Air gauges are measuring devices that use air nozzles to sense a surface to be measured. Using this technique, air is passed to one or more sensing nozzles and the resulting flow is measured by the air gauge readout calibrated to display linear dimensions. Air gauging was introduced in the 1940s and has since gained widespread popularity as a precise method of measuring internal and external diameters. In very tight tolerances, air gauging is a proven inspection tool that provides faster, more accurate, and more convenient measurements.
For speed and accuracy in measuring tight spaces, air gauges are unmatched. When checking other dimensional features, air gauges also provide sufficient magnification and reliability to measure tolerances that would normally be beyond the capability of mechanical and fixed limit gauges. Additionally, no special training is required for workers to use air gauges. This is because, unlike with types of fixed limit gauging, there are no special techniques required. Instead, the operator simply inserts the air plug in the hole or air ring onto the shaft and reads the meter.
Air gauging is also economical and versatile. Following the initial purchase of a standard air gauging system, additional tooling can be purchased to tailor the machine to any number of applications. Its adaptability enables it to be a core piece of any operation’s quality control system. While they can measure a wide range of dimensions, air gauges are particularly suited to measuring dimensional relationships such as taper, parallelism, squareness, straightness, and center distance.
Because it is a non-contact measurement, air gauging is ideal for checking soft or highly polished materials. This also makes it ideal for thin-walled and delicate materials. To provide instant measurement of a part, air gauging can be combined with electronic signalling or adapted to measure any part within a machine. Lastly, the air deployed by the air gauges nozzles also cleans the measuring surface area of coolant, oil, small chips, or other imperfections.
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