There are many different types of flow meters in the market. Electronic flow meters are often the ideal choice but this not always. This article summarizes the main types of mechanical flowmeters and explains their operation and advantages.

Mechanical flow meter types

Vane flow meter

The vane meter lives in the realm of variable area flow meters. A variable area meter has a part inside that moves with the flow, and the meter measures this movement. The vane meter has a vane opposite a spring. The flow moves the vane against the spring, and its movement will depend on the flow rate. We can connect a transmitter to this type of flow meter to capture data.

Float flow meter

Another kind of variable area flow meter, the float flow meter has a slightly different working principle. The device has a float inside designed in accordance with the viscosity, density, and flow rate of your product. We also have a tapered tube with the flow scale on it. We have to install this meter vertically with the flow going up.

When the product flows through this meter, it exerts a force on the float indicating the proportional flow rate on the flow scale.

Positive displacement flow meter

Positive displacement (PD) has a broad range of applications and remains a solid solution in many segments. A PD flow meter has two rotating parts and a high-accuracy chamber. The flow fills the space between the rotors, moving them as the fluid heads downstream to the meter.

The volumetric flow is proportional to the rotation of the rotor. Here too, we can connect a transmitter and sensors to collect this information and send it out.

Turbine flow meter

The turbine flow meter is often a cheap solution in process measurement, but we also can find high-accuracy turbines in fiscal applications like custody skids. Turbine meters translate the movements of an internal rotor with blades into a flow rate.


We can find many other types of mechanical flow meters in the market, but the ones we mentioned here represents some of the most popular in multiple segments and applications.

To know more about mechanical flow meters, you can get in touch with our engineers and we will be happy to help.

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