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Low-Pressure Measurement

By Chemical Engineering |

Because of the behavior of materials under vacuum, including lowered boiling points, low-pressure operations are useful tools in chemical processing, as well as in research and development and manufacturing. Areas where a vacuum system is necessary or useful include the following: • Separating liquids • Processing temperature-sensitive materials • Preventing unwanted chemical reactions between process materials and the surrounding environment by removing air • Improving heat transfer through liquids by removing air • Drying solutes (removing solvent) • Initiating materials transfer or aiding filter processes by applying differential pressures • Depositing thin-films on surfaces, such as in the microelectronics industry and other areas • Testing with mass spectroscopy Low-pressure measurement Because of vacuums’ central role in processing and research, it is important to be able to measure pressures that may be a tiny fraction of typical atmospheric pressures. Table 1. Typical ranges for vacuum quality Pressure in torr Pressure in Pa Atmospheric pressure 760 101.3 kPa Low vacuum 760 to 25 100 to 3 kPa Medium vacuum 25 to 1 × 10–3 3 kPa to 100 mPa High vacuum 1 ×…
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