Variable Area Flowmeters: The Forgotten Solution

Variable Area Flowmeters: The Forgotten Solution

Our industrial brand manager, Fraser Higgins, explains why Variable Area Flowmeters should not be overlooked.

Effectively monitoring flow through a system is integral to the successful operation of a multitude of applications within the process industry. With such a wide range of options available, selecting the most appropriate product for the specific requirements of an application can be a difficult task for consultants, contractors and end clients.

As the entry product into flowmeters, Variable Area Flowmeters are often dismissed as a ‘basic’ product. In its standard form, a Variable Area Flowmeter offers a simple indication of the flow through a system, however, it can be adapted with the addition of further equipment to enhance its performance, if needed.

It is important to remember that not every application requires complex flow monitoring technology. A Variable Area Flowmeter would be an ideal solution for an application that purely needs to maintain a flow, rather than measure it, such as a caustic wash that needs to be continuously circulated around a system.

Often, over-engineered products can be specified and we are advising that manufacturer advice should be sought at the design stage of a project to ensure the most appropriate product is selected, based on the specific criteria for the individual system. It may be possible to adapt a simpler product to include specific technology, providing a more cost effective solution, without compromising on performance.

The advantage of a Variable Area Flowmeter lies in its versatility; with the wide choice of options available, combined with the additional technology that can be fitted, there are 16,000 different configurations that are possible with a Durapipe Variable Area Flowmeter.

Designed to operate as a visual check for plant engineers who need to monitor a flow rate for control or quality purposes, a Variable Area Flowmeter is an effective method of confirming a flow rate is being maintained.

Offering a choice of three different tube materials, a Variable Area Flowmeter has the ability to carry a diverse range of fluids. The PVC option offers excellent chemical resistance properties, enabling it to safely convey a large variety of chemicals at ambient temperatures. To cater for substances which are flowing at temperatures outside of this range, the Trogamid material is suitable for temperatures below 0°C, while the Polysulfone works with temperatures above 60°C.

Offering complete flexibility, Variable Area Flowmeters come with a choice of polypropylene or stainless steel float, which can be fitted with a magnet to connect to flow switches that can maintain its flow rate within a range. A limit switch can control a pump, to provide an automatic response if it is detected that the flow rate is falling or rising, ensuring that the flow is maintained at the correct level and the pump is protected from running dry.

Available in a variety of end materials, Variable Area Flowmeters can be easily fitted into any pipework system including ABS, PVC-U, CPVC and Polypropylene, meaning a diverse range of fluids can be safely conveyed through the flowmeter. With a wide choice of measuring scales also available and fully adjustable flow indicators, a bespoke Variable Area Flowmeter can be built to meet a wide range of application requirements.

The benefits of a Variable Area Flowmeter extend beyond the product performance, with its installation advantages hard to ignore. A Variable Area Flowmeter does not require any external energy source and works independently from electrical conductivity, not only aiding the speed of installation, but also reducing maintenance and replacement costs over the lifetime of the product.

Plant engineers require a flowmeter that can be flexible to their needs, and for applications that require an indication of flow rate, so a consistent flow is maintained through a system, Variable Area Flowmeters should not be overlooked. With each individual product custom built to cater for specific requirements, Variable Area Flowmeters represent the most versatile flowmeter on the market.

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