Weighing a Pod with 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.

Weighing a Pod with Pressure

In shipping operations, the weight of the load is important. The transporting vehicles have weight restrictions determined by the physical limitations of the truck and its engine. In addition, the transportation can be regulated by the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). Federal laws regulate the weight of commercial vehicles on roads and bridges as well.

To easily measure the weight of a load, pressure measurements (in pounds per square inch (psi)) can easily be converted to pounds, especially where hydraulic cylinders lift the load. The area (A=πR2) of the piston in the cylinder (times the total number pistons performing the lifting) multiplied by the pressure reading provides the weight of the load (in pounds).

In many instances, analog gauges still provide the readout, since they are easy to read by an operator controlling the loading process. However, if the measurement needs to be communicated to a central system and coordinator in charge of managing the loading and shipping of many containers and vehicles, a digital microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensor provides an easy-to-use digital alternative.

Force Pressure Readings of Pod Measurements

The vehicle operator sees a weight measurement but the gauge actually measures pressure.

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Pressure in the Salmon Cannon

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.

Pressure in the Salmon Cannon

Dams are helpful to control water flow in rivers but they pose a major problem for migratory fish like salmon. The dam restricts the salmon’s ability to swim upstream and spawn. In the United States alone, there are 85,000 dams. To solve the problem, Whooshh Innovations created its Fish Transport System, also called the Salmon Cannon.

With the Salmon Cannon, fish are either manually placed in a tube or slide in via a gravity slide below the dam. Then the soft tubing conforms to the size of the fish so a column of water does not have to be moved. Moving a column of water in, for example, a 1,700 feet project would require 0.433psi/ft x 1700ft = 736 psi.

In contrast, by conforming to the fish, they are essentially pushed through the system using an average of one to two psi. According to Whooshh CEO Vince Bryan III, “The system builds lower air pressure in front of the fish and more behind them with just a single blower motor, working just like a pneumatic tube at a bank.”

Based on independent studies that showed no scale loss, eye damage or other injuries, the amount of pressure safely transports fish from one area to another. The Whooshh tubes can handle a variety of fish sizes but generally transport fish between 2 and 34 pounds. In a typical system, the fish travel between 16 and 26 feet per second or about 18 miles per hour.

Whooshh Fish Cannon

Salmon fed into the Salmon Cannon below the dam transport through a tube to be safely returned to the water upstream, where they can continue their journey to spawn.
Source: The Guardian and Whooshh Innovations.

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Pressure for Dancing Waters

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.

Pressure for Dancing Waters

Dancing waters, waltzing waters or other terms for describing the combination of colors and the motion of water in a fountain with several spouts rely on changes in and controlling the pressure for a defined time at each point in a water grid.

The computer-controlled systems consist of water, holding tanks, pumps to create pressure, solenoid operated valves, lighting and quite a few cleaver design tricks. For one of world’s most famous fountains, the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, uses only white lights. The number of sprayers and the height more than make up for the lack of color, especially with the majestic hotel in the background.

The fountain has over 1,200 sprayers that include 16 super jets that launch water 460 feet in finales. Called shooters by Wet Design that constructed the system, four different types of shooters are identified:

      • Programmable oarsman make the water dance up to 77 feet
      • Minishooters reach 100 feet
      • Supershooters achieve 240 feet and
      • Extreme-shooters can propel water up to 460 feet

Design aspects of each type vary but the SuperShooter has a 12-ft high holding tank, 1 foot in diameter that contains about 765 gallons. When air stored at 200 psi in 60-gallon receivers is released into the tank, the water climbs up to 240 feet. In contrast, smaller shooters with smaller tanks only require a few psi of air pressure to send water 10 to 12 ft into the air.

A water display on board a cruise ship A water display at sea on a cruise ship provides an interesting variation to moving water.

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Sandblasting 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.

Sandblasting Pressure

Removing paint, rust or an old finish from furniture and even polishing and finishing is less work with a sandblaster with the right abrasive and the right pressure. Small cabinet blasters often use pressures below 100 psi. In contrast, a heavy-duty sandblaster with a single-stage air compressor, air pressure over 120-150 psi is used to reduce the time involved. A pressure gauge is a common part of cabinet and portable sandblasters to obtain repeatable results.

Stark Tools 10 Gallon Air Sand Blaster

With a working pressure of 60 to 125 psi, this Stark Tools sandblaster has a 0 to 150 psi pressure gauge to obtain the desired operating pressure.
Image Courtesy of ToolPlanet.com

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