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How to Pick and Buy a Digital Flow Meter for Oil and Other Liquids

Flow meters are technological instruments used to measure the flow of liquids and gases in pipes, whether in linear or non-linear, mass or volumetric readings. The digital flow meter has many applications across different industries, from mining, to marine, water management, food processing, power and energy conservation, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, building services and construction, petrochemicals, to even the aerospace industry.

Today’s flow meters come in various forms and sizes, with many practical and highly effective features that have essentially made the instrument more accurate and reliable.

Selecting a Suitable Digital Flow Meter for Oil and Other Liquids

One of the most crucial elements you need to consider when buying either a handheld or fixed installation flow meter is the specific purpose or the application of the instrument. The installation process has to be considered as well, and whether or not you want a handheld/portable device for mobility or just a conventional flow meter that can be installed in a specific area.

There are varying reasons why one will go for the handheld and why the other will opt for the fixed installation flow meter. If you work as an HVAC specialist, for example, then you might prefer the handheld device. But, if you run a food processing business, then a fixed installation flow meter would be a more practical choice.

Here are some of the elements you need to think about, in addition to the installation process:

  • What type of fluid do you want to measure? Does it have the same consistency as slurry or does it flow like water?
  • What is the viscosity or thickness of the fluid? Is it filled with fine particles or is it clean with minimal particulates?
  • You should also consider the size of the pipe the liquid flows through, as well as the type of material the pipe is made from.
  • What kind of reading output are you interested in?
  • What type of information do you want to obtain from the instrument; flow rate, total volume, or both?
  • For wetted flow meters, you need to consider the chemical compatibility of the instrument’s parts and the liquid being measured.
  • Liquid flow rate, volume, and pressure must also be considered.

The Different Types of Flow Meters Available in the Market

By looking at those different considerations, you get an idea of how diverse the flow meter industry is, not just in the design, application, and materials used to produce the instrument, but in the technology that goes in the device as well. Here are some of the common flow meter types found in the market, regardless of whether they’re designed to measure gas, liquid, or some other substance:

  • Ultrasonic flow meters
  • Magnetic flow meters
  • Spring and piston meters
  • Paddle wheel sensors
  • Positive displacement (PD) flow meters
  • Mass gas flow meters
  • Turbine flow meters
  • Vortex flow meters
  • Variable are flow meters

When buying a suitable flow meter, you need to make sure it has all the specific requirements that you’re looking for and the features that you need for your specific needs.