This section provides an overview for thermal flow meters as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 thermal flow meter manufacturers and their company rankings.
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Thermal Flow Meters are a type of flowmeter that measure the amount of fluid flow. They are especially suited for measuring gas flow.
There are several types of Thermal Flow Meters depending on the principle of operation, but basically, they measure the flow rate by utilizing the fact that when a fluid comes in contact with a heating element, the fluid loses heat from the object and its temperature rises.
There are two types of flowmeters: those that measure the volume of the fluid and those that measure the mass of the fluid.
Most flow meters as a whole measure volumetric flow, but Thermal Flow Meters measure mass flow. Since the volume of gas changes due to the effects of temperature and pressure, flowmeters that measure volumetric flow must correct the measured value. However, thermal flowmeters do not require such compensation and are characterized by high measurement accuracy.
Thermal Flow Meters measure gases. There are also products that measure liquid flow, but they can only measure very small amounts of flow. They have the disadvantage of being susceptible to contamination and are suitable for measuring pure gases among gases.
Because of their suitability for measuring pure gases and high measurement accuracy, Thermal Flow Meters are used for gas line control in semiconductor manufacturing plants. In addition, it is applied to various fields such as flow rate measurement of anesthetic gas for medical use, flow rate measurement of carbon dioxide gas used for manufacturing and cooling soft drinks, and pure gas production lines such as nitrogen and oxygen.
Thermal Flow Meters consist of a thin metal tube through which gas flows, a heater that heats the gas directly or indirectly, and thermometers installed upstream and downstream of the heater.
When no gas is flowing, the gas temperature is highest in the center where the heater is located, and decreases as you move away from the heater. Two thermometers at the same distance from the heater will give equal readings. As the gas flows, the temperature of the upstream where the new gas flows decreases, and the temperature of the downstream where the gas warmed by the heater flows increases. At this time, the flow rate is obtained using the characteristic that the temperature difference between the upstream and downstream is proportional to the mass flow rate and heating energy.
There are two methods for determining the flow rate. One is the temperature measurement difference method, which calculates the mass flow rate from the temperature difference between upstream and downstream at a constant heater output, and is often seen in low-volume flow meters. The other is the power consumption measurement method, in which the heater output is adjusted so that the temperature difference between upstream and downstream is always constant, and the mass flow rate of gas is calculated from its power consumption.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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