NASA Spinoff Database: Fluid Flow Technology that Measures Up

NASA Center: Marshall Space Flight Center
Public Release Year: 2004
Reference Number: MSFC-SO-163
Category: Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology
Origin: Space Shuttle Main Engine Analysis

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center collaborated with Quality Monitoring and Control (QMC) to apply artificial intelligence technologies to the health management of plant equipment and space propulsion systems. The team created and tested balanced flow meter technology as a result, with QMC founding A FlowTek to commercialize the technology. Together, A FlowTek and NASA patented the Balanced Flow Meter, with the company receiving exclusive licensing rights. The Balanced Flow Meter determines the fluid flow rate in piping, channel, and conduit systems. It provides highly accurate flow metering, flow limiting, or flow conditioning in any fluid flow system. As a flow meter, the technology provides flow measurement with minimal intrusion into the flow path and requires no moving parts. As a flow limiting device, the technology can simulate facility and engine fluid flow loads. Finally, as a flow conditioning device, the balanced flow meter technology may improve engine performance by conditioning fluid flow profiles around elbows, combustion chambers, and pump inlets. Fluid flow measurements such as these are used in the processing industries for refineries and chemical, power, and pharmaceutical plants. Chevron and Sloss Industries are among the companies already using the Balanced Flow Meter technology in their industrial plants with good results.

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Manufacturer: A FlowTek

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