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Load Cells VS Flow Meters

While flow meters and load cells are two very different technologies, their paths may sometimes overlap, making it a challenge to decide

While flow meters and load cells are two very different technologies, their paths may sometimes overlap, making it a challenge to decide which technology would be best suited for a certain application.

A flow meter may come in many forms, but it is usually an in-line device that measures the rate or flow of a fluid—either in volume or mass. A load cell is a device that allows for the contents of mass to be weighed accurately.

Flow meters work at their best when measuring continuous flow, rather than frequent starts and stops, and they are great for bulk receiving by weight or volume (depending on the meter). Flow meters may not always be accurate as the viscosity of the water may effect the reading. . Liquids with entrained air bubbles or variations in viscosity may give flow meters trouble, but they are no problem for load cells. For example – clean fresh water will have a different mass than dirty water or salt water. The flow meter measures flow and cannot take into account the viscosity or density of the water. 

A load cell measures the weight of the mass under load, so delays are minimized and readings are accurate at all times, provided the load cell is calibrated. Load cells offer a particular benefit when dealing with mass. 

Since the sensor is not placed under direct load, there is never a deflection or deformation of the sensing device, thus providing accurate measurements time after time. A load cell system is a good solution for precise measurement of mass.

One must conclude that in the load testing application that a load cell will be better suited to accurately measure the applied load to ensure that the test is carried out to legal standards. Flow meters have proven not to be very effective and accurate and are not permitted to be used in most of Europe and the UK. 

which technology would be best suited for a certain application.

A flow meter may come in many forms, but it is usually an in-line device that measures the rate or flow of a fluid—either in volume or mass. A load cell is a device that allows for the contents of mass to be weighed accurately.

Flow meters work at their best when measuring continuous flow, rather than frequent starts and stops, and they are great for bulk receiving by weight or volume (depending on the meter). Flow meters may not always be accurate as the viscosity of the water may effect the reading. . Liquids with entrained air bubbles or variations in viscosity may give flow meters trouble, but they are no problem for load cells. For example – clean fresh water will have a different mass than dirty water or salt water. The flow meter measures flow and cannot take into account the viscosity or density of the water. 

A load cell measures the weight of the mass under load, so delays are minimized and readings are accurate at all times, provided the load cell is calibrated. Load cells offer a particular benefit when dealing with mass. 

Since the sensor is not placed under direct load, there is never a deflection or deformation of the sensing device, thus providing accurate measurements time after time. A load cell system is a good solution for precise measurement of mass.

One must conclude that in the load testing application that a load cell will be better suited to accurately measure the applied load to ensure that the test is carried out to legal standards. Flow meters have proven not to be very effective and accurate and are not permitted to be used in most of Europe and the UK.