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What is a Flowmeter? A Flowmeter essentially as the name suggests is a device or an instrument that is used to measure the flow rate of a liquid or a gas. The flowmeter gives the flow rate usually in one of the two measurement values - volumetric flow or mass flow. A Flowmeter essentially as the name suggests is a device or an instrument that is used to measure the flow rate of a liquid or a gas. This measurement can be based on the linear, nonlinear, mass or volumetric flow of the liquid or gas passing usually through a pipe. The flowmeter gives the flow rate usually in one of the two measurement values - volumetric flow or mass flow. If the measurement is done in the volumetric flow perspective, the results essentially are given in litres, gallons or cubic inches per second. In case of the measurements being done in the mass flow perspective, the results are given in kilograms or pounds per second. Both the above ways of measurement further depend on the type of industry or geographical location of their use. In case of the Mass Flowmeters, the flow rate is calculated by measuring the physical mass or weight of the liquid or gas flowing through the system, whereas in case of the Volume Flowmeters, the flow rate is calculated by measuring the physical volume of the liquid or gas flowing through the system. Flowmeters are broadly classified into following categories: 1. Mechanical Flowmeters - These flowmeters measure the flow rate based on the

movement of a set of helical blades or paddles or impellers. 2. Pressure Flowmeters - These flowmeters calculate the flow rate based on the pressure

differentials measured using pilot tubes, orifice plates and venturis. 3. Optical Flowmeters - These flowmeters measure dispersed light for calculation of the

flow rate by utilizing lasers and photo detectors. 4. Thermal Flowmeters - These flowmeters extrapolate flow rate values based on pre-

determined knowledge of the material characteristics in tandem with calculations of static and flowing temperature differentials using a combination of heater elements and temperature sensors. Flow Meters find their place in the manufacturing industry especially as a control mechanism, but are also widely used in the domestic sector especially for measuring consumption of gas or


water for billing. The choice of which type of flow meter is best for you would essentially depend on the purpose of usage of the flowmeter.


What is a flowmeter?