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The volume of a liquid that flows through a particular point over a period of time is known as hydraulic flow or flow rate. Usually flow is measured in litres per minute, i.e. how many litres flow through a particular point per minute. There are many reasons why you may need to measure the flow inside a hydraulic system.

Why measure flow in a hydraulic system?

Flow is a very important measurement for hydraulic systems, kind of like current is for electric circuits. Sometimes you would want to measure flow to monitor the system from week to week in order to make sure all is working well. Other times, you might measure flow to compare how different hydraulic systems perform or use it for troubleshooting issues with the system.

Whatever the reason you need to measure flow, you will need a hydraulic flow meter to do so.

What is a hydraulic flow meter?

A hydraulic flow meter is simply as it sounds: it measures the flow of liquid through a hydraulic system. Perhaps more complex is deciding which type of meter you need for a specific purpose. 

Some key factors to consider when selecting a flow meter include: 

  • What fluid are you measuring the flow of? Properties such as viscosity and corrosiveness may affect which hydraulic flow meter you choose.
  • How accurate does your measurement need to be? The manufacturer of the flow meter should give a margin of error, indicating how accurate the reading will be.
  • What are the maximum and minimum flow rates you will need to measure? 
  • Do you want to measure pressure and/or temperature with the same meter?

Types of hydraulic flow meters

Variable Orifice Flow Meters

Variable orifice flow meters have a piston attached to a spring. Fluid in the hydraulic system exerts a force on the piston, and this movement in the piston increases the size of the orifice. The flow rate can be read of an analogue indicator. These flow meters tend to have a larger margin or error than other types.

Gear Type Flow Meters

Gear type flow meters have a pair of gears. As fluid passes the gears, a transducer connected to one of the gears generates a pulse every time the other gear passes under it. How fast the gears rotate indicates the flow rate.

Turbine Type Flow Meters

Turbine type flow meters measure flow as fluid rotates a turbine inside the meter. Mounted above the turbine is a transducer which generates an electric pulse every time a turbine blade passes under it. This type of hydraulic flow meter has a high accuracy level.

At Hydraulic Solutions, we offer turbine type flow meters of the Hydac range which cover a flow rate from 1.2 to 600 litres per minute.

Hydraulic flow meters for sale

Whether you need to measure flow for troubleshooting, monitoring or comparing hydraulic systems, at Hydraulic Solutions, we have an extensive range of hydraulic flow meters for the job. We offer turbine type flow meters from the Hydac range as well as standard visual inline flow meters. Browse our range, or get in touch with us to see what we can do for you.