Process Flow Monitoring Systems

CiDRA's SONARtrac® process monitoring systems are a breakthrough in full-bore, non-invasive flow and entrained air / gas measurement technology. By installing on existing process lines, SONARtrac clamp-on process monitoring systems eliminate the process disruptions associated with installing other types of flowmeters.

The sonar passive listening approach enables SONARtrac flow monitoring systems to measure single phase and multiphase flows as well as slurries, with the same level of accuracy and performance. This same sonar passive listening approach used in the SONARtrac gas volume fraction monitoring systems allow on-line real-time measurement of the amount of entrained air / gas present in any liquid-continuous-phase process fluid.

Volumetric flow and gas volume fraction monitoring systems

CiDRA's volumetric flow and entrained gas SONARtrac products are gaining worldwide acceptance in a variety of markets. The quick adoption rate is attributed to the product's clamp-on feature, quick installation time, low maintenance cost, high reliability and robust performance. CiDRA introduced these products to the minerals processing and mining industries about four years ago and has had great success in a wide variety of slurry applications as well as applications where pipe wall scaling is commonplace. SONARtrac systems hold a great value proposition in these types of applications.

The SONARtrac flow monitoring system is a permanent clamp-on (totally non-intrusive) flowmeter. It is a passive device which measures the strain in the pipe wall induced by the turbulent pressure field within the process fluid. It uses underwater acoustic sonar processing techniques developed over the past 40 years by the United States Navy to determine the rate at which the fluid is moving. This meter is not an ultrasonic meter. SONARtrac systems do not suffer from the same problems that hinder the performance of an ultrasonic device. SONARtrac meters are not affected by pipe wall scaling. The flow turbulence is measured dynamically, therefore there is no mechanism for drift. There is no need for a serial number-based calibration. All meter sizes have been calibrated to NIST traceable standards and will remain in specification for the lifetime of the unit.

SONARtrac process monitoring system applications

These meters are extremely versatile. They have been developed specifically for the toughest multiphase process flows and for those areas where cutting the process pipe is not desired. CiDRA has been successful in a wide range of applications. The following is a quick summary of that success:

  • Sulphuric acid in steel and HDPE - PLS and Raffinate
  • Ball mill water feed and discharge lines
  • Cyclone overflow, underflow and feed lines
  • Heavy slurries such as chalcopyrite, phosphate, bitumen rock, bitumen froth, ammonium sulfate, paper pulp and lime rock
  • Tailings lines
  • Green liquor - bauxite
  • Lime mud
  • HCL
  • Water conveyed polymer pellets and dust
  • Clean and dirty water
  • Super critical ethylene
  • Glycol and water
  • Raw brine
  • Latex
  • Caustic soda
  • Anhydrous ammonia

The SONARtrac flowmeter installs in about one hour, requires no maintenance, and the calibration never drifts. The total cost of ownership for this technology is much lower than other types of flowmeters in these challenging applications. Consider the savings for never having to stop the process flow, replace flow tubes, blow out transmitter lines, replace orifice plates, question the calibration of a meter, question the flow reading due to entrained gas, or explain why the flow reading is spiking due to changing present solids.

The gas volume fraction meter is based on the same technology. It enables a new entrained gas measurement capability for a range of 0% to 20% gas. This measurement is very accurate and provides a resolution of 0.01% entrained gas. The meter has been applied in the refining, floatation, consistency correction, flow meter correction and other applications.

SONARtrac flowmeters are not affected by lined pipes, scaling or magnetic properties of the slurry. In many of the minerals processing and mining industries, the SONARtrac flowmeter is the ONLY technology able to provide a reliable flow measurement.

Contact Details

CiDRA Minerals Processing, Inc.
50 Barnes Park North
Wallingford, CT USA 06492
United States of America
+1 203 265 0035
+1 203 294 4211

Available White Papers


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