Air gauges for measuring were invented almost 100 years ago, in 1919. Even though many other metrology devices have been created since then, the air gauge measuring instrument remains one of the most effective tools for a variety of inspection processes.
The air-gauging systems have been developing through the years. The tool we use now is highly advanced even though it works virtually the same as its 20th-century predecessor. Air gauges are irreplaceable assistants for many measuring projects.
So why would we use air gauges today when more advanced tools exist to do the job? Regardless of its age, air gauging is a surprisingly fast, efficient, and dependable measuring method.
Advantages Of Metrology Air Gauges
One of the biggest advantages of air gauging is the absence of contact during the inspection process. It can be used to measure materials that are soft, polished, delicate, and susceptible to marking. When dealing with such objects, air gauging is not just highly effective, it keeps the material safe.
Ease Of Use
Air gauges are also surprisingly easy to use. The low learning curve allows inexperienced operators to deal with the measuring process without much training.
Air gauge measuring instruments are effective when inspecting complicated geometric characteristics, including flatness, roundness, parallelism, diameter and more. Measuring these values can be expensive and time-consuming if done with other tools. The precision of air gauge metrology is getting better and better. The general size of probes can be as small as 0.6 mm in diameter.
Air gauges are irreplaceable when inspecting small holes. While microscopes and optical comparators can do the job well, they lack the power to work with high volumes. Meanwhile, the air gauge is effective for measuring such small and deep objects as the hole in the hypodermic needle. Air gauging can measure very small through holes with a minimum size of 0.1 mm.
Air gauges are very flexible measurement tools. With some adjustments, the air gauge can measure anything between 0.1 mm to 1 mm range. Meanwhile, it can measure an impressive range of dimensional aspects, including thickness, height, clearance, inside/outside diameters and more. While the flexibility is substantial, the low cost and virtually non-existent learning curve make air gauges some of the most popular metrology tools in the world.
The End Of The Line?
Even though air gauges are highly effective, some scientists believe that other tools will replace them within the next 20 years. The reason lies in the increasing number of sensitive probes. However, no matter how precise other tools may seem, one thing puts air gauge measuring instruments above them all: non-contact measuring.
Once another highly precise non-contact tool is created, air gauges may retire. Today, the only other non-contact option is the precision laser measurement gauge. However, unlike air gauges, these require a sterile lab environment to operate.
Air Gauges From Mahr
Today, air gauging is a quick, simple, and efficient way to make measurements. Mahr is a world-leading metrology equipment manufacturer. The company offers a variety of air gauges for measuring many different probes. For more information about Mahr air gauges and other metrology tools, please download your free Mahr Products & Services Guide.