Bourdon Tube

Definition - What does Bourdon Tube mean?

A Bourdon Tube is a pressure measurement device or pressure gauge that is used to measure relative pressures ranging from 0.6 bars to 7000 bar. It is a non-electrical instrument classified as mechanically operated pressure measuring device. This pressure gauge consists of curved tubes which are open to external pressure input on one end and are mechanically coupled to a needle which acts as a pressure indicator on the dial on the other end.

Petropedia explains Bourdon Tube

Bourdon Tubes, also known as differential pressure measurement instruments, come in the category of elastic type pressure transducers. These devices were invented in early 1849 by Eugene Bourdon. The basic idea behind the development of bourdon tube was that when the cross sectional tubes get deformed because of external pressure, they will tend to regain their circular form under the application of pressure. The gauges used nowadays have a slight elliptical cross section and their tubes are bent at an arc length angle of 27 degrees forming a C-shape of the tube. Some of the pros and cons of these types of pressure gauges are:


  • Simple
  • Portable
  • Convenient
  • Leveling is not required


  • Only able to measure static or quasi-static measurements.
  • Sometimes accuracy is of concern in many applications.
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