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  Measurement, Test and Calibration
  Calibrating Flow

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Author Topic:   Calibrating Flow
posted 04 April 2000 12:41 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am fairly new (less than a year)to the metrology scene and have been given the responsibility to oversee the calibration system at my facility. Currently we are sending out all of our flowmeters to a calibration vendor for certification, but the cost seems to be quite high. Is there a cost effective standard and method that I could use in-house? Most of our flowmeters are rotameters that operate with pressurized air at low flowrates below 1 LPM. Our tolerance requirements are typically +/- 4% full scale. I appreciate any suggestions that could help me.

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 04 April 2000 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few vendors that come to mind are Unit Instruments, Brooks Instruments, Sierra, E G & G Flow Technology, Tylan General. There are a few calibrators made by some of these MFC (Mass Flow Controller) vendors. I used to use a small bench top one made by Unit Instruments.

There is a company called Flow Dynamics in Scottsdale AZ that specializes in training people for that type of calibration. Or oyu can also check with the vendor that sells the calibrator.

I recommend getting some training. it is important to be aware of the differences between gases.

If you use your MFC's strictly for Air flow, that makes it a lot easier. But if you are controlling flows on other gases, beware that it gets pretty complicated, and safety is a BIG issue with some gases.

My recommendation is that if all you do is air flow:
1. Go to vendors and select an appropriate standard.
2. Get other hardware installed (gas flow regulator, piped in or bottled gas of appropriate type).
2. Get some training on doing flow calibrations.

If doing other gases, beware.

Also, even if you are doing air, you may want to verify whether or not you need to calibrate them using nitrogen. It may well be that Nitrogen is the required calibration gas for air flow (don't remember for sure). If so, you'll have to weigh out getting set p with a bottle of N2 or having it piped in to your lab.


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