Flow Sensors: What They Are & Types of Flow Sensors


Flow sensors are devices used to monitor the flow of liquids. Flow measuring is essential in many industries. It helps to operate the machines well and makes the performance to be effective. These meters can also be used to detect leakages in pipes.
Liquid flow metering is necessary because it blends with both velocity and displacement meters. Flow meters measure the volume of liquids in either cubic or inches—the measurement changes depending on its specification. Every flow measurement device operates differently. To get accurate measurements, you should always go for the right meter.

Types of Flow sensors

The types of flow sensors fall into three different categories. These are;

· positive displacement flow meters
· mass flow sensors
· velocity flow sensors

Positive Displacement Flow Sensors

These meters are the most common in all meters. Positive displacement flow meters measure fluids that pass through the pipe directly. The other types of flow sensors do not measure the flow of liquids directly. But instead, they determine the flow in different parameters such as pressure. They then use the information to determine the flow rate.

In positive displacement, the velocity is directly related to the flow rate.

These flowmeters have high accuracy levels and measure fluids that have high viscosity. Their maintenance cost is low and can give a mechanical or electronic connection. You can use positive displacement in industries that measure oil, gasoline, hydraulic fluids, and in homes.

Mass Flow Sensors

Mass flow sensors are mostly used in automatic applications. They are used to determine the mass of air entering the system’s engine. The sensor output is entered into the electronic engine control system. It is then used to determine the fuel amount put into the machine to get an excellent fuel-air mixture for ignition. Coriolis is popularly used to measure the mass of liquids. These meters use the principle of fluid passing over a rotating pipe through inertia.
The tube will then rotate in a direction that is directly related to the flow rate of liquids. The fluid breaks and flows through two lines in the meter that are moved by a drive coil. This drive coil makes the two tubes rotate in opposite directions. When the boxes turn, the electronic sensors that are fixed in the pipes change the movement of the lines into the sine wave.
The speed of these sine waves can be used to determine the density of the liquids in the pipe. The fluid density is inversely related to the square of the speed. Liquids that have higher density will have a lower speed of oscillation. If you have the mass flow rate and the thickness of the fluid, you will quickly determine the volumetric flow rate.

Velocity Flow Sensors

Velocity flow sensors get the flow rate by measuring the speed of the fluid through a sensor. These meters come in different types, which are;

· mechanical, which includes paddlewheel, turbine, and propeller flow meters.
· Electromagnetic flowmeters
· Ultrasonic flowmeters

Mechanical flow sensors have a paddle wheel fixed in the pipe and is directly related to the flow channel. When a sensor detects the fluid flow, the paddlewheel moves, and the movement, the rotation will be converted into the sensor’s output signal.
The signal will be programmed and to give a volume output per unit time. The paddlewheel flow sensors are cheap to buy, and their working principle is straightforward. They are also easily installed and operated. You can use paddlewheel flow sensors in many types of liquids. It is because this meter does not depend on conductive liquids.

The disadvantage of paddlewheel flow sensors is that they can wear. They wear them because they have moving parts. Also, make sure you use them on clean liquids because dirty liquids can destroy the meter. If the meter is damaged, its accuracy will be affected. Also, make sure you maintain the meter so that you can get consistently accurate results.

Electromagnetic flowmeters only work on fluids that are conductive. These meters do not induce a pressure drop in the pipe. You can use these meters on fluids that are contaminated to a certain level. Electromagnetic flow sensors cannot measure the flow of liquids such as oil, steam, or gas because they are non-conductive.
Ultrasonic flow sensors measure the flow of liquids using two different approaches. They can be used with both conductive and non-conductive liquids. These meters can also handle high temperatures and pressures.
Dirty fluids can be challenging to measure with these flow meters. Ultrasonic flow meters are also hard to install, and so you should always seek advice. Make sure that the transducer is in good contact with the pipe for easy readings.


flow sensor will always help you to measure the flow of liquids. Always make sure you ask the suppliers to give you advice on the right meter. Also, make sure you use each meter where it should be applied. If you fail to do that, the result will automatically be below. Liquid flow metering will help you to avoid unnecessary costs also.


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