Rotameter, what is it and how much does it cost?

November 2, 2021

Among the most used but less mentioned laboratory instruments is the rotameter , which is an element that helps us measure the qualities of various substances, specifically liquids and gases. The fact of achieving the measurement of these qualities has been a transcendental issue that has achieved impressive importance since, although there are some other instruments that manage to carry it out, this is one of those that achieves greater precision in the results.

It is necessary to understand what the rotameter is all about and how it works, as this instrument has a large number of functions and characteristics that allow it to stand out from the rest.

What is a rotameter?

A rotameter is an element that helps to determine what are the qualities of various substances in states of matter such as gas and liquid , among which the flow rate stands out. From this fact, the rotameter is defined as a flowmeter, with the difference that generally these tend to focus on the industrial area.

Its simple and basic structure allows it to be an easy-to-use instrument, especially since it works starting from a cylinder-shaped base into which the substances are placed. Within this tube, they are able to move, seeking to determine certain densities and other properties. In addition, it is not only an element that seeks to determine the flow of substances, but also the densities of the flow, which is why in some laboratories it is often called a flowmeter .

Rotameter Features

One of its most notable characteristics is its name, which starts from the fact of having to move the cylinder from one side to the other in order to analyze the samples it contains; that is, it is constantly rotated. However, it is not only about this, since despite its simplicity, it has great characteristics that we will highlight below:

  • Its system of use is simple, comfortable and completely practical, since the cylinder can be changed without problems depending on the amount of substance to be analyzed. In addition, its cylindrical tube has a cone shape that allows the ease of this mobilization.
  • Depending on the flow rate to be measured within the rotameter, the type of float to be used is established, since this varies in terms of size and support.
  • It has a linear level in terms of its scale. Its results are accurate in a percentage that reaches almost 100, as long as it is used in the correct way and as long as it is correctly calibrated. Otherwise, your results can be modified. To this is added that its repeatability is exact in most cases.
  • They tend to be highly used when it comes to small-scale flow diameters, thanks to their accuracy.

How does the rotameter work?

Although it seems simple to use, the rotameter has remarkable functionality based on the fact that it basically works with a cylindrical float that is characterized by having a high density compared to the flow.

It is based on an operating principle that indicates that the flow of any substance is capable of raising the float inside the instrument. This is achieved thanks to the fact that the height to which the float is able to rise is proportional to the flow, starting from the base in which the instrument must be rotated vertically to achieve the results, which can be seen in the scale that is in the external zone of the cylindrical tube.

What is the rotameter for?

The rotameter is used in various fields in order to carry out chemical and physical processes starting from the substances that are being used. This instrument is used since to achieve this analysis, it is required a quantified knowledge of the flow and density of said substances, adding other variables that are necessary when carrying out the necessary procedures.

As it is an instrument that allows to measure the flow rate of a liquid or a gaseous matter, this makes the rotameter a necessary element in thousands of professional laboratories throughout the world, since it facilitates investigations and helps to create hypotheses that will later be required. be confirmed or removed.

Its use is exclusive since it does not work to measure other variables in other states of matter.

What is the rotameter used for?

The rotameter is capable of being used in different areas and for different processes, although its results will always be the same. Among its most frequent and necessary uses , are the following:

  • It is used when maintaining control over the performance of various pumps, both hydraulic and hydro-pneumatic, depending on the necessary case. Its precision stands out in these procedures.
  • Within the area of ​​health and chemistry, it is a necessary instrument since it allows knowing the level of additives found in industries in these sectors, which facilitates processes and prevents bad results that affect people’s lives.
  • As for general pipes, the rotameter is used to keep under control the density of the flow that is inside them.
  • And finally, in general terms, it is an element used regularly in laboratories around the world regardless of the area.

Types of rotameters

Although they seem to be a basic and unique instrument, the reality is that they tend to differ in terms of types , based on their structure, their creation material and other deeper characteristics that cover their operation. It becomes necessary to highlight these differences and each one of them, so that the one that meets the needs of each field is acquired.

The main types of rotameters that exist today are the following:

Glass rotameter.

As its name indicates, this is the type of rotameter that is characterized by being made of resistant glass, since despite the fact that when it collides with the ground or another hard surface, it is capable of breaking, it continues to be resistant to substances. powerful. In addition, the fact that it is made of glass makes the results easier to see.

Plastic rotameter.

This type of rotameter is characterized by being one of the most resistant to shocks since it does not tend to break if it collides with a hard surface, like the previous one. However, this is not the only difference since these are generally cheaper and are used to measure very small flows.

Metal rotameter.

Breaking down the metal , we find resistant materials such as aluminum, stainless steel and brass. These are rotameters that are usually intended to measure the flow of substances at high temperatures, so high that even the glass rotameter would not be able to withstand. They are highly resistant and their useful life is longer than that of other types.

Acrylic Rotameter.

Similar in cost to the plastic rotameter, this type differs from it by being a little more resistant, although it tends to break if it is struck with force against a surface. It is intended for the measurement of small amounts of flow and its precision is impressive.

Purge rotameter.

This type of rotameter is characterized by being precise but small, especially for very small samples.

Mixed rotameter.

This type of rotameter makes it possible to measure the flow not only of gases and liquids, but also of solids of various sizes. It is usually not as expensive as the previous ones and its mode of use is simple and fast.

Rotameters for small and large flow rates.

There are two types of rotameters that differ in size that allow the flow of substances to be measured. Those that are destined for small flows are usually generally metallic, while those that are destined for large flows are made of resistant material that allows the measurement of high-temperature substances.

Rotameter with electrical transducers.

These are those that, as their name indicates, have transducers that work by joining the float in order to make use of an electrical system that helps to generate the results.

Rotameter with pneumatic transducers.

And finally, there are rotameters similar to the previous one, with the difference that these also work with a pneumatic system that facilitates its operation.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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