Liquid flow metering solutions come in many shapes and sizes and are designed to cater to different specifications. Read this post to find out more about industrial flow meters.
Industrial processes that use or produce liquid or gas substances require special flow meters to measure these substances' flow rates. Industrial liquid flow metering systems come in various types and sizes. Therefore, it is upon the user to determine which types of flow meters will work well for the particular industrial applications. They are vital measurement instruments because they provide accurate flow rate reading for safety and quality purposes.
Industries that can't do without flow meters include refineries, water treatment plants, pharmaceuticals, power generation, and many others. These critical measuring devices are also used to ensure that system efficiency is maintained and report whether the company is making profits or losses. Today, we explore the various types of flow meters popularly used in industries and their applications. This information will help you make a wise decision when buying flow meters for your plant or hydraulic system. Read on for more insights.
Industrial Liquid Flow Meters and their Uses
Fluids used or produced in industries have different densities and flow characteristics. Therefore, different types of flow meters are designed to cater to various types of industrial applications. Flow meters used in larger liquid processing sectors are grouped into categories based on their working principles. The four main categories of industrial liquid flow metering solutions are listed below:
- Velocity Flow Meters
- Differential Pressure Flow Meters
- Mass Flow Meters
- Positive Displacement Flow Meters
Before you decide which type of flow meter to use in your application, you need to know their working principles. Let's now look at the different examples of flow meters that fall under each of these categories.
Velocity Flow Meters
Velocity flow meters provide flow rate by working linearly and are usually connected directly to pipelines. Fittings and flanges are provided with units attached to the pipelines. There are various benefits that these units offer:
- High accuracy levels when measuring low-viscous fluids
- Reliable over a wide range of temperature and pressure
- All flow rates have a fixed pressure
The types of applications that these liquid flow metering devices commonly use include the power generation sector, wastewater treatment, and refinery industries. Examples of velocity flow meters are as follows:
- Calorimetric Flow Meters
- Turbine and Paddle Wheel
- Pitot Tube Flow Meters
- Doppler Ultrasonic Flow Meters
Differential Pressure Flow Meters
Differential pressure flow meters are ideal flow rate instruments used in the gas and oil industries. These categories of flow meters work by restricting a portion of flowing fluid. The changing fluid velocity causes the pressure in the restricted area to drop. These are ideal flow meter devices when quick response is needed or where moving parts are not necessary. Differential pressure flow meters are suitable tools for pure water measurement & testing, fuel output calculation, and special chemical production. When planning to use differential pressure flow meters, the user must analyze the pipe's size, the liquid condition, and the nurture of the flow. Some of the flow meters that fall under the DP category are:
- Elbow-Tap Meters
- Flow Tubes
- Target Meters
- Variable-Area Meters
- Venturi Tubes
- Flow Nozzles
Mass Flow Meters
Also called the true mass flow meters, these flow meters are suitable in applications that require high accuracy levels when measuring mass flow rate. You can use such flow meters to measure direct mass flow rates. They are mainly used where the viscosity of a fluid is different from its velocity. Some of the benefits you will get from mass flow meters include a high accuracy rate and reliability over a wide range of pressure and temperature. Popular types of mass flow meters are mentioned below:
- Thermal mass flowmeters
- Coriolis mass flowmeters
The Coriolis meters are proffered for measuring natural gas, wastewater treatment, and nuclear facilities.
Positive Displacement Flow Meters
PD or positive displacement flow meters are unique types because rather than converting flow measurement like other flow meters, they directly measure liquid flow volume passing inside the pipe. They are perfect instruments for measuring paint products, petrochemicals, and adhesive fluids. They are known to provide the needed precision when measuring liquid flow in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and energy sectors. The main benefits of using PD flow meters include low-cost operation, low-pressure drop, high accuracy levels, durability, and self-contained. Positive displacement flow meters are always accurate when measuring velocity, density, viscosity, temperature, or pressure. Their ease of use and high accuracy levels make them perfect instruments for domestic water measurement. Some of the industry-specific PD flow meters include:
- Nutating Disk Flow Meters
- Oval Gear
- Reciprocating Piston
- Rotary Vane Meters
These are the main types and categories of flow meters that are mostly used in industrial processes. If you are interested in buying any type of flow meter, ensure that the application matches the type of meter you want to buy. You also need to install it properly, ensure they are calibrated regularly, and do proper maintenance.