Coriolis flow meters are critical in various industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. This type of flow meter measures the mass flow rate of a liquid or gas, making it an essential tool in industries where precise measurements are vital.
In this article, we will explore the history and evolution of Coriolis flow meters, from their invention to modern-day applications.
What are Coriolis Flow Meters?
Coriolis flow meters measure the mass flow rate of a liquid or gas. They work by using the Coriolis effect, which is the apparent deflection of an object when it is moving parallel to the surface of the Earth.
The fluid is forced to flow through a tube that oscillates at a known frequency, causing the tube to twist and deform. Sensors at the inlet and outlet of the tube measure the mass flow rate of the fluid, which determines how much twist and deformation occurs.
The Invention of Coriolis Flow Meters
Coriolis flow meters were invented in the 1970s by two French physicists, Yves Clouet and Michel Crozat. They were working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, when they discovered that the Coriolis effect could be used to measure mass flow rates.
They patented their invention in 1977 and formed a company called Micro Motion to manufacture and sell the devices.
Early Applications of Coriolis Flow Meters
The oil and gas industry was the primary user of Coriolis flow meters in the early years. They were used to measure the flow of oil and gas in pipelines and the flow of various chemicals used in the production process.
These early devices were bulky and expensive, requiring frequent calibration to maintain accuracy.
Advancements in Technology
Over the years, technological advancements have led to significant improvements in Coriolis flow meters. As a result, today’s devices are smaller, more accurate, and more reliable than their predecessors.
They can measure flow rates with extreme precision and are used in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and wastewater treatment.
Coriolis flow meters are now used in various applications, including measuring the flow of liquids in food and beverage production, the flow of gasses in chemical processing, and the flow of wastewater in treatment facilities.
They are also used in the pharmaceutical industry to measure the flow of fluids in drug production.
Benefits of Coriolis Flow Meters
Coriolis flow meters offer several benefits over other types of flow meters. They are highly accurate, even when measuring low flow rates, and they are not affected by fluid density or viscosity changes. Most importantly they measure mass directly unlike no other flow measurement devices which measure volume and must be compensated with pressure and temperatures to provide mass flows. They are also easy to install and maintain and can be used to measure the flow of a wide range of fluids, including liquids, gasses, and slurries.
Challenges and Limitations
Despite their many benefits, Coriolis flow meters do have some limitations. For example, they are typically more expensive than other flow meters and can be sensitive to vibration and other environmental factors.
All flow application are to measure the quantity of fluid moving through a pipe or a channel. Quantity is mass and Coriolis flow meters are the ONLY flow measurement devices that can measure mass directly with an extrem high accuracies of to 0.1% of rate. With the exception of thermal mass technologies which can only measure mass of gases, all other technologies measure volume. To convert to mass, volumetric flow meters must be compensated with measurements in density, temperature and/or pressure. As technology advances, we expect to see even more improvements in these essential devices.