Digital tire pressure and temperature gauges

18/10/2021Related article product, Techs

Why is it important to use a precision digital pressure gauge?

In motorsports, every tenth of a second counts, every detail of the vehicle must be perfect.

An incorrect setting can cost several seconds on the track and make the difference between 1st and 5th place.

A very important aspect in motorsport is tire pressure Because it is precisely the tire pressure that establishes the balance between rolling speed, traction and cornering speed.

Low tire pressure provides excellent vehicle traction, while high tire pressure provides high carcass stiffness and thus high rolling speed.

Therefore, it is necessary to use a precision digital tire pressure and temperature gauge.

Accuracy is one of the main characteristics that a digital tire pressure gauge must have to ensure correct measurement. Just think of the motorcycle sector (where we are the technical partner of many teams participating in the Superbike and Moto GP World Championships), having an incorrect pressure can compromise the performance on the track and put the rider in difficulty with an inadequate set-up.

One of the main features of our digital pressure gauges is the ability of the instrument to automatically calibrate itself each time it is turned on In case the parameters are not correct, the instrument automatically enters into lockout so as not to provide an incorrect pressure.

The pressure is an indicator of the tire’s performance, while the temperature measured at the three characteristic points of the tread (Outer – Middle – Inner) indicates the tire’s footprint on the ground.

Having an instrument to measure tire pressure and temperature allows quick measurements to be taken when the vehicle returns to the pits after the race or test session.

Tire pressure is usually measured in pounds per square inch – PSI – or BAR.

PSI is the most common standard for measuring pressure in motorsport, while the BAR unit of measurement is mainly used in Europe. 1 PSI is equivalent to approximately 0.0068 Bar.

All HiPreMa 4 gauges have both PSI and BAR units, depending on how you want to measure tire pressure.

Digital pressure gauges are the most commonly used instruments in motorsports, as they allow you to measure tire pressure very accurately.

What to consider when choosing a precision tire pressure gauge

1 – Pressure range

The first characteristic to consider is the pressure range of the instrument, i.e., the range of values that the instrument can measure. With digital pressure gauges, a very wide range does not affect accuracy.

In the racing sector, the pressure range varies from a minimum pressure of 0.5 BAR (e.g. in Go-Karts) to a pressure of around 2 / 2.5 BAR for certain types of tires (e.g. in the case of rain compounds).

It is advisable to use an instrument with a wide pressure range.

For example, when tires are mounted on rims, it is possible to have very high pressures. A pressure gauge with a very low measuring range could be damaged if subjected to a pressure outside the maximum range.

2 – Pressure resolution

The resolution of the pressure measurement is the smallest pressure variation that the digital pressure gauge can measure.

This is a very important feature when deciding to purchase a precision digital tire pressure gauge. The higher the resolution, the more accurate the measurement.

The digital pressure gauges of the HiPreMa 4 line have a measurement resolution of 0.01 BAR and 0.1 PSI.

3 – Accuracy of measurement

The key feature of a digital tire pressure gauge is to be as accurate as possible.

All Prisma Electronics digital tire pressure gauges offer a measurement accuracy of 0.1% over the entire pressure range of 0-5 Bar (0 – 72 PSI).

In addition, the entire line of HPM4 instruments does not require calibration You will always be assured of accurate pressure measurement readings.

All models in the HiPreMa 4 line have a backlit display, date and time stored for each session, and air temperature. They also have the ability to store HOT and COLD tire pressures and calculate their difference. This gives you an immediate assessment of the vehicle’s balance.

Digital pressure gauge used by the Aprilia team in the Moto GP Championship.
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In the picture, the precision digital pressure gauge used by the Aprilia team in the MotoGP Championship.

Tread Temperature Measurement

In addition to pressure, the key parameter for understanding and optimizing tire performance is tire operating temperature.

To optimize mechanical grip and keep tire deterioration under control, it is essential to keep the tread at the right temperature.

By measuring the temperature at the 3 different points of the tread (INSIDE-INSIDE-OUTSIDE) it is possible to get an idea of the tire footprint.

1 – Tread temperature measurement range

Tire temperatures in the racing sector have a very narrow range of use.

A deviation of as little as 5 °C from these ideal values compromises the performance of the compound. On average, it can be said that a tire temperature gauge should be optimized for a range of values between +70°C and +120°C.

2 – Temperature measurement methodology

It is possible to measure the tread temperature with two types of instruments:

Non-contact temperature measurement.

This category includes the infrared pyrometer, in which the temperature measurement takes place at a certain distance from the object to be measured.

Contact temperature measurement

This category includes the Pyrometer with needle probe, in which the temperature measurement takes place by contact between the instrument and the object to be measured.

3 – Air and asphalt temperature measurement

Two temperatures play an important role in motorsports: air temperature and track asphalt temperature.

Small increases or decreases of even a couple of degrees in track asphalt temperature have a big impact on tire set-up and management.

All temperature gauges in the HPM4 line have the ability to also measure and store air and asphalt temperature for each session.

Asphalt temperature measurement for optimal tire temperature management
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In the picture, the asphalt temperature measurement in the Superbike World Championship.

All models in the HiPreMa 4 line have a backlit display, date and time stored for each session, and air temperature In addition, they have the ability to store the COLD and HOT tire pressures and calculate their difference; thus you have an immediate assessment of the vehicle’s balance.

If you want to add a stopwatch to your digital pressure gauge, for example if you work in Karting or other motorsport categories, we have a version of the instrument with Digital Stopwatch function, with the possibility of timing up to 4 different drivers with their split times.

It is also important to measure the temperature of the tires.

Prisma Electronics has developed a multifunctional instrument that includes a digital pressure gauge and a tire pyrometer. Tire pressure and temperature can be measured and stored at 3 different points on the tread.

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