Industrial Scales Calculate Flow Rates

Published: 06th March 2009
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Scales are used to measure weight. Flow meters are used to measure the rate of flow of a liquid or gas. But in some situations, it is possible to utilize a high quality industrial scale to perform both functions. Sometimes this may be done for the purpose of saving the cost of the flow meter. In other cases, because of the type of liquid or the nature of the application, it is not practical to use one.

A small container of liquid or liquefied gas may be weighed on a bench scale or cylinder scale. Larger tanks will be weighed on platform scales, drum scales or floor scales. In all of these cases, a highly accurate industrial scale can detect very small changes in the weight of liquid in the container. As the material is dispensed, some types of electronic scales, such as those manufactured by Arlyn Scales, can keep a record of the remaining weight at each moment of time. By calculating the change in weight over periods of time, the flow rate may be calculated. This rate may be shown as pounds per minute or hour. If the specific gravity of the liquid has been input, the industrial scale can also display this in gallons or liters per minute or hour.

The flow rate calculation must have the ability to average small changes in the dispense rates. Even with excellent scale sensitivity, this rate must be high enough for change in weight to be measure able in reasonably short periods of time. If the user can accept a longer time to achieve a displayed result, then the scale will be able to measure even slower flow rates. It is important that an electronic scale with the correct capacity be chosen for the size of the container that is being weighed.
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