What are the Types of Flow Meters

UF3300 Ultrasonic Flow MetersFlow Meter Types

There are several types of flow meters, each designed for specific applications. Some common types include:

  1. Electromagnetic Flow Meters (Magmeters): Measure flow by inducing a magnetic field and measuring the voltage produced as the fluid moves through it.
  2. Ultrasonic Flow Meters: Use ultrasonic waves to measure the velocity of a fluid.
  3. Coriolis Flow Meters: Measure the mass flow of a fluid by analysing the Coriolis effect, where a vibrating tube is affected by the fluid’s mass flow rate.
  4. Vortex Flow Meters: Measure fluid velocity by detecting the frequency of vortices shed by an obstruction in the flow.
  5. Positive Displacement Flow Meters: Measure fluid flow by trapping and displacing known volumes.
  6. Turbine Flow Meters: Measure flow by the rotational speed of a turbine placed in the fluid stream.
  7. Differential Pressure (DP) Flow Meters: Measure the pressure drop across a constriction in the flow path.
  8. Rotameters (Variable Area Flow Meters): Use a floating element, like a ball or a cone, to indicate the flow rate based on the position in a tapered tube.
  9. Thermal Mass Flow Meters: Measure the mass flow rate of a fluid by using the cooling effect of the fluid on a heated sensor.
  10. Paddlewheel Flow Meters: Use a rotating paddlewheel to measure the velocity of a fluid.

The choice of flow meter depends on factors such as the type of fluid, flow rate, accuracy requirements, and the specific application.

What Flow Meters do Micronics Supply?

Micronics are known for our ultrasonic flow measurement solutions. We specialise in non-invasive or clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters, which means the sensors do not come into direct contact with the fluid. Instead, they attach externally to the pipe, making installation and maintenance simpler. These types of flow meters are commonly used in various industries for measuring the flow of liquids, including water and other fluids.

How to Choose the Right Type of Flow Meter

To choose the right type of flow meter, consider fluid characteristics (e.g. temperature, viscosity), required accuracy levels, the installation environment (such as space constraints and the presence of hazardous materials), and budget constraints. We at Micronics specialise in ultrasonic flow meters, ideal for non-invasive measurements and versatile usage across various fluids and applications.


Flow Meter Type Principle of Operation Contact with Fluid Applications Advantages Disadvantages
Electromagnetic Flow Meters Magnetic induction No Water, wastewater, conductive liquids No moving parts, high accuracy Expensive, limited use with non-conductive fluids
Ultrasonic Flow Meters Ultrasonic waves No Water, wastewater, various liquids Non-invasive, suitable for clean liquids Accuracy affected by air bubbles or suspended solids
Coriolis Flow Meters Coriolis effect Yes Liquid and gas mass flow measurement High accuracy, measures mass flow directly Expensive, sensitive to installation conditions
Vortex Flow Meters Vortex shedding Yes Steam, gases, liquids No moving parts, suitable for high-pressure flows Limited accuracy at low flow rates
Positive Displacement Flow Meters Trapping and displacing volumes Yes Viscous fluids, oil, chemicals High accuracy, suitable for a wide range of fluids Moving parts can wear over time
Turbine Flow Meters Rotational speed of a turbine Yes Clean liquids, gases Wide range of flow rates, compact design Susceptible to wear and corrosion
Differential Pressure (DP) Flow Meters Pressure drop across constriction Yes Various fluids Wide range of applications, cost-effective Prone to clogging, requires careful installation
Rotameters (Variable Area Flow Meters) Floating element position Yes Gases, liquids Simple design, visual indication of flow Limited accuracy, may not be suitable for high-pressure applications
Thermal Mass Flow Meters Cooling effect on a heated sensor Yes Gases, air, and low-flow applications Wide turndown ratio, good for low flow rates Limited accuracy in varying temperature conditions
Paddlewheel Flow Meters Rotating paddlewheel Yes Clean liquids, water, chemicals Inexpensive, suitable for large pipe sizes Limited accuracy, may be affected by impurities

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