Choosing the Type of Flow Meter You Should Use


To measure the fluid’s movement rate in terms of linearity, mass, and volume, flow meters are utilized. This type of technology has become a trend in the field of industry as more varied forms of gas and liquid are being measured through specialized measuring devices.

As a result, difficulties in the usage of such measuring technology emerged as the need for sufficient knowledge in the field of engineering to experience in choosing the appropriate type of measuring device.

To combat confusion on what type of measuring tool to use in a certain application, SmartMeasurement provides a wide array of industrial flow meters ranging from thermal measurement for gases to turbine measurement for liquid.

Gas Flow Meter

Natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas are just some of the fuel gases that are measured by their volume through this type of device.  Depending on the gas volumetric rate, the range of movement, and the type of gas being measured, a certain type of gas-monitoring recorder is to be used.

1. Thermal Flow Meter

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This type of device basically measures the movement of gas without the need for additional pressure, density monitoring, and temperature. It works in two separate methods.

The first method only needs to administer a certain amount of heat into the stream of gas and measuring its volumetric rate by observing the temperature change. The second method is by probing the constant temperature of the gas then measuring the required energy to do so. Having no moving parts, it requires low to no maintenance.

2. Vortex Flow Meter

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This type of universal measuring device can measure the rate of movement of gas, liquid, and steam. Not only is it cost-effective and reliable, but also it requires low maintenance as it doesn’t have any moving parts.

Vortex recorder utilizes technology to record the number of vortex pulses generated by a bluff body in the flow stream. To determine the flow rate, the number of vortices must be measured.

3. Differential Pressure Flow Meter

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21% of the world market for fluid-movement recorders consist of this type. It creates friction caused by restricting water in the pipe, resulting in a pressure drop across the flow meter.

This signifies that when the movement of fluid is increased, the pressure drop happens. A differential pressure recorder is effective in determining the volumetric rate of high-viscosity fluids.

Liquid Flow Meter

This category is used depending on the type of industry and the type of application. Common measurements like gallons per second, liters per minute, and bushels per hour are measured through specialized measuring devices for liquids.

1. Ultrasonic Flow Meter

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This subcategory only measures the rate of how the wastewater or dirty liquid moves. It uses a non-intrusive type of measurement as it can be clamped outside the pipes without any contact of the liquid. The ultrasonic recording technology only requires a low-pressure drop, chemical compatibility, and low maintenance.

2. Magnetic Flow Meter

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Also known as mag meters, these are ideal for wastewater or dirty liquid. A magnetic recorder consists of zero moving parts, rotating gears, or turbines.

It works by measuring the density of the produced magnetic field. The density is directly proportional to the volumetric movement of the given liquid. A high-precision mag recorder offers high accuracy, low cost, and little to no pressure loss.

3. Variable Area Flow Meter

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Due to its simplicity and versatility, this type can measure volumetric movement at a relatively constant pressure drop and measure of fluids and steam. Utilizing a float, piston, or vane, it can directly measure the volumetric movement by observing the change in position of one of the three through an applied pressure rate.

4. Positive Displacement Flow Meter

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Despite being one of the oldest-known measurement techniques,  it remains as the only measurement to directly determine the volume of the liquid that passes through it. This type also works through trapping pockets of liquid between a component that causing them to flow to specialized containers. The velocity of the rotation of the rotor then becomes the volumetric movement.

5. Turbine Flow Meter

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The rate of how the fluid move is measured through the angular velocity of the turbine rotor in this type of device. Measurement through turbines offers precise measurements of the flow rate of fluids with low-viscosity. It is cost-effective, simple to operate, and low maintenance requirements.


Economic growth, especially in industries that concern themselves with liquid and gas usage, is directly affected by how they accurately measure the fluids. Knowing the use and how to use such type of technology will help in choosing the appropriate measuring device to be used. Given their accurate and varied machineries, flow meters ensure advantages in the industrial and economic arena.