Flowmeters: What Type Will Work Best for Your Application?

From magnetic to variable-area to Coriolis, the options in volumetric-based flowmeters are plentiful. Yet there are distinct differences in functionality, accuracy, and certainly price. To select the best model for your specific use without overspending, here’s a guide:

Coriolis Snapshot: Extremely high accuracy and no pressure drop. The meters track mass flow and offer a very high turn-down ratio. Yet initial expense is high, clogging can occur, and meters are larger in overall size.

Coriolis meters offer true mass flow measurement through two designs: a single tube or two parallel tubes. They operate via
an oscillation which is induced in the tube(s) at a reference frequency. Based on Newton’s Second Law of Motion (F = m x a), the oscillation frequency will change with changes in mass flow rate.

Among the most accurate of technologies available, Coriolis flowmeters are suitable for a wide and growing range of gas and liquid applications. These devices provide multiparameter data on mass, density, and temperature. They are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, wastewater treatment facilities, nuclear facilities, natural gas measurement and custody transfer.

Differential Pressure Snapshot: Very high accuracy, multiple calibrations, outputs and size. At the same time, this model can be used with water or gases only, and cannot handle particulates. It also requires power.

Differential Pressure flowmeters measure changes in pressure to determine flow velocity. They feature a flow-restrictive orifice or laminar flow element that evaluates the pressure drop through the restriction. The pressure drop between upstream and downstream points is proportional to the rate of flow. This technology works well when no moving parts are desired, or when an ultrafast response time is required.

Differential Pressure meters are typically found in more industrial applications, such as measuring the output of fuels (for example, benzines or jet fuel), in specialty chemical manufacturing, simple water measurement testing, or on aquafarms. They are also used in labs to measure and control the flow of gases when mixing them or separating them through chromatography.


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