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Measuring bubbles, foam and particle size using FLOWave

Our unique Type 8098 FLOWave SAW flow meter uses Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology to measure flow with exceptional accuracy. A lesser-known feature of FLOWave is that it can also be calibrated to become a particle, foam and bubble measuring device. Mark Lilley, Field Segment Manager, .hygienic – Food and Beverage, explains how this can be achieved in practice.

Bürkert FLOWave flow meter

The Bürkert Type 8098 FLOWave SAW flow meter is designed for the most stringent hygienic demands, with a stainless steel measuring pipe free of any wetted parts. This compact and flexible flow meter offers ease of cleaning, compact dimensions, light weight, easy installation and handling, and is the only flow meter available that utilises highly accurate Surface Acoustic Wave technology.

What you may not know, however, is that FLOWave excels at various functions beyond the measurement of flow alone. In fact, it’s ability to measure bubbles, foam and particles makes it a highly useful device for a variety of food and beverage applications. “If you have a solution with a variable amount of bubbles or particles in it then you can measure it,” says Mark Lilley, .hygienic – Food and Beverage at Bürkert.

“If you know that your liquid has 10% bubbles in it, that will give you specific density and acoustic factors. As long as you know what those quantities are, you can then validate them back to the reading from your FLOWave,” Mark adds.

Extrapolate mass flow measurement

In fact, by extrapolating the numerous data points available via FLOWave, it is also possible to make desktop mass flow measurement calculations. It is simply a case of understanding the measurements at your disposal. “If the customer has got a range of products, you can carry out various tests,” Mark continues. “Taking that information – the density factor, the acoustic transmission, temperature and velocity – and adding it into your PLC, you can then gauge your mass flow measurement.

“One day we hope to be able to do this completely through FLOWave. We’re seeing people using this technique now. We have a customer in Switzerland who pickles vegetables and they use different pickling solutions with various levels of acidity. They’re using FLOWave to determine the different products going through their pipes.

“That’s been done through a teach process. Once the FLOWave knows the programming, it will easily detect the various different solutions involved in the application using the information it’s given. Those are the capabilities of FLOWave that we’re looking to develop further.”

SAW technology assists media separation and CIP processes

The detection of various different products using Bürkert’s patented SAW technology has obvious benefits for food and beverage operations. This is particularly relevant to media separation and Clean In Place (CIP) processes. “You could use FLOWave to quickly determine whether you have a CIP solution, water or a base acid solution going through your system,” says Mark.

“That leads to a quicker changeover of lines, quicker changeover of product and less wastage overall.” All of which ultimately leads to cost-savings across the board.

Another advantage of FLOWave is that it can be used to monitor changes to the amplitude of the SAW transmissions. This can enable food and beverage producers to detect waste product build-up and hasten the CIP cleaning process, in order to safeguard the hygiene of the pipeline and end product.

“If you’ve got a pipe and you’ve started to get a build-up on the lining of the pipe, we can also detect that,” says Mark. “You might then use CIP or send a pig down the line to clean the pipe. End users can boost their efficiencies, reduce pipe sizes and separate product that would otherwise get stuck on the pipework. This can protect the consistency of the product and therefore the brand.”

For more information about the Bürkert Type 8098 FLOWave SAW flow meter, or to discuss your application requirements in more detail, please contact our sales team today on +44 (0) 1285 648 720 or email

Type 8098

FLOWave SAW flowmeter

Type 8098
  • No obstacles inside the measuring tube, compact, lightweight and low energy consumption
  • Conforms to hygienic requirements, CIP/SIP compatible
  • Ideal for liquids with low or no conductivity
  • Digital communication, parameterisation via Communicator, display and Wi-Fi
  • Optional: ATEX certification, II 3G/D


Contact Sales

Fluid Control Centre

1 Bridge End




United Kingdom


Telephone: +44 (0) 1285 648 720

Fax: +44 (0) 1285 648 721

Do you have any questions? Don´t hesitate to contact us.

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