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Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Calibration of a Bourdon-Tube Pressure Gauge


MEC2022S Thermofluids I

Name: Thapelo Nthite


Student Number: NTHTHA012
Signature: _____________________________________

Date: 04/08/2016

Contents
1

Introduction........................................................................................................................................3

Aim.....................................................................................................................................................3

Experimental Procedure.....................................................................................................................3
3.1

Apparatus.....................................................................................................................................3

3.2

Method.........................................................................................................................................3

Results................................................................................................................................................4

Discussion..........................................................................................................................................6

Conclusion.........................................................................................................................................6

References..................................................................................................................................................6

1 Introduction
The pressure in a fluid can be measured using a number of pressure measuring instrument such as the
Bourdon tube pressure gauge. The Bourdon-tube pressure gauges are most widely used because of they
are compact, reliable, economical and easy to use. As the pressure gauge is used over time, the
calibration of the internal components change from factory setup and therefore recalibration is
necessary to increase the accuracy of the readings the gauge gives. Calibration basically means
checking the pressure gauge readings against a very accurate device such as the Dead Weight Tester.

2 Aim
The aim of this experiment is to calibrate bourdon-tube gauge using a dead weight tester

3 Experimental Procedure
3.1 Apparatus
i.
ii.
iii.

Weights (0.5kg and 1kg)


Dead weight tester
Bourdon-Tube gauge

3.2 Method
The weight of the piston and its cross-sectional area should be recorded. Thereafter weights are added
in convenient increments and the pressure gauge reading is recorded at every increment. A similar
procedure is followed with decreasing weights. The loading platform should slightly be rotated to
prevent the piston from sticking to the cylinder.

4 Results
Area of piston

2
3 2
= 315 mm = 0.315 x 10 m

Weight of piston = 1 kg = 9.81 N

Mass

Weight

True

(kg)

(N)

Pressure

Recorded Pressure(kN/ m

Error

2
(kN/ m )

2
(kN/ m )

Increasing

Decreasing

Average

1 (piston)

9.81

31.14

29

30

29.5

1.64

1.5

14.72

46.73

44

45

44.5

2.23

19.62

62.29

60

61

60.5

1.79

2.5

24.53

77.87

77

76

76.5

1.37

29.43

93.43

91

91

91

2.43

3.5

34.34

109.06

107

107

107

2.06

39.24

124.57

122

122

122

2.57

Table 4.1 Recorded pressures and true pressures


Table 4.1 Formulae:
i.

Weight = Mass x 9.81

ii.

Calculated Pressure =

iii.

Average =

iv.

Error = Calculated Pressure Average

Weight
Area of piston

ascending+descending
2

Fig 4.1 Graph showing relationship between measured pressure and true pressure

Fig 4.2 Graph showing true pressure against gauge error

5 Discussion
The results of the experiment are fair as the recorded pressures were quite close to the true pressures
calculated. There were mainly two sources of error in the experiment. The first being from the
hysteresis which may be caused by the friction between the piston and the cylinder. The second error
was caused by the uncertainty from the analog gauge/scale being used to take the readings. These errors
could be reduced by the use of a Bourdon gauge with a much bigger accuracy or an accurate digital
meter.

6 Conclusion
Give a brief overview of the whole practical, were the aims satisfied, etc.
This experiment was fairly easy to carry out and did not require any advance skill to be carried out. The
results are reasonable and the possible reasons for error have been stated. The aim of the experiment
which was to calibrate the gauge was satisfied as the Bourdon Tube gauge was calibrated successfully.

References
[1] Migliore, M. "What Is a Bourdon Tube? | Flow Control Network." Flow Control Network. Flow Control,
15 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.