A novel low flowrate ultrasonic flowmeter for liquids


There is an increasing demand for the improved measurement of low flow rates of liquids in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, laboratory, medical and industrial sectors. The requirements such flowmeters are that they can operate over a wide range of flows, providing a linear performance independent of the Reynold’s Number and with a meter construction which is clean bore such that the meter can be cleaned by the passage through the meter of a ball shaped pig.

This paper describes the design and performance of a novel ultrasonic flowmeter named ‘The Atrato’, developed in close collaboration by Titan Enterprises and the Department of Process and Systems Engineering at Cranfield University. This unique design will be launched in April at the Advanced Manufacturing UK Exhibition.

Professor Mike Sanderson, Emeritus Professor of Fluid Instrumentation, Cranfield University describes the work carried out on this new technology:

The use of low frequency ultrasound and advanced signal processing to interrogate the flow ensures that the flowmeter provides high accuracy over a wide turndown range. In addition the technology developed for the Atrato has the flexibility to provide the basis of a family of flowmeters suitable for an even wider range of flows and applications.

Transit time ultrasonic flowmetering techniques potentially offer the user a non-intrusive measurement method but in general are suited to the measurement of higher flowrates in pipes of larger diameter. This paper describes the design and performance of a novel ultrasonic flowmeter developed jointly by the Department of Process and Systems Engineering at Cranfield University and Titan Enterprises. Initially the meter was developed as a replacement for small turbine meters in drink and beverage applications. However its performance is such that it has potential uses in a much wider range of applications. The patented technological approach therefore enables a wide variety of different flow measurement, dosing and control applications to be addressed. Using the same electronics with an appropriately sized flow tube it is possible for the meter to monitor flow over a range of flows from 1.5m3/hr to 0.2l/hr with an accuracy of better than ±1.5% over a flow range of in excess of 200 to 1 when used with pipe sizes as small as 1mm in diameter. The flowmeter is capable of providing an update rate of 0.1s and therefore in suitable for batching type applications.


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Flows from 2mL to 20 L/Min.

Ideal for:
Drink dispensing
Laboratory tests
Cooling equipment
Active flow alarms
Semiconductor plant
OEM applications