Scientific Law: How Do Magnetic Flow Meters Work

engineer checking pipes

The world of technical operations can be confusing for many. In fact, numerous questions about the engineering field are left unanswered. However, most explanations can be understood by looking at certain scientific laws. In this article, we’ll be explaining how electromagnetic flow meters, instruments used in measuring the flow rate of a liquid, generally work.

Ever heard or read about Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction? Well, that’s the scientific principle of the method used by magnetic flow meters in determining the flow of liquid in pipes is grounded. A magnetic flow meter generates a magnetic field and channels it into the liquid that flows through a pipe. The measurement happens through voltage generation. When the fluid moves faster, more voltage is generated according to Faraday’s law. An electronic transmitter is then utilized to process the voltage signal and determine the liquid flow.

How to Use Magnetic Flow Meters

Magnetic flow meters measure the velocity of conductive liquids in pipes, such as water, acids, caustic, and slurries. Proper care is needed in using magnetic flow meters on fluids with low conductivity, such as deionized water, boiler feed water, or hydrocarbons, as these can cause the flow meter to turn off and inaccurately measure zero flow. Insertion of the electromagnetic flow meter can also be done when measuring combustible liquids in a hazardous environment. However, extra caution must be applied and authorized supervision is required.

The mining and mineral industry use magnetic flow meters in processing water, thick starchy liquid flows, and heavy flows. In addition, magnetic flowmeters are also used in water treatment plants to measure treated and untreated sewage and process water and chemicals.

Extensive care must be given when operating magnetic flow meters in vacuum services that can be damaging to the flow meter because an unwanted collapse or suction may happen. This is due to vacuum conditions that can potentially occur in the pipes. In the same way, the excessive temperature increase in magnetic flow meters can result in permanent damage.

The Industries That Use Magnetic Flow Meters

chemical treatment plant with two engineers

Magnetic flow meters cater to a lot of industries, such as water and wastewater management, chemical treatment, food and beverage, and oil and gas manufacturing. Even outside the industrial setting, flow meters are used for educational purposes, primarily by technology and engineering universities. Private and public technical skills certification organizations also make use of magnetic flow meters in their training programs.

The Benefits of Using Magnetic Flow Meters

Using electromagnetic flow meters to measure liquid flows have a lot of benefits. First, they are non-invasive and have no movable or unsteady parts, reducing the risk of breaks and the chance of frequent repairs. They also help reduce piping costs. In addition, they use relatively minimal power due to their low electrical power requirements. Lastly, they are able to deal with various kinds of fluids such as acids and bases due to the presence of lining materials that act as insulators and are corrosion-resistant.

The technicalities of using flow meters in certain industrial operations are ornate and complex. However, these instruments are very important in supplying common citizens with goods and services due to their immense usage in multiple industries.

Scroll to Top