In the manufacturing operation of pressure sensors, autofrettage denotes the process of active ?overload? by subjecting the pressure sensor selectively once or many times to a pressure above the nominal pressure range. This technique is applied, to experience maximum stability, specifically of the zero point, in later operation. Assuming a suitable design of the sensor, autofrettage enables a long time of trouble-free operation of the sensors even at high load cycles reaching the specified overload range, without resulting in zero-point shift or similar effects.
In autofrettage, certain local areas of the sensor, where during the selective overload the yield point of the sensor material is locally exceeded, become plasticised, resulting in a permanent change of the instrumentation characteristics. This selective influence on the structural conditions by means of autofrettage can be an integral part of the development of the sensor and of the associated manufacturing process. Which pressure the sensor is subjected to and how often, should be determined individually for every sensor design through a complicated FEM simulation and extensive test series.
Caution ? no experiments of your own! However, it must not be concluded that every sensor will automatically reap the benefits of subjecting it to autofrettage. Autofrettage can only be used for ductile materials, but under no circumstances for brittle ones. Conditioning should be scheduled and carried out very selectively and with great care during the production stages. Ill-considered ?overpressurising? of pressure sensors by laymen who like experimenting can not only damage the sensor permanently, but additionally result in dangerous preliminary damage and subsequently possibly in accidents due to fatigue and bursting of the sensor. In Supportive , a noticable difference in instrumentation will only be achieved, if at all, by hit or miss.