High-pressure manufacturing techniques are increasingly used in a range of European industries, including pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and automotive. The techniques use high pressures to create durable, high-performance components at relatively-low cost, allowing European manufacturers to produce internationally-competitive and more sustainable products. Higher pressures allow higher-performance products to be produced but the use of high pressures in industry was limited by the calibration capabilities of the European NMIs. NMIs only provided traceable calibrations up to 1 gigapascal (GPa), while industry requires calibrations to 1.5 GPa.
This project created a European NMI capability for the calibration of industrial pressure sensors up to 1.5 GPa. The project developed:
- A primary high-pressure standard, based on a pressure balance system, that is capable of measuring pressures up to 1.6 GPa.
- Transfer standards for industrial users to calibrate their high-pressure measurements. These are pressure transducers, accurate up to 1.5 GPa, that transfer the calibration from the primary high-pressure standard to industrial pressure measurement devices.
- Recommendations and standards for high-pressure materials and procedures, including the most suitable materials, liquids and components for developing high-pressure measurement devices, and the optimum procedures for calibrating pressure transducers.
These developments are supporting the accurate measurement of high pressures throughout European industry. A facility at PTB has been used by a world-leading manufacturer of high-pressure equipment to develop autofrettage machines that operate over higher pressure ranges than were previously achievable. These autofrettage machines have since been used by manufacturers to develop more durable engine components for the European automotive industry, leading to the production of more fuel-efficient diesel engines. Project results have also been shared with manufacturers of high-pressure equipment to support the selection of suitable materials and components, and optimum measurement and calibration procedures for pressures above 1 GPa. The PTB facility is also being used by commercial calibration laboratories to gain accreditation for pressure calibration above 1 GPa for industrial users, in line with ISO 9001 and other international standards.
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