5 Different Types of Flow Meters

Assessing and gauging a flow is essential, most notably in industrial plants, where it can, for the most part, determine the loss of profit of a company. If you have no idea what a flow meter is, well, it is a device or tool used to measure whether mass or volumetric’s flow rate. Or the amount of fluids traversing through a pipeline.

What exactly is the purpose or objective of a flow meter? A flow meter is, more often than not, used in various types of applications to gauge the mass flow rate or volumetric flow rate. The particular application expounds the capacity and type of flow meter.

5 Different Types of Flow Meters
5 Different Types of Flow Meters

Liquids, gases, and fluids are, for the most part, measured in terms of mass flow rate and volumetric flow rate. Furthermore, do know that there are different types of flow meters available in the market today. Here are the five basic kinds of flow meters. Read on!

Open Channel Flow Meters

Gauging of liquid in open channels include flumes, weirs, and v-notch. These overflows, or dam-like structures, enable for a concentrated or limited free-flow of liquids based on the distinct size and shape of the structure. This kind of flow meter gives a reading of the flow rate to be computed.

Measuring the flow rate into a reservoir or dam is a generally known application where open channel flow meters come into play. A generally known way of open channel flow requires the use of hydraulic structure like flume or weir. Once these structures are installed, an open channel flow meter is then used to measure the depth of the water and to compute the flow rate.

Mass Flow Meters

This kind of flow meter is, for the most part, more effective and efficient in mass-related operations or activities. It is because they gauge or assess the force that ensues or outturns from the mass’s acceleration.

In particular, the force is gauged as the mass moving per unit of time, rather than the volume per unit of time. Moreover, mass flow meters include thermal dispersion meters and Coriolis mass meters.

The usual applications for a mass flow meter are associated with chemical processes. Aside from the gas and chemical industries, wastewater, mining, power, and pharmaceutical industries also use mass meters.

Velocity Flow Meters

As the name suggests, velocity flow meters gauge the velocity of the stream to compute the volumetric flow rate. These flow meters include ultrasonic flow meters, electromagnetic flow meters, vortex shedding flow meters, paddlewheel flow meters, and turbine flow meters.

The sonic flow meters use incredibly high-frequency sound waves to gauge the velocity of subatomic particles in the tile it takes for the waves to traverse through the fluid or in the process fluid. This kind of velocity flow meter is mostly used because they have incredibly low power consumption, corrosion resistance, low-pressure drop, and have a clear path.

On the other hand, electromagnetic flow meters are used to measure corrosive and difficult slurries and liquids with low-pressure drop parts. It is best used for wastewater applications, which are, for the most part, electrically conductive.

Vortex shedding flow meters make use of a natural incident that happens when a liquid pass through or around a bluff object. The advantage of using this velocity flow meter is their low sensitivity to changes in the process.

Paddlewheel flow meters are the, without a doubt, most cost-effective velocity flow meter. It is used for processes that involve water. Lastly, turbine flow meters are propeller blades that rotate within a pipeline as the fluid pass through it.

Positive Displacement Flow Meters

This classification of flow meters is used to gauge the volume pervaded with fluid, transport it ahead and fill it again, which computes the quantity of fluid delivered. In a nutshell, it calculates the actual flow of any kind of fluid, while other types of flow meters gauge some other parameter and turn the values into flow rate.

In Positive Displacement flow meters, the result is directly related to the, believe it or not, volume traversing through the flow meter. Positive Displacement flow meters include rotary vane type meters, nutating disk meters, oval gear meters, piston meters, etc. PD flow meters are famed for their accuracy and are generally used in the transfer of fluids such as gasoline and oils. You can contact any flow meter manufacturer or visit https://www.smartmeasurement.com to get a positive displacement flow meter easily.

Differential Pressure Flow Meters

This type of flow meter is used to measure the differential pressure across a hole or opening where the flow is related to the differential pressure’s square root. It is used in the gas or oil industries, as well as mining, HVAC, and chemical applications.


Measuring or calculating a flow is important, specifically in industrial plants, as it can determine the loss or profit of a business. And as important as measuring flow, it is also essential to educate yourself about the various types of flow meters. The five primary classifications are listed above.

pravesh Maurya

Hey all, I am Pravesh Maurya, as a blogger, writer and content marketer also started to influence marketing. – One place to expand your horizon! We welcome our visitors with a huge collection of informative blogs on trending topics. Be its Finance, Insurance, Tour & Travel, Real Estate, business, shopping and Make Money Online Tips, we have got you covered!