Types of Flow Meters and Their Specific Applications

5 min read

Flow meters are essential to industries as they help to give precise measurements of liquids and gases in a piping system. There are various types of flow meters but the most commonly used are two.

  1. Electromagnetic flow meters

Electromagnetic flow meters are among the most accurate flow meters in industrial applications. They can achieve high accuracies of up to 0.2% at both low and high volume flow rates. They use a noninvasive sensing technique which helps maintain minimal degradation of the sensing element with time. Electromagnetic flow meters can be used to measure clean, dirty, corrosive erosive and viscous liquids. However, they are not suitable for measuring hydrocarbon and gas flow. These meters can also measure liquid flow from both sides of the piping system: either upstream or downstream.

Industrial application

Electromagnetic flow meters are useful in the food industries. These industries appreciate precision and accuracy because they directly affect profit margins. It is therefore important that flow is accurately controlled when filling bottles and cans. Oil refineries and vending machines require precise measurements of temperature and pressure to maintain proper functioning of the process.

Additionally, electromagnetic flow meters can be used in monitoring and transfer of raw and refined petroleum from one tank to another. They are also useful in pharmaceuticals where they help fill doses as this requires great precision. Further applications for flow meters follow.

  1. Ultrasonic flow meters

Ultrasonic flow meters use sound waves to measure the velocity of a liquid. They also use a noninvasive measurement technique that protects the sensing element. This makes them reliable as they are not likely to jam. However, ultrasonic flow meters cannot be used with dirty or contaminated liquids.

Ultrasonic flow meters are a good small size and their cost is considerably low. They have an accuracy of about 0.5% which is quite high. They are therefore used for custody transfer of expensive products such as natural gas and petroleum products.

They can handle high pressures and extreme temperatures and are consistent. They are highly reliable and self-diagnosing. Ultrasonic flow meters will still function when clamped on the pipe. It does not have to be penetrated. Portable ultrasonic flow meters are used to make temporary measurements, especially where piping cannot be disturbed. The use of ultrasonic flow meters by industry is highly effective and reliable.

Industrial application

This technology is used in oil and gas industries. Clamp-one especially useful in power and nuclear industries where you should not interfere with piping. They do not obstruct flow, which makes them suitable for sanitary liquids. The chemical industry with corrosive and abrasive liquids also applies this technology.

They are used to measure water and wastewater. Food and beverage, as well as pharmaceuticals, use these flow meters. Metals and mining also use this ultrasonic technology.

They say that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It is in every industry’s best interest to be able to monitor flow and do it accurately. Flow meters are critical in the everyday running of many industries. In most cases, their revenue significantly depends on flow meters.

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