## How to Calculate the Rate With an Area Flow Meter

A variable area flow meter operates on mechanical principles. Their construction is simple yet durable, making them suitable for a variety of applications. The basic operational principle is that changes in flow rate can be observed and measured as the flow displaces a piston, float or vane until it reaches a steady state. As the liquid or gas passes thorough the housing tube, the movement of the measuring part indicates rate. This type of meter can be placed almost anywhere along the pipe and does not require complicated maintenance routines. It is also highly versatile and can be used to measure flow rates of liquids, gases and steam.

Generally, flow rate meters measure the volume or mass of gas or liquid that is displaced during a specific period of time, for example, liters per second. Density is an important factor in determining rate.

## Best Rotameter Designs

Rotameters, also referred to as variable area flow meters, are widely used to measure gas and liquid flow. The basic principle of rotameter design includes a float that rotates as it is pushed by the flow. The rotation speed of the float indicates the rate of the flow. With today’s new technology, the basic rotameter has evolved its capabilities to provide highly precise flow rate measurements and to withstand a variety of extreme temperature and pressure conditions.

## Even After a Century, Rotameters Still Measure Up

Numerous modern industries touching every aspect of day-to-day life utilize sophisticated liquid flow systems at some point during the manufacturing process. Rotameters, or variable area flow meters, are important tools used to measure the volume of flow for liquids. Though simple in design compared to other advanced metric equipment, rotameters are economical and accurate in measuring flow rates ranging from low to very high volume, and they are staples for quantifying production methods in many industries.

## Simple Design That Delivers Precise Results

The first rotameter was invented in 1908, and though the original design has been improved, the basic operation is still the same after more than a century. A rotameter consists of a tapered tube, usually made of clear glass, with a float, which is actually a shaped weight, inside. When fluid flows through the tube, the weight is pushed up by the force of the liquid’s movement, thereby allowing quick and easy assessment of the overall flow volume.

There are distinct advantages to using these effective meters. Rotameters require no electricity or external fuel, and they can be produced in large quantities using relatively inexpensive materials. Their low manufacturing cost makes them available for widespread use, and the materials used to make them are resistant to shocks and chemical reactions.

They can be installed quickly and easily, and their accuracy is dependable. Furthermore, their measuring scale is approximately linear, making readings simple to understand and quantify.

## Industries That Depend on Rotameters

Some vital industries that use rotameters include:

• Energy
• Aerospace and aviation
• Food
• Pharmaceutical
• Chemical and petrochemical
• Laboratory
• General

## Design Variations Improve Basic Operations

Modern design variations greatly expand the range of useful applications for rotameters. Their versatility, accuracy, dependability and cost-effectiveness make rotameters invaluable tools for measuring liquid flow rates in most facilities.

Some of the sophisticated modefications include:

• Durable seals and shields
• Heavy-gauge steel frames
• Customizable measuring scales
• Volume alarms

## Why Rotameters Enjoy Enduring Popularity

The bottom line is that rotameters are simple yet accurate and dependable tools for measuring the liquid flow rate during many manufacturing and research processes. Today’s dynamic industries require efficient yet cost-effective ways to produce high-quality products according to strict schedules. Rotameters make it possible for them to do just that.

They are affordable and simple for any company to install, and they can withstand thermal shocks, temperature changes and chemical reactions alike and still deliver accurate readings. They are dependable and deliver repeatable results without drawing on any external power source.

Rotameters may seem simplistic in today’s fast-paced, increasingly complex technological world, but it is their elegant simplicity that makes these meters indispensable. From basic models that provide accurate measurements of flow volume to innovative designs that include alarms and custom scales, rotameters work well for most industries, as they have for more than 100 years.

While the design has been somewhat modified to meet modern production needs, rotameters still operate on the same basic principles that allow them to provide fast, accurate measurements. They help manufacturers ensure that daily processes are safe and efficient today and in the years to come.

## We Will be at the Offshore Technology Conference!

Coming up this May 2 through May 5 is the Offshore Technology Conference. The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is for energy professionals to meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.

This is a great opportunity for you to come out and meet with manufacturers for the industry’s largest equipment exhibition. You’ll get to see the newest innovations, get the most technical information on designs and applications, and meet knowledgeable and experience professionals.

We will be located in space #2406 with Hydraulics International Inc. Join us in expanding science and technology!