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NCSL International - Governance
Board of Directors
Automated Mass Handling for High Performance Pressure Bal.
Martin Girard, DH Instruments, Inc.
The piston gauge or pressure balance is essential to pressure metrology research and as a calibration tool. Over the years, its basic performance has been improved by several orders of magnitude. However, in most cases, the instrument’s operation remains tedious and labor intensive.
A line of piston gauges introduced in the early 1990s integrates the electronics necessary to support the automation of piston gauge operation. These include monitoring of piston behavior and environmental conditions. Limited automated pressure control became available in the mid- 1990s. Most recently, an automated mass handling accessory has been introduced, covering the full range of pressure in gauge and absolute modes. This makes fully automated operation over the complete pressure range possible.
Experience shows that the benefits of automated piston gauge operation are both practical and metrological. These range from obvious gains in productivity to other types of benefits such as reduced mass wear over time and making possible new test programs. The impact of automated piston gauge operation on transfer standard characterization and calibration is examined.
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