Accurately Measuring Flow in Slurry Applications

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Measurement Instrumentation

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Slurry flows are common in many process industries including metals & mining, pulp & paper, and oil & gas. Wikipedia defines a slurry as:

…a mixture of solids denser than water suspended in liquid, usually water. The most common use of slurry is as a means of transporting solids, the liquid being a carrier that is pumped on a device such as a centrifugal pump.

Measure the flow of these slurries with all the solid particulates can be challenging. In a Flow Control article, Tough slurry processes require quality measurements, Emerson’s Laura Chemler describes flow measurement solutions to address these challenges.

Laura opens describing the creation of slurries, which:

…means a pumped, pulped or mined material is mixed with water before it is moved along through a pipe to the next step in the process, which can involve adding chemicals or solvents for the next stage of the product.

In this creation and processing of the materials, accurate flow measurements are important for optimum production. Inaccuracies can mean:

…extra expenses, wasted additive, wasted product and possible process upsets.

Flow Control: Tough slurry processes require quality measurementsShe points to a magnetic flowmeter, also known as a mag meter as a good measurement option, since it:

…is obstruction-less and has no moving parts that can be damaged by the particles and chunks that flow through the pipes.

But one challenge with traditional mag meter technology is that it is:

…subject to high noise interference from the material flowing through the pipe impinging on the electrodes [measuring fluid conductivity], which can interfere with signal processing.

Laura highlights selection criteria to consider for mag meters in slurry applications. Including:

…how the meter addresses noise issues and how quickly the meter reacts to changes in the process flow rate.

Slurry magnetic flow meters, such as Rosemount MS Sensors and 8782 transmitters, cut through the process noise caused by particle impingement. Advanced signal processing stabilizes erratic flow readings caused by this process noise. The noise is filtered out while the measurement remains responsive to sudden changes in flow for stable and reliable readings.

Read the article for more on specific examples Laura shares in the metals & mining, pulp & paper, and upstream oil & gas industries as well as additional diagnostic and meter verification capabilities.

Visit the Magnetic Flow Meter for Slurry Applications section on Emerson.com for more on this technology for your slurry applications and connect & interact with other flow measurement experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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