Gas-Tracer Method of Steady and Pulsating-Flow Measurement

[+] Author and Article Information
J. F. Kemp

National Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa

J. Basic Eng 83(2), 305-311 (Jun 01, 1961) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3658949 History: Received March 14, 1960; Online November 04, 2011


A method is described of measuring the bulk mass-flow rate in steady and pulsating air streams with the aid of a suitable tracer gas such as carbon dioxide. The method briefly involves controlled injection of the tracer into the main flow, mixing of the two flow media, and analysis of the mixture to determine the concentration of the tracer. The main flow is derived from the injection flow rate and from the concentration of the tracer in the sample mixture. An inexpensive infrared analyzer was constructed for determining mass concentrations of carbon dioxide in air ranging from 1/2 to 3 per cent. Results obtained by the gas-tracer method in both steady and pulsating streams were compared with those obtained by other methods of mass-flow measurement. A few possible practical applications of the measuring technique are discussed.

Copyright © 1961 by ASME
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