Welcome to the July 2014 issue
of fLowdown - a quarterly Newsletter from
Titan Enterprises Ltd. written to keep you
informed about the latest technological developments, applications advances and
breaking news in the field of flow measurement.

If a particular feature interests you, do not hesitate to contact us or follow the link for further information. We welcome your feedback.

Trevor Forster (Managing Director)


Technical Tip

Trevor Forster is Managing Director of Titan Enterpises. His experience in fluid handling dates back to the mid 1960's when he started working on rotating seals and flowmeter design for third party clients. Drawing upon over 40 years of using innovative design and production techniques to produce elegant flow metering solutions for organisations around the globe, in this feature - Trevor offers you a useful technical tip.

Measuring low pulsating flows in large pipes.

Commonly low flow liquid movements are generated by a reciprocating motive action peristaltic, piston or diaphragm pump. Using such pumps can cause very large pulsations in liquid pipelines resulting in measurement problems with most inferential flow meters. Likewise turbine flow meters, differential pressure devices and velocity measuring flow meters are also likely to experience problems. Though positive displacement and Coriolis meters will normally handle pulse variations even these flow devices can have problems.

The best solution for any flow meter is to remove the pulsations. This is best done in two stages. First regulate the pressure and then install a tuned pulsation damper. The balance between the two will depend on the frequency and amplitude of the pulsations and the solution is only likely to be effective at a given flow, temperature and pressure condition. In some cases the plumbing in the system can work in the users favour. If the meter is located after a long length of flexible tubing a lot of the pulsations will have been reduced to an acceptable level.

If a dead ended column is added where the amount of air stored can be varied with a release valve - an in-built pulsation damper can be formed. From experience it will require some trial and error to establish the correct volume of air for the line pressure but this can be done. However using flexible lines and air after the flow meter can also cause problems as these can induce reverse flow. Depending on the meter type this will manifest as positive flow adding to the metered volume.

Overall with low flow systems it is often better to have solid pipework after the flow meter and flexible before. Also take care when designing your installation to ensure that there are no spaces for any unwanted vapour to collect before or after the flow meter as this can exacerbate pulsation problems.

New Products

Summer 2014

Coming Soon... The Industrial Atrato

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Over the last 5 years the Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter from Titan Enterprises has established itself as a the world leader in low volume ultrasonic liquid flow measurement. In response to customer requests from the chemical, oil and gas, semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries – Titan has developed a ruggedized version of the Atrato for Industrial applications. Due to launch later this summer – the Industrial Atrato combines all the technological advantages of Atrato technology (accuracy, sensitivity, wide flow range linearity, no moving parts, fast response time, can be installed anywhere) with construction from durable 316 stainless steel sealed to IP65 and with ±0.5% accuracy.

The combination of industrial-proof housing and top performance in a very reliable flow meter, delivers flow-measurement to industrial process engineers at the fraction of the cost of existing technologies.

To discuss how the Industrial Atrato can provide reliable, high accuracy flow measurement for your application please email trevor@flowmeters.co.uk or phone +44 (0)1935-812790. To register to receive a brochure for the Industrial Atrato later this summer click here.

Remote Controlled, Battery Powered Flow Meter

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Titan Enterprises has launched a new version of its popular 800 Series turbine flow meter for companies who wish to monitor flow without installing a wiring loom or in remote situations.

Designed to operate on 3V batteries the new flow meter has a very low power consumption making it an ideal product for battery powered equipment. The competitively priced 800 series turbine flow meter is designed to give high performance (+/- 0.1% repeatability) across 5 flow ranges from 0.05 to 15 litres per minute. It's totally non-metallic wetted components make it the ideal choice for the metering of a wide range of fluids from -25°C to +85°C. To ensure the highest degree of inertness to metered fluids the 800 Series flow meter body is moulded in an FDA approved grade of PDVF.

For full details regarding the battery powered 800 series turbine flow meter click here.

Installation Insights

How often have you purchased a flow meter that seems perfect for your application only to be disillusioned by unclear or over-complex installation procedures? In this issue of fLowdown - Titan Enterprises offers an informed insight on...

5 Things To Watch Out For During Installation & Commissioning.

Your flow meter is not working. What simple checks should you carry out before you call the manufacturer for advice?

When checking an installed flow meter always start with the basics.

  1. Is the associated instrumentation compatible with your flow meter output?
    (Pulse or analogue? Voltage or current? PNP or NPN? Frequency range?)

    Though these problems should have been resolved before the equipment was commissioned, all these incompatibility issues are frequently found causes for a flow meter not working.
  2. Is your flow meter installed the correct way round?
    With several meter types this may not be an issue but more often than not a flow meter has a preferred direction. If you are using a bi-directional flow meter check that the quadrature output or reverse flow flag are correctly commissioned.
  3. Is your flow meter wiring correct?
    Check and double check the connections. If this is your problem a simple 2 minute reconnection can have your system up and running again.
  4. Was the line and your working environment clean during installation?
    Cleanliness during flow meter installation is important with any mechanical meter and an awful lot of processes. Debris inadvertently introduced during installation is a common cause for premature meter failure.
  5. Are you operating within the flow range of your meter?
    Just because your application uses a 25mm pipe it does not mean you will require a 25mm flowmeter. Titan Enterprises make flow meters to suit the flow not the pipe diameter.

Bulletin Board

Flexible Platform for OEM Product Development

Titan Enterprises announces the Hedgehog, an electronic development platform for Atrato based OEM flow meter applications. The instrument has the capability of running up to 4 flow sensors simultaneously with real time analysis. The software interface permits a wide operating envelope allowing OEM products to be developed for 0.5 to 20mm pipes including in-line and clamp-on devices. The structure is such that software changes can be simply “dragged and dropped” into a box in the interface permitting remote on-board logic updating and system re-programming. A full array of inlets and outlets are available including both analogue and high speed logic signals for fast response system requirements. Smaller single channel versions `Hoglets` have also been produced to enable testing of single pre-production meters where space may be at a premium.

For further information please contact trevor@flowmeters.co.uk

Product Range Catalogue

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Titan's overview catalogue detailing its complete range of off-the-shelf flow meters is finally completed ! Please click here to download a pdf file or to request a paper copy.

Summer Quiz

Here is a bit of fun to test your knowledge (the answers are at bottom of newsletter)

Q1. Which temperature has the same value in Fahrenheit and Celsius?
Q2. Which law states that, at a constant temperature, the pressure of a gas is inversely proportional to its volume?
Q3. Who invented natural logarithims?
Q4. Which is the only muscle in your body that is only attached at one end? Q5. Evaporation is changing from a liquid to gas. What is changing from a solid to a gas called?

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Prize Draw

To celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Titan Enterprises are offering a 50% discount on any Titan flow meter (up to £1000 value) to the winner of our prize draw competition below.

Q: To how many of the competing countries below has Titan Enterprises sold flow meter systems during the last 12 months ?

8 - 14 - 20 - 26 - 32

Click here to submit your answer and for a list of the competing countries.

Click here for a printable version of Flowdown.

How do I measure

In this newsletter feature we bring you some of the more interesting and topical application challenges posed to Titan Enterprises and the solution we provided. Don't hesitate to send your flow metering application requirements to dee@flowmeters.co.uk to see how we can help you.

Q: How do I measure flow in an area with an explosive atmosphere ?

A: In an area where an explosive mixture of vapour or powder can be present either continuously or intermittently, steps must be taken to minimise the risk of an ignition source within this space. There can be no high temperatures, voltages or the capability of generating a static or frictional spark. Workers within the area must also comply by wearing suitable clothing and carrying only ATEX approved electrical devices.

Because of the wide variety of scenarios that may produce an environment with an explosive atmosphere there is no one method of installing a flow meter in such an area. Here though are some flow metering options to consider.

1. Use a totally mechanical flowmeter: This removes the requirement for any electrical input into the device although there may still be temperature considerations. Meters in this category include variable area flow meters or gear flow meters with mechanical totalisers.

2. Use a passive device: Simple passive devices such as switches cannot in themselves induce or generate a spark. Obviously any instrumentation connected to these components must be intrinsically safe also. Passive switch devices have carefully designed circuits to ensure that there is insufficient energy to discharge a spark or that any component failure would not cause another component to overheat.

3. Use a device with remote electronics installed in a "safe" area: such devices have the power transmitted through them limited by a barrier at the safe/hazardous environment interface. This limits the amount of energy that can be transferred into the hazardous area. The benefit of this approach is that you can use standard instrumentation as it can be installed in the safe area.

4. Use a flow meter fitted with an approved active sensor: An active sensor is a detection device that requires input energy from a source other than that which is being sensed. Examples of active sensors include Namur, Hall Effect and Coil devices. In this instance the sensor itself is approved for use in the hazardous area but the power to it must be controlled.

5. Install your flowmeter in an explosion proof box: In this option the flow meter is placed in a controlled environment container. This ruggedized box is able to contain any explosive event spreading to the “outside” world. This is far from ideal and a relatively expensive method but on occasions where no other flow measurement solution is possible, it may be the only answer.

To discuss the best option for flow metering your application that may pose an explosive risk please contact Titan Enterprises on +44-1935-812790 or trevor@flowmeters.co.uk

Flow Technology Spotlight

In Flow Technology Spotlight we review a particular flow metering technique, its benefits, shortfalls and the applications to which it is best suited.

Measuring low flows with a radial flow turbine

Titan Enterprises first radial flow turbine meter was introduced in 1981. Derivatives of this meter are still in production and being used for a wide range of applications.

The two main types of low flow turbine types are known as axial and radial flow (Pelton wheel). As the name suggests - in an axial turbine the construction is axial and they contain a propeller mounted on a bearing that is central to the tube. The propeller blades are angled so that the passing flow imparts a rotation into the turbine. The rotation is linear to the fluid velocity.

Pelton wheel (radial flow) flow meters use a turbine with broad flat blades. The flow is directed at the flat face of the turbine, offset from the centre line, and the spindle is at ninety degrees to the flow. See diagram below.

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Reynolds number sensitive and usually require fluid velocities in the turbulent region, therefore any changes in fluid density and viscosity will result in measurement inaccuracies. While Pelton wheel radial flow meters are also Reynolds number sensitive the change in geometry from axial to radial flow permits designers to make changes to account for viscosity changes.

Axial turbine flow meters must have a fairly tight clearance with the outer edge of the turbine as the annulus around the periphery of the metering tube accounts for a large proportion of the fluid flow. On a 12mm diameter propeller a 1mm clearance would account for some 16% of the metering area and so lost measurement volume.

With Titan Enterprises Pelton wheel radial flow meters the high velocity inlet liquid stream strikes the “plain” blade face on entering the flow chamber. In this case a 1mm clearance around the turbine reduces the viscous drag on the turbine so that most of the energy is imparted in rotating the turbine. Secondly when the Reynolds number of the metered liquid is smaller, the shape of the chamber is used to generate secondary vortices which act like a fluidic roller bearing - reducing the viscous drag. These meters are still sensitive to changes in viscosity but not as much as their axial counterparts.

The bearings in any turbine flow meter are critical for long term performance. On a miniature axial turbine the applied torque on the rotor is much smaller than with it’s radial flow counterpart. In radial flow turbines there is a lot of energy so the bearings must be robust. Because the available energy is large with radial turbine meters a certain amount of degradation can take place before there is any discernible change in meter performance is seen and this can take very many years of continuous use. The same cannot be said for the miniature axial turbine meters where performance typically degrades faster.

1-40. 2-Boyle's Law. 3-John Napier. 4-The tongue. 5-Sublimation.

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Titan Enterprises Ltd, Unit 2, 5A Cold Harbour Business Park, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4JW
Telephone: +44 (0)1935 812790 - Fax: +44 (0)1935 812890 - Email: sales@flowmeters.co.uk