Selection Guide

What is a mechanical flow meter?

Mechanical flow meters are a type of flow meters that use arrangement moving parts to measure flow. The fluid passes through a series of gears or chambers (positive displacement or PD) or through a rotating turbine or rotor. Mechanical flowmeter is different from electromagnetic and ultrasonic in principle. Mechanical flow meters easily monitor liquid flow rates for water, fuels, viscous fluids and more.

Mechanical Flow Meters

Mechanical flow meter types

There are many types of flow meters.

The electromagnetic flowmeter is based on the electromagnetic principle. When a conductive fluid flows through an electromagnetic field, the velocity of the fluid can be obtained by measuring the voltage.

Ultrasonic flow meters use the principle of ultrasonic acoustics to measure flow velocity. The mechanical flow meter is a relative concept.

Compared with other flow meters, the mechanical flowmeter relies on the rotation and displacement of mechanical parts to measure the flow rate. Common mechanical flow meters have the following categories.

Tool: Volumetric Flow Rate & Pipe Diameter to Flow Speed Calculator

A positive displacement flowmeter as a mechanical flow meter is a common type of Volumetric Flow Meter. It can measure the volume flow of high viscosity and corrosive fluids.

Volumetric flow meter working principle

The positive displacement flow meter is a flow meter that uses mechanical measuring elements to continuously divide the fluid into a single known volume, and repeatedly fill and discharge the volume of fluid to accumulate the total amount of fluid.

Read more about: positive displacement flowmeter

A Rotameter flow meter is a variable area flow meter based on float position measurement. It is suitable for liquid and gas volumetric flow measurement and control.

Rotameter flow meter working principle

When the measured fluid passes through the annulus formed by the cone and floats from the bottom to the top. The differential pressure produced at the upper and lower ends of the float forms the force for the float to rise. Until the rising force equals the weight of the float immersed in the fluid, the float will stabilize at a certain height.
The height of the float in the tapered tube and the flow rate through it correspond to each other.

Read more about Rotameter flow meter-Variable Area Flow Meters

Extended reading: Beginner’s Guide: Variable area flow meter

Turbine flow meters are velocity flow meters, also called impeller flow meters. Can be used to measure the instantaneous flow and cumulative flow of liquids and gases.

Turbine Flow Meter Working Principle

The fluid flows through the sensor housing. Because the blades of the impeller have a certain angle with the flow direction. The impulse of the fluid makes the blades have a rotational torque. After the friction torque and fluid resistance are overcome, the blades rotate. The speed is stable after the torque is balanced.
Under certain conditions, the speed is proportional to the flow rate.

Read more about Turbine Flow Meter Working Principle

Gear flow meter is a micro digital positive displacement flow meter. Can measure very small flow rates and quantify small volumes of liquid. High and low temperature resistance (-196℃-200℃).

Gear flow meter working principle

With the flow of the medium, the gears mesh and rotate. Under the action of the fluid flow, a pressure difference is formed at both ends of the instrument inlet and outlet. There is no need for power supply. A pair of gears rotate freely. The cavity between the gears is filled with liquid. Discharge and measure the number of revolutions of the gear to know the flow of liquid and liquid flowing through the instrument.

Read more about Gear flow meter for Microflow

Read more about: Beginner’s Guide: Variable area flow meter

Featured Mechanical Flow Meters

Extended reading: High-Temperature Oval Gear Heating oil Flow Meter

Of course, if you are not clear about the principle and difference of the above flow meters. Can not choose the appropriate Mechanical Flow Meters. Then, you can also choose the appropriate Mechanical Flow Meters according to the fluid conditions that need to be measured.

Extended reading:
What is the K-factor in a flow meter?
Cryogenic Flow Meters|Liquid Nitrogen-Liquid Oxygen-LNG fluids

Below are some of our experience sharing, hoping to help you find the right Mechanical Flow Meters.

Mechanical water flow meters refer to a type of flow meter suitable for clean water processes or applications. The working principle of a mechanical water flow meter is to measure the speed of water flowing through a pipe. This causes the piston or turbine to rotate. The volume flow of water is proportional to the rotation speed of the blades. Compared with electronic water flow meters, mechanical water flow meters may become clogged when the water is dirty or contains large particles. When the water flow is low, the mechanical water meter does not work well.

In most cases, we will choose an electromagnetic flowmeter to measure the flow rate of water. But if it is pure water and cannot conduct electricity, then an electromagnetic flowmeter cannot be used. You can choose a turbine flowmeter to measure.

Extended reading: 2 inch Water Flow Meter

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3 inch (3″) Water Meter

Low cost 3″ Water Meter 3″ water meter is also DN80 water meter. Easy to read. Totalizing water volume. Intelligent large-caliber remote water meter includes wired remote transmission and wireless remote transmission. RS485 communication equipment, MODBUS, etc. Features of 3″ Read More

2 inch Water Flow Meter

2 inch water flow meter is also written as 2″ flow meter. If you are planning to buy a 2 inch water flow meter, please be sure to read this article. How much is a 2 inch water flow meter? Read More

Inline water flow meters

Featured inline water flow meters Strap on flow meter X3  External clamp-on flow sensor. Easy to install. Suitable for measuring pipe diameter Φ9.53~Φ90. Ultrasonic Water Meter for Residential Water DN15-DN40, RS485. LORA/ NB-IoT, WIFI, Output MBUS, MODBUS, ASCII, CJ188 are Read More

Hot Water Flow Meters

Hot Water Flow Meters Improve Heating-Boiler System Hot water flow meters refer to flow meters that can measure and indicate the flow of high temperature water. Hot water is widely used in industry and civil use. Such as heating systems, Read More

Extended reading: Insertion Ultrasonic Water Flow Meter – Designed for Agricultural Irrigation, Garden Management

Diesel Fuel Flow Meters

Diesel Fuel flow meters are digital flow meters for liquid fuel consumption measurement.

Most widely used types are mechanical and digital inline fuel meters. Differential flow sensors are avilable. Like: the turbine, positive displacement (oval gear), Coriolis, and differential pressure flow meters.

Read more about: Diesel Fuel Flow Meters

Industrial Fuel Flow Meters

The oval gear flowmeter is particularly suitable for measuring high viscosity media. And it is not sensitive to changes in the viscosity of the liquid being measured.

Measurable medium:
Fuel, diesel, gasoline, heat transfer oil, hydraulic oil, kerosene, tar, petroleum, crude oil, asphalt, resin and other liquids. Especially suitable for the measurement of high viscosity liquids.

Read more about:

LCD display Oval Gear High Viscosity Flow Meter

T-series Coriolis Mass Flowmeter for High Viscosity Liquids


A mechanical gas flow meter is a precision instrument used to measure the volume of gas flowing through a pipe. It is typically used in industrial and commercial applications where accurate measurement of gas flow is critical.

Mechanical flow meters that can measure gas flow mainly include metal float flow meters and turbine gas flow meters. And orifice plate meter.

A Rotameter flow meter is a variable area flow meter based on float position measurement. It is suitable for liquid and gas volumetric flow measurement and control.

Gas turbine flow meter is a velocity flow meter that measures gas flow. For natural gas, nitrogen, and gas trade measurement.

Relatively speaking, the cost of gas turbine flow meters is higher than that of Rotameter flow meters. But the service life will be longer.

Extended reading: How does a rotameter work

Extended reading: Gas Rotameter Tips

For cryogenic fluids, such as liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, etc. It can reach -196 degrees Celsius.

For cryogenic fluids, we provide gear flow meters and low-temperature turbine flow meters.

You can choose the right one according to the flow range.

Read more General-purpose Flow Totalizer for Data collection and calculation

Mechanical oil flow meters are devices that measure the rate of oil flow. They are often used in industrial and commercial applications to monitor the rate of oil consumption or production.

There are several different types of mechanical oil flow meters, each designed for a specific application. The most common type of mechanical oil flow meter is the positive displacement (PD) meter. PD meters measure the volume of oil that passes through the meter by displacing a fixed amount of fluid with each revolution of the measuring chamber. This type of meter is very accurate and is often used in applications where precise measurement is critical.

Another type of mechanical oil flow meter is the turbine meter. Turbine meters measure the rate of oil flow by measuring the speed of a rotating turbine blade. Turbine meters are less accurate than PD meters but are more resistant to fouling and clogging.

Read more about: oil flow meter types

No matter which Mechanical Flow Meters you choose. The signal output by Mechanical Flow Meters, such as 4-20mA. The flow signal can be connected to a paperless recorder. Carry out multi-channel flow signal monitoring.

Extended reading: Make Ultrasonic Open Channel Flow Meter Work for You


Flow Metering Principals
Differential Pressure Flowmeters
Velocity Flowmeters
Positive Displacement Flowmeters
Mass Flowmeters
For Open Channel Flowmeters – weirs, flumes, submerged orifices, current meters, acoustic flow meters, and more
For different working principle, We offer different types of flow meters, like:
Differential Pressure Flow Meters
Orifice Plate
Venturi Tube
Flow Nozzles
The Sonic Nozzle – Critical (Choked) Flow Nozzle
Calorimetric Flowmeter
Ultrasonic Doppler Flowmeter
Positive Displacement Flowmeter
Variable Area Flowmeter or Rotameter
Velocity Flowmeters
Pitot Tubes
Electromagnetic Flowmeter
Turbine Flowmeter
Vortex Flow Meter
Thermal Flowmeter
Coriolis Flowmeter
Mass Flowmeters
Open Channel Flowmeters

Residential water meters can measure the water consumption of a household.
Industrial water meters mainly refer to water flow meters. Can measure the amount of industrial water. For example, the amount of wastewater discharged.
Extended reading: 2 inch Water Flow Meter

Digital flow meter is a flow meter with digital display and signal output. Digital flow meter refers to a flow meter with digital display and signal output.Different digital flow sensors include turbine, thermal mass, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, orifice plate, venturi. The different designs of the flowmeters have a variety of applications. With 4-20ma, RS485, or others output.
Extended reading: Hot Water Flow Meters Improve Heating-Boiler System

Mechanical flowmeters are generally equipped with pointer display heads.
The pointer indicates the instantaneous flow.
Above is a single cumulative flow, which can be reset;
Below is the total accumulated flow, which cannot be reset.

Extended Reading: Insertion Flowmeter Types

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Crude Oil Flow Meter

Crude Oil Flow Meter refers to a type of flow meter that can accurately monitor and measure the flow of crude oil. Crude oil is an industrial raw material with complex physical and chemical properties. In the process of production, Read More

Non Contact Flow Meters Measure Liquid Flow

What is non contact flow meter? Non Contact Flow Meters refers to flow meters that can achieve flow measurement without contacting the fluid medium. No need to destroy the pipeline. Easy to install and remove. This is a good choice Read More

LORA Water Meter

LORA Water Meter is a commonly used wireless water meter/wireless flowmeter. The wireless remote water meter measures the water flow in the pipeline. The microcomputer in the water meter automatically stores the amount of water used. When the time to Read More

Mechanical Oil Flow Meters

What is mechanical oil flow meter? Mechanical oil flow meter refers to a flowmeter that can detect the volume flow of oil inline. Most importantly, this type of flowmeter is a mechanical measurement. It is common to use an oval Read More

Mechanical flow meter price

Sino-Inst offers Mechanical Flow Meters with best price. Please contact our sale engineer for quotation.

Sino-Inst offers over 50 Mechanical Flow Meters for flow measurement. About 50% of these are differential pressure flow meters, 40% is the turbine flow sensor, and 20% are dp flow meters and gear flow meters.

A wide variety of Mechanical Flow Meters options are available to you, such as free samples, paid samples.

Sino-Instrument is a globally recognized supplier and manufacturer of flow measurement instrumentation, located in China.

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