When it comes to choosing the right kind of flow meter to use in your application, you first need to understand how they work. Fluids come in many types with different characteristics. This means that they also require different kinds of flow meters that offer reliable and accurate readings.
Fluid measurement is essential when trying to establish the right quality when mixing up different chemicals used in industries. This is meant to ensure that safety precautions are observed.
Fluid flow measurement is an essential process in everyday life. The process is applied in many industrial applications, such as oil extraction in the petrochemical industry. Knowing the flow rate of blood in our bodies also depends on Flow measuring devices. Getting an accurate flow rate depends on fluid flow reading devices called flow meters.
Flow meters give their readings either in volume or mass flow rate. These vital industrial instruments are used in sectors such as wastewater treatment, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and many other industrial processes that use various kinds of fluids. In this article, we will explain to you the importance of flow measurement and the various types of flow measurement devices.
What is Fluids Measurement?
As the name implies, fluid measurement involves measuring the flow rate of gases and fluids in terms of volume or mass. It is the process of measuring fluid passing through pipelines or fluids stored in a vessel. Fluid measurement is essential in monitoring and controlling the flow rate in different applications and systems. Fluid flow measurement is applied to measure flow rate readings of versatile substances such as abrasive chemicals, light gases, and heavy oils. Flow rate reading plays a major role where gases and liquids need to be stored and administered regularly. Flowmeters provide the readings that allow various hydraulic systems and applications to function safely and efficiently. Profits and losses in a company are also determined by flow meter accuracy.
Now that you have a glimpse of what fluid measurement is, let’s now shift our focus to the various types of flow meters and how they are used in various industrial processes.
What Are Flow Meters and What are Their Various Types
In many applications, specific range requirements are vital in order to function properly and efficiently. Flow meters make this possible by facilitating flow measurement. Flow meters are grouped into five main categories:
1. Differential Pressure
- Orifice Plate
- Venturi Tube
- Pitot Tube
- Flow Tube
- Flow Nozzle
- Variable-Area (Rotameter)
- Elbow Tap
2. Positive Displacement
- Reciprocating Piston
- Rotary Vane
- Oval Gear
- Nutating Disk
- Vortex Shedding
- Ultrasonic, Transit-Time
- Ultrasonic, Doppler
5. Open Channel
Units Used in Fluids Measurement
Flow meters are specially designed devices used for measuring liquid and gas flow rates. The parameters and functions of flow meters determine the unit used. The type of material being measured and the applied system of measurement the various types of units used. Different units are used to various types of fluids in various conditions.
That said, here are the various units used to measure liquid and gas flow:
- Liquids – The unit used in measuring liquids is based on density; therefore, the liquid is measured in gallons per minute or liters per second.
- Steam – The unit used in steam flow measurement is based on weight, which is kilograms/ minute or Tones/ hour.
- Gases – Gases, on the other hand, are measured according to energy content – Joules/ hour and British Thermal Unit/ day
The measured state of substance being measured also affects the unit of measurement. Varying units could be used to measure steams, gases, and liquids. This is as a result of different factors that change the density of the substance being measured. The temperature and pressure of gas determine the density. Pressure, on the other hand, affects the volume of the measured liquid. This means that the units used in measuring will vary accordingly, based on the state of the fluid.
When shopping for flow meters, the diversity of applications needs to be observed if you are to find the right fluids measurement device. Proper product selection also depends on several external factors such as the user’s budget and the environmental conditions the flow meters are subjected to.
Other determinants include viscosity of media, media to be measured, performance expectation, material of the flow meter, and installation conditions. The efficiency of the entire system is greatly enhanced when correct flow meters are used. If you are not sure which flow meter works well with the system, the best thing to do is consult the manufacturer for advice. You will be advised on which flow meter will work best with your application or system.