A Bourdon gauge is a mechanical device used to measure and display pressure. The gauge can be used for measuring pressure in both gas and liquid state systems.
The bourdon gauge may appear like one of the least interesting pieces of equipment out there, but it is still one of the most widely spread. Indeed it's difficult to imagine most engineering processes without these gauges.
The Bourdon gauge dates back to 1849 and was invented in France by Mr. Eugene Bourdon. The gauge quickly gained popularity because it enabled operators to see the pressure within a system; it was also cheap and reliable. Since 1849 the gauge design has been refined, but it still functions the same now as it did all those years ago.
How Bourdon Pressure Gauges Work
The heart of the Bourdon gauge is the Bourdon tube. The tube is manufactured in a semi-circular C-shape, or, coiled shape. The tube is open to atmosphere at one end and sealed closed at the other. Any increase in system pressure within the tube causes the tube to expand and straighten, the change is small but magnified due to the shape of the tube. The change in C-shape or coil radius is transferred to the indicator needle and this movement allows personnel to visually view the pressure within the system.
Animated Bourdon Pressure Gauge
The Bourdon gauge has been in existence for over 100 years in one form or another and remains today one of the most common pressure gauges available. Applications are numerous and include a variety gaseous and liquid state systems.
Repairing the gauge is rarely possible unless using specialist equipment, but Bourdon gauges are cheap and thus can be easily held as spares.
The Bourdon gauge can be considered reliable and robust although any blockage of the piping leading to the open end of the Bourdon tube will render the gauge unreliable, or, totally inoperable.