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What is an Electromagnetic Flow Meter?

The electromagnetic flow meter functions as a volumetric flow meter without any obstructions, as it has no moving parts, hence resulting in a negligible pressure drop. According to a market research report by Mordor Intelligence, the electromagnetic flow meter market was valued at USD 1.68 billion in 2020

It's worth noting that magmeters are specifically made to know the flow rate of conductive fluids. In the early versions of these meters, a minimum fluidic conductivity of 1-5 microsiemens per centimetre was required for proper operation.

However, more recent designs have significantly lowered this requirement to a range between 0.05 and 0.1, marking a considerable advancement in their functionality.

As far as electromagnetic flow meter price is concerned, depending on the quality, variety, and application, it may start from Rs 15,000 and can go as high as Rs 50,000 or more. 

The electromagnetic flowmeter demonstrates versatility because of the following diverse applications: 

  • It efficiently measures and manages fluid flow in distribution networks.
  • Plays an important role in monitoring and regulating flow rates in wastewater treatment processes.
  • Provides accurate measurement and control in handling sludge and sewage.
  • Well-suited for applications involving corrosive or abrasive liquids and slurries.
  • Enables accurate blending, dosing, and batching of various substances in different industrial processes.
  • Essential for measuring the flow of chemicals in industrial processes.
  • Effectively handles the measurement and control of slurries in mining operations.
  • Aids in the monitoring and management of flow in paper pulp waste processes.
  • Helps monitor and control diverse industrial effluents.
  • Crucial for monitoring water flow in industrial plants for various applications.

What is the Electromagnetic Flowmeter Working Principle?

electromagnetic flowmeter working principle

The electromagnetic flow meter principle is based on Faraday's Law of electromagnetic induction, wherein voltage is induced when a conductive liquid runs through a magnetic field.

This induced voltage signal is then captured by an electrode mounted on the flow tube's wall.

Subsequently, the electronic transmitter processes this signal to determine the flow rate, with the generated voltage being directly proportional to the fluid's velocity.

How is an Electromagnetic Flow Meter Constructed?

As far as the construction of an electromagnetic meter is concerned, the electronic component features a head-type Flow Indicator housing a Microprocessor Controller chip on the electronic circuit.

This component includes an LCD indicating the current flow rate and total cumulative flow.

Additionally, it offers a transmission feature with a 4-20 mA output and RS 485 communication, along with high- and low-flow alarm capabilities. Operating the device requires an external power supply of either 24 VDC or 230 VAC.

On the mechanical side, the flow meter consists of a Flow Tube, lining (such as PTFE or Neoprene), electrode, magnetic coil, and flange connection.

The flow tube's material, considered non-wetted, should be nonmagnetic, such as SS 304 or SS 316.

The selection of lining material is crucial and depends on factors like temperature, corrosive properties, and fluid compatibility.

Neoprene, for example, can resist general weak acid and alkaline corrosion, enduring temperatures up to 80˚C, but it has wear resistance.

On the other hand, PTFE (Teflon) has low wear resistance but excellent compatibility with strong acids, chemicals, alkaline corrosion, ETP water, and waste slurry and can tolerate temperatures to 180˚C.

The choice of electrode material also depends on the corrosiveness of the measured fluid.

Recommended Read: 10 Differences Between Flow Meter And Water Meter

What are the Advantages of an Electromagnetic Flow Meter?

advantages of electromagnetic flow meter

The following advantages of an electromagnetic flow meter collectively position it as a reliable and versatile choice for fluid flow measurement across the above-mentioned diverse industrial applications.

Maintenance-Free Operation:

Electromagnetic flow meters have no moving parts, eliminating the need for regular maintenance, reducing downtime, and ensuring long-term reliability.

Negligible Pressure Drop:

The design of electromagnetic flow meters results in a minimal pressure drop across the system, preventing disruptions to the overall flow and maintaining system efficiency.

High Accuracy:

With a proven track record of accuracy, electromagnetic flow meters deliver precise measurements, making them perfect for applications where precision is critical, such as in industrial processes and water management.

Also Read: Different Methods To Validate The Accuracy Of Flow Meter On The Field?

Bi-Directional Flow Measurement:

The capability for bi-directional flow measurement allows these meters to accurately measure the flow of liquids in both directions, providing flexibility and comprehensive monitoring.

Performance Unaffected by Fluid Properties:

Electromagnetic flow meters exhibit consistent performance regardless of variations in fluid properties, including density, viscosity, temperature, and pressure, ensuring reliable readings across diverse operating conditions.

Wide Size Range:

Available in a broad range of sizes, electromagnetic flow meters can accommodate different flow rates and pipe dimensions, catering to the varied needs of users in various industries.

Versatile Signal Output:

Providing a signal output of 4-20 mA current and RS 485 communication, these flow meters facilitate seamless integration into control systems, allowing real-time monitoring and data logging.

Empty Pipe Detection Feature:

Some electromagnetic flow meters come equipped with an empty pipe detection feature, enhancing functionality by alerting users when the pipe is devoid of flow and preventing inaccuracies in measurements.

What are the Disadvantages of Electromagnetic Flow Meter?

An electromagnetic flow meter, while highly effective in many scenarios, may have certain limitations. Consideration of these aspects is essential when choosing the appropriate flow meter for specific applications.

Limited Compatibility with Certain Liquids:

Electromagnetic flow meters may face challenges when measuring liquids containing suspended solids and small amounts of gas, limiting their application in such fluid compositions.

Inability to Measure in Non-Full Pipes:

Unlike ultrasonic flow meters, electromagnetic flow meters are not suitable for partially filled pipes, restricting their utility in scenarios where pipes are not fully engaged.

Recommended Read: Why Does A Flow Meter Require Full Flow In The Pipe?

Slightly Higher Accuracy of Ultrasonic Flow Meters:

Electromagnetic flow meters tend to have a slightly lower accuracy compared to ultrasonic flow meters. The latter, especially in advanced models equipped with dual transmitters, can provide highly reliable results even in demanding applications.

Recommended Read: Ultrasonic Flow Meter: Types, Applications, Working & More

Fixed Battery-Powered Versions Unavailable:

An electromagnetic flow meter lacks fixed battery-powered versions, unlike some autonomous ultrasonic flow meters. This absence may limit their use in situations where a fixed, battery-powered solution is preferred.

Limited Portability:

While some electromagnetic flow meters are autonomous, they may not offer the same level of portability as certain portable, battery-powered ultrasonic flow meter options. This can impact the flexibility of obtaining flow measurements in diverse locations.

Conductivity Constraints:

The electromagnetic flow meter exclusively gauges the flow of conductive fluids. Unfortunately, this means it's a no-go for non-conductive mediums like gas and water, particularly when aiming for optimal heat treatment. It's a crucial consideration.

Complex Installation and Calibration:

Setting up the electromagnetic flow meter requires a meticulous touch. It's more intricate compared to some other flow meters, and the demands are quite stringent. Pairing the transmitter and converter is a must. So, when you're setting it up, it is rather advised to stick to the product manual.

When Should You Install an Electromagnetic Flow Meter?

An electromagnetic flow meter is the best choice in the following conditions:

  • Electromagnetic flow meters are the go-to choice when dealing with electrically conductive liquids like water, acids, and bases, offering accurate and reliable flow measurements.
  • These meters excel in measuring liquids of varying viscosities, providing accurate readings even for fluids with heavy suspended particles. This versatility extends to applications in industries dealing with mineral slurries, as seen in cement and metal production, as well as substances like cellulose used in paper and textile manufacturing.
  • Magmeters maintain reliable flow measurements over extended periods. This makes them suitable for applications in harsh conditions, such as hazardous areas within the chemical or oil industry.
  • Electromagnetic flow meters deliver slightly more accurate readings, making them particularly well-suited for custody transfer metering. This accuracy is crucial in scenarios where precise measurement is paramount, such as in custody transfer processes within industries.

Better Solution - Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Though an electromagnetic flow meter is very reliable, for certain requirements, as mentioned above, ultrasonic flow meters have the upper hand.

emf vs ultrasonic flow meter

Ultrasonic flow meters are instruments designed to gauge fluid velocity by using transit time ultrasonic signal technology.

This progressive technology is becoming more prevalent across industries for the measurement of liquid flow velocity, presenting numerous benefits compared to alternative flow meters like magmeter. Here is a brief comparison to make you understand why ultrasonic flow meters are better.

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While both ultrasonic and electromagnetic flow meter has their pros and cons, their selection depends on specific application requirements.

Ultrasonic flow meters are highlighted for their cost-effectiveness, quick installation, flexibility, ability to measure non-conductive fluids, and reliability in harsh conditions.

However, electromagnetic flow meters may have advantages in accuracy, especially for custody transfer metering, and may offer fixed battery-powered versions. The choice should be based on the specific requirements of the application and the importance of different features. Here's a quick comparison for you.


In summary, the choice between electromagnetic and ultrasonic flow meters depends on specific application requirements. Electromagnetic flow meters offer accuracy and reliability, especially in custody transfer scenarios.

On the other hand, ultrasonic flow meters present advantages like cost-effectiveness, quick installation, and versatility in fluid measurement. The decision should be based on the unique needs of the application, considering factors such as accuracy, cost, and ease of installation to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

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