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Fabulous Fun Facts: Chemical Compatibility of Three Everyday Liquids

Madison Company lives and breathes sensors, so of course we get a kick out of fun facts about sensor applications as well. See if you can guess where a sensor is used after you read this Fantastic Fun Fact! (Pssst…. You’ll find the answer in parentheses below!)

Liquid level sensors are used in a variety of industries to measure an almost endless list of liquids. Choosing the correct sensor is critical to the success of your application, but material choices are equally important.

Certain sensor materials are best suited to particular applications, but the liquid being sensed* also has to be taken into consideration. For example, you would never want to store and ship that vat of ketchup in an aluminum container. Here are some other interesting materials and their compatibility:

  • Beer is compatible with Buna and polypropylene, but apparently has a severe effect on cast iron. So cook your brats in beer, but don’t use your iron skillet!
  • Coffee is compatible with most materials (thank goodness!), but it is not recommended for use with polyurethane. I wonder if that is why our high-gloss coffee table has rings all over it…
  • Mayonnaise is just eggs and oil, right? Nevertheless, don’t use mayo in conjunction with rubber or PVC. If you are replacing the piping in your bathroom, be sure not to eat a BLT while you are on the job!

* Many thanks to Cole-Palmer for their comprehensive chemical compatibility database. Check it out here.

(But where is the sensor? All liquids are enclosed in some kind of vessel and sensors are critical for the level measurement of those liquids – even mayonnaise!)