Watch Out, it’s Oxygen! Precautions for Choosing Flowmeter for Oxygen Services

You should exercise care when choosing and sizing a flowmeter for oxygen services. Specifically, you must keep in mind:

  • Maximum Velocity
  • Equipment Cleaning

Maximum Velocity

Maximum velocity for a stainless steel flowmeter is defined by the “impingement velocity curve” in the internationally harmonized IGC Doc 13/12/E. This is because it limits kinetic energy.

Image of Flowmeters for O2 Service
Impingement velocity curve per IGC Doc 13/12/E Oxygen Piping and Pipeline Systems .Image courtesy of European Industrial Gases Association

Higher velocities per “non-impingement velocity curve” may be acceptable as long as particles (150 microns and smaller) are filtered out. They are also acceptable for Alloy C22 flowmeters. This is because it has a lower burn rate in oxygen than steel.

Velocity limitations per “impingement curve” for stainless steel are also available in the Endress+Hauser´s sizing applicator when choosing oxygen as the fluid.

Equipment Cleaning for Oxygen Service

Image of Flowmeters for O2 Service
A sign found in a pub in Germany says “Stay away with fat and oil. Explosion hazard!” The gas bottles say “acetylene” and “oxygen.”

Regarding cleaning, devices for oxygen services also have to be free from contaminants that might ignite or cause ignition. Therefore, Endress+Hauser Group offers a broad range of flowmeters cleaned according to IEC TR 60877:1999 and BOC Specification 50000810-4. Further, these meters are individually packed into evacuated PE foil with Silicagel bags.

Image of Flowmeters for O2 Service
Prowirl vortex meter ordered for oxygen service packed in PE foil.

These meters also include a test report to certify:

  • Cleaning method
  • Result of visual inspection
  • Result of spectrometer measurements

Finally, this special cleaning is available for the

  • Coriolis line Promass
  • Vortex line Prowirl
  • Thermal flowmeter product lines by Endress+Hauser

Recently, more and more SIL loops are part of oxygen applications.

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