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Journal cover: Sensor Review

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Online from: 1981

Subject Area: Electrical & Electronic Engineering

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A primary standard piston prover for measurement of very small gas flows: an update


Document Information:
Title:A primary standard piston prover for measurement of very small gas flows: an update
Author(s):Giorgio Cignolo, (Istituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy), Franco Alasia, (Istituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy), Andrea Capelli, (Istituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy), Roberto Goria, (Istituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy), Gaetano La Piana, (Istituto di Metrologia “G. Colonnetti”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin, Italy)
Citation:Giorgio Cignolo, Franco Alasia, Andrea Capelli, Roberto Goria, Gaetano La Piana, (2005) "A primary standard piston prover for measurement of very small gas flows: an update", Sensor Review, Vol. 25 Iss: 1, pp.40 - 45
Keywords:Calibration, Flow, Gases
Article type:Technical paper
DOI:10.1108/02602280510577825 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This paper is an updated version of one previously published at the 5th International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement.
Abstract:

Purpose – A prototype gas prover was constructed to serve as the Italian primary standard for gas flow rates in the range 0.1?ml/min to 2?l/min. The new prover is used to calibrate high-quality industrial standards, as well as the MFCs used in microelectronic fabrications and preparation of reference gas mixtures.

Design/methodology/approach – The prover measures gas volume transfers caused by displacements of a 120?mm dia. motor-operated piston, which is introduced into a temperature-controlled chamber containing up to 3?l of the required working gas at near ambient conditions. Gas delivery is made at constant rate, whereas possibly variable incoming flows are measured at constant pressure. Displacements of the piston are measured by an optical interferometer.

Findings – The analysis shows that standard uncertainty ranges between 0.013 and 0.03 percent. Owing to the very accurate control and measurement of both pressures and temperatures, these figures refer equally to volume and mass flowrate. Experimental comparisons with similar national standards at LNE-France and NIST-USA confirmed the consistency of measurement results in the three Nations.

Research limitations/implications – The gas prover should be used with inert gases only.

Practical implications – The national industrial gas standards and the best flow transducers can now be calibrated accurately down to unprecedented flowrate values.

Originality/value – The need for measurement of extremely low gas flows is quite recent, therefore possibly less than ten primary national standards are available today worldwide. Several completely different principles and designs have been developed; description of design and performance of each instrument is important to assess their respective merits. The described apparatus is innovative as regards measurement range, accuracy and control techniques.



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