A Coriolis flow meter is a type of mass flow meter. It is designed differently and works differently than thermal or differential mass flow meters. The first industrial Coriolis patents date back to the 1950s with the first Coriolis mass flow meters built in the 1970s.
How Does a Coriolis Flow Meter Work?
A Coriolis mass flow meter measures mass through inertia. Liquid or a dense gas flows through a tube which is vibrated by a small actuator. This acceleration produces a measurable twisting force on the tube proportional to the mass. More sophisticated Coriolis meters employ dual curved tubes for higher sensitivity and lower pressure drop.
Coriolis meters, while considered the most accurate flow meters, are susceptible to errors when bubbles are present in the liquid. The bubbles can create “splashing” within the tube, generate noise, and change the energy needed for tube vibration. Large cavities increase the energy needed for tube vibration inordinately and can lead to complete failure.
Common Applications for Coriolis Flow Meters
Coriolis mass flow meters are used predominately in scientific applications where they measure both corrosive and clean gases and liquids. They are also used in:
Pulp and paper processing
Petroleum and oil
Coriolis flow meters with a straight tube design are more easily cleaned so are preferred for food and beverage applications as well as pharmaceuticals. They can also handle the slurries typically found in mining operations.