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How to check the characterization of a static orifice using pressure and mass

Monday, January 23, 2023

A regular process for the Alicat’s mass flow meters and differential pressure controllers is checking the characterization for something like a filter or static orifice. This method is specifically for a device with a non-adjustable orifice that will cause pressure loss.

Referring to the manufacturer’s specification

Some applications/devices require a filter to ensure debris doesn’t get into the device. Most products that cause pressure drops will have pre-specified graphs that show the connection between flow and pressure. If the client is using a filter, they will normally refer to these graphs to show it’s operating within the manufacture’s specification and suitable for their application.

For an application like this, it is handy to measure the flow while controlling the operating pressure although some applications do prefer to measure the pressure and control the mass flow rate.

The common methodology for checking a filters characterization is measuring the differential pressure while controlling the mass flow.

Using a differential pressure controller to check the filter or static orifice characteristics

An Alicat PC-15PSID device was the pressure controller used on this occasion to check the characterization of a filter’s flow against a pressure drop curve. The PC-15PSID device paired with the Alicat M-10SLPM MFM was used to check the flow and to create the pressure drop.

A benefit of a setup like this is that serial data input via RS-232 of the required pressure drop, allowing the client to run scripts at timed intervals.

Data can be logged around each test to prove a specific characterization, various industrial protocols exist allowing Alicat devices to be integrated into systems where RS232, RS485, DeviceNet, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, Modbus-RTU, Modbus TCP/IP or Profibus communications are required.

Flow chart diagram showing the Characterization of a Filter:

Flow chart showing the Characterization of a Filter

Flow chart showing the Characterization of a Filter

In the above setup, you have the air supply, PC-15PSID pressure controller, M-10SLPM MFM and then the filter, The mass in must equate to the mass out. This can also be done with an ordering of Air source, PC-15PSID, filter and then the M-10SLPM MFM.

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