What Ultrasonic Flow Meter is and Its Advantages

An ultrasonic flow meter, which is a type of volumetric flow meter, is an intrusive flow sensor using acoustic vibration to measure the flow rate of liquids.

An ultrasonic meter is suitable for an automated wastewater application or any dirty fluid that is waste-based or conductive. But in general, it doesn’t work with drinking water or distilled water.

This flow meter is also suitable for an application where chemical compatibility, low maintenance, and low-pressure drop are requirements.

Working Principle of Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Ultrasonic flow meters are constructed using downstream and upstream sensors, reflectors, and sensor pipes. Ultrasonic flow meters work on the principle that they use a sound wave to resolve the velocity of the fluid in pipes.

Basically, there are two cases. These include flow and no flow in pipes. In the case of no flow, the frequency of ultrasonic waves is usually transmitted into pipes, and the indication from the liquid is the same.

In the case of flow, the frequency of reflected waves is completely different, thanks to the Doppler impact. The frequency change increase whenever the liquid flows through pipes. You can as well click here to read more about the working principle of ultrasonic flow meters.


There are flow meters for all kinds of applications, from determining the amount of fluid customers bought to measuring gas consistency. Different forms of ultrasonic flow meters may provide accurate and precise data on volume, mass, quantity, and flow rate, based on the requirements of applications.

Variations in ultrasonic flow meter types are dictated by where sensors are placed, the kind of materials being monitored, and the way they attach to pipes. The most common types of ultrasonic flow meters include:

  • Hybrid
  • In-line
  • Radar
  • Portable
  • Single and dual clamp-on

Ultrasound Flow Meter Applications

An ultrasonic flow meter may measure nearly every light homogenous fluid, including hydrocarbons, wastewater, and water. The basic requirement expected is that the liquid may carry out the ultrasound and have acceptable axis-symmetrical flow.

This allows the flow meter to be used in petrochemical, pharmaceutical/chemical, an inspection of installation meters, building services, leak detection, water distribution, and survey work, just to name a few.


An ultrasonic flow meter is highly helpful in various applications across many industries. Traditional mechanical flowmeters can measure pressure through moving parts that serve as mechanical sensors.

Unfortunately, these moving parts pose a few risks. They normally result in pressure loss and obstruct flow. Moving parts as well degrade over time, offering less accurate outcomes and requiring replacement and repair. Because there are no moving parts in an ultrasonic flowmeter, you will have nothing to worry about them creating a blockage or degrading.

Another advantage of using ultrasonic flowmeters is that they require low maintenance. Because ultrasonic flowmeters don’t have moving parts, they last longer with little maintenance. They as well have lower power consumption, enabling them to last for years before you consider replacing the batteries.

Concluding Thoughts!

Ultrasonic flow meters use ultrasound to measure fluid velocity and can be used in different fluid applications. Especially clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters can save time, achieve high accuracy, and aren’t impacted by noise, making them suitable in many industries.

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