Thermal Mass Flow Meters: Introduction With Common Questions


Tools and instruments used to measure the flow rate of gas can be incredibly technical and hard to understand as a general person with no experience. A thermal mass flow meter is a good example. Here is a look at a few things to know about these meters.

What exactly are thermal mass flow meters?

By using a combination of convective and conductive gas flow rate principles, the mass flow meter provides a user with an immediate look at the rate of flow of gas through a pipeline or vessel. Thermal mass flow meters come in a lot of different styles, but they tend to have the same basic operating principles.

What industries rely on mass flow meters the most?

Primarily, the oil and gas industry relies on mass flow meters to measure gas and heat flow through different points or lines. However, these instruments are also important in the environmental industry as well. 

What features should you look for in a well-designed thermal mass flow meter?

The number one thing to look for in any mass flow meter is accuracy, which is something that can vary depending on the unit and how it is built. It is also always important to look for a meter that can stand up to use in whatever field it will be used in. For example, some meters work well in outdoor applications because they have a corrosion-resistant outer shell, and some are more suitable for indoor use. All flow meters should also have a clear and easy-to-read screen so you can get an accurate reading with just one look. A few other factors to look at include: 

  • Whether the unit needs a separate pressure transmitter or has one incorporated 
  • What the lowest flow per minute (FPM) is that can be detected 
  • If the unit has parts that move, as this can mean you will face part or bearing replacements down the road

When were mass flow meters actually invented?

The original mass flow meter came about in 1914. The inventor, L.V. King discovered that when a wire was heated and subsequently immersed in flowing fluid, you could determine the velocity of the flow. He referred to this as a hot wire anemometer. Even though the original instrument was an important discovery, it was not all that suitable for high-volume, industrial-grade use. The mass flow meter that is in use today was further developed in the 1960s and 1970s to be more suitable.

For more information, contact a thermal mass flow meter supplier.


20 May 2020

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