Fluid flow sensor development

A scientist in Germany has developed a sensor that could lead to significant advances in understanding fluid flow.


A scientist at the research centre Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD), has developed a sensor that could lead to significant advances in understanding fluid flow.


The newly developed capacitance wire-mesh sensor the main achievement of Dr Marco Jose Da Silva’s PhD dissertation has already passed its first test case by successfully helping to generate clear images of the two-phase flow of a gas-oil mixture. Previously, scientists were not able to visualise the flow of mixtures in such a detailed way.


The sensor is the successor of the conductivity wire-mesh sensor invented at the FZD more than 10 years ago, which was designed to investigate flow mixtures with an electrically conducting phase.


While the first generation of wire-mesh sensors was based on the measurement of the electrical conductivity, the new sensor developed Da Silva quickly and accurately measures the electrical capacitance, which is unique for each fluid. Therefore, the different phases of complex flows of arbitrary fluid mixtures can be quantified and investigated.


The new sensor is made of an electrode grid consisting of several wire electrodes that are placed over the cross-section of a pipe or vessel. The structure of the flow can be measured with high temporal and spatial resolution (up to 10,000 images per second and 2mm, respectively).


In addition to the capacitance wire-mesh sensor, Da Silva has also developed another sensor to investigate the flow behaviour inside a fluid coupling.