Thermal flowmeters are most commonly used to measure the mass flow of clean gases, such as air, nitrogen, hydrogen, helium, ammonia, argon, and other industrial gases. Mixtures, such as flue stack flow and biogas flow, can be measured when their composition is known. An advantage of this technology is its dependence upon thermal properties that are almost independent of gas density. Be careful when using thermal flowmeters to measure the flow of gases with unknown and/or varying composition, such as hydrogen-bearing off-gases and other mixtures that can disproportionately affect the thermal flowmeter measurement.
Thermal flowmeters can be applied to clean, sanitary, and corrosive gases where the thermal properties of the fluid are known. Thermal flowmeters are most commonly applied to measure pure gases, such as would be used for laboratory experiments, and in semi-conductor production. They can also used in chemical and petrochemical plants when the thermal properties of the gas are known. With proper attention to materials of construction, the flow of corrosive gases, such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulfide can be measured.
High pressure application.