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FACULTY OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA


FLUID MECHANICS LABORATORY
TITLE OF EXPERIMENT
CALIBRATION OF BOURDON TUBE PRESSURE GAUGE
(EXPERIMENT 5)
Name
Matrix No.
Group / Section
Supervisor
Date of Experiment
Date of Submission
Marks obtained (%)

Objective
The objective of this experiment is to perform pressure calibration on a Bourdon tube
pressure gage using a dead weight tester.

INTRODUCTION
The pressure intensity at any point in static or moving fluid can be measured using
various types of pressure measuring instrument. One of these devices is the Bourdon tube
pressure gage. Bourdon-tube pressure gages are most widely used now-a-days because of
their reliability, compactness, low cost and ease of use. It consists of a curved tube of
elliptical cross-section bent into a circular arc as shown in Fig. 1. When pressure is
applied to the tube, it tends to straighten out, and the deflection of the end of the tube is
communicated through a system of levers to a recording pointer. This gauge is widely
used for steam and compressed gases. The pressure indicated is the difference between
the system pressure and to the external (ambient) pressure, and is usually referred to as
the gauge pressure

Fig. 1: Schematic of a bourdon-tube pressure gage


As the Bourdon tube pressure gage is used extensively, the stiffness of the internal
components change from factory setup and therefore calibration is necessary to give
correct pressure readings. Calibration means checking the pressure gage readings against
a very accurate device. One of the calibration devices that is available in our lab is the socalled Dead Weight Tester

Apparatus
This dead weight pressure gauge calibrator consists of a precision machined piston and
cylinder assembly mounted on levelling screws. A Bourdon gauge is supplied for
calibration. The weights supplied are added to the upper end of the piston rod which is
rotated to minimise friction effects. The gauge is thus subject to known pressures which
may be compared with the gauge readings and an error curve drawn.

Experimental Procedures
1.

Fill up a cylinder and a connecting hose with water

2.

Insert the piston into the cylinder and remove as much air bubble as possible from
cylinder and hose

3.

Load weights on the piston in an increment of 0.5 kg so as to cover the Bourdontube pressure range from zero to maximum pressure on the scale

4.

Read the indicated Bourdon-tube pressure gauge reading. Prior to taking a reading
for each weight rotate the piston to minimize friction effect on the reading.

5.

After the maximum pressure reading is obtained, unload weights from the piston
by the same increment and repeat step 4.

6.

Obtain the calibration curve by plotting the True Pressure against the Bourdon-tube
pressure gauge reading.

Data analysis
Mass of the piston : 1 kg
Cross sectional area of the piston: ______________ m2
Mass of the piston x (9.81 x 10-3)
True Pressure exerted by piston

= ------------------------------------------------ kN/m2
Cross sectional area of piston
Total mass (weight + piston) x (9.81 x 10-3)

True pressure exerted by total mass = ----------------------------------------------------kN/m2


Cross sectional area of piston

EXPERIMENTAL DATA
Mass
(kg)

True pressure
(kN/m2)

Calibrated pressure (Bourdon gauge)


(kN/m2)

Percentage of error

(1)
Mass
Added
(kg)
0

(2)
Total mass
(kg)

(3)
Pressure exerted by
total mass

(4)
Increasing order
of weight

(5)
Decreasing order
of weight

(4) or (5) (3)


x100
(3)

(6)
(7)
Increasing order of Decreasing order of
weight
weight

1 (piston)

Laboratory report
1. Show sample calculations
2. Plot a graph of bourdon pressure (calibrated ) for increasing and decreasing
orders of weight versus true pressure. Extend the graphs and check if they
intercept a point of origin. Comment on the difference in the graph profiles and
explain the possible reason for the graphs (if so) not intercepting the origin
point.
3. Plot a graph of percentage of error versus true pressure. Compare and comment
on the difference in the percentage of error with respect to true pressure and
briefly discuss factors contributing to such error.
4. Propose recommendation to improve the results
5. Briefly discuss safety measures taken during the experiment
6. Conclusions
7. References

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WATER
PUMP