Types of Flow Sensors & Flow Meters

flow sensors

Flow sensors are used in many ways. What defines the type of flow meter used is a certain application. Fluids, gases, and liquids are determined as volumetric flow rate or mass flow rate. All these are connected to the density of the material.

Flow meters are very important in industrial companies. They are very much needed in measuring the flow of liquids. Flow meters are found in different types. Their use will depend on a specific liquid and its construction. The material of the flow meter will also matter. The following are different types of meters.

Mass Flow Meters

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The energy will be determined as the mass moving per unit time instead of volume. These flow meters are mostly used to measure the force that came out when mass increases.

Flow meters that measure mass are Coriolis and thermal distribution meters. These flow meters are essential for measuring mass. Make sure to always use them. Mass flow meters are mostly used in chemical and gas industries. They are also used to measure mass in wastewater, power, mining, and medicine.

Open Channel Flow Meters

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The flow meters for measuring flows in open channels include;

· V-notch

· Weirs

· Fumes

Their overflow structures enable very little free flow of liquids. This free flow will depend on the special shape and size of the system. The open channel flow meter will enable you to read and calculate the rate at which liquid is flowing.

These flow meters are mostly used in liquids that flow freely. These are streams, rivers, irrigation channels, and wastewater.

Velocity Flow Meters

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Velocity flow meters are used to determine the velocity of the flow. These measurements are used to calculate the volumetric flow rate. Velocity flow meters are insensitive when the Reynold number of the liquid is more than a thousand.

These flow meters include;

Turbine flow meters 

In this flow, meter flow will be calculated when the turbine begins to spin and rotate. A magnetic pick-up will detect the speed at which the fluid is rotating.

Paddlewheel flowmeters 

These flow sensors are cheap to maintain, and their operating principle is easy as well. To operate them, you will need little effort. Paddlewheel flow meters can also work with different fluids; this is because they do not need liquids that conduct electricity.

Vortex shedding 

The speed of this flow meter is related directly to the liquid that is flowing. Vortex flow meters are mostly used to determine the flow of steam.

· Electromagnetic

Ultrasonic flow meters 

These flowmeters have waves capable of passing through liquids, solids, and gases. To measure the flow of liquids in ultrasonic flow meters, the time that the signal to reach the other side of the pipe will be calculated.

Positive Displacement Flow Meters

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These flow meters measure the volume that is filled with liquid. They then deliver it ahead and fill it again. Positive displacement flow meters are the only ones that measure the real flow of liquids. Other flow meters will only measure other diameters and then turn the values into flow rates.

In these positive displacement flow meters, the output is related one on one with the volume that passes through the flow meter.

Positive displacement flow meters are many types. These are;

· Piston meters

· Oval-gear meters

· Nutating disk meters

· Rotary type

· Rotary vane flowmeters

These flow meters are very accurate. They are mostly used in transferring oils and fluids. The oils transferred are gasoline and hydraulic fluids. They are used in homes for water and gases as well.

Differential Pressure Flow Meters

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These flow meters determine the difference in pressure over an opening where the flow of liquid is related directly to the square root of the produced pressure. Differential flow meters have primary and secondary parts as well.

These flow meters are mostly used in the oil and gas industries. They can also be used in water, beverages, medicine, mining, and also chemical applications. They are also popular types of flow meters because they are widely used.


Flow meters are essential in measuring flow rates. They are widely used in today’s world. Always make sure that the flow meter is installed well for accurate results. Coriolis flow meters and ultrasonic are the most popular ones.

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Naman Modi is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at proteusind.com, He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.

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