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Piezoresistive pressure sensor measurement glossary

2015-04-24
4-20mA Current Loop Output - is a type of electrical signal that is used in a series circuit to provide a robust measurement signal.

Best Straight Line Accuracy - defines the limit that any pressure measurement reading will deviate from the Best Straight Line.

Ceramic Pressure Sensors - typically use diaphragms made from Alumina (Al2O3) with a screen printed thick film strain gauge circuit. Ceramic diaphragms are very inert and provide a high level of protection from aggressive chemicals.

Compound Pressure Ranges- are ones that combine positive and negative pressure ranges into one pressure measurement device.

Digital Compensation - is the process of collecting many measured points at different pressures and temperatures and using this data to correct the output of a pressure transducer so that the pressure accuracy and thermal errors can be improved beyond what is practically achieved with analogue compensation.

Maximum Pressure Hysteresis - is the largest difference between measurements recorded during an increase in pressure from zero to full scale pressure and a decrease in pressure from full scale to zero pressure.

Measurement Precision - is used to describe how closely grouped a set of readings are to each other.

Non-Linearity, Hysteresis and Repeatability or NLHR - is often used to describe the room temperature precision of a pressure sensor and excludes all zero & span offsets, temperature errors and long term stability.

Pressure - is the amount of force or load applied to a unit area; Force divided by Area = Pressure. The SI unit for pressure is the Pascal (Pa) which is derived from Newton per metre (N/m2).

Pressure Transducer - is any device that can convert a change in pressure into a varying electrical signal.

Pressure Transmitter - is a pressure transducer which has been combined with an amplification circuit to allow the electrical signal to be sent over longer distances without degradation.

Reference Pressure - is the pressure present on the reverse or negative side of a sensing diaphragm. For example the pressure reading will be zero when the total pressure measured on the positive side of the diaphragm equals the reference pressure.

Referred Thermal or Temperature Error Band - is derived from the maximum deviation expressed as a percentage of full scale in either the positive or the negative direction from the measurements at a defined temperature which is typically room temperature. This maximum deviation is then expressed as ±figure e.g. ±2.5%FS.

Silicon Pressure Sensors - bring together the benefits of the high gauge factors of semiconductor strain gauge technology with the high elasticity of a Silicon sensing diaphragm. Silicon pressure transducers have high mV/V output signal sensitivity, high overpressure and very low non-linearity, hysteresis and repeatability.

Transducer - is a device that converts a non-electrical change into an electrical change.