Vortex Flow Meter

A Vortex Flow Meter is a flow measurement device best suited for flow measurements where the introduction of moving parts presents problems.  Sensitivity to variations in the process conditions are low and with no moving parts have relatively low wear compared to other types of flow meters.

Vortex flow meters operate under the vortex shedding principle, where an oscillating vortexes occur when a fluid such as water flow past a bluff (as opposed to streamlined) body. The frequency that the vortexes are shed depend on the size and shape of the body. It is ideal for applications where low maintenance costs are important. Industrial size vortex meters are custom built and require appropriate sizing for specific applications.



The image of a vortex flow meter that is available online

The Vortex Flow Meter is a vital instrument used in fluid measurement and control applications across various industries. It is a highly accurate and reliable device that measures the flow rate of liquids, gases, and steam through a pipe. In this article, we will delve into the working principle, components, and applications of the Vortex Flow Meter, providing a comprehensive understanding of its functionality.

Working Principle

The working principle of the Vortex Flow Meter is based on the von Kármán effect, which states that when a fluid flow passes through a bluff body (shaped like a triangular or rectangular prism) inserted into the pipe, it generates alternating vortices on both sides of the obstacle.  These vortices create pressure fluctuations known as vortex shedding.  The frequency of these pressure fluctuations is directly proportional to the velocity of the fluid flow, allowing for the measurement of flow rate.

The Vortex Flow Meter consists of several key components.  The primary element is the bluff body, which disrupts the flow and generates the alternating vortices.  The bluff body can have different shapes and sizes based on specific application requirements.  It is typically made of stainless steel or other durable materials to withstand the fluid conditions.


Attached to the bluff body is a sensor, often a piezoelectric crystal or pressure sensor.  This sensor picks up the pressure fluctuations caused by the vortex shedding and converts them into electrical signals.  These signals are then processed by a transducer, which amplifies and conditions the signals to make them suitable for further analysis.

The Vortex Flow Meter also includes a signal converter or flow transmitter that converts the electrical signals into a standardized form such as a 4-20 mA current loop or a digital output.  This standardized signal is then used by a flow controller or data acquisition system for flow measurement and control purposes.

One of the advantages of using a Vortex Flow Meter is its high accuracy and repeatability. It offers a wide turndown ratio, allowing it to accurately measure low and high flow rates with the same level of precision. Additionally, it has no moving parts, reducing the need for maintenance and minimizing the risk of mechanical failure.

Industries Used

The Vortex Flow Meter finds applications in various industries, including oil and gas, chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, water treatment, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.  Its ability to handle a wide range of fluids, such as liquids, gases, and steam, makes it a versatile device for flow measurement in different environments.

Oil and Gas

In the oil and gas industry, the Vortex Flow Meter is used to measure the flow rate of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products in pipelines.  It helps in monitoring the consumption and distribution of these valuable resources, ensuring accurate billing and facilitating efficient operations.

Chemical Processing

In chemical processing plants, the Vortex Flow Meter aids in measuring the flow rates of various chemicals and solvents.  This information is crucial for controlling the production process, maintaining product quality, and optimizing resource utilization.


The pharmaceutical industry utilizes the Vortex Flow Meter for measuring the flow of fluids during drug manufacturing.  It ensures accurate dosing and precise control of ingredients for producing high-quality medications.

Water Treatment

The Vortex Flow Meter also plays a crucial role in water treatment facilities, where it helps in measuring the flow rate of water for efficient distribution and consumption assessment. It aids in detecting leaks, optimizing water usage, and facilitating the maintenance of water supply networks.


In HVAC systems, the Vortex Flow Meter is used to measure the flow rate of air and other gases, contributing to effective climate control in buildings and ensuring optimal energy usage.

In conclusion, the Vortex Flow Meter is a sophisticated instrument that utilizes the principle of vortex shedding to accurately measure the flow rate of fluids.  Its high accuracy, wide turndown ratio, and versatility make it a valuable tool in various industries. By providing reliable flow data, the Vortex Flow Meter enables precise control, efficient resource utilization, and optimal performance in fluid measurement and control applications.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Vortex flow meters are commonly used to measure the flow rate of liquids, gases, and steam.  These meters have several advantages and disadvantages.  Let’s start with the advantages:


Wide Range of Applications

Vortex flow meters can be used in various industries, including oil and gas, chemical, water and wastewater, and food and beverage, making them versatile instruments for flow measurement.

Low-Pressure Drop

Vortex flow meters have a minimal pressure drop, meaning they don’t significantly restrict the flow of the fluid being measured.  Additionally, this is beneficial in systems where pressure preservation is critical.

No Moving Parts

One of the significant advantages of vortex flow meters is that they don’t have any moving parts.  This makes them more reliable, reduces maintenance requirements, and decreases the risk of mechanical failure.

Accurate and Repeatable Measurements

Vortex flow meters can provide accurate and repeatable measurements, especially when calibrated properly.  They are known for their high levels of measurement stability.

Wide Turndown Ratio

Vortex flow meters have a wide turndown ratio, which means they can measure a broad range of flow rates accurately.  This flexibility allows for enhanced performance in varying flow conditions.


Sensitivity to Installation Conditions

Vortex flow meters can be sensitive to the conditions in which they are installed.  Also, factors such as pipe vibrations, swirls, and obstructions can affect their accuracy.  Finally, proper installation, accounting for these factors, is crucial.

Limited Accuracy at Low Flow Rates

Vortex flow meters may not provide accurate readings at very low flow rates.  Additionally, the presence of turbulence and irregular flow patterns at low flow rates can compromise their precision in these conditions.

Susceptibility to Temperature and Density Changes

Changes in temperature and fluid density can impact the accuracy of vortex flow meters.  It is important to consider compensating for these variations when using these meters.


Vortex flow meters can be more expensive than some other types of flow meters, such as turbine or positive displacement meters.  Moreover, the initial investment cost may be higher, especially for larger pipe sizes or specialized applications.

Remember, these points are general advantages and disadvantages of vortex flow meters. It is always recommended to consult with a flow measurement specialist or manufacturer for specific application requirements and considerations.

Other Specifications

The piezoelectric element encapsulated in the detection probe body generates an alternating charge signal.  The signal is the same frequency as the vortex, under the action of alternating stress.

Furthermore, the signal is sent to the intelligent flow totalizer to be processed after being amplified by the pre-amplifier.  In Addition, it will realize displaying instantaneous flow and cumulative flow of fluid, communicating and controlling flow data and the microcomputer system.

In conclusion, a certain range of Reynolds number (2×10^4~7×10^6), the relationship among vortex releasing frequency fluid velocity V.

It also has a vortex generator facing flow surface width d can be expressed by the following equation:

Vortex Flow Meter Features

  • The unique isolated sensor design allows for replacement without breaking the process seal
  • Increase plant availability and reduce potential leak points with a gasket-free meter body with no moving parts
  • Eliminate downtime and maintenance costs associated with plugged impulse lines with a non-clog meter body design
  • Achieve vibration immunity with a mass-balanced sensor and Adaptive Digital Signal Processing with visual filtering
  • A standard internal signal generator included in every meter simplifies electronics verification
  • All meters arrive pre-configured and hydrostatically tested, making them ready and easy to install
  • Simplify SIS compliance with available dual and quad Vortex

If the Vortex Flow Meter does not meet your application requirements pls look at another type of flow meter below

Turbine Flow Meter

Coriolis Flow Meter

Ultrasonic Flow Meter

Electromagnetic Flow Meter

Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 24 × 14 × 14 in

1/2" (0.12-2.02 Lb/Min), 1" (0.27-5.76 Lb/Min), 1-1/2" (0.63-13.57 Lb/Min), 2" (0.52-22.36 Lb/Min), 3" (1.14-49.27 Lb/Min), 4" (1.96-84.84 Lb/Min), 6" (4.44-192.53 Lb/Min), 8" (7.69-333.38 Lb/Min), 12" (17.38-753.69 Lb/Min)


Liquid, Gas


150LB (200PSIG @ <400F), 300LB (635PSIG @ <400F)


Flanged, Wafer, Sanitary, Compression


24VDC, 85-220VAC


Intrinsically Safe (EXi), Explosion Proof (EXd)


4-20 MA, 0-10KHZ, 0-10VDC (Optional)

Communication Protocol


Materials of Construction

SS304, SS316L

QC Test Certificate

No, Yes


0.2%, 0.5%




Cumulative Flow, Instantaneous Flow, Forward Flow, Reverse Flow









Vortex Flow Meter

Process Temperature LimitsStandard: -40 to 450 FExtended: -330 to 800 FSevere -330 to 825 F
Outputs4-20maPulse OutputModbus RT
Ambient Temperature Limits-50 to 185 F
Process TypeAirLiquidSteam
AccuracyGas: +/- 1%Liquid: +/- 0.65%Steam: +/- 1%


A Q&A Vortex Flow Meters, which stands for “question and answer for a Vortex Flow Meter,” is a format commonly used to facilitate communication and exchange of information. In a Q&A Vortex Flow Meters, one person asks a question, and another person or group provides an answer or response to that question. This format is widely used in various contexts, such as interviews, discussions, presentations, or online forums. It allows for a structured and organized way of addressing inquiries and obtaining relevant information. Is there anything specific you would like to know about Q&A Vortex Flow Meters?

Q: What is a vortex flow meter?

A: A vortex flow meter is a type of flow meter that measures the flow of liquids, gases, and steam by detecting the frequency of vortices shed by a bluff body placed in the flow stream. The frequency of vortices is proportional to the flow rate. This allows the Q&A Vortex Flow Meters to provide a direct measurement of flow.

Q: How does a vortex flow meter work?

A: A vortex flow meter works by placing a bluff body, such as a triangular or rectangular rod, in the flow stream. As fluid flows past the bluff body, vortices are shed alternately from each side of the body, creating a pattern of vortices downstream. These vortices create pressure fluctuations that are detected by a sensor. This is typically a piezoelectric crystal or a strain gauge, mounted on the body or in the flow stream. The frequency of these pressure fluctuations is proportional to the flow rate. Which in turn allows the Q&A Vortex Flow Meters to provide an accurate measurement of flow.

Q: What are some applications for Q&A Vortex Flow Meters?

A: Vortex flow meters are commonly used in a variety of industries, including chemical processing, and oil and gas production. They can also be used for water and wastewater treatment, and HVAC systems. They are often used to measure the flow of liquids and gases in pipelines. Also, used as well as in tanks, boilers, and other process equipment.

Q: What are the advantages of using vortex flow meters?

A: Vortex flow meters offer several advantages over other types of flow meters, including high accuracy, low maintenance, and a wide turndown ratio. They are also well-suited for use in applications where the fluid being measured contains solids or bubbles. The bubbles as the bluff body helps to keep these particles and bubbles moving smoothly through the flow stream.

Q: What factors should be considered when selecting a Q&A Vortex Flow Meters?

A: When selecting a vortex flow meter, several factors should be considered, including the specific application. Also, the type of fluid being measured, the flow rate and range, and the required accuracy and resolution. Other factors to consider include the operating temperature and pressure range. This will impact the type of output signal required, and the installation and maintenance requirements.

Q: What are some limitations of vortex flow meters?

A: One limitation of vortex flow meters is that they are more prone to errors and inaccuracies when the fluid being measured contains low or fluctuating flow rates. Low or fluctuating rates can cause the vortices to become unstable and difficult to detect. Additionally, vortex flow meters may not be suitable for measuring highly viscous or corrosive fluids. They are also not available for use in applications with high levels of vibration or pulsation in the flow stream. Finally, Q&A Vortex Flow Meters may be more expensive than other types of flow meters, particularly for larger pipe sizes or high-pressure applications.

Q: How do vortex flow meters compare to other types of flow meters?

A: Vortex flow meters are often compared to other types of flow meters, such as magnetic flow meters, ultrasonic flow meters, and turbine flow meters. Compared to magnetic flow meters, vortex flow meters are generally less expensive. They can also be used with a wider range of fluids but may be less accurate in some applications. Ultrasonic flow meters are often more accurate than vortex flow meters. You must consider that they may not be suitable for use with highly viscous fluids. Turbine flow meters may be more accurate than vortex flow meters at higher flow rates. The meters are more prone to wear and require more frequent maintenance. Ultimately, the choice of flow meter depends on the specific application requirements and constraints.

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Advantages / Disadvantages



SRSVOFT-Vortex Flow Meter Manual-2019



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