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coriolis meters how they work

by:Sincerity Group     2023-11-29

Coriolis Meters: How They Work


Innovations in flow measurement technology have greatly advanced over the years, leading to the development of Coriolis meters. These incredible instruments have revolutionized the way we measure and monitor fluid flow rates in various industrial applications. In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of Coriolis meters, exploring their principles, components, advantages, and applications.

I. Understanding Coriolis Meters

Coriolis meters, also known as Coriolis mass flow meters, are devices used to measure the mass flow rate of liquids or gases passing through a pipe. They operate based on the principle of the Coriolis effect, which is the apparent deflection of moving objects caused by the rotation of the Earth. By harnessing this effect, Coriolis meters can accurately measure flow rates with high precision.

II. How Do Coriolis Meters Work?

At the core of a Coriolis meter lies a U-shaped tube that acts as the sensing element. The fluid to be measured flows through this tube, causing it to vibrate at a specific resonant frequency. To better comprehend the working principle, let's break it down into four key steps:

1. Fluid Entry: The fluid enters the meter and is divided into two separate flow paths within the U-shaped tube. Each path corresponds to one side of the U-tube.

2. Tube Vibration: As the fluid flows through the tube, a drive coil induces oscillations in the tube. This causes the U-shaped tube to vibrate in an oscillatory motion perpendicular to the flow direction.

3. Coriolis Effect: When the fluid moves through the oscillating tube, it experiences an inertial force due to the Coriolis effect. The magnitude of this force is proportional to the mass flow rate.

4. Phase Shift Detection: Sensors located at both ends of the U-tube detect the phase shift between the oscillations of the two flow paths. This phase shift is directly related to the mass flow rate, allowing for accurate measurement.

III. Components of Coriolis Meters

Coriolis meters consist of several vital components that work together to ensure accurate and reliable measurements. Some of the key components include:

1. U-shaped Tube: As mentioned earlier, the U-shaped tube is the primary sensing element. It provides the necessary oscillations and experiences the Coriolis effect.

2. Drive Coil: The drive coil generates the mechanical vibrations in the U-tube, maintaining its resonant frequency.

3. Sensors: Sensors placed at both ends of the U-shaped tube detect the phase shift caused by the Coriolis effect. These sensors are responsible for converting the mechanical vibration into an electrical signal.

4. Transmitter: The transmitter receives the electrical signals from the sensors and processes them to determine the mass flow rate. It also sends the measurement data to a display or control system.

5. Control Unit: The control unit integrates with the transmitter to regulate various parameters, such as temperature and pressure, ensuring accurate measurements.

IV. Advantages of Coriolis Meters

Coriolis meters offer numerous advantages over traditional flow measurement techniques. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Accurate Measurements: Coriolis meters offer extremely high accuracy, capable of measuring flow rates with an error margin as low as 0.1%. This accuracy remains consistent across a wide range of flow rates, fluids, and operating conditions.

2. Mass Flow Rate Measurement: Unlike other flow measurement techniques that rely on volumetric measurements, Coriolis meters directly measure the mass flow rate. This makes them less susceptible to variations in temperature, pressure, and gas composition.

3. Minimal Pressure Drop: Coriolis meters have low-pressure drop characteristics, meaning they don't significantly hinder the flow of the fluid through the measurement system. This ensures efficient operation and minimal energy losses.

4. Wide Fluid Compatibility: These meters are suitable for a diverse range of fluids, including corrosive chemicals, viscous liquids, slurries, and gases. This versatility makes Coriolis meters widely applicable across various industries.

5. Multi-Variable Measurement: Some advanced Coriolis meter models can also measure additional parameters simultaneously, such as density, temperature, and concentration. This capability reduces the need for additional measuring instruments.

V. Applications of Coriolis Meters

Coriolis meters find applications in a wide array of industries, including:

1. Oil and Gas: Coriolis meters are widely used in the oil and gas industry to measure the flow rates of crude oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum products accurately. They play a crucial role in custody transfer and quality control processes.

2. Chemical Processing: Due to their resistance to aggressive chemicals and ability to handle varying viscosities, Coriolis meters are employed in chemical processing plants for precise measurement of liquid chemicals and solvents.

3. Food and Beverage: In the food and beverage industry, Coriolis meters are extensively used to measure the flow rates and precise dosing of ingredients, such as milk, juices, oils, and flavorings.

4. Pharmaceuticals: Coriolis meters ensure accurate measurement and batch control during the manufacturing processes of pharmaceuticals, including liquid medications, syrups, and sterile solutions.

5. Pulp and Paper: These meters play a vital role in the pulp and paper industry by measuring the flow rates of chemicals during various stages of paper production, ensuring efficient and precise dosing.


Coriolis meters have undoubtedly transformed the field of flow measurement, providing accurate and reliable measurements across diverse industrial applications. By harnessing the principles of the Coriolis effect, these instruments offer unmatched precision and versatility. As technology continues to advance, we can expect further enhancements in Coriolis meter design and functionality, catering to evolving measurement needs of the future.

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