The Use of Technical Ceramics as Components in Flow Meters

The accuracy and longevity of technical ceramics are ideal qualities for flow meters in extreme environments. Read on to find out more.

Flow meters are used over a wide range of applications covering domestic appliances, heavy industry and cutting-edge research. In all cases they have to withstand corrosion, abrasion and extremes of temperature. Technical ceramics and similar materials such as tungsten carbide can provide longevity as well as accuracy when used for components in these flow meters.

Some of the applications for flow meters include paddle wheel meters, turbine flow meters, Doppler meters, gear meters and Coriolis Effect meters, to name a few. They can be fitted into a vehicle engine or a spacecraft, a domestic boiler or a vast petrochemical plant. In all of these applications the meter components are subjects to abrasion, corrosion and wear and tear that over time degrades their accuracy.

Components made from technical ceramics and a range of binders in shafts, plates, bushings and rotors exhibit a significant wear resistance against all types of abrasive materials.

One of the more imaginative applications of technical ceramics for flow meter components is the hydro excavator. Imagine a local contractor trying to repair a leaking pipe on a busy roadside. The usual tool used to dig up the road is a mechanical excavator that takes up masses of road space even before it starts work.

 

Yet this vehicle is trying to find a leak that is just a fraction of the size of its vast bucket. Often the operation digs up long lengths of unbroken pipe and causes more damage than the original leak.

Enter the hydro excavator, which uses a high-pressure water flow to excavate a small defined area close to the leak. The debris is removed to a tank through a vacuum mechanism

 

The water flow itself does not damage the pipe and allows engineers to locate the leak quickly and accurately. However, this water flow has to be directed and measured carefully. Technical ceramics can measure this flow accurately and withstand the corrosion and abrasion caused by the debris flowback to the vehicle.

These materials can also be used for nozzles of water pipes that also need to have a high resistance to impact and wear during the excavations. This high impact resistance means that water pressures of over 500 bars can be used during excavations.

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