Refining Plant

Vortex Flow Measurement

Uniquely designed for easy installation, reduced maintenance and superior reliability in gas, liquid and steam flows.

Rosemount Vortex Product Image

Advantages of Vortex Technology

Vortex flow meters offer many advantages for flow measurement including easy installation without impulse lines, no moving parts to maintain or repair, less leak potential and a wide flow turndown range. Vortex meters also offer very low power consumption, allowing for use in remote areas.


Additionally, Vortex meters are unique in that they can accommodate liquids, gasses, steam and corrosive applications. Vortex flow meters are also able to withstand high process pressures and temperatures.

How It Works

Von Kármán Effect

Vortex flow meters measure fluid velocity using a principle of operation referred to as the von Kármán effect, which states that when flow passes by a bluff body, a repeating pattern of swirling vortices is generated.


In a Vortex flow meter, an obstruction in the flow path, often referred to as a shedder bar, serves as the bluff body. The shedder bar causes process fluid to separate and form areas of alternating differential pressure known as vortices around the back side of the shedder bar.

Flow Measurement

The vortices cause a small sensing element either behind or within the shedder bar to oscillate back and forth at a specific frequency. The velocity of the working fluid is directly proportional to this frequency of the vortices generated by the shedder bar’s unique geometry. With the known cross sectional area of the pipe, volumetric flow can be calculated.


Often Vortex flow meters will also utilize a pressure and/or temperature sensor to achieve a compensated mass flow measurement.

Common Uses

Vortex flow meters are well suited for a variety of applications across a wide range of industries including oil and gas, refining, chemical and petrochemical, and food and beverage. Vortex flow meters also excel in steam-related applications including steam injection and steam measurement for district energy systems and industrial plants.


For safety-related measurement in SIS applications, dual and quad Vortex flow meters with redundant, independent sensors and electronics are critical for the prevention of common modes of failure and spurious shutdowns. The non-clog, leak-free Vortex flow meter design is ideal in hazardous chemical applications, especially where fugitive emissions are a concern.

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