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The majority of pressure gauges in use have a Bourdon-tube as a measuring element. (The gauge is named for its inventor, Eugene Bourdon, a French engineer.) The Bourdon tube is a device that senses pressure and converts the pressure to displacement. Since the Bourdon-tube displacement is a function of the pressure applied, it may be mechanically amplified and indicated by apointer.
Thus, the pointer position indirectly indicates pressure. The Bourdon-tube gauge is available in various tube shapes: curved or C-shaped, helical, and spiral. The size, shape, and material of the tube depend on the pressure range and the type of gauge desired.
Low-pressure Bourdon tubes (pressures up to 2000 psi) are often made of phosphor bronze. High-pressure Bourdon tubes (pressures above 2000 psi) are made of stainless steel or other high-strength materials.
High- pressure Bourdon tubes tend to have more circular cross sections than their lower-range counterparts, which tend to have oval cross sections. The Bourdon tube most commonly used is the C-shaped metal tube that is sealed at one end and open at the other gauge.