We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Electromagnetic Flowmeter?

By Heather Phillips
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An electromagnetic flowmeter, also known as a magmeter, is a tool that measures the rate of flow of a liquid — or solids suspended in a liquid — through a pipe. Often, such flowmeters are used in the wastewater treatment, food processing, and medical industries. They generally rely on the conductivity of the liquid, solution, or slurry that they are measuring — as it passes through a magnetic field and generates an electric signal — which can be used to measure flow of volume.

Since a substance has to have electrical conductivity to be measured by an electromagnetic flowmeter, these tools only account for approximately 20% of all meters used. Other types include the vortex flowmeter and the ultrasonic flowmeter. An electromagnetic flowmeter, however, is often non-invasive and generally does not appreciably restrict flow in order to measure it. Also, these devices tend to be very simply designed, with almost no moving parts, so they require little maintenance and do not often have to be replaced.

In the 1830s, Michael Faraday revealed the science that would make the invention of the electromagnetic flowmeter possible. He discovered that a substance that conducts electricity and moves through a magnetic field produces an electric signal. Further developments led to the ability to interpret this signal, via various scientific calculations, to determine flow velocity.

There are a few different of configurations of electromagnetic flowmeters. They sometimes have electrodes that protrude into the pipe through which the measured substance flows. Coils on the outside of the pipe produce the magnetic field, while the electrodes pick up the electricity generated. As long as the electrodes do not build up a coating from the substance being measured, they work well.

Another kind of electromagnetic flowmeter is completely non-invasive to the pipe. In this type, the electrodes are placed just on its exterior and the coils still generate a magnetic field. One advantage of this is that the liquid that it is measuring never coats the electrodes. Also, these flowmeters can be used on closed piping systems, which are sometimes necessary to maintain purity and sanitation.

When an electromagnetic flowmeter is utilized, it must be properly grounded. Otherwise, it can pick up electrical interference, often referred to as noise, and the flow reading will not be accurate. This can be a particular problem when pipes are plastic, because they typically generate static electricity. Various grounding configurations are employed, depending on flowmeter and piping design.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.