Pressure and Steaming

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 and Steaming

A steamer is used to simplify the removal of window tint from a vehicle’s windows or to facilitate the removal of wallpaper or to quickly and easily remove wrinkles from clothing. In any case, the process is rather straightforward. Water heated in the steamer produces steam. Using the pressure that builds up during heating, the steam is then emitted from the steam head toward the target area.

Similar to any sealed unit that heats water, also known as a boiler, the amount of pressure that builds up must be controlled for safe operation of the steamer. For example, in a Jiffy Clothing Steamer, there is a 304 stainless steel ball inside the pressure cap on the water tank. When the back pressure builds up to a point greater than the design pressure in the cap, the ball will be moved off the pressure relief hole and vent the boiler tank.

Jiffy Clothing Steamer


The combined gas law allows the calculation of the amount of pressure.



P – Pressure with units in pascals,

V – Volume with units in cubic meters (m3)

T – Temperature measured in Kelvin

If the volume does not change during the boiling process, the ambient pressure (101.3 kPa) will increase to 129 kPa when room temperature water is heated until it boils. The 28 kPa rise in pressure is 4 psi.

While the only variable that the user can control is the amount of heat applied to the water, with a MEMS pressure sensor, the safe design value can be verified and tested for manufacturing consistency in production.

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