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Ultrasonic Flow Meters

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Ultrasonic flow meters use a different method for measuring the flow rate of fluids. Most flow meters have contact with fluids to determine the flow rate. They have impellers, gears, and variety of mechanized methods for measuring pressure, flow, and temperature. As the name of the meter implies, ultrasonic flow meters use acoustic vibrations to measure the rate of a liquid’s flow. Read More…

Ultrasonic Flow Meters Ultrasonic flow meters use a different method for measuring the flow rate of fluids. Most flow meters have contact with fluids to determine the flow rate. They have impellers, gears, and variety of mechanized methods for measuring pressure, flow, and temperature. As the name of the meter implies, ultrasonic flow meters use acoustic vibrations to measure the rate of a liquid’s flow.
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Leading Manufacturers

West Valley City, UT  |  800-316-5342

Established in 1990, HydraCheck is the market leader in developing, manufacturing, and selling engineered flow meters. Well known for their modular design, high performance and superior quality, HydraCheck boasts a full line of flow meters and transmitters as well as accessories such as displays, counters and indicators to ensure every customer receives the most suitable flow meter for any application.

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HydraCheck $$$

Monterey, CA  |  831-373-0200

Sierra manufacturers high performance mass flow meters and controllers for nearly any gas, liquid or steam. Customers choose Sierra when they need an accurate and repeatable flow measurement, short delivery lead times, expert flow advice and long term support. When it matters, choose Sierra. Visit www.sierrainstruments.com.

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Sierra Instruments $$$

Huntington Beach, CA  |  714-893-8529

Blue-White Industries specializes in providing high-quality flowmeters, water flow meters, air flowmeters and ultrasonic flow meters. Our extensive line of flowmeters is sure to meet any requirement you may have. We are committed to ensuring that our customers succeed with our products. For more information, please call or visit our website today!

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Blue-White Industries, Ltd. $$$

Evanston, IL  |  800-553-0550

Our flow meters are made from the highest quality materials. We work hard to ensure we use the best materials because we know how important flow regulation is for safety and the effectiveness of your business processes. We work hard to exceed all regulations and requirements for flow meter design, so you never have to worry about the compliance of your supplies. Contact us for more info!

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ERDCO Engineering Corporation $$$

Sturtevant, WI  |  262-886-2695

SIKA is a developer and manufacturer of flow control products and a wide variety of other measuring and monitoring systems. Our inventory includes flow sensors, flow meters, flow switches, and many more. We know that flow solutions aren't one-size-fits-all, which is why we provide consultation and flow management solutions that are individualized and customized to your requirements. When you choose SIKA, you will receive efficient, durable products and customer service tailored to your needs.

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SIKA USA $$$
placeholder image HydraCheck Sierra Instruments Blue-White Industries, Ltd. ERDCO Engineering Corporation SIKA USA

What is an Ultrasonic Flow Meter?

The popularity of ultrasonic flow meters is due to how versatile they are by comparison to other methods. Unlike other flow meters, the technology of this form of flow meter does not require any adjustment in the pipes where the flow is being measured. They simply clamp on to the pipe in two positions using transducers that use ultrasonic technology to measure the flow rate.

Readings for an ultrasonic flow meter are taken by a signal being sent from one transducer to the other. When the signal moves with the flow, it moves faster. When it is against the flow, the signal moves slower. The signal measures the flow profile across the flow and not a single point, which results in a more accurate and precise reading.

The calculation of fluid velocity in the liquid flow is a matter of using the two readings from the up and downstream readings. The two speed readings produced by the signal going downstream and the signal going upstream are used to determine the velocity of the flow. The transducer that produces the signal uses a high frequency oscillator in the transmitter.

How an Ultrasonic Flow Meter is Attached

Transducers for ultrasonic flow meters can be clamped on the pipe in three ways, which are Z, V, and W paths. With the Z path or one traverse connection, one transducer is placed above the pipe and other is below the pipe. This allows for the signal between the transducers to be the strongest and provide more accurate readings. The Z path method is normally used with larger pipes.

For the V path method, the transducers are mounted on the same side of the pipe. Instead of the signal passing directly between the transducers, the signal is bounced off the inside of the pipe and up to the second transducer. This type of positioning is used since it is easier to install.

The W path method is used for smaller sized pipes. The signal from one transducer to the other bounces off the bottom of the pipe twice and off the top of the pipe once. The signal is sent from the upstream transducer and bounces off the bottom of the pipe. It then bounces up to the top of the pipe, down to the bottom of the pipe, and up to the transducer.

Types of Ultrasonic Flow Meters

There are two different ways that ultrasonic flow meters measure the flow rate, which are transit time and Doppler. Though there is a variation between the methods, both types have the distinct feature of being non-intrusive and not requiring any restructuring of the pipe. They clamp on to the pipe to take flow measurements.

As the name implies, the Doppler method uses the Doppler Effect, which states that the frequencies of sound waves are dependent on the motion of the source in relation to the source of the sound. Doppler ultrasonic flow meters read the change in the frequency of the ultrasonic signal in proportion to the rate of the flow when it is reflected by suspended particles or gas bubbles.

The transit time form of ultrasonic flow meter measures the time difference between when the signal is sent from the first transducer and when it is received by the second one. A comparison is made between when the sound is sent downstream and to when it is sent upstream. When there isn’t any flow, the time in both directions is the same. When a flow is present, it moves faster going downstream then when going upstream.

Benefits for Using a Ultrasonic Flow Meter

There are significant benefits to using an ultrasonic flow meter. Ultrasonic technology does not require any pipe cutting to install the meter. It attaches to the outside of the pipe to provide immediate readings. Since there isn’t any need for cutting pipes or shutting down the system, ultrasonic meters are easy and quick to install. When they are needed in a new location, they can be easily disconnected.

Ultrasonic Flow Meter Informational Video