What is an Orifice Meter?

An orifice meter is a conduit and a restriction to create a pressure drop. An hour glass is a form of orifice. A nozzle, venturi or thin sharp edged orifice can be used as the flow restriction.

Fluid meters are divided into two functional groups –

One measures quantity (Positive Displacement); the other measures rate of flow (Inferential.)

All fluid meters, however, consist of two distinct parts, each of which has different functions to perform.

The first is the primary element, which is in contact with the fluid, resulting in some form of interaction.,/p>

This interaction may be that of imparting motion to the primary element; the fluid may be accelerated etc.

The second or secondary element translates the interaction between fluid and primary element into a signal that can be converted into volume, weights or rates of flow and indicates or records the results.

For example, a weigher uses weighing tanks as its primary element and a counter for recording the number of fillings and dumpings as its secondary element.

In an orifice meter, the orifice together with the adjacent part of the pipe and the pressure connections, constitute the primary element, while the secondary element consists of a differential pressure device together with some sort of mechanism for translating a pressure difference into a rate of flow and indicating the result, in some cases also recording it graphically and integrating with respect to the time.

This same combination of primary and secondary elements will be observed in almost all other types of meters.