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Mass flow meter vs volumetric flow meter

Mass flow meter vs volumetric flow meter


What is mass flow meter?

Measures Mass Flow: A mass flow meter measures the mass passing through a pipe or conduit in a specified amount of time. The unit of measurement is typically kilograms per second (kg/s) or another mass-related unit.

Because mass flow meters measure mass directly, they are less affected by temperature and pressure variations. They are frequently used when the fluid's temperature and pressure are subject to significant fluctuations.

Useful for Gases and Liquids: Mass flow meters can be used for both gases and liquids. They are commonly used in applications where precise control over mass flow is necessary, such as chemical processing, gas distribution, and HVAC systems.

Common Types: Common types of mass flow meters include thermal mass flow meters, Coriolis mass flow meters, and gravimetric flow meters.

What is volumetric flow meter?

Measures Volume Flow: Volumetric flow meters measure the volume of fluid flowing through a pipe or conduit over a given period of time. They are typically measured using cubic meters per second (m3/s) or other volume-related units.

Because volumetric flow meters measure volume directly, they are sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure. When the temperature or pressure of the fluid changes, the volume of the fluid changes.

Commonly Used for Liquids: Volumetric flow meters are more commonly used for measuring the flow of liquids. Examples include turbine flow meters, positive displacement flow meters, and orifice flow meters.

Useful for Billing and Custody Transfer: Volumetric flow meters are often used in applications where billing or custody transfer is involved, such as water and gas utilities, as they provide a direct measurement of the volume consumed.

What is the difference between a mass flowmeter and a volumetric flowmeter? 

Differene between Mass flow vs volumetric flow.If high accuracy is not required when measuring volumetric flow, volumetric flow meters are recommended. However, to compare results, volume flow meters need to be compensated for temperature and pressure. A mass flow meter, on the other hand, measures flow rate regardless of gas pressure or temperature.

When to use a volumetric flow meter or a mass flow meter

A volumetric flow meter is recommended when high accuracy is not required when measuring gas volumetric flow. However, when comparing results, a volume flow meter requires additional temperature and pressure compensation. Mass flow meters, on the other hand, measure flow rate independent of gas pressure and temperature. As a result, mass flow measurements are more reliable, accurate, and repeatable.

Should I measure mass flow rate or volumetric flow rate?

It really depends on the goal of your application. When determining whether to use mass flow and volumetric flow, it is important to determine if you want to measure/control a set volume or the number of molecules of process fluid.

When to use mass flow meter

As mass flow instruments are capable of precisely measuring and controlling how gas molecules flow into and out of a process, they are useful in many applications. It is possible to consider mass flow rates as molar flow rates since the number of molecules flowing through the measurement point remains constant regardless of temperature or pressure.

Example mass flow applications

As gas mixtures are often defined in terms of volumetric ratios, mass flow instrumentation is useful for gas mixing applications. As noted above, mass flow is defined by the flow industry as a form of molar flow measurement, which can be confusing since in reality they are molar ratios. In order to make up “volumetric” mixture ratios, one should use mass flow rates.

Custody transfer applications benefit from mass flow measurement, simply because it is necessary to know the mass of gas being used.

Pulse modulated sparging produces uniformly sized oxygen bubbles into a bioreactor using mass flow controllers. Mass flow is used in bioreactors to regulate oxygen and CO2 levels. Through precise, low-flow control, the bioreactor is properly oxygenated and toxic carbon dioxide is effectively removed.

A high-precision measurement and control system is essential when manufacturing optical fibers. In the burner control application, mass flow devices help control gases that heat the preform and help control thin layer deposition. Furthermore, argon is fed into a furnace to facilitate the drawing process, preventing the furnace element from burning.

When to use volumetric flow meter

Using volumetric flow, industrial hygiene and environmental air monitoring quantify the number of particles within a specific volume of air under ambient conditions.

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