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Rotameter Type Flow Detector Review

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Rotameter Type Flow Detector Review

The rotameter, illustrated in Figure A1, is an area flow meter so named because a rotating float is the indicating element.


Figure A1

The rotameter consists of a metal float and a conical glass tube, constructed such that the diameter increases with height. When there is no fluid passing through the rotameter, the float rests at the bottom of the tube. As fluid enters the tube, the higher density of the float will cause the float to remain on the bottom. The space between the float and the tube allows for flow past the float. As flow increases in the tube, the pressure drop increases. When the pressure drop is sufficient, the float will rise to indicate the amount of flow. The higher the flow rate the greater the pressure drop. The higher the pressure drop the farther up the tube the float rises.

The float should stay at a constant position at a constant flow rate. With a smooth float, fluctuations appear even when flow is constant. By using a float with slanted slots cut in the head, the float maintains a constant position with respect to flow rate. This type of flow meter is usually used to measure low flow rates.

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