Everything you need to know about vacuum gauges

Vacuum technology supplier Pfeiffer Vacuum has produced a series of videos that explain the inner workings and functionality of its vacuum gauges.

The company said the videos will help users of its products select the right measurement gauge, which is essential for successfully measuring and controlling the target vacuum.

Patrick Walther, strategic product manager for instruments at Pfeiffer Vacuum, said: “Our vacuum gauges are important quality indicators. Modern technology makes it possible to carry out total pressure measurements from atmospheric pressure through to ultra-high vacuum, covering all vacuum ranges precisely. We explain the relevant measurement principles in five videos: From capacitive through to piezo, Pirani, cold cathode and hot cathode measurement.”

Important questions addressed in the videos include: how exactly does physics apply in a vacuum gauge? And, how can the properties of the gas be used to deduce the total pressure?

The video on capacitive vacuum measurement (seen above) shows how the diaphragm inside the gauge moves in relation to changes in the total pressure. While the video on piezo-resistive vacuum measurement reveals how the strain resistances in the diaphragm change depending on the pressure.

The video on Pirani vacuum measurement explains how a thermal conductivity vacuum gauge works. Meanwhile, the video on cold cathode vacuum measurement shows how gas molecules are ionized by high-voltage electricity to create a plasma.

In the video on hot cathode vacuum measurement, viewers are shown how a hot cathode transmitter works and how the gas molecules are ionized by electrons emitted from a hot heating filament.