Calibrating Lab Equipment with Pressure Sensors

Lab Equipment blog post

The importance of calibrating laboratory equipment

Calibration is the process of adjusting and verifying the accuracy and precision of a measurement instrument or testing equipment. It is a critical component of quality control in scientific research, testing, and manufacturing.

Laboratory equipment that is not properly calibrated can produce inaccurate results, possibly resulting in serious consequences. For example, if a medical lab’s equipment is not calibrated correctly, it can lead to incorrect diagnoses or treatment decisions for patients. Similarly, in a manufacturing facility improperly calibrated equipment can result in faulty products, lower production yields and material waste.

Calibration ensures that the laboratory equipment is producing reliable and accurate results, and it helps to minimize measurement errors and other uncertainties. By regularly calibrating laboratory equipment, scientists and technicians can be confident that their measurements are precise, which helps ensure the quality of their processes and research results.

To summarize, the importance of calibrating laboratory equipment cannot be overstated. It is essential for producing accurate, reliable data and maintaining the credibility and reputation of scientific research and testing.

The role pressure sensors play in calibrating laboratory equipment

Pressure sensors are important tools in calibrating laboratory equipment. They provide precise, accurate measurements of pressure, which is a key parameter in many laboratory instruments.

The role of pressure sensors in calibrating lab equipment can be summarized as follows:

  1. Verification of Calibration: Pressure sensors can verify the calibration of other laboratory instruments that rely on pressure measurements, such as balances, pipettes, autoclaves, and pressure gauges. By comparing the readings from the pressure sensors with the expected values, the accuracy and precision of the equipment can be determined and adjusted if necessary.
  2. Monitoring Performance: Pressure sensors can monitor the performance of laboratory equipment in real-time. By measuring pressure changes during experiments, researchers can ensure that the equipment is functioning correctly and adjust the settings if necessary.
  3. Standardization: Pressure sensors can also be used to standardize laboratory equipment and procedures across different laboratories. By using pressure sensors to calibrate instruments and validate results, researchers can ensure that their data is comparable with data obtained from other laboratories.

Here are examples of laboratory equipment that utilize pressure sensors:

Figure 1 – Lab Scale

Balances and Scales: Differential pressure sensors can calibrate laboratory balances and scales that rely on pressure transducers to measure the weight of an object. By placing a known weight on the balance or scale and comparing the pressure reading with the expected value, the accuracy can be verified and adjusted if necessary.

Figure 2 – Pipette

Pipettes: Pressure sensors can calibrate pipettes, which are used to accurately measure and transfer small volumes of liquids. Pressure sensors measure the force required to expel a certain volume of liquid from the pipette, ensuring the pipette’s precision.

Figure 3 – Autoclave

Autoclaves: Pressure sensors can calibrate autoclaves, which are used to sterilize laboratory equipment and materials. By monitoring the pressure inside the autoclave during the sterilization process, pressure sensors verify that the autoclave is reaching and maintaining the required pressure and temperature for effective sterilization.

In summary, pressure sensors play a critical role in calibrating laboratory equipment. They ensure the accuracy of experimental results and promote standardization (and reproducibility) in scientific research. By using pressure sensors to calibrate laboratory equipment, researchers improve the quality of their data and the validity of their experimental results.

Superior Sensor Technology’s Pressure Sensors for Equipment Calibration

The first system-in-a-sensor integrated platform in the industry is Superior Sensors’ proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture. This architecture combines the highest precision and dependability with features that are specific to each application by utilizing a highly differentiating advanced pressure sensing system and the ability to integrate optional building blocks. Superior’s solutions offer many benefits for calibrating laboratory equipment thanks to the unique technology used in the ND Series.

From 62.5 pascals to 150 psi, the ND Series can measure differential, gage, and absolute pressures, and is perfect for the most demanding lab environments since it has an extended operating temperature range, the lowest noise floor in the industry, and the capacity to accommodate up to seven factory calibrated pressures in one device.

The ND Series has a stable zero point and extremely high accuracy. Industry-leading non-linearity is typically at 0.05% FSS. The ND Series has 16-bit resolution and a configurable bandwidth filter from 1 Hz to 200 Hz. It also contains an integrated 50/60 Hz notch filter to lessen the effects of power noise spikes. The ND Series is a superb option for applications demanding the highest level of reliability.

By combining a sophisticated piezoresistive sensing element with amplification, an ADC, a DSP, and a digital interface, the ND Series provides a new level of integration that significantly simplifies design efforts. New functionality is made possible by advanced digital processing, which streamlines system development and manufacturing while increasing product reliability.

The ND Series is more than just a pressure sensor; it is a pressure sensing sub-system that includes optional integrated closed loop control, advanced digital filtering, and a 3-mode pressure switch.

Three product families make up the ND Series:

  1. The ND Series Low Pressure products are a family of differential/gage pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±62.5 Pa to as high as ±7.5 kPa.
  2. The ND Series Mid Pressure products are a family of differential/gage pressure sensors that measure pressures from as low as ±0.5 psi to as high as ±150 psi.
  3. The ND Series Absolute products are a family of absolute pressure sensors that measure pressures from 15 psia to 150 psia.


The ND Series pressure sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

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