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Measurement 41 (2008) 934939

Stability comparison of concentric tube bulb manometer

with conventional U-shaped manometer
S.S. Daood a,b,*, A. Ijaz b, H.M.A. Asghar b, M. Ali b, M.A. Butt b

School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan

Received 1 June 2007; received in revised form 3 December 2007; accepted 15 January 2008
Available online 26 January 2008

In continuation of mass ow rate and error analysis comparison, a dierent comparative performance study is made
between concentric tube bulb manometer (CTB) and U-shaped manometer using stability response equations. Basic
response equation of transfer function would hold for both the devices since the same underlying principle of force balance
existed. Whilst variation in stability response was evaluated in terms of deviation form of dierential height for dierent
lengths of same amount of sensing uid. This included a step change forcing function of 20 kPa at a constant value of gain.
On the basis of smaller characteristic time constant it was concluded that CTB is stable and more prompt in response as
compared to U-shaped manometer. Response curves for both the manometers were plotted with the help of MATLAB.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Concentric tube bulb manometer; Response equation; Sensing uid; Gain; Forcing function; Characteristic time constant;

1. Introduction
Regardless of oldest invention, manometer still
nds its vast application in both commercial and
industrial sectors due to accuracy and simplicity of
operation. Basis of its simplicity involves balancing
of pressure forces against the weight of uid column. Dierent types of manometers have been
designed according to the need of processes and
their suitability specic to operations. Each type
has its own utilization and advantage; however, gen-

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 7919478883.

E-mail address: (S.S. Daood).

eral classication is based on their open or sealed

A lot of studies have been carried out on dierent
manometers with reference to their accuracy, reliability and suitability for a particular use. However,
some of the studies included are; Lewicki [1] vapour
pressure measurement (VPM) of water exerted by a
food sample, automatic measurement of soilwater
pressure using reliable pressure transducer by
Thony and Vachaud [2] and measurement of carotid
artery back pressure in medical eld carried out by
Archi [3].
Other contributions involve work done by Acerbi
et al. [4] who described the characteristics of a
manometer for absolute pressure measurements of

0263-2241/$ - see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

S.S. Daood et al. / Measurement 41 (2008) 934939





acceleration of liquid in the tube, m

cross-sectional area of the tube, m2
internal diameter of the tube, m
displacement pressure force, N
frictional force for the laminar ow, N
gravitational restoring force, N
gravitational acceleration, m
variation of the height of the liquid column in one leg of the manometer, m
variation of height of the liquid column
in deviation form, m
total length of the liquid column in the
tube, m
mass of liquid in the tube, kg
dierence of pressures supplied to both
legs of the manometer, Pa
step change in pressure supplied to both
legs of the manometer in deviation form,
variation of the height of the liquid column in time domain deviation form, m
time during which volumetric ow rate
occurred, s

gases in open vessels and under steady ow conditions. Results included analysis of the manometer
performance with an error in measurement of
1.2% in the pressure range between 103 and
102 torr. Model development along with study of
response of capacitance manometers was done by
Poulter et al. [5]. The determination of enthalpies
of sublimation by means of thermal conductivity
manometers was done by Kruif et al. [6]; who investigated the suitability of thermal conductivity
manometers operated according to Engelsman
method for the determination of enthalpies of sublimation of low volatility substances. They used the
known vapour pressure temperature relation of
mercury to determine the characteristics of the
Yesilata et al. [7] examined the eect of high viscosity on the response time of manometers and
transducers and established their feasibility for
dynamic pressure measurement. Ransom [8] studied
on frictionless oscillating manometer involving Utube manometer which resulted in undamped oscillations of a given frequency. Suresan and Jayanti [9]


density of the liquid in the tube (density

of gas above liquid is negligible), m
dynamic viscosity of the liquid in the
tube, Pa s
characteristic time of the system, s
damping factor, dimensionless value
steady-state, or static, or simply gain of
2 2
the system, mkgs

MATLAB program for response study

Function h0t = paper (s, Kp, f);
A=cosh (sqrt (f^2-1) d);
B=(f/ sqrt (f^2-1))sinh (sqrt (f^2-1)d);
x=(sqrt (1-f^2))/s;
/=atan (sqrt (1-f^2)/f);
F=(1/sqrt (1-f^2))exp (-fd)sin (xt+/);
% h0t = DP (Kp(1-(exp (-d)(1+d)))); % for f=1
% ht = DP (Kp(1-C)); % for f>1;
% ht = DP (Kp(1-F)); % for f<1;
Subplot (1, 2, 2); plot (t, h0t );End

investigated both experimentally and theoretically

the time period of oscillations and damping characteristics in case of oscillating manometer with variable density.
Above mentioned studies to some extend were
dependant upon the response behavior of the
manometer. Generally dierent manometers have
various responses and mainly this diversity is due
to their dierent shapes, constructions and operating conditions. Each of unique design or shape
has its own limitation or disadvantage, like in most
of manometers if there is a sudden increase in the
ow of uid; the manometer uid travels out in
manometer tubing and mixes with owing uid.
Some times mercury is used as sensing uid and if
its spillage occurs causes hazardous problems. Additionally in some types, pressure uctuations during
uid ow may cause erroneous evaluation of results.
Thus, a need to overcome above diculties is
resolved with CTB manometer. In this paper
response behavior of CTB manometer in comparison to the conventional U-shaped manometer is


S.S. Daood et al. / Measurement 41 (2008) 934939

2. Design and working principal of CTB manometer

3. Dierential response equations

The design of CTB manometer previously presented by Daood et al. [10] is inspired by two reservoir manometer which itself occupy more of space
like U-shaped manometer. However, CTB manometer shown in Fig. 1 comprises of two spherical glass
bulbs A, B of 20.6 cm3 and 7.24 cm3 volume, respectively. Total length of CTB is 305 mm; outer diameter of outer and inner tubes is 14 mm and 7 mm,
respectively with 1 mm wall thickness of whole construction. Such wall thickness is optimized after
analysis of capillary eects for various wall thicknesses. However this is trivial with respect to changing diameters and lengths of CTB. Extension X, Y
from sphere B and A, respectively is used as pressure tapings. Basic construction benets include
dampening down of mass ow changeover eects,
inhibiting spillage or carryover of sensing uid
and prompt stable response during operation.

When pressures at the top of two legs are equal

as shown in Fig. 1; two liquid levels will be same.
After applying a pressure dierence DP on the two
legs of the manometer, the dynamic response of
sensing uid levels can be calculated by applying
force balance on the manometer [11].
ma F P  F g  F f ;
d2 h
32ALg dh
ALq 2 DPA  2qghA 
D2 dt
L d h 16Lg dh
h DP

2g dt2 qgD2 dt

Using s2 2gL ; 2fs qgD
2 ; K p 2qg. Taking variables
in deviation form


d2 h0
h0 K p DP 0 :

Taking Laplace transform and solving for h0 s

h0 s

K p DP 0
ss2 s2 2fss 1

After incorporating the value of s2 for CTB and

U-shaped manometer, Eqs. (3) and (4), respectively
are obtained;
h0 s
h0 s

K p DP 0
s0:00367s2 0:1212fs 1
K p DP 0
0:234fs 1



At f = 1, response is critically damped, the inverse

Laplace transform of Eq. (2) becomes:
s t t=s i
h0 t DP 0 K p 1 
At f < 1, response is under damped, the inverse Laplace transform of Eq. (2) becomes
h t DP K p 1  p2 e s sinxt /
1f rad
; s ; / tan1


At f > 1, response is over damped, the inverse

Laplace transform of Eq. (2) becomes
Fig. 1. Concentric tube bulb manometer.

S.S. Daood et al. / Measurement 41 (2008) 934939


h t DP K p 1  e
cosh f2  1
q !#
 sinh f2  1
f 1



4. Results and discussions

The performance curves for critical, over and
under damped responses of the CTB manometer
in comparison with U-shaped manometer are plotted in Figs. 24. These curves are obtained by using
Eqs. (5)(7). The values of characteristic times of
the system for U-shaped and CTB manometers
obtained are 0.117 s and 0.0606 s, respectively.
The value of gain, Kp (0.07534 m2 s2)/kg for both
the systems is independent of the total length of

sensing uid, whereas DP , step change in forcing

function pressure of the manometer is taken as
20 kPa.
Fig. 2 shows that CTB manometer attained its
steady mercury level in deviation form in less than
0.5 s, whereas the U-shaped manometer attained
the same in 0.9 s for critically damped response.
Thus CTB manometer results in 44% reduction in
time in comparison to U-shaped manometer.
Fig. 3 shows that time required to reach steady state
value of mercury level in deviation form is 3.5 s for
CTB manometer as compared to 5.5 s for U-shaped
manometer. Thus again CTB manometer showed
36% and 40% reduction in time compared to
U-shaped manometer for damping factors (f) of
0.1 and 0.2, respectively.
For over damped responses shown in Fig. 4, the
percentage reduction in time for CTB manometer in

Fig. 2. Comparison of critically damped response curves of both U-shaped and CTB manometer.

Fig. 3. Comparison of under damped response curves of both U-shaped and CTB manometer.


S.S. Daood et al. / Measurement 41 (2008) 934939

Fig. 4. Comparison of over damped response curves of both U-shaped and CTB manometer.

comparison to U-shaped manometer was 40% for

both damping factors (f) of 2 and 4.
Obtained response curves clearly indicated that
the sensing uid level (in deviation form) attained
steady-state quickly for CTB manometer compared
to U-shaped manometer. This characteristic feature
of the CTB manometer makes it more stable in operation in comparison with U-shaped manometer.
This fact is also endorsed that for constant value
of gain, response curves are totally dependent on
characteristic times and damping factors of both
the manometers. However, for critical, under
damped and over damped values of f; steady-state
is attained quickly for CTB compared to U-shaped
manometer because it has less value of characteristic
time. These values of characteristic times are dierent due to dierent lengths of sensing uid column
having same volumetric quantity. Also the spherical
reservoirs of CTB manometer provide a cushion to
dampen down the oscillations during uid ow
5. Conclusions
The present stability analysis study of CTB
manometer is an extension of previous work of mass
ow error comparison done by Daood et al. [10].
Performance comparison curves of both CTB
and U-shaped manometers were obtained using
derived stability response equations. The values of
characteristic time of the system for CTB and
U-shaped manometers were 0.0606 s and 0.117 s,
respectively. Value of gain for both CTB and

U-shaped manometers was found to be 0.07534

m2 s2/kg with a step change in input pressure dierence of 20 kPa.
On the basis of the response curves it was
concluded that CTB manometer attained stability
quicker than that of U-shaped manometer.
Response curves for critically damped, over damped
and under damped conditions were plotted and demonstrated that the time required to reach steady-state
in case of CTB manometer was less compared to
U-shaped manometer. Percentage reductions in time
to attain steady-state for critically damped is 44%
and under damped, over damped responses are
3640%. The decrease in time to attain steady-state
is related to lower value of characteristic time of
CTB in comparison to U-shaped manometer.
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[2] J.L. Thony, G. Vachaud, Automatic measurement of soil
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(12) (1980) 189196.
[3] Joseph P. Archi, A simple accurate manometer technique for
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(1978) 643644.
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[6] C.G. De Kruif, H.A.J. Oonk, The determination of enthalpies of sublimation by means of thermal conductivity

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[9] H. Suresan, S. Jayanti, The case of an oscillating manometer

with variable density and dissipation: experimental and
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