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Vortex Flow-An Innovative Approach to Fluid Dynamics

2 min


Vortex flow meters are devices responsible for measuring fluid velocity. They operate by the von Kármán effect principle that states that, as the flow moves by a bluff body, it generates a repeating pattern of swirling vortices.

These meters can measure both liquid and gas flow, but they are excellent for turbulent flow having a Reynolds number greater than 10,000. 

And some of these meters can withstand mixed-phase materials like steam. Other devices can handle slurry liquids. 

Advantages of Flow Meters

There are many benefits of using vortex meters for flow measurement. Some of these include

  • Easy installation
  • Wide flow turndown range
  • No moving parts mean less maintenance cost and repair
  • less leak potential
  • Vortex flow meters are sensitive to temperature or pressure
  • Vortex also provides low power consumption. That means you can use them in remote areas.

One of the flipsides is that these flowmeters have a low to medium pressure drop caused by the obstruction in the flow path.

How System Media Can Affect the Flow Meters

We shall see how different media solutions can impact the capacity of the vortex flowmeter.

Liquid – the meter may get challenged by liquids with high viscosity. They can dampen the vortice formation, reducing the effective range. Though particles and internal bubbles

may not affect the vortex flowmeter, heavy particle suspensions can wear down or clog internal parts. That can affect the flow meter errors.

Most of these devices come calibrated for liquids of 1 CST viscosity by the manufacturers. Any meter above raises the minimum readable flow rate, affecting rangeability.

Gas– since gas is compressible, it changes volume when cooled, heated, or placed under pressure. If the system uses gas as its primary media, it should have sensors to monitor these temperature and pressure changes.

Performance Specifications

Material Selection

Pipe material– before selecting the fabric of the pipe, you must consider the type of fluid that will go through the system. Also, find out the concentration, pressure range, and operating temperature range. That should help you see if the pipe can withstand the system requirements.

Flowmeter material– what are other considerations for choosing the appropriate material? That should be specifications such as fluid viscosity, the density of the liquid, expected flow range, and suspended particles. For example, if you plan to install a flow meter into a metal pipe, media, pressure, and steam temperature are things to factor in, as this ensures compatibility.

In Conclusion

Thanks to technological innovation, fluid dynamics have made work easier and more efficient. As the vortex flow meters evolve, modern devices can provide accurate reflections of the industrial meters. They offer better accuracy and repeatability than an orifice plate meter. Typically, flow meters are becoming popular to flow systems. And these also employ DP /orifice plate meters for measurement.


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