Flow Meters - More than Measurement
Most major equipment manufacturers in the spray foam industry offer flow meters that can be added to their equipment. Flow meters theoretically all do the same thing – measure the volumetric flow of a liquid though a given system – but the types of flow meters, the amount of datapoints collected, and the way those datapoints are used are all very different. In our next series, we will go in depth into these topics.
Types of Flow Meters
There are several different types of flow meters, with three main designs used in the Spray Foam Industry. Some manufacturers use “oval” style flow meters, some use “ultrasonic”, and Akurate Dynamics uses a “spur” style flow meter. At Akurate, we like the “spur” style flow meter for its ability to measure flows involving starts and stops, and its consistent accuracy during changing viscosity conditions and its capability for higher resolution.
Datapoint Collection: Resolution
Flow meters operate by taking measurements of volume at specific time splits – the smaller the time splits, the more datapoints you collect. The amount of datapoints taken over a given period of time is called “resolution”. The more datapoints collected, the higher the resolution. Just like on a TV screen, when there are more pixels you have a better resolution resulting in a clearer picture.
How Datapoints are Used
The biggest difference in flow meters across the industry is how the datapoints that are collected are used during the spraying process. Most major equipment manufacturers use flow meters for what is essentially an advanced alarm function. The meters measure the flow of A and B chemical, and can send a signal to the proportioner to cease function if the ratio deviates past a user-determined setpoint. This function can be adjusted or even disabled by the sprayer. With an Akurate Dynamics Delta CPS proportioner, the flow meters are integral to the spraying process. The Delta CPS operates with individually driven gear pumps and actually uses datapoints from its flow meters in real-time to adjust the speed of the motors, ensuring equal flowrates and a 1:1 ratio.