, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 441-450,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Feb 2011

Lorentz Force Flowmeter for Liquid Aluminum: Laboratory Experiments and Plant Tests


This article aims to demonstrate that molten metal flow at a high temperature can be measured effectively in a contactless manner by using external direct current magnetic fields. The device applied in the present work is termed Lorentz force flowmeter (LFF) and is based on exposing the flow to a magnet system and measuring the drag force acting on it. Two series of measurements are reported. In the first series, we perform a model experiment in the laboratory using the eutectic alloy GaInSn, which is liquid at room temperature. The second series of measurements is devoted to two plant tests on flow measurement of a liquid aluminum alloy. In both tests, the force acting on the magnet system is measured that is equal to the Lorentz force acting on the flow. To generalize our results, we also derive the scaling law that relates the force acting on a localized magnet system to the flow rate of a fluid with arbitrary electrical conductivity. This law shows that LFF, if properly designed, has a wide range of potential applications in ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy.

Manuscript submitted May 20, 2010.