Measuring the flow of liquid or gas has been a part of our lives, but we never pay too much attention to it. For example, your gas company measures the flow of gas into your kitchen and sends you a bill for it. Similarly your water company measures how much water is flowing into your home and charges you for it. Your car has a flow meter that measures the quantum of petrol or gasoline being burnt by your car. There are many more such examples of flow measurements in our lives.
Unlike solids that have a single unit of measurement – weight – liquids and gas have two units – volume and mass. Either of these can be used to measure the quantum of the material.
In fluid dynamics and hydrometry, volumetric flow is also known as volume flow rate, rate of fluid flow, or, volume velocity. It measures the volume of fluid that passes per unit time. It’s units of measurement can be cubic meters per second, cubic meters per minute, cubic feet per second, or gallons per minute. If the mass flow rate is a known factor, volumetric flow can be calculated using mass flow rate and density. If not, it is calculated using flow velocity and cross sectional vector area or surface.
In physics and engineering, mass flow rate measures the mass of a substance that passes per unit of time. In general the unit is kilogram per second. It is also referred to as slug per second or pounds per second. Mass flow rate is calculated using volume flow rate, mass density of the material, flow velocity, cross sectional vector area, and mass flux.
A flow meter is utilized to measure flow rate which refers to the amount of liquid or gas that moves through a pipe. The applications of flow measurement are diverse and each industry has its own requirements and constraints. Depending on the industry where a flow meter is used, it may be referred to as flow indicator, flow gauge, liquid meter, etc. However, their function is the same – to measure the rate of flow. The right choice of a device for flow measurement depends on many factors including measurement accuracy and thermodynamic conditions.
Flow meters (that measure liquid, gas and steam) are very important in the process industry as they are used to determine the quantum of products transacted.
Flow Measurement is the process of measuring fluid flow in your plant. You can measure flow through a variety of different devices such as Coriolis, differential pressure, vortex, magnetic, ultrasonic, turbine and positive displacement meters.
Semiconductor Fab Industry
Engineers rely on flow meters to meet manufacturing requirements and reduce operating expenses. In the semiconductor laboratory, flow meters are used to measure gasses and liquids to run experiments and calibrate or monitor laboratory equipment. Flow meters are also used in the semiconductor industry to monitor the cooling process that is critical for that industry.
In the automotive industry, flow meters are utilized to determine the flow rate of a variety of fluids such as engine coolant, engine oil, wiper fluid and automatic transmission fluid. Automotive flow meters also monitor and control consumption and inventory of other kinds of fluid that are used such as wiper fluid, brake fluid, and anti-freeze applications.