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The World Market for Mass Flow Measurement

2023

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Articles on Mass Flow

Flow Research is proposing a first-ever Mass Flowmeter Series with a Core Overview Study, The World Market for Mass Flow Measurement  and in-depth studies on three types of flowmeters that measure mass flow directly:

         The World Market for Coriolis Flowmeters, 7th Edition

         The World Market for Thermal Flowmeters, 3rd Edition

         The World Market for Mass Flow Controllers, 4th Edition.

Each of these separate studies in the series is interesting in its own right, but the Core Study is composed of high-level results from each of the studies to give a comprehensive picture of the entire mass flowmeter market. We also include data on multivariable mass flowmeters in this Core Study.

Core Study Goals

This executive-level study will determine the size of the entire mass flowmeter market in 2022 and forecast market growth through 2027. Segmentation will include total worldwide market size broken down by eight geographic regions and the basic mass flow technology types: Coriolis, thermal, MFC and multivariable flowmeters. 

The study has multiple objectives:

      Show worldwide market size and shares for the mass flow market in 2022 for Coriolis, thermal, mass flow controllers (MFCs), and multivariable flowmeters

      Forecast mass flowmeter market growth through 2027

      Share top-level data about each of the types

      Segment data both on a worldwide basis and for each of eight worldwide regions

      Discuss market forces and suggest strategies for selling into the mass flowmeter market

About Mass Flow

While the majority of flowmeters measure volumetric flow, three types of flowmeters measure mass flow directly. These three types are Coriolis, thermal, and multivariable flowmeters. This atudy discusses the reasons for measuring mass flow, and then looks at the advantages and disadvantages of Coriolis, thermal, and multivariable flowmeters. Another type, mass flow controllers, both measure and control the flow. Mass flow controllers are used both in the semiconductor industry and in industrial markets.


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Coriolis flowmeters

Coriolis flowmeters use fluid momentum to measure mass flow directly.  The fluid enters the meter and passes through one or more vibrating tubes and accelerates as it reaches the point of maximum vibration.  As the fluid leaves this point, it decelerates.  This causes an oscillating motion in the tubes.  The Coriolis meter measures this oscillating motion, and mass flow is directly proportional to the amount of oscillation.

Diagram, engineering drawing

Description automatically generatedCoriolis flowmeters are the most accurate meters. Their main limitations are line size and cost.  Over 67 percent of Coriolis flowmeters are used on line sizes of two inches and less. Coriolis meters become very large and unwieldy, especially in sizes above four inches. Cost also increases with size.  Even smaller size meters are generally more expensive than other comparable new-technology flowmeters.  Users who are considering Coriolis flowmeters need to balance their need for accuracy and reliability against purchase price. Some users select Coriolis meters despite their higher initial cost, because low maintenance requirements reduce their cost over the life of the meter.

The high accuracy of Coriolis meters up to 0.05 percent is one of the major reasons for their continued growth. Companies that need flowmeters for custody transfer, or want highly accurate measurements in terms of mass, have good reasons to select Coriolis flowmeters. They find that despite a relatively high price tag, Coriolis flowmeters can provide a good return on investment.

 

Thermal flowmeters

Thermal flowmeters are among a small group of fluid measurement technologies that can generate a mass flow measurement independent of additional component technologies.  Mass flow data is generally considered more Flare.jpguseful than volumetric data for many applications - such as custody transfer of hydrocarbon fluids - and can offer higher repeatability, a level of measurement certainty highly valued by process and quality control managers alike.

 

Thermal flowmeters measure mass flow quite differently from Coriolis flowmeters. For example, instead of using fluid momentum as Coriolis flowmeters do, thermal flowmeters make use of the thermal or heat conducting properties of fluids to determine mass flow.  While most thermal flowmeters are used to measure gas flow, some also measure liquid flow.

 

In contrast, other flowmeter types that can also produce a mass flow result do so with the addition of pressure and temperature sensors.  Mass flow is then computed from the volumetric flow, and the temperature and pressure variables.  Multivariable differential pressure and vortex flowmeters can both be used in this way to compute mass flow.

 

Mass Flow Controllers (MFCs)

A picture containing linedrawing, handcart

Description automatically generatedMass flow measurement, which measures the mass of a fluid independent of pressure or temperature, is more reliable and offers a higher accuracy and repeatability than volumetric flow, which measures the volume of a gas or liquid occupying a pipe. This difference is particularly important for gases, which shrink or expand in volume with changes in pressure or temperature, but whose mass the number of molecules stays constant.

 

Fortunately, a mass flowmeter can easily provide flows in volume by adding the volume (including the pipe diameter) to the calculation. Conversely, some volumetric flowmeters e.g., multivariable vortex and differential pressure flowmeters can indirectly provide mass flow by also measuring temperature and pressure and computing the mass flow.

MFC technology types are thermal, pressure, Coriolis, and ultrasonic.  Because MFCs are used both to measure and to control fluid flows, the study will identify their use by fluid type.  We will also quantify the presence of MFCs in significant industries and applications, including semiconductor and industrial.

What are the Advantages of Multivariable Flowmeters?

Multivariable flowmeters measure mass flow by combining volumetric flow measurement with density measurement. Density is usually measured either by consulting a table, or by dynamically measuring pressure and temperature.  This is called an inferred method, because a formula is used to compute mass flow.  The main types of multivariable flowmeters are differential pressure (DP), vortex, and ultrasonic.

One main advantage of multivariable DP flowmeters is that only one process penetration is required to get three process readings: flow, temperature, and pressure. This reduces the chance of fugitive emissions, and also the number of leak points.  Another advantage of multivariable DP meters is that users who are already measuring volumetric flow with a DP flowmeter can upgrade to a multivariable DP meter with a minimum of changes.

One disadvantage of multivariable flowmeters is that accuracy levels are not as high as accuracy levels of Coriolis meters.  This is due to the number of variables involved, and to the fact that it is an inferred method of computing mass flow. On the other hand, the purchase price of multivariable flowmeters is substantially below that of most Coriolis meters.

 

 
 
Flow Research, Inc. | 27 Water Street | Wakefield, MA 01880 | (781) 245-3200 | (781) 224-7552 (fax) | (800) 245-1799 (from the USA) | info@flowresearch.com

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