Chemical Industry

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Chemical Industry Overview

A wide range of industrial processes would not be possible without the production of various chemicals. Fertilizer companies need urea and ammonia. The latter is also used in the manufacturing of synthetic fabrics and dyes, as well as chemical recycling. In addition to ammonia, fiber optics fabrication requires chlorinated gas and other chemical vapors. These are just a few examples of the important role that the chemical industry plays in modern life.

Although these processes vary greatly, what they have in common is the demand they place on electronic and mechanical measuring instruments. Many of the chemical compounds used in manufacturing are highly aggressive: acidic, alkaline, corrosive, potentially explosive, etc. The temperatures and pressure are also extreme. For example in an ammonia reactor, the process can reach as high as 932°F (500°C) and 2,900 psi (200 bar).

Standard Materials and Safety Requirements

For most chemical applications, the instrument’s case and wetted parts are made of industrial-grade stainless steel (316L, 1.4404/1.4435). Extremely harsh media call for specialty materials such as Hastelloy®, Monel®, or titanium.

Besides the material, there are other effective ways to safeguard pressure, temperature, and level instruments:

  • Diaphragm seals to add a protective layer between the gauge and the media
  • Thermowells to shield temperature sensors from the media
  • Bypass chambers and tubes for contact-free level measurement
  • Reflective flag systems to improve instrument visibility and increase plant safety

Some applications require intrinsically safe or explosion-proof pressure instruments, depending on the type of feedstock and the location of the device. Several regulatory entities – ATEX, PED, IECEx, EAC, CSA – have developed instrument guidelines and standards for chemical processes.

Application Examples

For optimal safety and efficiency, chemical plants need to monitor and control the pressure, temperature, level, and flow of their processes. Measuring instruments are found in the following equipment:

  • Ammonia reactors and separators – pressure and temperature
  • Buffer, storage, and transportation tanks – pressure and level
  • Urea reactors – pressure, temperature, and level
  • Gas scrubbers – pressure and flow
  • Boilers – temperature, level, and flow
  • Condensers – temperature and flow
  • Heat exchangers and cooling units – temperature and flow
  • Diazotization vessels – temperature and level

Instrumentation for the Chemical Industry

WIKA is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of high-quality measuring instruments. Our portfolio for the chemical process industry includes the following:

We also have specialized solutions for chemical applications, such as furnace tubeskin thermocouples, multipoint sensor flexible assemblies, and diaphragm monitoring systems.

WIKA is more than just an instrument manufacturer. We offer a range of field services, from installations and repairs to safety testing, regardless of the instrument brand. As an ISO 9001 registered company, WIKA also has a Calibration & Service Center accredited by A2LA (American Association for Laboratory Accreditation).

Quality products, a worldwide network, and superb customer service are what make WIKA a leading supplier of measuring instrumentation for the chemical industry. Contact WIKA USA for information on how to help your particular chemical processes run more safely and efficiently.


    WIKA has worked with licensing and EPC companies for more than 30 years on major projects all over the world. We partner with you from the planning stages through to completion, and we provide post-project support. In addition to supplying high-quality process measurement instruments for temperature, pressure, level and flow applications, we can also work with you to develop solutions that meet your exact requirements.

    WIKA also offers on-site expertise and technical support services to help ensure the success of your project. For more information, contact us at 1-888-945-2872 or

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