an operator or a maintenance technician, use these tips for proper gauge installation to make sure your gauges perform as they should. Contact WIKA’s technical support team if you have questions about properly installing gauges.