The Difference Between Digital and Analog Pressure Gauges
Pressure gauges were first created during the industrial revolution with the advent of the steam engine to monitor gas levels indicative of current engine operation. While essential throughout history, pressure gauges have evolved to provide countless devices with quick, reliable pressure readings for both gasses and fluids. However, as technology continues to modernize, analog pressure gauges are slowly fading in use, as digital gauges are gaining popularity for their capability of performing like analog gauges, but with additional benefits. However, the applications of analog pressure gauges should not be dissuaded, as there is various equipment that excels with their presence. Below, we will highlight the pros, cons, and overall differences between analog and pressure gauges which makes them unique.
Analog Pressure Gauges
Commonly referred to as dial gauges, analog pressure gauges are mechanical components that incorporate a rotating needle which moves in response to changes in pressures sensed by a measuring element. This needle will directly move along numbers on a scale to signify internal pressure ratings within the apparatus containing the liquid or gas.
Distinctive qualities analog pressure gauges feature in comparison to digital pressure gauges are that they do not need a power source and are easy to use. However, as they contain several internal moving items susceptible to damage from mechanical vibration, they are also sensitive to extreme temperatures, system overpressure, corrosion, and clogging. When part wear becomes visible from such factors, pressure gauge readings are vulnerable to inaccuracy and often require recalibration or replacement. Luckily, this makes them a fairly inexpensive component readily available by many manufacturers.
Digital Pressure Gauges
Unlike analog pressure gauges, digital pressure gauges do not have any moving parts, and they rely on pressure transducers to display current pressure readings on a digital indicator. As such, to stay operational through any number of environments, they are either powered by solar radiation, a battery, or a loop device. In part for their limited power supply, digital pressure gauges should only be applied to equipment that demand infrequent use of a pressure gauge.
Characteristics that give digital pressure gauges an advantage over their analog counterparts include their durability, calibration, readability, and access to customization methods. Moreover, they produce rapid, accurate results, avoiding any parallax errors which can be present when interpreting needle analog measurements. This is because digital gauges are routinely equipped with a large, easy-to-ready digital display supported by backlighting optimal for visual interpretation. Albeit, digital pressure gauges do come at an increased up-front cost as they use equipment like microprocessors and other sophisticated electronics to swiftly get the job done without error.
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