Mass Flow Controllers and Handling Pressure Variation

Mass Flow Controllers Handling Pressure Variation

Phil McKinney | August 18th, 2017

Brooks Instrument is setting the bar for high standards again, " Doing more with Less", more capabilities of ranges with fewer selections of mass flow controllers to get the job done. Let's take a look at why Brooks excels in areas concerning vast pressure ranges and sizing of the valves. Originally published as, "Handling Pressure Variation With a Mass Flow Controller" at Brooks Instrument.

Brooks Instrument SLA is Well Suited for these Applications

In industries such as Petrochemical Research and Alternative Fuels Research, downstream destination of the fluid, typically gases, is a reactor vessel and the test requirements are broad from a pressure standpoint. This typically applies when the pressure exceeds 200 PSIG.

brooks instrument sla

Gases can range from hydrocarbons (i.e. methane, ethylene) to air, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Pressures in the reactor vessel can range from a few hundred PSIG to several thousand PSIG.

Since an MFC is a closed loop control system with a valve that is sized for a specific set of conditions for optimum performance, pressure variations can significantly impact the performance of the valve. Simply stated, if an MFC is sized for higher pressures, then use at low pressures may result in an inability to achieve the required maximum flow through the valve. If an MFC is sized for lower pressures, then use at higher pressures may result in an oversized valve that is attempting to operate close to the fully closed position.

The Brooks SLA Series MFC’s are particularly suited for these types of applications for two reasons:

  1. High-pressure capability: up to 4500 PSIG operating pressure
  2. Valve sizing capabilities

Although research applications are all unique and can change over time, Brooks and Cross Company have the capability to provide expert consultation over a wide range of operating conditions. We’ll evaluate your specific needs to find a workable set of conditions to cover your research testing needs.

The result is a reduction in the number of MFC’s needed to cover the entire range of your research, and eliminating the possibility of inadequate MFC performance, ensuring that all of your test data can be used.


How to Buy a Flow Meter How To Buy A Flow Meter


Flow meters come in different styles, technologies, abilities, etc. No one meter that can do everything - but they all have their purpose. Before you can buy with confidence, learn what questions must be answered! 

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Phil McKinney

Phil McKinney is an Account Manager for Cross Company's Instrumentation Group. Phil has over 12 years in technical sales expertise with process and controls equipment. Includes in depth knowledge of specialty valves, instrumentation flow measurement, combustion analysis, and temperature/pressure troubleshooting for his customers in central and eastern North Carolina.