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Pressure switches are one of the most common measuring devices used in industrial applications today, found in pumps, HVAC equipment, and hydraulic systems. These devices ensure processes have enough pressure to operate properly.

In its most basic form, the modern pressure switch has two components: a pressure sensor and a switch contact. Whenever the process pressure reaches a certain value, called the switch point, the switch contact actuates and either allows or stops current from flowing in the control circuit.

Pressure Switch Types

There are two main types of pressure switches:

  • Mechanical (electromechanical)
  • Electronic (solid state)

As for which type of pressure switch to use, that will depend on the particular application. When choosing a pressure switch, users need to take into account the device’s features, including:

  • The maximum allowed pressure
  • The operating pressure range
  • The process medium
  • Process conditions, such as vibration and temperature
  • Deadband or hysteresis

Mechanical pressure switch

As its name implies, an electromechanical pressure switch measures pressure changes using mechanical means, such as with a diaphragm, a Bourdon tube, or a piston. The main advantages of mechanical pressure switches are their high reliability and the ability to operate without auxiliary power. In addition, they can typically handle higher voltages and amperages than electronic pressure switches.

WIKA’s mechanical pressure switches are fitted with high-quality micro-switches. Even the switching of electrical loads of up to 15A/220V does not pose any problems. For low switching voltages, WIKA offers argon gas-filled micro-switches with gold-plated contacts.

Protected mechanical pressure switches

For operation in hazardous areas, WIKA offers Ex-ia (as per IEC standard 60079-11) and Ex-d (as per IEC standard 600979-1) mechanical pressure switches.

Electronic Pressure Switches

Electronic pressure switches, as their name implies, have electronic – rather than mechanical – pressure sensors. Highly shock- and vibration-resistant, this type of pressure switch is stable and has a long lifespan. Many solid-state pressure switches also offer an additional analog signal proportional to the pressure. Therefore, not only do they close or open the contacts, but also transmit the actual value of the pressure.

Other advantages of electronic pressure switches are their flexibility. Switch point, output signal, delay time, hysteresis, and many other parameters can be individually adjusted to suit the application. Electronic pressure switches also work well in low-voltage switching applications, such as control relays and those connected to PLCs (programmable logic controllers).

WIKA offers a full line of high-quality mechanical and electronic pressure switches with long-term stability and precision. A variety of pressure ranges, materials, sizes, sensors, and mounting options ensures there’s a pressure switch type that fits the requirements of your application.

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