What products are involved?
SRV - Inline Viscosity Meter
What is the purpose of this article?
To give an overview of the SRV with Tri-Clamp connection (SRV-X3), installation guidelines, instructions, special considerations and available accessories. Tri-Clamp connection varies in size but this article is valid for all of them.
SRV is Rheonics sensor for inline viscosity measurement (viscometer). Read more on SRV here.
At Rheonics, SRV with Tri-Clamp connections is typically on stock in different sizes. For some high sizes, less stock is available, so the lead-time for delivery can increase.
A Tri-Clamp (TC) fitting allows for an easy process installation in pipes and tanks. It is also widely used in the food industry, and at any place where frequent cleaning and disassembly are required. A Tri-Clamp connection is composed of 3 main parts: the ferrules, a gasket and a clamp. Find out how to select the correct gasket here. Pressure and temperature ratings vary for a Tri-Clamp connection, based on the type of clamp used.
Figure 1: SRV-X3-1.5” and EHEDG version dimensions
From DN25/30/40 - 1.5" - OD50.5 up*, under costumer request
Drawing and CAD file
*Smaller Tri-Clamp connections are available for flush sensor versions.
2. General Installation Guidelines
SR-sensors can be placed at any point in a process and at any orientation but is helpful to consider some terms that are usually involved in the sensor measurements.
The viscometer SRV has a sensing element shown inside the red section in Figure 3. This section of the sensor should always be fully submerged in the fluid since SRV measures what is in contact with its sensing element. An incomplete submersion can be a problem when in a process, the flow rate is low and the pipe isn’t usually full.
A possible solution is placing the sensor horizontally and parallel to the fluid (e.g. in an elbow), instead than vertically and perpendicular. Also, the use of flow cell accessories can be considered, explained later in this article.
When there is a chance of incomplete pipe filling then consider installing the sensor in a flow cell or section which would ensure the section is full before fluid exits, this can be done by making the outlet higher than the inlet (Figure 2). However here consideration should be given to create self-draining installs that minimize the chances of sedimentation.
Figure 2: Flow cell to ensure full immersion of sensor.
Figure 3: SRV sensing area.
2.2 Stagnation/dead zone
It is not a good practice to have dead or stagnations zones around the sensing area (Figure 3). A stagnation or dead zone is where a fluid transfer is not good and older fluid may not be fully displaced by newer fluid. This leads to incorrect measurements due to part or all of the measurement being influenced by stationary fluid that is no longer representative of the actual process fluid.
Consider that some ferrules may cause dead zones in the gaps created with installation. Rheonics recommends the use of short ferrules or its WFT-15T ferrule weldolet.
A clearance of at least 5mm is recommended between the sensor tip and a pipe wall or any other obstruction.
2.3 Orientation independence
SRV has a symmetrical tip, making it possible to face a flowing fluid in any direction. Its shape enables the fluid to be in contact with the tip without creating recirculation zones.
Figure 4: SRV sensing tip.
For Newtonian fluids flow rate does not affect the viscosity, so SRV should measure the same values in static and moving states of a fluid. For non-Newtonian fluids, the flow rate does matter and viscosity readings may differ between static and moving conditions. The recommendation for processes with non-constant flow rates is to install the SRV in a section in the pipeline with the most consistent flow rate to have a steady viscosity value.
Flow rate is also relevant to ensure the full submersion of the SRV sensing element into the fluid. For a process with a low flow rate, pipes may not be full of fluid at all points, so SRV should then be placed in a section where the pipe is usually full of fluid (i.e. after a pump) or consider the use of a flow cell.
In all cases, the SRV’s sensing element should be submerged in the fluid. It’s best to avoid installations with long standpipes (i.e. using long ferrules or a long elbow tee), since that may lead to a bad fluid transfer resulting in measurements that do not reflect the true state of fluid or worse high noise measurements.
When installing in a standpipe, choose the appropriate insertion length of the sensor by selecting long insertion probes. This allows the sensing element to clear the stagnation zone and be in the fluid that is of interest for measurement, as in the next figure.
Figure 5: Long insertion probes for long standpipes.
2.5 Fluid types
The SRV in general works well with almost all fluids as long as the installation is correct. Some common fluid types and scenarios are mentioned next:
- Static and moving Newtonian fluids
- Moving non-Newtonian fluids (Viscosity can vary at different flow rates)
- Blubbly fluids under moving conditions
- Fluids with solids of micrometers scale
3. Process Connection installation instruction
3.1 Connection steps
A Tri-Clamp connection requires two ferrules or flanges, a seal and a clamp, as in the next figure.
Figure 6: Tri-Clamp connection components.
The general steps for a Tri-Clamp connection are:
i. Have a welded ferrule in the pipe or tank.
ii. Place the gasket properly into the seat of the ferrule.
iii. Place the sensor Tri-Clamp connection on the gasket and verify it is correctly aligned.
iv. Loosen the clamp so it can fit around the ferrule.
v. Place the clamp, verify ferrules are within the clamp’s groove.
vi. Start tightening the clamp until a leak-proof connection is made.
Be careful not to over-tighten the clamp, this can damage the gasket and ferrules.
3.2 Specific Process Connection installation instructions
- In line: For inline installations consider the sensing area (Figure 3) and a minimum clearance of the sensor tip to the pipe inner wall (5 mm). A perpendicular Tri-Clamp installation of the SRV is not possible for most 1”, 1.5” or 2” pipes (for 2” it depends on the pipe norm). In those cases, the installation is recommended to be parallel or with a flow cell, check accessories FET-15T-XXX and IFC-15T-SRV. For bigger lines the sensor can be mounted perpendicular to the flow, Rheonics recommends the WFT-15T ferrule for such cases.
- In tank: Place the sensor at the bottom, wall or lid of the tank as long as the sensing element can be fully submerged in the fluid and dead zones are avoided. The WFT-15T ferrule is recommended for these installations. Usually, it is useful if the sensor is placed at a tank’s height that has always fluid. If there is a hygienic requirement, the SRV-X3 can be ordered with a hygienic design as in Figure 1 (optional EHEDG certification) and should be mounted with a hygienic adapter (e.g. flush welding flange like ISO 1127).
- Others: Larger pipelines or tanks often need a longer probe (i.e. jacketed tanks or pipes), in those scenarios, the client should use a long insertion probe (FPC sensors) - Order code: SRV-X5.
Figure 7: SRV installation in line.
4. Accessories available
4.1 Weldolet - WFT-15T
Weldolet for 1.5” Tri-Clamp sensor connection that ensures maximum submersion of the sensing element. Suitable for the SRD X3 1.5”. It can be used for process integration into Process lines, Mixing vessels, reactors, etc.
Figure 8: WFT-15T ferrule
4.2 Flow cells
Inline adapter for 1.5” Tri-Clamp sensor with 3/4” NPT inlet and outlet ports. This accessory is recommended for DN5 up to DN25 pipes, ensuring optimal flow over the sensing element and minimal stagnation zones. Read more about this on its accessories page.
Figure 9: IFC-15T-SRV
Tri-Clamp elbow tee for 1.5” Tri-Clamp sensor with welding inlet and outlet ports of 1.5” size. Also available for other line sizes on request. Review its web page here.
Figure 10: FET-15T-XXX
Tri-Clamp elbow tee for 1.5” Tri-Clamp sensor (DN25/32/40) DIN11850 with same connection for inlet and outlet ports. Also available for other port sizes under request.
Figure 11: FET-15T-15T
Tri-Clamp tee spool piece for perpendicular installation of the SRV with Tri-Clamp 1.5” process connection. Only available with welding inlet and outlet ports of 3”, 4” or 6” size.
Figure 12: FTP-15T-XXX