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Gauge (engineering)

Gauge (engineering)

Overview
In engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, a gauge or gage, is used to make measurement
Measurement
Measurement is the process or the result of determining the ratio of a physical quantity, such as a length, time, temperature etc., to a unit of measurement, such as the metre, second or degree Celsius...

s. A wide variety of tools exist which serve such funtions, ranging from simple pieces of material against which sizes can be measured to complex pieces of machinery. Various types of gauges include:

  • A bore gauge
    Bore gauge
    A bore gauge is a convenient term for the measuring or transfer tools that are used in the process of accurately measuring holes.-Telescopic gauges:...

    , a device used for measuring holes.
  • A caliper
    Caliper
    A caliper is a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object. A caliper can be as simple as a compass with inward or outward-facing points...

    , a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object.
  • Center gauges and fishtail gauges are engineering gauges used in lathe
    Lathe (metal)
    A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. They were originally designed to machine metals; however, with the advent of plastics and other materials, and with their inherent versatility, they are used in a wide range of...

     work for checking the angles when grinding the profiles of single-point screw-cutting tool bit
    Tool bit
    The term tool bit generally refers to a non-rotary cutting tool used in metal lathes, shapers, and planers. Such cutters are also often referred to by the set-phrase name of single-point cutting tool. The cutting edge is ground to suit a particular machining operation and may be resharpened or...

    s and centers
    Lathe center
    A lathe center, often shortened to center, is a tool that has been ground to a point as to accurately position a workpiece about an axis...

    .
  • A dial indicator
    Dial indicator
    Dial indicators, also known as dial gauges and probe indicators, are instruments used to accurately measure small linear distances, and are frequently used in industrial and mechanical processes...

    , also known as a dial test indicator, dial gauge, or probe indicator, is an instrument used to accurately measure small linear distances.
  • A feeler gauge
    Feeler gauge
    A feeler gauge is a tool used to measure gap widths. Feeler gauges are mostly used in engineering to measure the clearance between two parts.They consist of a number of small lengths of steel of different thicknesses with measurements marked on each piece...

     is a simple tool used to measure gap widths.
  • A gauge block, (also known as a gage block, Johansson gauge, slip gauge, or Jo block) is a precision ground and lapped
    Lapping
    Lapping is a machining operation, in which two surfaces are rubbed together with an abrasive between them, by hand movement or by way of a machine.This can take two forms...

     length measuring standard.
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In engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, a gauge or gage, is used to make measurement
Measurement
Measurement is the process or the result of determining the ratio of a physical quantity, such as a length, time, temperature etc., to a unit of measurement, such as the metre, second or degree Celsius...

s. A wide variety of tools exist which serve such funtions, ranging from simple pieces of material against which sizes can be measured to complex pieces of machinery. Various types of gauges include:

  • A bore gauge
    Bore gauge
    A bore gauge is a convenient term for the measuring or transfer tools that are used in the process of accurately measuring holes.-Telescopic gauges:...

    , a device used for measuring holes.
  • A caliper
    Caliper
    A caliper is a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object. A caliper can be as simple as a compass with inward or outward-facing points...

    , a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object.
  • Center gauges and fishtail gauges are engineering gauges used in lathe
    Lathe (metal)
    A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. They were originally designed to machine metals; however, with the advent of plastics and other materials, and with their inherent versatility, they are used in a wide range of...

     work for checking the angles when grinding the profiles of single-point screw-cutting tool bit
    Tool bit
    The term tool bit generally refers to a non-rotary cutting tool used in metal lathes, shapers, and planers. Such cutters are also often referred to by the set-phrase name of single-point cutting tool. The cutting edge is ground to suit a particular machining operation and may be resharpened or...

    s and centers
    Lathe center
    A lathe center, often shortened to center, is a tool that has been ground to a point as to accurately position a workpiece about an axis...

    .
  • A dial indicator
    Dial indicator
    Dial indicators, also known as dial gauges and probe indicators, are instruments used to accurately measure small linear distances, and are frequently used in industrial and mechanical processes...

    , also known as a dial test indicator, dial gauge, or probe indicator, is an instrument used to accurately measure small linear distances.
  • A feeler gauge
    Feeler gauge
    A feeler gauge is a tool used to measure gap widths. Feeler gauges are mostly used in engineering to measure the clearance between two parts.They consist of a number of small lengths of steel of different thicknesses with measurements marked on each piece...

     is a simple tool used to measure gap widths.
  • A gauge block, (also known as a gage block, Johansson gauge, slip gauge, or Jo block) is a precision ground and lapped
    Lapping
    Lapping is a machining operation, in which two surfaces are rubbed together with an abrasive between them, by hand movement or by way of a machine.This can take two forms...

     length measuring standard. It is used as a reference for the setting of measuring equipment used in machine shops, such as micrometers, sine bar
    Sine bar
    It consists of a hardened, precision ground body with two precision ground cylinders fixed at the ends. The distance between the centers of the cylinders is precisely controlled, and the top of the bar is parallel to a line through the centers of the two rollers...

    s, calipers, and dial indicators (when used in an inspection role
    Quality control
    Quality control, or QC for short, is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. This approach places an emphasis on three aspects:...

    ).
  • A gauge pin is similar to a gauge block. It is a precision ground cylindrical bar for use in Go/no go gauges or similar applications.
  • A Go/no go gauge is an inspection tool used to check a workpiece against its allowed tolerances. Its name derives from its use: the gauge has two tests; the check involves the workpiece having to pass one test (Go) and fail the other (No Go).
  • A load cell
    Load cell
    A load cell is a transducer that is used to convert a force into electrical signal. This conversion is indirect and happens in two stages. Through a mechanical arrangement, the force being sensed deforms a strain gauge. The strain gauge measures the deformation as an electrical signal, because the...

     is a transducer
    Transducer
    A transducer is a device that converts one type of energy to another. Energy types include electrical, mechanical, electromagnetic , chemical, acoustic or thermal energy. While the term transducer commonly implies the use of a sensor/detector, any device which converts energy can be considered a...

     that is used to convert a force
    Force
    In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

     into electrical signal. This conversion is indirect and happens in two stages. Through a mechanical arrangement, the force being sensed deforms a strain gauge
    Strain gauge
    A strain gauge is a device used to measure the strain of an object. Invented by Edward E. Simmons and Arthur C. Ruge in 1938, the most common type of strain gauge consists of an insulating flexible backing which supports a metallic foil pattern. The gauge is attached to the object by a suitable...

    . The strain gauge converts the deformation (strain
    Strain (materials science)
    In continuum mechanics, the infinitesimal strain theory, sometimes called small deformation theory, small displacement theory, or small displacement-gradient theory, deals with infinitesimal deformations of a continuum body...

    ) to electrical signals. A load cell usually consists of four strain gauges in a Wheatstone bridge
    Wheatstone bridge
    A Wheatstone bridge is an electrical circuit used to measure an unknown electrical resistance by balancing two legs of a bridge circuit, one leg of which includes the unknown component. Its operation is similar to the original potentiometer. It was invented by Samuel Hunter Christie in 1833 and...

     configuration. Load cells of one strain gauge (quarter bridge) or two strain gauges (half bridge) are also available. The electrical signal output is typically in the order of a few millivolts and requires amplification by an instrumentation amplifier
    Instrumentation amplifier
    An instrumentation amplifier is a type of differential amplifier that has been outfitted with input buffers, which eliminate the need for input impedance matching and thus make the amplifier particularly suitable for use in measurement and test equipment...

     before it can be used. The output of the transducer is plugged into an algorithm
    Algorithm
    In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...

     to calculate the force applied to the transducer.
  • The linear variable differential transformer
    Linear variable differential transformer
    The Linear Variable Differential Transformer is a type of electrical transformer used for measuring linear displacement. A counterpart to this device that is used for measuring rotary displacement is called a Rotary Variable Differential Transformer...

     (LVDT) is a type of electrical transformer used for measuring linear displacement. The transformer has three solenoidal coils placed end-to-end around a tube. The center coil is the primary, and the two outer coils are the secondaries. A cylindrical ferromagnetic core, attached to the object whose position is to be measured, slides along the axis of the tube.

  • A micrometer
    Micrometer
    A micrometer , sometimes known as a micrometer screw gauge, is a device incorporating a calibrated screw used widely for precise measurement of small distances in mechanical engineering and machining as well as most mechanical trades, along with other metrological instruments such as dial, vernier,...

    , sometimes known as a "micrometer screw gauge", is a device incorporating a calibrated screw
    Screw
    A screw, or bolt, is a type of fastener characterized by a helical ridge, known as an external thread or just thread, wrapped around a cylinder. Some screw threads are designed to mate with a complementary thread, known as an internal thread, often in the form of a nut or an object that has the...

     used widely for precise measurement of small distances in mechanical engineering
    Mechanical engineering
    Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

     and machining
    Machining
    Conventional machining is a form of subtractive manufacturing, in which a collection of material-working processes utilizing power-driven machine tools, such as saws, lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, are used with a sharp cutting tool to physical remove material to achieve a desired...

     as well as most mechanical trades, along with other metrological
    Metrology
    Metrology is the science of measurement. Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement. The word comes from Greek μέτρον , "measure" + "λόγος" , amongst others meaning "speech, oration, discourse, quote, study, calculation, reason"...

     instruments such as dial, vernier, and digital calipers. Micrometers are often, but not always, in the form of caliper
    Caliper
    A caliper is a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object. A caliper can be as simple as a compass with inward or outward-facing points...

    s.
  • A pressure gauge or vacuum gauge is used for pressure measurement
    Pressure measurement
    Many techniques have been developed for the measurement of pressure and vacuum. Instruments used to measure pressure are called pressure gauges or vacuum gauges....

    .
  • A profile gauge
    Profile gauge
    A profile gauge or contour gauge is a tool for recording the cross-sectional shape of a surface.Contour gauges consist of a set of steel or plastic pins that are set tightly against one another in a frame which keeps them in the same plane and parallel while allowing them to move independently,...

     or contour gauge is a tool for recording the cross-sectional shape of a surface.
  • A radius gauge
    Radius gauge
    A radius gauge, also known as a fillet gauge, is a tool used to measure the radius of an object.Radius gauges require a bright light behind the object to be measured...

    , also known as a fillet gauge, is a tool used to measure the radius of an object. Radius gauges require a bright light behind the object to be measured. The gauge is placed against the edge to be checked and any light leakage between the blade and edge indicates a mismatch that requires correction.
  • A ring gauge
    Ring gauge
    A ring gauge, or ring gage, is a cylindrical ring of steel whose inside diameter is finished to gauge tolerance and is used for checking the external diameter of a cylindrical object....

     is a cylindrical ring of steel whose inside diameter
    Diameter
    In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle...

     is finished to gauge tolerance and is used for checking the external diameter of a cylindrical object.
  • Strain gauge
    Strain gauge
    A strain gauge is a device used to measure the strain of an object. Invented by Edward E. Simmons and Arthur C. Ruge in 1938, the most common type of strain gauge consists of an insulating flexible backing which supports a metallic foil pattern. The gauge is attached to the object by a suitable...

     is a device used to measure the strain of an object.
  • A stream gauge
    Stream gauge
    A stream gauge, stream gage or gauging station is a location used by hydrologists or environmental scientists to monitor and test terrestrial bodies of water. Hydrometric measurements of water surface elevation and/or volumetric discharge are generally taken and observations of biota may also be...

     is a site along a stream where measurements of water surface elevation ("stage") and/or volumetric discharge (flow) are made.
  • A thermometer
    Thermometer
    Developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, a thermometer is a device that measures temperature or temperature gradient using a variety of different principles. A thermometer has two important elements: the temperature sensor Developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, a thermometer (from the...

     or temperature gauge is a device that measures temperature
    Temperature
    Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

     or temperature gradient
    Temperature gradient
    A temperature gradient is a physical quantity that describes in which direction and at what rate the temperature changes the most rapidly around a particular location. The temperature gradient is a dimensional quantity expressed in units of degrees per unit length...

     using a variety of different principles.
  • A thread pitch gauge
    Thread pitch gauge
    A thread pitch gauge, also known as a screw pitch gauge or pitch gauge, is used to measure the pitch or lead of a screw thread. The uppermost gauge in the image is an ISO metric pitch gauge, the larger gauge in the center is for measuring the Acme thread form, and the lower gauge is for Whitworth...

    , also called a threading gauge, pitch gauge, or screw gauge, is used to measure the pitch or lead of screw threads.
  • A tide gauge
    Tide gauge
    A tide gauge is a device for measuring sea level and detecting tsunamis.Sensors continuously record the height of the water level with respect to a height reference surface close to the geoid...

     is a device for measuring sea level
    Sea level
    Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

     and detecting tsunami
    Tsunami
    A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

    s.
  • Vernier height gauge is a measuring device used either for determining the height of something, or for repetitious marking of items to be worked on. The former type of height gauge is often used in doctor's surgeries to find the height of people.
  • A wire gauge
    Wire gauge
    Wire gauge is a measurement of how large a wire is, either in diameter or cross sectional area. This determines the amount of electric current a wire can safely carry, as well as its electrical resistance and weight per unit of length...

     measuring tool determines the thickness of a wire
    Wire
    A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Standard sizes are determined by various...

    .