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3.2.1 Measurement ranges

Pointer-type vacuum gauges are used in the pressure range from 1,000 – 1 mbar; however these gauges offer only limited accuracy and can only be read directly at the point of installation. Diaphragm vacuum gauges are used to obtain more accurate measurements.

Pirani thermal conductivity vacuum gauges are used between 1 and 10-4 mbar. It is also possible to use special „high-pressure” hot cathode ionization vacuum gauges at pressures p of less than 10-2 mbar.

Either cold cathode ionization vacuum gauges, or ionization vacuum gauges after Bayard- Alpert in the case of clean conditions and rigorous accuracy requirements, are used for pressures of less than 10-3 mbar. It is always meaningful to use a combination of measuring sensors that covers the entire pressure range in use.

(Figure 3.8)
Figure 3.8: Pressure measurement ranges and measurement principles

In the case of diaphragm vacuum gauges and Pirani vacuum gauges, pressure switch points are generated in order to not activate ionization vacuum gauges until sufficiently low pressure prevails, thus protecting them against contamination or burn-out of the heated cathode. Consequently, combination sensors are also offered, which are described below.

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