Applications of Pressure in Daily Life

Application of atmospheric pressure or just air pressure refers to the numerous activities that we do or observe every day without even realising that there is an iota of pressure getting into the picture.
This is the same air pressure which is equivalent to 15 lbs per square inch at sea level and helps keep things around us the way they are.
We survive in this high pressure condition because we have evolved and managed our body functions withstand this amount of high pressure.
Whatever changes and activities we see around us are from the fact that these are mainly accomplished at sea level and that they are mostly spontaneous it always tries to maintain equilibrium between different physical systems.

Any changes either from the place of activity or on account of physical systems might cause change in pressure leading to the impairment or dysfunction of the system.
Let’s take a look at the different application of air pressure that we fail to note but are omnipresent.

(a)    When we breathe the atmospheric pressure of 15 lbs at sea level causes the oxygen to pass through the semi permeable membrane easily. If the same activity is carried out in higher altitudes might cause hypoxia or deprivation of oxygen due to lower air atmospheric pressure.

(b)    The ink dropper that we use almost on a daily basis actually works on the air pressure principle.  As soon we create a low pressure by removing the air inside the bulb, the ink flows in to fill in the void.

(c)    When a jet liner flies above 10000 feet the cabin pressurization is maintained by pumping compressed air into it to compensate the low pressure outside. 
If not done these might lead to bleeding from nose and ears as the high blood pressure inside the blood vessels compared to low pressure would make them swell and burst open.

(d)    The working of plungers that we use in sink revolves around the same principle of having lower pressure inside compared to the air pressure outside and the suction is nothing but actually a difference in air pressures.

(e)    An aeroplane would take off from the ground based completely on the fact that when we cause the air to move we lessen the air pressure in the immediate surrounding and that helps in lifting the aeroplane.

(f)    The cleaning vacuum used in homes are again working on the same principle of lower pressure created inside the machine causing it to suck everything inside including dust particles.

(g)    Suction pumps used in village areas works on the same principle of creating low pressure inside the cylinder when we lift the piston and that causes the atmospheric pressure to push up the water to the surface.

(h)    Blood pressure check up requires a inflatable cuff wrapped around the arm which is inflated to the max to stop the flow of blood and in turn calculate the blood pressure produced by heart. 
This reading gives the idea of high blood pressure and as soon the cuff is deflated the blood flow gushes through and becomes normal after sometime. 
The cessation of blood flowing under pressure gives an idea of lower point of blood pressure.

(i) Have you ever thought how a windshield of a car is fixed or is carried by the fixer or people who work on high rise buildings fix glass panels to the walls and windows? They all use glass fixing rubber suckers to carry the glass panes and attach it as well. The rubber suckers work on the same principle of lower pressure / vacuum inside or pushing out the air from inside and the high atmospheric pressure outside helps these suckers hold the position on wall.

(j) Working of a doctors syringe also revolves around the same principle of lowering the atmospheric pressure inside the syringe cylinder. 
As we pull up the plunger of syringe there is a decrease the atmospheric pressure inside the syringe cylinder.
Tthe higher atmospheric pressure outside pushes the liquid from the vial up and when the plunger is pushed back the liquid is forced out due to higher atmospheric pressure above the plunger. 

(k) In chemistry labs we come across several lab tools which works on the same principle of lowering atmospheric pressure inside a tool. Pipette is one of those lab tools which is used for measuring small volumes of reagents. When we press the bulb attached to pipette or suck the air inside is pulled out and that causes low atmospheric pressure inside the pipette. 
This in turn helps in lifting the reagent and once the finger is released from top the pressureabove the reagent increase and that helps in pouring out the reagent.

(l) The cistern that we use in our washrooms / toilets are based on same principle. The atmospheric pressure inside the cistern is lowerd  or decreased to an extent that allows the water to push through the outlet and once it is at par with the pressure outisde the water gushes in from the inlet.

(m) The fruits are stored in jars inadvertently uses the same principle. When we store fruits in jars we also put some water inside the jars and then put these jars in water bath which is brought to a boil. The boiling sterilizes the fruits while the steam produced inside drives away the air inside. These are then kept away after putting air tight caps on them.

(n) Many a times when low lying areas get flooded people use innovative ways to pump out the water from their basements where putting up a pump set difficult. Same principle based tools are applied to siphon out the excess water. 
Siphon which uses both the atmospheric pressure and the cohesive force of water is used to flush out the water.
The siphon is filled with water and as water is filled within the siphon the air is forced out resulting in creating a low pressure around the water level and that helps in raising the water level which in turn uses the cohesive force of water to clear the accumulated water. 

The atmospheric pressure would play a big role in maintaining a constant flow of water within the siphon as many a times due to formation of bubbles and other gases there is a chance of breakage in flow.    

The application of air pressure and its scope is innumerable and the above mentioned examples are just a few to highlight that with.


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Pressure Gauge Pressure Gauge

Many of the processes in the modern world involve the measurement and control of pressurized liquid and gas systems. This monitoring reflects certain performance criteria that must be controlled to produce the desirable results of the process and insure its safe operation. Boilers, refineries, water systems, and compressed gas systems are but a few of the many applications for pressure gauges. The mechanical pressure indicating instrument, or gauge, consists of an elastic pressure element; a threaded connection means called the "socket"; a sector and pinion gear mechanism called the "movement"; and the protective case, dial, and viewing lens assembly. The elastic pressure element is the member that actually displaces or moves due to the influence of pressure. When properly designed, this pressure element is both highly accurate and repeatable. The pressure element is connected to the geared "movement" mechanism, which in turn rotates a pointer throughout a graduated dial. It is the pointer's position relative to the graduations that the viewer uses to determine the pressure indication. The most common pressure gauge design was invented by French industrialist Eugene Bourdon in 1849. It utilizes a curved tube design as the pressure sensing element. A less common pressure element design is the diaphragm or disk type, which is especially sensitive at lower pressures. This article will focus on the Bourdon tube pressure gauge. In a Bourdon tube gauge, a "C" shaped, hollow spring tube is closed and sealed at one end. The opposite end is securely sealed and bonded to the socket, the threaded connection means. When the pressure medium (such as air, oil, or water) enters the tube through the socket, the pressure differential from the inside to the outside causes the tube to move. One can relate this movement to the uncoiling of a hose when pressurized with water, or the party whistle that uncoils when air is blown into it. The direction of this movement is determined by the curvature of the tubing, with the inside radius being slightly shorter than the outside radius. A specific amount of pressure causes the "C" shape to open up, or stretch, a specific distance. When the pressure is removed, the spring nature of the tube material returns the tube to its original shape and the tip to its original position relative to the socket. Pressure gauge tubes are made of many materials, but the common design factor for these materials is the suitability for spring tempering. This tempering is a form of heat treating. It causes the metal to closely retain its original shape while allowing flexing or "elasticity" under load. Nearly all metals have some degree of elasticity, but spring tempering reinforces those desirable characteristics. Beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, and various alloys of steel and stainless steel all make excellent Bourdon tubes. The type of material chosen depends upon its corrosion properties with regards to the process media (water, air, oil, etc). Steel has a limited service life due to corrosion but is adequate for oil; stainless steel alloys add cost if specific corrosion resistance is not required; and beryllium copper is usually reserved for high pressure applications. Most gauges intended for general use of air, light oil, or water utilize phosphor bronze. The pressure range of the tubes is determined by the tubing wall thickness and the radius of the curvature. Instrument designers must use precise design and material selection, because exceeding the elastic limit will destroy the tube and accuracy will be lost. The socket is usually made of brass, steel, or stainless steel. Lightweight gauges sometimes use aluminum, but this material has limited pressure service and is difficult to join to the Bourdon tube by soldering or brazing. Extrusions and rolled bar stock shapes are most commonly used. The movement mechanism is made of glass filled polycarbonate, brass, nickel silver, or stainless steel. Whichever material is used, it must be stable and allow for a friction-free assembly. Brass and combinations of brass and polycarbonate are most popular. To protect the Bourdon tube and movement, the assembly is enclosed within a case and viewing lens. A dial and pointer, which are used to provide the viewer with the pressure indication, are made from nearly all basic metals, glass, and plastics. Aluminum, brass, and steel as well as polycarbonate and polypropylene make excellent gauge cases and dials. Most lenses are made of polycarbonate or acrylic, which are in favor over glass for obvious safety reasons. For severe service applications, the case is sealed and filled with glycerine or silicone fluid. This fluid cushions the tube and movement against damage from impact and vibration. Calibration occurs just before the final assembly of the gauge to the protective case and lens. The assembly consisting of the socket, tube, and movement is connected to a pressure source with a known "master" gauge. A "master" gauge is simply a high accuracy gauge of known calibration. Adjustments are made in the assembly until the new gauge reflects the same pressure readings as the master. Accuracy requirements of 2 percent difference are common, but some may be 1 percent, .5 percent, or even .25 percent. Selection of the accuracy range is solely dependant upon how important the information desired is in relationship to the control and safety of the process. Most manufacturers use a graduated dial featuring a 270 degree sweep from zero to full range. These dials can be from less than I inch (2.5 centimeters) to 3 feet (.9 meter) in diameter, with the largest typically used for extreme accuracy. By increasing the dial diameter, the circumference around the graduation line is made longer, allowing for many finely divided markings. These large gauges are usually very fragile and used for master purposes only. Masters themselves are inspected for accuracy periodically using dead weight testers, a very accurate hydraulic apparatus that is traceable to the National Bureau of Standards in the United States. It is interesting to note that when the gauge manufacturing business was in its infancy, the theoretical design of the pressure element was still developing. The Bourdon tube was made with very general design parameters, because each tube was pressure tested to determine what range of service it was suitable for. One did not know exactly what pressure range was going to result from the rolling and heat treating process, so these instruments were sorted at calibration for specific application. Today, with the development of computer modeling and many decades of experience, modern Bourdon tubes are precisely rolled to specific dimensions that require little, if any, calibration. Modern calibration can be performed by computers using electronically controlled mechanical adjusters to adjust the components. This unfortunately eliminates the image of the master craftsman sitting at the calibration bench, finely tuning a delicate, watch-like movement to extreme precision. Some instrument repair shops still perform this unique work, and these beautiful pressure gauges stand as equals to the clocks and timepieces created by master craftsmen years ago. Once the calibrated gauge is assembled and packaged, it is distributed to equipment manufacturers, service companies, and testing laboratories for use in many different applications. These varied applications account for the wide range in design of the case and lens enclosure. The socket may enter the case from the back, top, bottom or side. Some dials are illuminated by the luminescent inks used to print the graduations or by tiny lamps connected to an outside electrical source. Gauges intended for high pressure service usually are of "dead front" safety design, a case design feature that places a substantial thickness of case material between the Bourdon tube and the dial. This barrier protects the instrument viewer from gauge fragments should the Bourdon tube rupture due to excess pressure. The internal case design directs these high velocity pieces out the back of the gauge, away from the viewer. Many applicati

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