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The World Market for Variable Area Flowmeters

The Variable Area (VA) market has gone largely unexplored for many  years,  despite the fact that this technology remains a popular choice for many end-users in a variety of industries. VA meters are a good fit for simpler, low cost solutions in gas and liquid measurements. It is also a plus that most do not require power. Today, VA meter suppliers are offering new materials of construction and new protocols for those with an attached transmitter. In our study, we will explore the market size and market shares along with industries and applications for this market. Our main segmentation will be platic, glass, and metal VA meters, with special attention to purgemeters.

About Variable Area Flowmeters

Most variable area (VA) flowmeters consist of a tapered tube that contains a float.  The upward force of the fluid is counterbalanced by the force of gravity.  The point at which the float stays constant indicates the volumetric flowrate, which can be often read on a scale on the meter tube.  VA meter tubes are made of metal, glass, and plastic.  Metal tubes are the most expensive type, while the plastic tubes are lower in cost.  Metal tubes are used for high-pressure applications.  

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While most VA meters can be read manually, some also contain transmitters that generate an output signal that can be sent to a controller or recorder.  While VA meters should not be selected when high accuracy is a requirement, they do very well when a visual indication of flow is sufficient.  They are very effective at measuring low flowrates, and can also serve as flow/no-flow indicators.  VA meters do not require electric power, and can safely be used in flammable environments. 

One important development for variable area flowmeters is the development of meters with a transmitter output.  The HART protocol is available on some meters.  This turns the VA meter into more than a visual indicator, and makes it possible to do control and recording.  A class of VA meters called purgemeters have been developed to handle a variety of low flow applications.  Other areas of research include float design and materials of tube construction, especially metal.

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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