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Overview of flowmeters used to measure the flow rate of viscous fluids

First, let us understand the meaning of viscosity. It is nothing but the resistance to the flow of a liquid. This is a physical property of fluids. The viscosity of the fluid depends on factors like the type of fluid, changes in temperature and changes in pressure.


Examples of viscous fluids are crude oil, molasses, oil, asphalt, honey, glucose, resins etc. Measuring the flow rate of viscous fluids is a tough thing. It is important that one makes use of appropriate high viscosity flow meters for measuring the flow rate of these types of liquids.

The need for special flowmeters for viscous fluids:

The flowmeters like TUF flow meters, orifice plate DP flow meters etc. cannot be used to measure the flow rate of viscous fluids. This is because to use these types of flowmeters the medium needs to flow at a specific speed. This speed is not possible in the case of viscous fluids.


Thick liquids do not flow easily. Therefore, they have to be pumped with additional power. So, to measure the flow rate of these type of thick liquids one has to make use of high viscosity flow meter which has been specially designed for highly viscous liquids.

Examples of best flowmeters for measuring the flow rate of viscous liquids:

  • Oval gear flow meter:

These are positive displacement flowmeters. It has geared rotors that are oval in shape. The geared rotor is the measuring element in this type of high viscosity flow meter. It is possible to measure the flow rate of even small volumes of liquids.


This is a proven technology for viscous liquids and is being used for many years. Installation of this flowmeter is very easy. You can install it with ease even in restricted areas. It has a very high level of accuracy and it can be used to determine the flow rate of liquids of different viscosities like oil, petrol, syrups etc.


However, this flowmeter is rather bulky. You cannot use it to measure the flowrate of water. It cannot be used in the measurement of the flow of multiphase fluids. Proper and regular maintenance is required.

  • Coriolis Meter:

These are mass flowmeters. These high viscosity flow meters will measure the mass flow of liquids. The fluid density changes will not have any effect on the measurements. This flowmeter can be used to measure the flow rate of high viscosity liquids like molasses, crude oil etc. These flowmeters are used in different industries like the chemical industry, food industry, life sciences etc.


These are highly accurate devices that can be used to measure the flow rates of highly viscous liquids that are not compatible with other flowmeters. Factors like turbulence, pulsating flow etc. will not affect the operation of this flow meter.


 These flowmeters cannot be used in the case of highly corrosive liquids. These instruments are sensitive to vibrations. Measurement of the flow rate of low-pressure gas is difficult with these flowmeters. They are expensive.


If you have a requirement for flowmeters for viscous liquids then check the link  . Here you will find the details of these type of flowmeters.

Take into consideration factors like the liquid type for which you need the flowmeter, your budget, space where the flowmeter has to be installed etc. before you choose the device.

Creation date: Mar 14, 2020 11:21pm     Last modified date: Mar 14, 2020 11:21pm   Last visit date: Jan 30, 2021 9:22am