In the field of instrumentation, pressure gauges are essential devices used to measure and monitor pressure in various industrial applications.

Understanding the different types of pressure gauges, their components, the NPT (National Pipe Taper) standard, and the importance of gauge calibration is crucial for accurate pressure measurement.

In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of these topics, shedding light on their significance in instrumentation.

Pressure Gauge Types

Pressure Gauge Types

  1. Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauges: Bourdon tube gauges are the most common type of pressure gauges.
    They utilize a curved, elastic tube that expands or contracts in response to pressure changes, which is then translated into a pressure reading on a dial.
  2. Diaphragm Pressure Gauges: Diaphragm gauges employ a flexible diaphragm that deflects under pressure.
    They are suitable for measuring low-pressure ranges and offer advantages such as resistance to overpressure and corrosive media.
  3. Differential Pressure Gauges: Differential pressure gauges measure the difference in pressure between two points.
    They are useful for applications involving flow, level, or filter monitoring, where the pressure difference provides valuable information.
  4. Digital Pressure Gauges: Digital gauges provide pressure readings in numerical form on a digital display.
    They often offer additional features such as data logging, peak hold, and customizable units of measurement.

Pressure Gauge Components

Pressure Gauge Components

  1. Dial: The dial is the visible part of the pressure gauge that displays the pressure reading.
    It is typically marked with a scale and graduations to indicate the pressure in the desired unit of measurement.
  2. Pointer: The pointer moves along the dial to indicate the current pressure.
    It is typically attached to the measuring mechanism and responds to the pressure applied to the sensing element.
  3. Case: The case houses the internal components of the pressure gauge, protecting them from environmental factors such as dust, moisture, and vibrations.
    Cases are commonly made of stainless steel or other durable materials.
  4. Sensing Element: The sensing element is the part of the pressure gauge that detects and responds to pressure changes.
    It can be a bourdon tube, diaphragm, or other mechanism depending on the gauge type.
  5. NPT Standard: NPT (National Pipe Taper) is a standard for tapered threads used in pipe fittings and connections.
    NPT threads are commonly found in pressure gauges, allowing for a secure and leak-free connection between the gauge and the process line.
    It is important to ensure proper NPT thread compatibility during gauge installation to maintain accurate pressure measurement and prevent leaks.

Gauge Calibration

Gauge Calibration

Gauge calibration is the process of adjusting and verifying the accuracy of a pressure gauge.

Regular calibration is essential to ensure reliable and precise pressure measurements.

Calibration involves comparing the gauge’s readings against reference standards of known accuracy and making adjustments if necessary.

This process helps identify and correct any errors or drift in the gauge’s performance, ensuring accurate readings over time.

During the gauge calibration process, several methods can be used to adjust the gauge and align its readings with the reference standard.

The specific method used depends on the gauge type and its adjustability features.

Here are some common methods for adjusting gauges during calibration:

  1. Set Screw Adjustment: Many pressure gauges, especially analog ones, have a set screw or a small adjustment mechanism on the back of the dial.
    This set screw can be turned to move the pointer slightly and align it with the reference reading.
    By carefully adjusting the set screw, the gauge’s readings can be calibrated.
  2. Calibration Dial: Some pressure gauges have a calibration dial or a micrometer dial on the front of the gauge.
    This dial allows fine-tuning of the readings by rotating it to adjust the position of the pointer.
    The calibration dial typically provides smaller increments for precise adjustments.
  3. Vernier Scale: Certain precision pressure gauges may feature a vernier scale, which is an additional scale adjacent to the main dial scale.
    The vernier scale provides finer graduations that can be aligned with the reference standard, allowing for accurate adjustments.
  4. Internal Adjustments: In certain cases, pressure gauges may require internal adjustments, which involve accessing the internal mechanisms of the gauge.
    This method should only be performed by trained personnel with knowledge of the gauge’s internal structure and adjustments.
    Internal adjustments may involve mechanisms such as springs, levers, or balance weights.
  5. Replacement or Repair: In situations where the gauge cannot be adjusted effectively or if it has significant drift or irreparable damage, it may be necessary to replace or repair the gauge.
    This ensures that accurate pressure measurement can be maintained in the system.

It is important to refer to the gauge manufacturer’s instructions and specifications for the specific adjustment methods applicable to a particular gauge model.

Following the manufacturer’s guidelines ensures that the adjustments are performed correctly and within the gauge’s design limits.

During the calibration process, it is recommended to document any adjustments made, including the amount and direction of the adjustment, as well as the resulting readings.

This documentation helps maintain a record of the calibration process and facilitates traceability and repeatability in future calibrations.

Diaphragm Type Pressure Gauges

Diaphragm Type

Diaphragm pressure gauges utilize a flexible diaphragm as the sensing element.

They are particularly suitable for measuring low-pressure ranges and are commonly used in applications involving gases, corrosive media, or sanitary processes.

Diaphragm gauges offer advantages such as high overpressure resistance, improved accuracy at lower pressures, and resistance to clogging.


Understanding pressure gauge types, components, the NPT standard, and the importance of gauge calibration is vital for accurate pressure measurement in various industrial applications.

By familiarizing oneself with the different gauge types, their components, ensuring proper NPT thread compatibility, and implementing regular gauge calibration, precise and reliable pressure measurements can be achieved, promoting efficiency and safety in instrumentation processes.