Coriolis and mass flow: A dynamic duo

By: Premier Control Technologies
NORWICH, U.K. - Feb. 22, 2021 - PRLog -- What is the Coriolis effect?

You may have heard of the Coriolis effect, a term commonly used to explain why hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons spin counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Behind this phenomenon is the Coriolis force, a fictitious force responsible for the apparent deflection of an object moving within a rotating frame of reference. In the weather example, air traveling through the atmosphere is directed to either the right or left (depending on the hemisphere) and determines the spin direction of weather bodies.

While Newtonian laws of motion sufficiently describe the motion of objects within a stationary frame, they require an additional correction factor provided by the fictitious Coriolis force to describe motion within a rotating frame of reference. This is necessary because the object isn't physically tethered to the frame of reference, or coordinate system, which is used to characterize its motion. So, an object will appear to be deflected from the initial path as the frame of reference rotates beneath it.

The difference between the intended and actual path is measurable as a deflection resulting from the Coriolis effect.

How does Alicat's CODA-series work?

The CODA-series of mass flow meters and controllers utilizes the Coriolis operating principle and uses the single tube setup described above. The measurement process is as follows:
  1. The tube is electromagnetically actuated to create a fixed vibration at the tube's natural resonance frequency.
  2. In a no-flow condition, the vibrational frequencies of corners C1 and C2 (see figure above) are in phase.
  3. Flow through the tube induces a change to the vibration (i.e. a "twist" of the tube).
  4. The twisting motion produces a phase shift in the vibrational frequency of C1 compared to C2.
  5. A series of sensors measures the magnitude of the phase shift, which is directly proportional to the mass flow rate.
  6. The PCB converts the sensor data to a measurement of flow rate as mass per unit time.
Read more about Coriolis flow meters -

James Kybird
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Tags:Coriolis Flow Meters
Location:Norwich - Norfolk - England
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