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Sensing in Flow Analysis

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 19491

Special Issue Editors

School of Chemistry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Interests: ion-exchange and liquid membranes; membrane applications in passive sampling; flow analysis; water treatment; chemical sensing; synthesis of metal nanoparticles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria De Sa Almeida
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Interests: passive sampling; paper-based microfluidics; flow analysis; environmental monitoring and clean-up​; membrane extraction based on polymer inclusion membranes

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The rapid progress in sensor science in recent years has resulted in the development of flow analysis systems with enhanced analytical capabilities. At the same time, novel and exciting applications of established sensors in flow analysis have also been reported in the literature. Flow sensors are used to measure both gas and liquid flows in many monitoring and control applications. Therefore, we have decided that it is timely to compose a Special Issue of Sensors focusing on the important role sensors play in flow analysis. You are invited to submit manuscripts illustrating the suitability of newly developed sensors for flow analysis applications, as well as manuscripts describing novel applications of established sensors in solving real life analytical problems.

Prof. Spas D. Kolev
Dr. Maria Gameiro De Sa Almeida
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Flow sensors
  • Flow injection analysis
  • Sequential injection analysis
  • Bead injection analysis
  • Lab-on-valve flow analysis
  • Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices
  • Micro total analysis system

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 41450 KiB  
Article
Fluidic Oscillators, Feedback Channel Effect under Compressible Flow Conditions
Sensors 2021, 21(17), 5768; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21175768 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1909
Abstract
Fluidic oscillators are often used to modify the forces fluid generates on any given bluff body; they can also be used as flow, pressure or acoustic sensors, with each application requiring a particular oscillator configuration. Regarding the fluidic oscillators’ main performance, a problem [...] Read more.
Fluidic oscillators are often used to modify the forces fluid generates on any given bluff body; they can also be used as flow, pressure or acoustic sensors, with each application requiring a particular oscillator configuration. Regarding the fluidic oscillators’ main performance, a problem which is not yet clarified is the understanding of the feedback channel effect on the oscillator outlet mass flow frequency and amplitude, especially under compressible flow conditions. In order to bring light to this point, a set of three-dimensional Direct Numerical Simulations under compressible flow conditions are introduced in the present paper; four different feedback channel lengths and two inlet Reynolds numbers Re = 12,410 and Re = 18,617 are considered. From the results obtained, it is observed that as the inlet velocity increases, the fluidic oscillator outlet mass flow frequency and amplitude increase. An increase of the feedback channel length decreases the outlet mass flow oscillating frequency. At large feedback channel lengths, the former main oscillation tends to disappear, the jet inside the mixing chamber simply fluctuates at high frequencies. Once the Feedback Channel (FC) length exceeds a certain threshold, the oscillation stops. Under all conditions studied, pressure waves are observed to be traveling along the feedback channels, their origin and interaction with the jet entering the mixing chamber are thoroughly evaluated. The paper proves that jet oscillations are pressure-driven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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13 pages, 3084 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Measurements of Temperature and Viscosity for Viscous Fluids Using an Ultrasonic Waveguide
Sensors 2021, 21(16), 5543; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21165543 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2440
Abstract
The characterisation and monitoring of viscous fluids have many important applications. This paper reports a refined ‘dipstick’ method for ultrasonic measurement of the properties of viscous fluids. The presented method is based on the comparison of measurements of the ultrasonic properties of a [...] Read more.
The characterisation and monitoring of viscous fluids have many important applications. This paper reports a refined ‘dipstick’ method for ultrasonic measurement of the properties of viscous fluids. The presented method is based on the comparison of measurements of the ultrasonic properties of a waveguide that is immersed in a viscous liquid with the properties when it is immersed in a reference liquid. We can simultaneously determine the temperature and viscosity of a fluid based on the changes in the velocity and attenuation of the elastic shear waves in the waveguide. Attenuation is mainly dependent on the viscosity of the fluid that the waveguide is immersed in and the speed of the wave mainly depends on the surrounding fluid temperature. However, there is a small interdependency since the mass of the entrained viscous liquid adds to the inertia of the system and slows down the wave. The presented measurements have unprecedented precision so that the change due to the added viscous fluid mass becomes important and we propose a method to model such a ‘viscous effect’ on the wave propagation velocity. Furthermore, an algorithm to correct the velocity measurements is presented. With the proposed correction algorithm, the experimental results for kinematic viscosity and temperature show excellent agreement with measurements from a highly precise in-lab viscometer and a commercial resistance temperature detector (RTD) respectively. The measurement repeatability of the presented method is better than 2.0% in viscosity and 0.5% in temperature in the range from 8 to 300 cSt viscosity and 40 to 90 °C temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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19 pages, 4395 KiB  
Article
A Correction Method for Wet Gas Flow Metering Using a Standard Orifice and Slotted Orifices
Sensors 2021, 21(7), 2291; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21072291 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2708
Abstract
Flow measurements that utilize differential pressure meters are commonly applied in industry. In such conditions, gas flow is often accompanied by liquid condensation. For this reason, errors occur in the metering process that can be attributed to the fluctuations in continuous phase parameters [...] Read more.
Flow measurements that utilize differential pressure meters are commonly applied in industry. In such conditions, gas flow is often accompanied by liquid condensation. For this reason, errors occur in the metering process that can be attributed to the fluctuations in continuous phase parameters in the flow. Furthermore, the occurrence of a dispersed phase results in flow disturbance and dynamic pressure pulsations. For the above reasons, new methods and tools are sought with the purpose of performing measurements of gas-liquid flows providing measurement results that can be considered as fairly accurate in the cases when flow involves a liquid phase form. The paper reports the results of a study involving measurement of wet gas flow using differential pressure flowmeters. The experiments were conducted for three constant mass air flow rates equal to 0.06, 0.078 and 0.086 kg/s. After stabilization of the air flow rates, water was fed into the pipe with flow rates in the range from 0.01 to 0.16 kg/s. The research involved a standard orifice and three types of slotted orifices with various slot arrangements and geometries. The analysis focused on the effect of orifice geometry on the flow metering results. On the basis of the results, it was found that the slotted orifice generates smaller differential pressure values compared to the standard orifice. The water mass fraction in the gas leads to overestimated results of measurements across the flowmeter. Regardless of the type of the orifice, is necessary to undertake a correction of the results. The paper proposes a method of gas mass flow correction. The results were compared with the common over-reading correction models available in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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17 pages, 19400 KiB  
Article
Experimental Method for the Measurements and Numerical Investigations of Force Generated on the Rotating Cylinder under Water Flow
Sensors 2021, 21(6), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21062216 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2026
Abstract
The paper presents the experimental test setup and measurement method of hydrodynamic force generated on the rotating cylinder (rotor) under uniform flow including the free surface effect. The experimental test setup was a unique construction installed in the flume tank equipped with advanced [...] Read more.
The paper presents the experimental test setup and measurement method of hydrodynamic force generated on the rotating cylinder (rotor) under uniform flow including the free surface effect. The experimental test setup was a unique construction installed in the flume tank equipped with advanced flow generating and measuring systems. The test setup consisted of a bearing mounted platform with rotor drive and sensors measuring the hydrodynamic force. The low length to diameter ratio cylinders were selected as models of bow rotor rudders of a shallow draft river barge. The rotor dynamics was tested for the rotational speeds up to 550 rpm and water current velocity up to 0.85 m/s. The low aspect ratio of the cylinder and free surface effect had significant impacts on the phenomena influencing the generated hydrodynamic force. The effects of the rotor length to diameter ratio, rotational velocity to flow velocity ratio, and the Reynolds number on the lift force were analyzed. The validation of the computational model against experimental results is presented. The results show a similar trend of results for the simulation and experiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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10 pages, 3550 KiB  
Communication
Liquid Flow Meter by Fiber-Optic Sensing of Heat Propagation
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020355 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3779
Abstract
Monitoring fluid flow rates is imperative for a variety of industries including biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, the food industry, and the oil and gas industries. We propose a flow meter that, unlike turbine or pressure-based sensors, is not flow intrusive, requires zero maintenance, [...] Read more.
Monitoring fluid flow rates is imperative for a variety of industries including biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, the food industry, and the oil and gas industries. We propose a flow meter that, unlike turbine or pressure-based sensors, is not flow intrusive, requires zero maintenance, has low risk of clogging, and is compatible with harsh conditions. Using optical fiber sensing, we monitor the temperature distribution along a fluid conduit. Pulsed heat injection locally elevates the fluid’s temperature, and from the propagation velocity of the heat downstream, the fluid’s velocity is determined. The method is experimentally validated for water and ethanol using optical frequency-domain reflectometry (OFDR) with millimetric spatial resolution over a 1.2 m-long conduit. Results demonstrate that such sensing yields accurate data with a linear response. By changing the optical fiber interrogation to time-domain distributed sensing approaches, the proposed technique can be scaled to cover sensing ranges of several tens of kilometers. On the other extreme, miniaturization for instance by using integrated optical waveguides could potentially bring this flow monitoring technique to microfluidic systems or open future avenues for novel “lab-in-a-fiber” technologies with biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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22 pages, 6756 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Multi-Hole Orifice Flow Meter: Investigation of the Relationship between Pressure Drop and Mass Flow Rate
Sensors 2020, 20(24), 7281; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20247281 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3797
Abstract
The paper presents the results of the experimental and numerical analysis of a six-hole orifice flow meter. The experiments were performed on humid air in a 100 mm diameter duct. The aim of this research was to investigate the mass flow and pressure [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of the experimental and numerical analysis of a six-hole orifice flow meter. The experiments were performed on humid air in a 100 mm diameter duct. The aim of this research was to investigate the mass flow and pressure drop dependency in an orifice of a predetermined shape and to compare the results obtained with computational formulas recommended in the ISO 5167-2 standard for a single-hole orifice flow meter. The experiments and calculations were performed on several multi-hole orifice geometries with different contraction coefficient in a wide range of Reynolds numbers. The pressure was probed immediately upstream and downstream of the orifice. The flow coefficient determined for the six-hole orifice flow meter investigated was compared with the flow coefficient of conventional single-hole orifice with the same contraction coefficient. The results from computational formulas for single-hole orifice from ISO 5167 are also included in the paper. During some experiments, an obstacle has been introduced in the duct at variable distance upstream from the orifice. The effect of the thus generated velocity field disturbance on the measured pressure drop was then investigated. Numerical simulation of the flow with the presence of the obstacle was also performed and compared with experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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17 pages, 4823 KiB  
Article
Conductance-Based Interface Detection for Multi-Phase Pipe Flow
Sensors 2020, 20(20), 5854; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20205854 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Sediment and flow depth monitoring in sewers is important for informing flow models and for predicting and mitigating against sewer blockage formation and surcharge. In this study, a novel sensor based on conductance measurement has been developed and tested under a laboratory environment [...] Read more.
Sediment and flow depth monitoring in sewers is important for informing flow models and for predicting and mitigating against sewer blockage formation and surcharge. In this study, a novel sensor based on conductance measurement has been developed and tested under a laboratory environment and validated by a finite-element model. The relative conductance is measured between pairs of adjacent electrodes to provide a conductance profile along the sensor length. A piecewise linear relationship between conductance and electrode length was derived and the interface positions between sediment, water, and air can be determined from the profile. The results demonstrated that the root mean square error of the model and the measured interface level are within 1.4% and 2.6% of sensor’s measurement range. An error distribution of interface height shows that all anticipated errors are within the resolution of the electrode length increments. Furthermore, it was found that the conductivity of the measured medium is proportional to the gradient of the linear relationship of conductance and electrode length. It could therefore prove a valuable new tool for the accurate quantification of sediment and flow levels in sewer conduits, coastal environments, drainage systems for transport networks, and other industrial or academic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Flow Analysis)
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