Research Papers

Contrapropagating Ultrasonic Flowmeter Using Clad Buffer Rods for High Temperature Measurements

[+] Author and Article Information
D. R. França1

Department of Electrical Engineering, McGill University, Montréal, QC, H3A 2A7, Canadadrfranca@ene.unb.br

C.-K. Jen

Industrial Materials Institute, National Research Council of Canada, Boucherville, QC, J4B 6Y4, Canada

Y. Ono2

Industrial Materials Institute, National Research Council of Canada, Boucherville, QC, J4B 6Y4, Canada


Corresponding author. Present address: Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, DF 70919-970, Brazil.


Present address: Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 133(1), 011007 (Nov 29, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002717 History: Received October 14, 2009; Revised July 26, 2010; Published November 29, 2010; Online November 29, 2010

This work proposes clad buffer rods driven by shear transducers as the main building block of contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeters for high temperature application. It is demonstrated that the superior signal-to-noise ratio exhibited by clad buffer rods (compared with the reported nonclad counterparts) improves precision in transit time measurements, leading to more accurate flow speed determination. In addition, it is shown that clad buffer rods generate specific ultrasonic signals for temperature calibration of flowmeters, allowing temperature variation while still measuring accurately the flow speed. On the basis of these experimental results, a contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter was designed and installed in a heater machine for flow speed measurements of hot oil at temperatures near 130°C. For a temperature variation of 3°C, the difference between upstream and downstream ultrasonic transit times, which is proportional to the flow speed at a given temperature, was measured within 1 ns accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Weld-in contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter. Shear wave UTs are used to transmit and receive ultrasonic pulses.

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Figure 2

Pairs of steel clad (left) and nonclad (right) buffer rods selected for performance comparison in through-transmission mode

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Figure 3

Experimental configuration for evaluating buffer rod performance in through-transmission mode

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Figure 4

Experimental results obtained for the configuration shown in Fig. 3. (a) Time domain signals. (b) Frequency spectra of the S1−L1−S1 echoes shown in (a).

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Figure 5

A contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter prototype for water flow measurements at room temperature. For downstream transit time measurements, probe B is the receiver; for upstream transit time measurements, probe A is the receiver.

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Figure 6

Typical ultrasonic signals obtained with the flowmeter prototype in Fig. 5

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Figure 7

Experimental and theoretical results for the contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter shown in Fig. 5

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Figure 8

Implementation of the contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter designed for high temperature operation

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Figure 13

Experimental results demonstrating the temperature tracking capability of the S1−S1 echo for two speeds of hot oil flow. Upstream and downstream transit times can be measured at the same temperature by the apparatus, allowing precise flow speed measurements over the temperature range.

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Figure 12

Downstream and upstream transit time measurements after applying the calibration factor for correcting differences of downstream and upstream transit times at zero flow speed. (a) 60% of maximum flow speed. (b) 100% of maximum flow speed.

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Figure 11

Linear relation between the average temperature in the liquid flow and the ultrasonic transit times (upstream and downstream) of the S1−S1 echo for the flowmeter shown in Fig. 8. The oil flow speed is zero.

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Figure 10

Ultrasonic beam paths in the contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter

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Figure 9

Typical ultrasonic signals obtained with the contrapropagating ultrasonic flowmeter shown in Fig. 8




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