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Патент USA US2405704

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lÀug.'13, 1946. v‘ -
,"M._`P. MATUsz'AK
l '
~
»405,704
FLOWMETER
Filed oct. 21, 1945
`
2 sheets-sheet 1
1NVEN TOR.
Mary on FY. MafuszaK
BY
_» A1195 .
Patented Aug. 13, 1946
2,495,79@
UNITED sTATss PATENT orgies
2,405,704
FLOWMETERv
Maryan P. Matuszak, Bartlesville, Okla., assignor
to Phillips Petroleum Company, a corporation
of Delaware
l
Application October 21, 1943, Serial No. 507,1@
7 Claims. (Cl. ’I3-205)
2
This invention relates to the measurement of
the rate of now of ñuids; and, in its more specific
aspects, is concerned with improved apparatus
for readily determining the rate of flow of various
fluids, particularly gaseous and/or vaporous
fluids.
Numerous devices for measuring the rate of
flow of ñuids have been developed and employed
with greater or less success, heretofore.
Among
such‘that the calibration curve, for moderate dif
ferential pressures, is substantially a straight line.
Although the combination of porous tube and dif
ferential-pressure gauge may if desired be con
structed of any materials that are functionally
suitable, it is recommended that construction
material consisting primarily of glass be employed
in the interest of simplicity.
.
changes correspondingly. After the device has
been suitably calibrated, the readings of the ma
nometer provide measurements of the rate of
fluid flow. Experience has shown that present
dayflowmeters of the character above described
With reference to the porous tube itself, the
10 same may be fabricated from glass, as, for exam
ple, by employing oneor more of the known tech
niques for making fritted or sintered glass discs.
On the other hand, the porous tube may be made
With equally satisfactory results for the purposes
15 Lof my invention from any suitable commercially
available porous ceramic refractory tube of prop
er configuration that is inert to the fluid to be
measured and that preferably can be sealed di
rectly to glass without the use of a cementing or
other special uniting or assembling material. It
is to be understood, however, that a suitable ce
ment or similar material may be advantageously
employed to effectively seal one or more of the
porous tubes in th'e desired location within the
25 remainder of the device of this invention. Un
glazed refractory tubes; such as those ordinarily
used for the insulation of thermo'couple wires
and readily obtainable in a variety of lengths, di
30 ameters and wall thickness from several sources,
tion comprises a device having an inlet and an
outlet and adapted to be disposed across a con
of considerable wall thickness cannot as a rule
be united to the glass tube in this manner since
the generally known and commonly employed
flowmeters for measuring ordinary ñuid flow
rates are those which lcomprise a combined orifice
and differential pressure gauge, such as the con
ventional U-tube manometer. These flowmeters
include. as essential elements, a conduit through
which the iiuid is transmitted and having an ori
ñce disposed across th'e interior thereof, and a
U-tube manometer having one of its arms in com
munication with the interior of the conduit at a
point upstream of the oriñce and its other arm
in communication with the interior of the conduit
at a point downstream of the oriñce. With this
type of arrangement, when the rate of fluid liow
through the conduit changes, the difference in
pressure between the two arms of the manometer
are entirely satisfactory and accordingly recom
possess a number of disadvantages. For one
mended. The type having a single bore is pre
thing th'e calibration of this class of flowmeters
ferred because of its uniformity in Wall thickness.
is as a rule laborious and time-consuming, since
' I have found that >such tubes may be joined di
-necessary measurements and calculations must
be made for a plurality of diiîerential pressures 35 ` rectly and with a minimum of diñ'iculty to’he'at
resistant glass of the class commonly referred to
and readings within the operating range of the
as “Pyrex,” provided that care is taken to avoid
instrument. Another disadvantage of this type
appreciable overlapping with the glass in the use
of iiowmeter resides in the fact that solid par
of porous tubes having a diameterI greater than
ticles, such as dust, that is entrained in the ñuid,
oftentimes become lodged or deposited in the ori 40 1 mm. Porous tubes having a diameter of about
l mm. are generally so thin-walled that they can
, flee, thereby changing the effective size of the _
oriñce andI resulting in erroneous readings.
be successfully joined to a glass tube of slightly
The flowmeter of the present invention contem
greater diameter by inserting one end thereof a
plates and actually does completely obviate or
distance of about'l or 2' mm. into the glass tube
substantially reduce the disadvantages and ob 45 and then softening the glass tube in that region
jections discussed above as will be readily com
bythe application of heat so that it contracts
prehended by one skilled in the art as the instant
and unites with the porous tube, thereby obtain
disclosure progresses. Briefly stated, my inven
ing an overlapping seal or joint. Porous tubes
duit through which the fluid to be measured
flows; a porous tubular member through which
the fluid is transmitted on passing from the inlet
to the outlet; and a differential pressure gauge.
'the overlapping joints resulting therefrom are
likely to crack and fail. Relatively thick walled
porous tubes may, however, beV elîectively sealed
or joined directly to glass tubes of substantially
The characteristics of individual porous tubes are 55 the same diameter by making the joint end-to
2,405,704
4
3
gauge in the nature of a U-shaped manometer
end and without overlapping, either within or
without the porous tube.
This invention has for its primary object the
provision of an improved fluid ñowmeter.
One important object of this invention is to
provide a rate of fluid ñow measuring device that
is adapted to be calibrated more readily and
I3 that is provided with a calibrated scale I4 and
that contains a quantity of suitable liquid I5
which is immiscible with the fluid to be meas
ured. Mercury is a satisfactory manometer liq
uid in most cases. An upwardly extending tubu
lar member I6 communicates with one arm of
manometer I3 and with an inlet Il. A second
quickly than orifice, capillary or like conventional
upwardly extending tubular member I8 commu
types of fluid ñowmeters.
Another important object of this invention is` -10 nicates with the other arm of manometer I3 and
with an outlet I9. interposed across member I8
th'e provision of a ñowmeter of the class indi
and integral therewith is a bulb or surge cham
cated that is characterized by the fact that a
substantially straightline relationship exists be
ber 20.
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-
l
Upper unit II includes an inverted U-shaped
the differential pressure of the ñuid thereacross. 15 tube 2I having a branch comprising a pair of par
allel conduits «29 and 30 terminating in a de
A further important object of this invention is
formable bulb 3I. A porous tube 34 of the char
to provide a fluid flowmeter so constructed and
acter referred to above is disposed within tube
arranged as to minimize th‘e possibility iof _the
ZI at the junction of conduits 29 and 30 and is
same becoming clogged or otherwise fouled by
solid particles entrained in the fluid being meas 20 spaced therefrom to form anannular passage 35
therewith. The end of the‘porous tube 34 that
ured, to thereby obtain a device that is capable
is nearer inlet Il' is sealed to the interior of tube
of being employed for extended periods of time
ZI and the other end of the porous tube is flanged
without appreciable diminution in accuracy.
and 'sealed tothe interior of conduit 39 in the
A still further object of this invention is to pro
manner earlier described. Conduit 29 is provided
vide a flowmeter that is adapted to pass greater
with a scale 33. Mercury reservoir 3l is deforma
quantities of various gases, suchas isobutane and
.ble and the internal Volume thereof may be al
other gaseous hydrocarbons, than air at corre
"tered by any convenient means, such as the clamp
sponding differential pressures within the Oper
tween the rate of flow of ¿duid therethrough `and ‘
ating range of the ilowmeter.
_
v
.
'so
My present invention has for an additional ob
ject the provisionof a device ofthe character in
dicated that is relatively simple in design, durable
in` construction and’ reasonable in initial and
maintenance costs; andthjat is capable of per
ing Ymechanism generally indicated by reference
numeral 36> within which reservoir 3| is adapted
`-’to be positioned. 'Clamping mechanism 36 com
prises a frame including a base 3'I and sidewalls
38mand 39. A rod 40 is in threadedV engagement
with side wall 39 and extends therethrough. A
forming its intended functions_in an'effective and 35 plate III is preferably swivelly connected to one
eiii cient manner.
'
_
' end of rod 40 while knurled hand wheel 42 is rig
,
idly connected to the opposite end. It will be evi
dent that by virtue ofthe construction shown and
by reason of the deformable character of .reser
skilled in the art upon a perusal of the follow
ing detailed description and annexed dwawings 40 voir 3i, the level of the mercury inconduit 29
and porous tube 34 may be adjustedat the will
which respectively describe and illustrate pre
of the Yoperator to thereby vary the effective
ferred embodiments of my instant invention, and
The foregoing aswell as other objects and ad
vantages will he Vreadily apparent to persons
wherein
.
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v
»Figure 1 is an elevation view of a preferred- em
bodiment of this invention;
‘
`
Figure >2 is an elevational View of a modified
embodiment of this invention;
'
Figure 3 is 'a graph showing severa] calibration
curves obtained for two flowmeters of the type
length or active area of theporous tube.
The
internal diameter of porous tube 34 is „preferably
the same as the corresponding diameter of con
duit 29 in order` to facilitate judging -thelevel
of the mercury in the 'porous tube as indicated
bythe scale 33.
'
'
'
.
In practice, the fluid being measured enters th
50 device of Figure 1 through inlet Il', flows into
illustrated in Figure l; and
`
ï
conduits 29 and 3i) and passes through the wall
‘Figure 4 is a graph showing two calibration
ofporous tube 34 into annular space 35, and is
curves obtained for a ñowmeter of the type il
then discharged by way of outlet I9.v The back
lustrated in Figure 1 and corresponding curves
pressure exerted by porous tube 34 is measured by
obtainedfor a flowmeter employing the` usual
55 manometer I3 as indicated by calibrated scale M.
constriction ororifice in place of a porous tube.
As this pressure varies with the rate of ñow of
Referring first to Figure 1 for
full under
the fluid through the device, the reading of the
standing of the construction of the Vapparatus
manometer providesl a measure of the rate of
illustrated therein, it will be noted that the same
iiuid iiow. Bulb 29 serves as a surge reservoir
consists Vof a pair of separable and preferably
transparent glass tubular units, namely, a lower 60 . whereby any possibility of any manometer liquid
I5 being discharged from the device by way- of
tubular unit generally indicated by reference nu
outlet I9 and thus loss is successfully prevented.
meral _I9 and an upper tubularunit generally
Although the porosity of an individual porous
indicated by reference numeral II, which are in
tube is usually substantially uniform along its
duid communication and which are joined by
entire length, the porosity of one tube may ydiffer
tubular flexible distortable couplings I 2. Rub
considerablyfrom that of another tube. In the
ber constitutes a suitable material for couplings
event it is desired to make two or more flow
l2 in many instances. However, should the fluid
meters of the same range, the relative porosity
to be measured tend to attack rubber upon con
tact therewith and result in premature failure . ' of two (or more) individual tubes may be deter
thereof, it is considered advisable to use an ap->
mined by the temporary incorporation of each
propriate synthetic rubber composition. 'orV the
like as the coupling material. This is advocated
shown in Figure 1 >and by passing a gas at a
when the fluid under consideration is. for exam
ple, a hydrocarbon ora mixture of hydrocarbons.
Lower unit l!! includes a differential pressure
the data‘thus obtained, a simple calculation will
enable a person skilled in the art to ascertain the
tube separately in an arrangement similar to that
known flowrate through each, individually. From
2,405,704
5
v6
length> of one porous tube that is the equivalent
functionally of a known length of the other por
ous tube. If desired, the porosity -of a-particular
dicated by .the fact that flowmeters A, B, and .C
covered a tenfold >range >of flow rates, as is clear
from Figures 3 and 4. In fact, the range of' ap
porous -tube may be decreased by sintering Aor sub
jecting the same to incipient fus-ion at an ele
vated- temperature, kas »byl applying direct heat
thereto with a >gas-oxygen flame.
If a porous
tube of yhigh refractoriness to heat is desired, it
may be Amade of integrated particles of beryllium
oxide.
10
'
The modification vof the invention depicted in
Figure 2 is basically similar to that shown in Fig
ure 1 and possesses the >added advantages of be
plicability of the straight-line calibration appears
to hold for fiowrneters of this type having all pos
sible 'fiow rates.` It is thus clear lthat the .flow
meters of this invention possess an important ad
vantage in the ease and simplicity with` which
they are calibrated, whereby much time and labor
can be saved.
.
Figures 3 and e illustrate another advantage
of the ñowmeters of .this invention, namely that
these fiowm‘eters pass relatively more of Va vapor,
ing so-mewhat sturdier in construction and of
such as isobutane, than >of a gas, such Yas air.
presenting the outside of the porous tube up 15 This advantage is quite unexpected and unpre
stream to the ñow of iiuid being measured. In
dictable. ' According to Graham’s well-known law
this modification of the invention a single con
of diñusion, it would be expected that a rela
duit 43 takes the place of bothv conduits 2=9 and
tively heavy gas like isobutane would be passed
30 of Figure 1. A porous tube »44 is central-ly dis
through the flowmeter more, slowly than would
posed within conduit 43 and is spaced therefrom 20 air; such a relationship is in fact shown in Fig
to form an annular passage 155 therewith. The
ure 4 for the old type of flowmeter having a sin
upper end of porous tube-4f! is sealed across con
gle vconstriction serving as an oriñce. Although
duit 2|, as illustrated, and the lower end «thereof
the present invention should not be restricted by
is provided with a closure 24 which consists of a
any theory, it is possible that this unexpected ef
lens shaped glass element. >It will be observed 25 feet may be caused by an adsorption of the va
that the mercury or equivalent liquid 32 is ad
por on the surfaces of the pores of the porous
mitted into annular space 45 to thereby vary the
tube, whereby perhaps a substantially two-dimen
effective length of porous tube »44. Obviously the
sional liquid layer is formed within the porous
mercury or similar liquid employed in the appa- »
tube.
ratus of either Figure 1 or Figure 2 does not pass 30
Thus it will be seen that the construction here
through the corresponding porous tube.
in shown and described is well adapted to accom
In Figure 3 are calibration curves for two flow
plish the objects of the present invention. It
meters, A and B, of the type shown in Figure 1,
will »be understood, however, that the invention
for air, isobutane, and hydrogen. The curves are
may be embodied otherwise than here shown, and
straight lines drawn through the experimentally 35 that in the form illustrated certain obvious
determined values of the ñow rates at a differen
changes in construction may be made.- There
tial pressure or pressure drop of 100 mm. of mer
fore, I do not wish to be limited precisely to the
cury. The experimental values were obtained by
construction herein shown except as may be re
collecting and timing the »gas passing through
quired by the appended claims considered with
the flowmeter at baro-metric pressure and room 40 reference to the prior art.
temperature, and calculating the volumes at
What I claim is:
standard conditions (N. T. P1). Experimental
.1. In a fluid iiowmeter, in combination, a con
values are given also at pressure drops of 50 and
duit, an inlet for admitting fluid into the con
200 mm. of mercury. It will be observed that,
duit, an outlet for discharging fluid from the
although the experimental values for the flow 45 conduit, a porous tube disposed inl the conduit
rates at the extraordinary high pressure drop of
and spaced therefrom to form an annular pas
200 mm. of mercury do not fall quite on the cor
responding straight line, the experimental values
sage therewith, one end of the porous tube being
closed, means forming a seal between the other
end of the porous tube and the interior of the
within the usual and most convenient pressure
drop range of up to about 100 mm. of mercury 50 conduit, sealing means for varying the effective
do fall on the straight line. Consequently, to
length of the porous tube, and a pressure gauge
obtain a calibration curve for a flow meter of the
for indicating the drop in fluid pressure occa
type herein disclosed, all that is necessary is to
sioned by the passage of fluid through the wall
determine the ñow rate at a pressure drop of 100
of the porous tube.
«
mm. of mercury (or a corresponding upper pres 55
2. A fluid flowmeter comprising a conduit, an
sure drop for a manometer liquid other than
inlet for admitting fluid into the conduit, an
mercury) and draw a straight line through the -
points representing this now rate and the origin.
outlet for discharging fluid from the conduit, a
porous tube disposed in the conduit and spaced
In Figure ‘i are air and isobutane calibration
therefrom to form an annular passage therewith,
curves for a iicwmeter, C, of the type shown in 60 means forming a seal between each end of the
Figure 1 and for a ñowmeter, D, of the same gen
porous tube and the interior of the conduit,
eral design but having an orifice made in the
means including a liquid immiscible with the fluid
usual manner by constricting a glass tube. At a
for varying the eifective length of the porous tube,
pressure drop of 100 mm. of mercury, these two
and a pressure gauge for indicating the drop in
fiowmeters passed the same amount of air, 6.05 65 fluid pressure occasioned by the passage of iiuid
liters (N. T. P.) per hour.
While for fiowmeter
C this one point was suñicient to determine the
calibration curve, more than one point had to
be determined for flowmeter D. Similarly, the
single experimental value found with isobutane P
at a pressure drop of 100 mm. of mercury was
sufficient for flowmeter C but was not sufficient
through the wall of the porous tube.
3. A fluid flowmeter comprising a conduit, an
inlet for admitting fluid into the conduit, an out
let for discharging fluid from the conduit, a
porous tube disposed in the conduit and spaced
therefrom to form an annular passage therewith,
means forming a seal between each end of the
for ñowmeter D.
porous tube and the interior of the conduit,
The wide applicabiltiy of the straight-line cali
means for varying the effective length of the
bration for the flowmeters of this invention is in- 'lil porous tube, said last mentioned means including
2,405,704
7
a container of variable volumetric capacity com
municating with the interior of the porous tube,
and a liquid immiscible with the fluid in the con- ì
tainer, and a pressure gauge for indicating the
drop in íiuid pressure occasioned by the passage
of fluid through the Wall of the porous tube.
4. The iiowmeter in accordance with lclaim 3
wherein the means for varying the effective
length of the porous tube recited therein includes
a liquid immiscible with the ñuid.
'
5. A ñuid ñowmeter comprising a conduit, an
inlet for admitting fluid into the conduit, an out
let for discharging fluid from the conduit, a
porous tube disposed in the conduit and spaced
therefrom to forman annular passage therewith,
one end of the porous tube being closed, means
forming a seal between the other end of the
porous tube and the interior of the conduit, means
for Varying the effective length of the porous
tube, said means including a container of variable .
volumetric capacity communicating with the an
nular passage, and a liquid immiscilble with the
fluid in the container, and a pressure gauge for
indicating the drop in fluid pressure occasioned
by the passage of the fluid through the Wall of
the porous tube.
8
Y6. A fluid flowmeter comprising a conduit con
ñning the ñow of fluid and including an inlet
and an outlet, a porous member disposed across
the interior of the conduit and resisting the flow
of iiuid therethrough, a pressure gauge for indi
cating the drop in ñuid pressure occasioned by
the passage oi fluid through the porous member,
a sealing liquid in said conduit in contact with
said porous member, and means for displacing
the sealing liquid with respect to said porous
member to Vary the area thereof through which
the fluid passes.
.
'7. In a ñuid fiowmeter the combination com
prising a conduit coniining the flow of fluid and
including an inlet and an outlet, a porous mem
ber disposed across the interior of the conduit
and resisting the ñoW of fluid therethrough, a
pressure gauge for indicating the drop in ñuid
pressure occasioned by the passage of fluid
through the porous member, sealing means in
said conduit and positioned adjacent said porous
member, and means exterior of said conduit> for
displacing said sealing means with respect to
the porous member to Vary the active area thereof
through which the ñuid passes.
MARYAN P. MATUSZAK.
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