Dual range pistons for pressure calibration

Dual piston deadweight testers can greatly enhance a lab?s ability to calibrate wide pressure ranges with the highest accuracy. With transducers and devices under test (DUTs) which have a wide measuring range, calibration can be a lengthy process, as you need to change pistons in between test points in order to calibrate its entire range.
However, a dual piston deadweight tester has a high range piston and low range piston, that allows the technician more flexibility and efficiency with regards to calibration. This advancement originates from decades of innovation and customer interaction to find a solution for industry needs.
Formula for pressure calculations
Since the Industrial Revolution, high accuracy pressure measurement is a key requirement in process industries. Pressure measuring instruments like gauges were employed to measure and monitor pressure conditons. They must be calibrated against instruments of an increased amount of accuracy. Deadweight testers (also referred to as pressure balances) are high accuracy instruments used in the calibration of electronic or mechanical pressure instruments. The core component of a deadweight tester is a precisely manufactured piston-cylinder system, onto which a mass load is applied so as to generate the individual test points in a calibration.
The mass load is proportional to the prospective pressure, which is achieved through optimally graduated masses. The look of the entire calibration system, and also the precise manufacturing of the piston and cylinder, ensure quality performance with long free-rotation time and low sink rates of the piston. With Packed down to 0.002% of reading, deadweight testers will be the golden standard in calibration.
A deadweight tester typically includes a single piston-cylinder system. This requires mass sets to be changed so as to calibrate multiple or wide measuring ranges. This may become a cumbersome process, one which requires many resources. In 1953, the entity today referred to as DH-Budenberg pioneered the first dual range piston-cylinder technology with two pistons housed concentrically in one unit. DH-Budenberg was later acquired by WIKA in 2011. The initial design included 1/8 in2 (low pressure) and 1/180 in2 (ruthless) pistons housed in one unit. Using a single mass-set it was now possible to generate two points of equilibrium at 55 bar (low pressure) and 550 bar (high pressure) respectively. This was followed with the release of high pressure variant that could generate pressure upto 1100 bar.
Explanation dual piston design
The initial dual piston design was largely constructed of tool roll, and had an accuracy of 0.03 % of the pressure being measured in the typical model and 0.05 % in the ruthless model. In dual piston calibration, the load on the reduced pressure piston is transferred to the auxiliary piston, which is directly linked to the weight carrier. When correct pressure is obtained, the piston head skirt floats within the reduced range or ?blue band.? To reach high pressure, the pressure is increased and the low pressure piston rises until a knife-edge on the bottom flange makes a seal against the low pressure cylinder and acts as the high pressure cylinder. Since the low pressure piston will not contribute to the overall weight of the piston and weight carrier, the weight carrier picks up the auxiliary weight to compensate. When correct pressure is achieved, the piston head skirt floats within the high range or ?red band.?
This iconic, patented DH-Budenberg red and blue band piston-cylinder system was re-engineered later with both piston and cylinder components made of tungsten carbide. With the refinements in pressure generation and piston manufacturing processes, dual ranges are now available up to 1,400 bar with accuracies right down to 0.006 % of reading.
These developments in dual piston technology made deadweight testers, such as DH-Budenberg?s CPB5800 Hydraulic Pressure Balance, the premier deadweight tester for industrial applications. It is especially ideal for calibrating a transducer with a broad measuring range, while maintaining the high accuracy for testing and calibration. By using only a single mass set and calibrating instrument, this technique can automatically switch between multiple test points of high and low pressure, making pressure calibration seamless, efficient and economical.
Note
Further information on our pressure balances are available on the WIKA website.

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