Pressure switches are often considered commodity items. But for many mission-critical or demanding applications, including aerospace, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing, your switch may require a custom mechanical design or electrical features that go beyond what commercial off-the-shelf switches can offer. In fact, with a little extra engineering, you can boost the performance of your switch and, in many instances, overcome challenges your pressure system may be experiencing as a result of its operating environment.
Metal bellows have long been a key component in demanding sensing and sealing applications. In fact, they’ve become so familiar that many engineers now think of bellows as generic items: Just specify a few key dimensions, pick a metal alloy and you’re good to go. The reality, however, is that not all bellows technologies are created equal. Different manufacturing methods and material grades can have profound effects on how metal bellows will perform in terms of their stroke, pressure capabilities, spring rate and temperature response.
Commodity pressure switches fail all the time. And in nonessential fluid control applications, those failures may not amount to much more than the switch’s replacement cost. However, in mission critical fluid control systems, failure really isn’t an option. Fluid control systems for many aerospace, industrial and heavy equipment applications require accurate, reliable pressure switching under harsh operating conditions. In these applications, the wrong pressure switch can cause catastrophic damage or even endanger human life.