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June 1, 2014

A new spin on flow metering

The new FLOWave flowmeter uses a new technology based on surface acoustic waves (SAW). One of the outstanding features of SAW for inline flow measurement of liquids is that it operates without any components or constrictions inside the measuring tube. The interior surface can be manufactured with the same surface finish applied to the rest of the pipeline. In terms of hygiene, cleaning and flow conditions, there are absolutely no differences compared to any other straight piece of pipe. There is no pressure drop and no effects of the fluid on sensor elements. Maintenance is minimal — if at all, says the manufacturer. In addition to volume flow, temperature and density can be measured, too. Based on this data, the mass flowrate is calculated. The new flowmeter principle works even with stagnant liquids, so results are available even with the smallest flow volumes. The high excitation frequency of 1.5 MHz avoids disturbances due to inherent vibration in the plant. Magnetic and electrical effects have no influence on measurements. This technology does not depend on the conductivity of the fluid, which significantly expands its scope of application. SAW is the only flowmeter technology that can distinguish between laminar and turbulent flows, says the company. — Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, Ingelfingen, Germany

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