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What Is an Ultrasonic Flow Meter?

Jean Marie Asta
Jean Marie Asta

An ultrasonic flow meter is a way to measure the velocity of a fluid in a tube using sound waves. These meters are useful in situations where the measurement must be done in a way that doesn't physically disrupt the flow of fluid in the tube. They are well-suited for measuring the flow of a substance that might damage other types of flow meters due to its extreme temperature or corrosive properties. This device also allows for more precise measurements than other available flow meters do.

The way an ultrasonic flow meter works is by sending sound waves through a pipe system. Next, it measures the amount of time it takes them to reflect back to the sender. The flow meter is then able to interpret the amount of time that has passed from the transmission of the sound to receiving the echo of the sound to determine the velocity of the fluid moving inside of the pipes.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Ultrasonic flow meters are favored because of their precision and low maintenance. Most other flow meters by their construction need to interfere with the flow in order to get a reading. They may insert a measuring tool into the pipe, or they may create a slight blockage of the flow in order to gain a reading. This slight blockage could create an unwanted change in the velocity within the tube.

There are a number of other advantages of the ultrasonic flow meter over other flow meters. Traditional flow meters, such as the vertical flow meter, are large and require exact placement in order to give a reading. In order for the markings to be readable, these flow meters need to be cleaned and/or replaced on a more frequent basis than an ultrasonic flow meter.

Ultrasonic technology is commonly used in other applications to create measurements and images. It is incredibly accurate and its effect on the subject being studied is minimal enough to be used in medical procedures. Increased demand for ultrasonic technology, including the kind used in an ultrasonic flow meter, means that it is becoming more affordable. The advantages these devices offer over other flow meters suggest that they will eventually replace the other models. An ultrasonic flow meter can be purchased online, and many manufacturers offer installation service with purchase.

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