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A New Solution Enables More Accurate Flow Measurements in Slurry Applications

by | Dec 13, 2019 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Trever Ball

Trever Ball

Director of Marketing for Rosemount Magnetic Flow Meters

mag-meter-slurryA unique problem in measuring volumetric flow lies in handling slurry applications. When “slurry” can mean any fluid mixture pumped, pulped, or mined with various solids suspended in the liquid, many industries run into issues monitoring fluids with such inconsistent composition. Pipe lines and their instruments must be able to handle particulates in the slurry, but different solids flowing through the mixture can harm equipment and create noise. This issue, combined with the fact that some fluids can be highly corrosive or exist at extreme temperatures, makes accurate flow rate measurements unattainable without the right equipment. Magnetic flow meter technology typically reduces obstacles to data collection in slurry pipe lines, but improvements in flow signal stability and measurement accuracy are needed. The MS Sensor and 8782 Transmitter together create the Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter, or Slurry Mag, which delivers those improvements and more with a new way to filter out process noise and stabilize erratic flow readings in slurry applications. The next stage in the evolution of flow metering lies in this advanced mag meter technology.

Why Magnetic Flow Meters are the Industry Standard for Slurry Applications

To understand how the new flow meters improve confidence in measurement of slurry applications, we have to look at why magnetic flow meters work so well for slurries. Electromagnetic flowmeters do not require pipe obstructions to collect data, moderating equipment issues with abrasive slurry mixtures and particulate impacts. Mag meters also utilize induced voltage to provide highly accurate volumetric flow measurements. A current run through a set of coils generates a magnetic field inside the sensor. The process fluid running through the magnetic field creates the induced voltage. A pair of electrodes carries that induced voltage to the transmitter on the mag meter.

The Problem of Noise Interference

Slurry noise is caused by chunks of debris in the slurry mixture impacting the electrodes on the electromagnetic flow meter. This noise interference hampers signal processing, destabilizing measurement readings. Traditionally, analog damping has been used to reduce the effects of noise interference on the flow meter data. This creates lag time and disrupts the ability to make prompt changes due to fluctuations in the process flow. Without real-time flow measurement readings, inefficiencies are introduced into the process and product quality declines.

The Solution to Noise Interference in Slurry Flow Measurements

To have the capability for an accurate, stable flow measurement, you need a transmitter with advanced signal processing. Advanced signal processing is used in the new Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter to enhance its capacity to consistently and accurately separate the flow signal from the slurry noise without the need for lag from excessive analog damping. Additionally, Smart Meter Verification continuously monitors the health of the flow meter, eliminating uncertainty and confirming compliance.

When only legitimate data points are used for the volumetric numbers, you enable responsive flow measurements. This allows operators to proactively make corrections to the process, improving productivity, minimizing waste, and reducing costs overall.

A mag meter’s transmitter with the ability to automatically omit excess process noise from the flow signal delivers flow measurement confidence and the capability to make responsive adjustments to the process like never before.

Industries that Will Benefit from the New Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter

Oil and gas companies find mag meters essential to their ability to manage slurry flow in hydraulic fracturing processes. Water is blended with sand and fracking chemicals to create the fluid which is injected into the well. Slurry Magnetic Flow Meters can be installed on the blender trucks to help maintain the correct mixture during this injecting process and ensure accurate flow totals are reported.

Oil separation from the wastewater content is another crucial step in oil and gas extraction. Accurate flow rate data is important throughout the separation and treatment of wastewater and, if needed, custody transfer. Not only do mag meters make these processes more efficient, saving time and money, they also, vitally, help ensure compliance with environmental rules and regulations.

The pulp and paper industry uses pulp stock slurry to make the paper and cellulose products we use every day like cardboard, paper towels, stationery, and newspapers. Whether the system is using chemically treated pulp or mechanically produced pulp, added water creates a slurry mixture as part of the production process. The fibers inherent in these products make the slurry especially challenging to measure. Fibers create significant signal noise by rubbing across the electrodes in mag meters.

With metals and mining, ore is extracted and mixed with water to reduce dust exposure and provide a safer and more economical way to transport the material for processing. Again, liquid slurry flow data is needed throughout the refining operation.

These three industries use slurry applications as a primary part of their production, but the Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter will benefit many more. With a new solution that enables better insights into slurry flow management and more accurate and stable data, the Slurry Magnetic Flow Meter redefines what’s possible in flow measurement technology.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.