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Thermal Effects on Critical Flow Venturis



John D. Wright, Aaron N. Johnson, Michael R. Moldover, Woong Kang, Liang Zhang


Critical flow venturis (CFVs) are widely used as working and transfer standards for gas flow measurement because of their long-term calibration stability (5 (e.g., a 2 mm throat diameter flowing air at 1 MPa), CFVs exhibit sensitivity to the environmental temperature of approximately 200 parts in 106 / K, primarily due to the difficulty of measuring the temperature of the gas entering the CFV (temperature sampling errors) and thermal boundary layer effects. During the CCM.FF-K6 2002 key comparison, the temperature sensitivity of the CFV transfer standard accounted for as much as 40 % of the transfer standard uncertainty. Heat transfer from the CFV body to the thermal boundary layer produces an annular region of lower density gas near the CFV wall and a lower CFV discharge coefficient. We minimized temperature sampling errors by using a better gas temperature measurement design, including non-metallic approach pipe materials and a temperature sensor with low stem conduction error. We measured and accounted for thermal boundary layer effects using the correction CT = 1 + K Re-1⁄2 ({Δ}T / T0) where {Δ}T is the difference between the CFV inner wall temperature and the inlet gas temperature. The value of K is approximately -7 for CFVs made of stainless steel and copper with diameters of 0.56 mm, 1.1 mm, and 3.2 mm for the particular CFV configuration we used.
Proceedings Title
International Symposium for Fluid Flow Measurement
Conference Dates
April 14-17, 2015
Conference Location
Arlington, VA


critical, flow, venturi, boundary layer, discharge coefficient


Wright, J. , Johnson, A. , Moldover, M. , Kang, W. and Zhang, L. (2015), Thermal Effects on Critical Flow Venturis, International Symposium for Fluid Flow Measurement, Arlington, VA, [online], (Accessed May 17, 2024)


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Created April 14, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017