A rotameter, also known as a variable area flow meter or a gravity flow meter, is a device used to measure the volumetric flow rate of a gas or fluid. Rotameters have two main components: a tapered tube and a moving internal float. Rotameters are sometimes referred to as gravity flow meters because they need to be installed vertically so that the flow rate can be determined by the position of the internal float within the tapered tube. Rotameters are an important tool in many different life science applications, including visual fluid monitoring, industrial gas measurement, and the controlling of water circuits.

How Does A Rotameter Operate?

The tube of a rotameter is tapered so that, when installed vertically, the bottom is narrow and expands as it gets closer to the top, with scale graduations on the tube. When there is no liquid or gas flow, the float will sit at the bottom of the tube. As the liquid or gas flow increases, the float begins to rise until an equilibrium is reached. The flow meter can then be read by lining up the top of the float with the scale graduations on the tube. Rotameters can be calibrated using the conditions that are written on the side of the flowmeter, along with flow range and measurement units. Additionally, be sure to correct the flow tube readings to any changes in flow conditions when using the rotameter. Because rotameters are designed to measure a single flow condition, there are many variables that can affect the meter’s accuracy, including changes in temperature, pressure, humidity, improper installation, instability, and more.

Contact Sentrol Life Sciences!

If you have any questions about flow meters in relation to your application, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Sentrol Life Sciences! We provide facilities in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and Eastern Canada with instrumentation sales, repair, calibration, and much more! Call us today at (888) 877-1778 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Shop our online store to purchase rotameters from industry-leading manufacturers!