What is a Coriolis Flow Meter and How Does it Work?

Blog / Friday, December 22nd, 2017

The huge amount of Flow Meter technology available can make selecting the correct device for your specific process a difficult task.

There are so many different types available, and each is specifically designed for unique applications. Choosing the correct meter can have a huge impact on  We asked FlowQuip, the UK’s leading supplier of Flow Meters, to help explain what a Coriolis Flow Meter is and how it works, and why it’s often the best economical, long-term flow solution.

What is a Flow Meter?

A Flow Meter is an instrument that is used to measure, monitor and control the flow of liquid or gasses.

How does a Coriolis Flow Meter work?

Fluids flowing through pipelines present different properties, and thus there are different principles for their measurement. Based on the Coriolis principle, a Coriolis Flow Meter allows the mass of the fluid flow to be directly measured. Once the liquid has entered the flow meter pipes, the tube is oscillated in a swinging motion (or vibrated) by a drive coil (or exciter) which results in a constant movement. Sensors located at the entry and exit of the tube register precisely this oscillation. Once the fluid starts to flow through the tube, additional twisting is imposed upon the oscillation due to the liquids force on the tube (inertion). The two sides of the tube vibrate in different directions at the same time – known as phase shift – and the sensors measure how much liquid or gas is currently flowing through the pipe. The higher the velocity of the liquid, the more the measuring tube oscillates, and oscillate this frequency is a way of directly measuring the density of the fluid.

In simple terms:  Coriolis forces exerted by the moving fluid are what cause the flow meter tube to twist, and the amplitude of the movement or twist is the mass flow rate.


What is a Coriolis Flow Meter used for?

Also known as a mass meter, Coriolis flow meters are widely used throughout a range of different industries as they are highly accurate, extremely versatile and are able to measure fluid mass and flow rate, meaning the movement of mass per time, across a wide range of temperatures.

They are usually used in the chemical, food and beverage, oil and gas and water and wastewater industries, among others, and ar particularly useful in industries where challenging liquids, such as slurry, are used.

Top Coriolis Flow Meter facts:

  • Coriolis meters have no internal moving parts and so they require minimal attention once installed, meaning minimal maintenance costs
  • When installing Coriolis meter into your piping system, it is crucial that you ensure, if using more than one vibrating tube, that these are aligned and there is enough space for them to twist
  • Coriolis tubes are available in many different materials, meaning its perfect for industries where ‘difficult’ liquids are measured.

If you are looking for a flow meter, but are still unsure which device is best for you, contact Flow Quip today for expert advice on commissioning, installation and flow meter calibration.