A flow meter is a tool you use to gauge the volume, gas, or mass of a fluid. The flow meters are vital since they ensure you reduce any cases of losses in various industries. Also, they reduce dangers to humans and hazards to the environment. Keep yourself informed about the need for accurate flow readings in various industries. 

There are various designs of flow sensors, but the working law is the same. Each meter has a unique trait and uses. In this guide, you will learn about various types of flow meters and how to use them. Take a sip of your juice as you read the article.

Positive Displacement Flow Meter

A PD gets flow gauging by counting the number of isolated volumes. It works by holding a known volume of fluid and releasing it at regular intervals. It has high accuracy and does not need a power supply to run. Every device has its distinct way of measuring liquid volumes in a specific number of cycles. One of the main benefits of this meter is that it is easy to install. Since the PD flow meter has moving parts, you will need to do regular servicing.

Velocity Flow Meter

flow meters- Different Types & Applications of Flow Meters

The velocity flow sensor gauges the speed of a fluid to get the volumetric rate of liquid flow. Some of this meter’s main types include the ultrasonic meter, turbine meter, and vortex meter. Velocity sensors are less sensitive if the internal liquid motion is higher. Thus, it is wise to avoid these meters if the speed of your fluid is low. 

Open Channel Flow Meter


These devices gauge the flow of a liquid that is open to the environment at the end in the liquid flow gauging lane. Usually, the fluid can be fully open to the air or enclosed in a partly filled liquid pipe. These meters are only useful if you need an estimate of the flow rate. Avoid these types of meters if you require high accuracy. 

Optical Flow Meter


Optical flow sensors are new versions made to gauge the liquid’s speed in a tube. They use two laser rays to detect the light spread bits carried by the moving fluid. The accuracy is very high. Hence, the meters are very reliable.

Mass Flow Meter


Mass sensors give a rated flow rate to the user by gauging a substance’s volume moving in them. They are ideal where mass is the main focus in a firm, such as the chemical sector. Mass flow sensors gauge the force that leads to the dispatch of the mass. The pressure is usually calculated as a mass moving per unit of time rather than the volume per unit. There is a wide range of mass flow sensor types. Those designs include the thermal dispersion meters, Coriolis mass flow sensor, to cite but a few.

Flow Sensor’s Applications

Flow sensor devices have many uses in the industry. Some of the uses of flow sensors include:

  • Polymer additives
  • Wastewater treatment facilities
  • Printing ink
  • Mining
  • Power sectors
  • Lubricating oils
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical processes
  • Gas firms

Every flow meter is made to fit any of the above applications. However, you can apply some flow meters in more than one industry above. Check with your supplier on the flowmeter that can match your fluid properties. The most important thing is to calibrate your flow meter to your fluid properties. That way, you will get the best and accurate readings from the flow meter.

Final Thoughts

Most flow meters are ideal for gauging flow in open channels like a stream. Based on a meter, you can find a meter that majors on gases while others focus on liquids. As you have seen above, every device comes with unique use and features. Choose wisely the meter of your choice to avoid future regrets and costs. If you are unsure of the uses and fluid conditions, you can check with your supplier for clarification.