Designed for reliable service in extremely low ambient temperatures, WIKA’s POLARgauge® series and POLARvalve protective devices accurately monitor and control a process’s working pressure, differential pressure, and temperature in places where standard instruments fail.

Polar bears and brown bears are closely related yet ecologically distinct; after migrating to the far north, the former quickly adapted to thrive in very cold climates. Similarly, WIKA has modified a select collection of instruments to perfectly withstand the challenges of measuring pressure and temperature in the extreme polar conditions found in northern United States, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and China.

Effects of Cold on Measuring Instruments

Most pressure gauges, valves and protective devices, and dial thermometers can tolerate temperatures down to about −4°F (−20°C). Below that threshold, measuring instruments and accessories begin to malfunction for the following reasons:

  1. Viscous case filling
    Glycerin or silicone oil in liquid-filled industrial gauges prevents moisture from forming inside the case. This protection is important because moisture not only causes the internal movement to freeze, but it forms frost inside the window and makes the dial face almost impossible to read. However, even silicone oil – the case fill of choice for cold ambient temperatures – become more viscous around −40°F (−40°C). The result: slower response times and inaccurate readings. Eventually, the pointer stops moving.

  2. Brittle elastomer
    Standard gauges rely on elastomers to provide tight seals around components such as gaskets and O-rings. In pressure instruments, the vent valve and blowout back (a safety feature of solid-front gauges) are also made of elastic polymers. Although they can withstand low ambient temperatures, elastomers become brittle over time in extreme cold and lose their sealing properties. When this happens, the protective case fill begins to escape, leading condensation to form inside the instrument. 

POLARgauge® and POLARvalve Series, Instruments Designed to Withstand Extreme Cold

POLARgauge series of instruments and valves

The grande dame of the POLARgauge® series is the PG23LT, a Bourdon tube pressure gauge made expressly for extremely low ambient temperatures. Soon, our customers in the oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical industries demanded other measurement solutions for arctic conditions.

In response, WIKA engineers selected three robust gauges from our portfolio, and made the following modifications to make them withstand extremely cold ambient temperatures:

  • Case filling of low-temperature silicone oil M5, which remains liquid in temperatures as low as −130°F (−90°C).
  • Case design to minimize elastomers, such as using a stainless steel fill cap or vent valve.
  • Low-temperature elastomer in the few places that require sealing, such as between the case front and back. O-rings made of fluorosilicone rubber (FVMQ) remain elastic in ambient temperatures down to −100°F (−73°C).

We also have a line of protective devices – needle valves and manifolds – that are specifically designed for flawless performance in very low ambient temperatures. The coupling parts of these POLARvalves are made of a special polar-temperature PTFE, which allows it to tolerate a very wide temperature range: from −94°F (−70°C) to 410°F (210°C).

Meet the POLARgauge® and POLARvalve Series

Pressure gauge for extremely low ambient temperatures

PG23LT pressure gauge for ambient temperatures as low as −94°F (−70°C)

WIKA proudly presents the POLARgauge® and POLARvalve series of robust instrumentation and accessories for extremely cold ambient temperatures down to −94°F (−70°C).

Model PG23LT Bourdon tube pressure gauge

  • All stainless steel construction
  • IP ratings of IP66 and IP67
  • Pressure ranges from 0…10 psi to 0…15,000 psi
  • Solid front safety version available as an option

Model 733.31/733.51 differential pressure gauge

Model IV20 block-and-bleed valve

Models IV1x, IV2x, IV3x, IV5x, IVM with POLARvalve options

Model 55 bimetal thermometer

  • All stainless steel construction
  • Scale range from −100°F to 250°F
  • Stem from 2.5″ to 40″
  • IP ratings IP66 and IP67 optional available

Model 73 gas-actuated thermometer

  • All stainless steel construction
  • Scale range from −200˚C to 700˚C
  • Fast response time
  • Many options for the capillary, mounting, and process connection

WIKA USA, a Cool Part of Your Business

Arctic environments call for specialized industrial instruments. To accurately monitor temperature and pressure on pipelines, in pumping stations, and other outdoor applications – even when it gets too cold for polar bears – you can rely on WIKA’s POLARgauge® and POLARvalve products for extremely low temperatures.

Products mentioned in this blog:
PG23LT Bourdon tube pressure gauge
732.x1 differential pressure gauges
IV1x needle valve and multiport valve
IV2x block-and-bleed valves / 2-valve manifolds
IV3x and IV5x 3- and 5-valve manifolds
IVM monoflange valve
55 bimetal thermometer
75 gas-actuated thermometer


    Leave a Reply