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When any flowing fluid goes by a bluff body, otherwise known as an obstruction, then the result is oscillations within the flow. Specific examples of this from the realm of nature include oscillations like wind blowing through tree branches resulting in whistling sounds, or a flag waving in heavy enough wind.
 
Take note of the fact that in both of these examples, the oscillations stop when the flow is slowed down. When winds die down, the tree branches no longer whistle, and a mild breeze is not enough to wave the flag. In the example of the flag pole, the flap pole itself is the obstruction or bluff body. That's where the flow is separated and has to move around the obstructing object in order to keep moving downstream.
 
The separation causes vortex swirls on alternating sides of the shedder object at the point of contact. This shedding results in low-pressure swirls to one side with the other side having high-pressure swirls. This process reverses between sides with alternations happening again and again. Both of the swirl frequencies are exactly 180 degrees out of phase with one another, and the shedding process frequency is also directly proportional to the flow velocity. Flow rate is obtainable by measuring the vortex formation frequency on either side of the obstructing body. Fluid velocity is then proportional to the bluff body's width and the vortex frequency.
 
A vortex flow meter functions well with relatively clean steams, gases, and liquids, provided that they do not have a serious amount of solids within them. Mindfulness is necessary when dealing with gases that have low density, since these emanate weak pressure pulses, which make their signals harder to detect. Vortex meters see the most use in terms of steam application, since in relation to alternative forms of flow measurement, a vortex flow meter used as a steam flow meter features no moving parts, has a long functional working life, and is not too expensive.
 
Vortex meters are among the small handful of flow measuring technology choices that are able to measure each of the three fluid phases, being liquid, gas, or steam. Such technology gives users an affordable yet reliable and easy to use solution for most flow measurement scenarios. Since it has no moving parts, cleaning and regular upkeep are not needed. A vortex flowmeter is also able to measure both dirty and/or wet gases. Any piece of vortex flow sensing technology is reliant on measuring the quantity of vortex pulses that any obstruction or bluff body generates when immersed in the particular flow stream in question.
SmartMeasurementTM ‘s ALVT family of vortex flow meters including wafer, flanged and insertion types will cover any vortex applications in the process industries.  Moreover the ALVTmass produced by SmartMeasurementTM can take direct mass flow readings on steam or gas flow applications with built-in temperature and pressure sensors well as mass flow transmitter.