Category Archives: Diaphragms

Stand-Alone Pressure Transducer or Sensor + Electronics?

Introduction:

Validyne pressure transducers break down into two general categories:

Type 1 – A complete transducer with integral electronics

pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

Type 2 – A variable reluctance sensor and supporting carrier demodulator electronics.

pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type 1 category products include models P55, P61, P66, the P895 family and the DR800 and P532 process transmitters.

Type 2 category products include models DP15, DP360/363, DP103 with carrier demodulator models CD15, CD23/223, CD280 and CD17.

The transducers in both categories measure the same pressure ranges – so why would you choose one type over another?

Cost Effective DC Power and DC Signal:

Type 1 category transducers are generally more cost effective per point than are the sensor + electronics (Type 2) category. The Type 1 products come ready for DC power and produce a high-level DC signal, +-/5 Vdc or 4-20 mA. The Type 1 transducers include temperature compensation and are also available with higher accuracy because we can program corrections to sensor errors into the microprocessors in these products.

Type 1 products are generally ‘plug and play’ devices and are ideal for permanent installations.

Type 1 products, however, do not lend themselves to the changing of pressure ranges easily. It is possible to disassemble the sensor on a P55, for example, and replace a damaged diaphragm or install a diaphragm with a new range – but the correction factors and temperature compensation in the microprocessor will not be matched to the new assembly. Validyne can do this – and include new temperature compensation and error correction factors – but this takes time and has a cost.

Easy Range Changing:

The biggest reason to use Type 2 products is for convenient range changing. A DP15, for example, will be easier to disassemble and easier to replace a diaphragm than the Type 1 units. The sensor will be easier to calibrate with the zero and span adjustment ranges built into the external carrier demodulators. If fast frequency is important, the smaller variable reluctance sensors can be more conveniently close-coupled to piping than the larger Type 1 units and the electronics supporting Type 2 sensors have a higher low pass filter frequency available – up to 1 Khz.

Type 2 products are best suited to laboratory settings where pressure ranges are frequently changing, where a digital display is needed and where installation flexibility is important.

Type 2 products, however, do not have built-in temperature compensation, must be calibrated by the user with an appropriate pressure standard and are generally more expensive per measurement point.

Selecting Accessories for the Recalibrating the P55 Pressure Transducer

Introduction:
The Validyne P55 pressure transducer has as its sensor a variable reluctance pressure sensor that can be re-ranged for different full scale pressure measurements. The sensor can be disassembled, a new sensing diaphragm installed and the unit re-calibrated to the new full scale pressure. Some 23 different full scale pressure diaphragms are available and this application note will describe how to select and order the parts needed to re-range the sensor and interface the signal to a PC.

Sensor Parts:
A typical P55 is shown below, with the external parts identified:

P55 Parts pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

First, remove the two Philips head screws holding the sensor to the P55 electronics housing. These are located on the underside of the housing. The wires from the sensor to the electronics are very short, so take care they do not break.

To disassemble a P55 sensor a torque wrench, T27 Torx socket and a vise are needed. The tools needed to disassemble the sensor are available from Validyne and are shown below:

torquewrench pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

The sensor can be disassembled by removing the four 10-32 Torx T27 body bolts. When disassembled, the sensor body pieces separate and the sensing diaphragm and o-rings are removed. These parts are shown below:

boltsorings pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

It is good practice to replace the body bolts and o-rings when changing the range of the P55. Various o-ring compounds are available (see ordering chart).

The sensing diaphragm may now be replaced with one of a different range. A typical sensing diaphragm is shown below:

diaphragm pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

To re-range a P55 sensor the full scale pressure must be known and the correct diaphragm part number ordered. The part number for a P55 diaphragm starts with 3- and is followed by a two-digit range code. The diaphragm in the photo above is p/n 3-22 and has a full scale range of 5.5 In H2O. The other available range codes for the P55 sensing diaphragm are shown in the chart below with their full scale pressures expressed in various engineering units.

P55Ranges pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-assembly is simply the reverse of dis-assembly, taking care that the torque on the body bolts is 125 In-Lb. The vise is used to stabilize the sensor body during assembly and to allow the torque to be correctly transmitted to the body bolts.

Also be sure that the bleed screws are tightly seated – these use a 5/64” hex wrench, Validyne p/n K950-0781. The sensor is reattached to the housing using the two Phillips head screws.

Calibration Accessories:

The next step is to calibrate the P555 against a pressure standard. Validyne can supply model T140K calibrator kit that includes a pressure pump and reference standard – an example is shown below.

T140K pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The T140K calibrator kit is available in six different versions covering the available DP15 full scale pressure ranges. To calibrate theP55 connect it the SI58 digital interface and have a voltmeter to observe the analog output signal of the P55 as it appears on the binding posts of the SI58. 

SI58 pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

 

The SI58 connects to any USB port on a PC and is supplied with software that allows changing the internal registers of the P55 to achieve an accurate calibration. Connect the re-ranged P55 to the SI58 and the SI58 to a PC. Connect a multimeter to the SI58 binding posts to observe the P55 output signal.  

P55Cal pressure transducer

 

 

 

 

Load the calibration software and follow the instructions for applying zero and full scale pressures using the T140K calibrator. The software will adjust the P55 microprocessor correction factors to produce an accurate calibration with the new sensing diaphragm.

The SI58 software also allows the user to compensate the P55 through temperatures. The temperature range can be selected by the user as applied by an environmental chamber. 

SI58 Software pressure transducer

 

Selecting Accessories for the DP15 Variable Reluctance Pressure Sensor

Introduction:

The Validyne DP15 variable reluctance pressure sensor is distinguished by its ability to be re-ranged for different full scale pressure measurements. The sensor can be disassembled, a new sensing diaphragm installed and the unit re-calibrated to the new full scale pressure. Some 23 different full scale pressure diaphragms are available and this application note will describe how to select and order the parts needed to re-range the sensor and interface the signal to a PC.

Accessory Sensor Parts:

A typical DP15 is shown below, with the replaceable external parts identified:

dp15parts variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

To disassemble a DP15 a torque wrench, T27 Torx socket and a vise are needed. These items are available from Validyne and are shown below:

torquewrench variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

 

The sensor can be disassembled by removing the two top screws holding the connector and then the four 10-32 Torx T27 body bolts. When disassembled, the sensor body pieces separate and the sensing diaphragm and o-rings are removed. These parts are shown below:

boltsorings variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

 

It is good practice to replace the body bolts and o-rings when changing the range of the DP15. Various o-ring compounds are available (see ordering chart).

The sensing diaphragm may now be replaced with one of a different range. A typical sensing diaphragm is shown below:

diaph-2 variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

To re-range a DP15 sensor the full scale pressure must be known and the correct diaphragm part number ordered. The part number for a DP15 diaphragm starts with 3- and is followed by a two-digit range code. The diaphragm in the photo above is p/n 3-22 and has a full scale range of 5.5 In H2O. The other available range codes for the DP15 sensing diaphragm are shown in the chart below with their full scale pressures expressed in various engineering units.

P55Ranges variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-assembly is simply the reverse of dis-assembly, taking care that the torque on the body bolts is 125 In-Lb. The vise is used to stabilize the sensor body during assembly and to allow the torque to be correctly transmitted to the body bolts.

Also be sure that the bleed screws are tightly seated – these use a 5/64” hex wrench, Validyne p/n K950-0781.

Calibration Accessories:

The next step is to calibrate the DP15 against a pressure standard. Validyne can supply model T140K calibrator kit that includes a pressure pump and reference standard – an example is shown below.  

T140K variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

 

 

The T140K calibrator kit is available in six different versions covering the available DP15 full scale pressure ranges. To calibrate the DP15 connect it to your carrier demodulator and have a way to observe the output signal of the demodulator. In the example below a CD15 basic carrier demodulator is used with a DP15 and T140K:

caldiagram variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

The Zero and Span adjustments on the CD15 are set during the calibration process so that the analog output is 0 to +/-10 Vdc.

PC Interface Accessories:

The DP15 is typically used in a laboratory where pressure measurement requirements often change. Other sensors may be required to make measurements and the mix and combination of these sensors may also vary. Validyne makes several PC-based data acquisition products that accept any combination or mix of sensor types including thermocouples, strain gages, LVDTs, resistances, RTDs, potentiometers, DC volts and variable reluctance pressure transducers like the DP15.

The DP15 and other sensors can be connected to a PC using the Validyne UPC/USB series of products:

UPC-USB variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

The UPC2100 (left) is a PCI plug-in card for desktop PCs and the USB2250 (right) is a self-contained box that connects to the USB port on a laptop PC.

Both interface devices accept any combination of sensor inputs in addition to DP15 transducers. These products supply all required sensor excitation, amplification, demodulation and A/D conversion. A terminal block is used to receive the field wiring from the sensors and this is connected by a ribbon cable to the UPC2100 or USB2250. The terminal block and ribbon cable is included.

Easy Sense software is also included and this allows the user to configure each of the 16 input channels for different sensor types and to do data logging to a disk file that can be opened by Excel. Both the USB2250 and UPC2100 support 16 bit resolution, six programmable gain ranges and 50,000 sample/second data throughput.

Easy Sense Premium software is available that also includes a graphing function. LabView is supported and programming in Visual Basic.

The cable for connecting the DP15 to the USB2250 or the UPC2100 is Validyne p/n 12457-10.  

UPCCable variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

Another method of interfacing a single DP15 to a PC is the Validyne CD17. This connects to the transducer using a standard transducer cable (Validyne p/n 11264-10) and comes with a USB cable for connection to a laptop or other PC.  

cd17_5_480 variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

The CD17 produces readings in mV/V and comes with configuration software that will also log data to a text file compatible with Excel. A premium version of the software allows graphing.

Solo61 variable reluctance pressure sensor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

partslist variable reluctance pressure sensor

Tech Brief: Identifying Transducer Diaphragms

Validyne transducers can be disassembled and the sensing element replaced.  This is done to repair an over-pressured sensor or to re-range the transducer for a higher or lower pressure measurement. Validyne transducer diaphragms will have a series of numbers etched on to them that identify their  sensor type, pressure range and manufacturing lot code.  A sample DP15 diaphragm is shown below:

diaphcodes transducer diaphragms

As can be seen, there are two sets of numbers etched along the top and left-hand edges.  The lot code appears on the left edge and is used for production control purposes – it contains no information useful to the user.

The top set of numbers – in this example 3-22 – are the important numbers.  The 3 in 3-22 identifies the sensor type into which the diaphragm can be installed. The -22 is the range code and tells what full scale pressure the diaphragm can measure.

The sensor types and available pressure range codes for each Validyne transducer model are shown in the table below:

diaphchart transducer diaphragms

The range code pressure chart is shown below:

diaphrng transducer diaphragms In the example above, the 3-22 diaphragm can be used in transducer models DP15, P55, PS309, P300, P306 and P305.  The -22 range code indicates that this diaphragm has a full scale pressure range of 0.20 psid.

Understanding Pressure Range Codes for the P55

The pressure range for the P55 is identified in the model number by a range code. This is a two-digit number that is used to determine the full scale pressure range of that P55 transducer. Understading the pressure range code for the P55 also helps you determine the diaphragm needed to rerange your transducer.

All P55 transducers are zero-based transducers – that means they are always calibrated from zero pressure to some greater full scale pressure. P55D models are differential pressure transducers and the output always starts at 0 differential – that is, the pressure on both the + and – ports is equal (normally ambient atmosphere or zero gage pressure).

P55A models measure absolute pressure and are based at 0 psia.

The full scale measurement range of the P55s depends on the Range Code ordered. Listed below is the location of the range code in the model number and the range chart showing the corresponding full scale pressures:

pressure range code

pressure range code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A P55D with a unidirectional voltage output and range code 42 will be calibrated as follows:

 0 Vdc = 0 psid to +5 Vdc = 20.00 psid

The output will be linear in between: 2.500 Vdc = 10 psid, etc

For unidirectional current output versions, the output signal is 4 to 20 mA and the -42 would be calibrated:

 4 mA = 0 psid to 20 mA = 20.00 psid.

 Note: Full Scale Calibrations in Between Range Codes May Be Specified on the PO

The same P55D with a voltage output and range code 42 could be calibrated as follows:

0 Vdc = 0 psid, +5 Vdc = 15.00 psid

The range code in the model number must be greater or equal to the full scale calibrations.

 Note: Calibrations May be Specified by the Purchaser in any Engineering Units

So the -42 range could be calibrated 0 to 550 In H2O, for example or 0 to 500 In H2O.

You can find out more on the P55 here.