Electronic – How do i control a pressure


I am looking for a component which can help me controlling the pressure in a tube.

I explain :

I have a compressor which blow some air in a tube. The compressor blow up to 8 bar and the tube is really small. I need a pressure between 1.5 and 2 bar in the tube. Then I am looking for a component, that I can drive electronicaly, which can do that for me.

Does anyone know about this type of component?

I don't know if I am clear, if you need othr information I'll edit my question.

Best Answer

Such components certainly exist. They tend to be called I to P converters (current to pressure). I.E. you give them a signal in the form of a current, and they will regulate the air pressure according to that current.

Electronic pressure regulator

If you're in the UK, you can buy them from Airlines Pneumatics. Using one of these will solve your problem immediately, but they can be expensive.

The alternative way to solve this problem is to control the pressure yourself. Since you already have a microcontroller, then you just need a pneumatic valve and an air pressure sensor.

Valves come in two basic types, proportional (you have fine control over the on percentage) or digital valves (which are either just on or off). I recommend a proportional valve if you can afford it, and if you can be bothered to make the electronics to drive it. This valve from Sirai is quite nice:

Sirai proportional valve

By regulating the current through it, you can control how open it is, and thus the rate at which air flows into your tube.

Next you'll need a pressure sensor.

Pressure sensor

Measure the pressure (preferable at the other end of the tube to avoid various pneumatic effects caused by the moving air, like Bernoulli's principle, where the sensor will see a false drop in pressure as the air flows past it towards your tube.

Once you have your valve and sensor, the microcontroller can control the valve to control the pressure. I recommend something simple like a pure P controller.