Board-mounted ultra-low pressure sensors are in great demand. Especially as they provide extremely high accuracy, as necessary for diverse designs like medical ventilators. Variable air volume control systems also need them for the conservation of building energy. These pressure sensors are useful for addressing problems that engineers face with limited space and reliability. Board-mounted ultra-low pressure sensors with high accuracy are available to measure differential, gauge, and absolute pressure.
Board-mountable pressure sensors are popular as it is possible to mount them on printed circuit boards, allowing direct integration into an electronic assembly. Being compact, their low footprint addresses space constraints. In addition, their microstructure is highly sensitive to the differential, gage, and absolute pressure changes. This enables the electronics to acquire accurate, ultra-low pressure readings.
Several medical applications require ultra-low pressure readings with high accuracy. Some of these medical applications include medical chemistry, sleep apnea machines, anesthesia machines, ventilators, and hemodialysis machines. For instance, the hemodialysis machine depends on such pressure sensors for regulating the pressure in their mixing tanks. This is necessary as blood reaches the artificial kidney, and then it needs regulation to and from the patient.
When used in ventilators, the ultra-low pressure sensors aid in monitoring the breathing of the patient, while detecting if there is a sudden deterioration due to a clogged filter. Anesthesia machines use high-accuracy pressure sensors to measure the pressure of oxygen and air and ensure it never exceeds the safe level, both to and from the patient.
Ultra-low pressure sensors in sleep apnea machines monitor the pressure of air delivery to the patient. It is also possible to monitor blood pressure and hospital room air pressure. Anesthesia equipment and ventilators also use these board-mounted, high-accuracy, low-pressure pressure sensors.
Chemistry analyzers in medical chemistry also use these high-accuracy pressure sensors. For instance, they help with pipettes in drawing the proper amount of fluids, detecting displacement of vials, checking if the air is not being drawn in, and recognizing the presence of obstructions. Additionally, they are useful in applications like automated laboratory testing equipment, molecular testing, and flow cytometry.
Energy conservation in buildings also requires high-accuracy, ultra-low pressure sensors for monitoring the pressure in filters and optimizing it when they are replaced. They are also helpful in determining if the filter is missing or clogged. These high-accuracy sensors are sensitive enough to determine the change in room pressure if a window is opened. They can automate the change necessary in airflow to accommodate adjustments in window positions.
Variable air volume or VAV systems can integrate these sensors to ensure a balanced airflow throughout the building. Flow calibrators, gas flow instrumentation, barometry, chromatography, and pneumatic controls also use them among many others.
Selecting a suitable board-mounted sensor requires making design choices involving the environmental temperature, operating pressure range, and media type, among others. However, there are other considerations also when selecting a board-mounted, high-accuracy, ultra-low pressure sensor. These include pressure range and burst pressures, accuracy, total error band, stability, energy efficiency, and moisture sensitivity levels.