Increasing Pressure: To Improve Performance & Fuel Economy

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Increasing Pressure: To Improve Performance & Fuel Economy

With existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations that include a fleet-wide average fuel economy requirement of 54.5 MPG by 2025, many people conclude that electric and hybrid electric vehicle will have to be a significant part of each car maker’s fleet. However, advanced gasoline and diesel engines may be able to make these standards all by themselves.

One example is the Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engine. It has already demonstrated fuel economy gains of 30-50% as well as significant emissions reductions, more cost effectively than other solutions. Achates engine programs are in development at 12 leading engine manufacturers.

The Achates engine’s proprietary combustion system has two identical opposed pistons with injectors located at the end of the long axis and consumes gasoline rather than diesel fuel. The engine uses a 2000 bar injection pressure-capable common-rail fuel  injection  system and has been tested at pressures well above 1000 bar.

Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engine

The Achates opposed-piston, gasoline compression ignition (OPGCI) engine.
Source: Achates Power.

While indirect injection systems in internal combustion (gasoline) engines typically operate in the 40 to 60 psi range, conventional direct rail fuel injection systems on diesel engines already operate at pressures in excess of 100 MPa (15,000 psi). One injection systems supplier, has had a 2,500-bar common-rail system in production since 2014. The higher injection pressure atomizes the fuel more finely, improving combustion to deliver improved fuel economy and increased performance.

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Increasing Pressure: To Get Cutting-Edge Performance

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Increasing Pressure: To Get Cutting-Edge Performance

Commercial water jet cutting systems are used to machine a large variety of materials, including heat-sensitive, delicate or very hard materials. The process produces no heat damage to the workpiece surface or edges. To accomplish this, it uses a high velocity stream of ultra-high-pressure water at 30,000–90,000 psi (210–620 MPa) which is produced by an ultra-high-pressure pump that operates as low as 40,000 psi (280 MPa) up to 100,000 psi (690 MPa).  In some applications, abrasive particles are suspended in the stream to cut hard materials such as metal or granite. Water-only cutting is often used for softer materials such as wood or rubber. Because of the use of water, temperature is not a significant factor in the process. However, to withstand the extremes pressures, special nozzles for these cutters are typically made of sintered boride or composite tungsten carbide.

OMAX GlobalMAX 1530 Abrasive Waterjet Machine

OMAX GlobalMAX 1530 abrasive waterjet machine can cut almost any material and a wide variety of thicknesses without any heat-affected zone.
Source: OMAX Corporation

While the ultra-high-pressure in these machines seems to make systems that operate below 100 psi (689 kPa) rather easy to implement, achieving the desired accuracy, resolution and repeatability in the pressure measurements in these lower pressure systems still benefit from the use of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors.

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Grease is the Word

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Grease is the Word

“I solve my problems and I’ll see the light.” Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees

You certainly can solve and prevent excessive wear problems by applying grease to maintenance points in many vehicles and moving industrial equipment in a timely manner. One of the easiest grease techniques is through Zerk fittings. Applying the grease requires either a manual or automatic grease gun that can generate sufficient pressure to make the grease flow into the fitting. The amount of pressure depends upon the viscosity of the grease, size of the opening and temperature of the grease.

SAE Grease FittingSource: SAE Products

Typical vehicle applications can have many fittings locations and use one or a variety of fittings. For a typical 1/8″ NPT fitting, a 3k psi rating is not uncommon and some are even rated around 6k psi.

For wellhead applications, high-pressure grease fittings with 9/16″ Autoclave style threads target 20,000 psi service and those with a Blowdown Fitting Style with 1/2” NPT target 10,000 psi service.

In any case, at these pressures, the entire flow path must be able to survive the maximum pressure expected in the specific application. This includes the gun itself, and any hose, connectors and relief valves. As in many cases, while the component’s capability is designed-in, it must be verified at some point by actual pressure testing.

High Pressure Valve Lubrication Gun

While not applicable for the complete range of these high-pressure tests, All Sensors’ CPA 602 Series media isolated ceramic amplified pressure sensors can address pressure measurements up to 6000 psi.

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The Value of Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Value of Pressure

Pressure makes diamonds” ― George S. Patton Jr.

While Patton was referring to the stress that can transition those who survive it into better individuals, carbon subjected to intense pressure and heat for millions of years turns into diamonds. In fact, the right combination of heat, pressure and time can crystallize many other minerals.

For natural diamonds, the pressure results from their formation at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 118 mi) in the Earth’s mantle – below the Earth’s crust.

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond

When Tracy Hall achieved the first commercially successful synthesis of diamond in 1954, a more specific pressure value was identified. Hall used a “belt” press, which was capable of producing pressures above 10 GPa (1,500,000 psi) and temperatures above 2,000 °C (3,630 °F).

Pressure is essential in creating diamonds and other precious gems, but its greatest value is in healthcare. Without your health, everything else means nothing. Blood pressure, respiratory flow, interocular pressure and other pressure measurements indicate good health or a health problem. Cost-effective microelectromechanical (MEMS) pressure sensors provide value by confirming good health or helping diagnose problems to correct them and restore good health.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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