Air gages are popular across various industries for measuring the dimensions of various parts. However, it’s crucial to choose the right air gage for your specific application. This guide will help you determine which type of air gage best suits your needs and provide some examples of types you can buy.
Understanding the Basics of Air Gaging
Before delving into how to choose air gages, it’s essential to understand the basics of air gaging technology. Air gaging works by using compressed air to measure the dimensions of parts. Users take measurements at one or multiple points and compare the results with a known standard to determine whether the part is within acceptable tolerance limits.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Gage
Choosing the right air gage may seem daunting, but it’ll become much easier once you understand the differences between each type. Read through this list of the key factors you should consider that will help you make an informed decision.
Application and Features
The first step to determine which type of air gage you need is to identify your specific application and its requirements. Different air gages have features that allow you to measure various dimensions. For instance, knowing the difference between an air ring and an air probe will help you get a device that will measure tubular products correctly.
Precision and Accuracy
Accuracy is critical when it comes to measuring parts using air gages. Ensure that the air gage you select provides the level of precision required for your specific application. For example, some air gages offer resolutions as low as 0.0001 mm, while others may have resolutions of 0.001 mm. In some cases, the latter will be enough, but not always.
Ease of Use
Another factor to consider is the ease of use. It’s usually better to use air gages that are easy to set up, require minimal training, and have user-friendly interfaces. Choosing a straightforward tool will allow your team to confidently use the air gage and avoid making any errors during measurements.
Cost and Maintenance
While cost should not be the only factor to consider when choosing an air gage, finding a high-quality one that matches your budget is crucial. Additionally, consider the maintenance needs of the chosen air gage, as some types may require more frequent calibration or general maintenance than others.
Popular Types of Air Gages
Having considered the necessary factors of an air gage, let’s take a quick look at some of the popular types available. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’ll act as a good starting point.
Single and Double Master Air Gages
Single and double master air gages are suitable for measuring inside and outside diameters, respectively. Single master air gages measure the interior diameter (ID) by comparing the part’s measurement to a single known standard, while double master air gages measure the outside diameter (OD) using known standards.
Tooling-Style Air Gages
Tooling-style air gages suit specialized applications, such as measuring the dimensions of grooves, splines, or threads. The tooling inserts match the specific part’s geometry, allowing for accurate measurements.
Air-to-electronic gages combine air-gaging technology with electronic display and data collection capabilities. They often offer additional features such as data logging, statistical process control, and automated calibration, making them suitable for more advanced applications.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.