Flow measurement quantifies the rate or quantity of a liquid or gas that passes through a pipeline. Two of the most popular flow meters are ultrasonic and magnetic. They have similar functions but different pros and cons. Explore the benefits of ultrasonic versus magnetic flow meters and guarantee successful flow management for your operations.

Non-Intrusive Measurement

One of the biggest differences between ultrasonic and magnetic flow meters is the former offers non-intrusive measurements by using ultrasonic waves to measure flow. These devices can take accurate readings without interacting with the contents of a pipeline, eliminating the chance of contamination or pressure drop. Magnetic flow meters, on the other hand, require contact in order to display readings.

Fluid Versatility

Pipelines transport various substances, like water, gas, oil, and waste. They vary in consistency, composition, and conductivity. Ultrasonic flow meters handle a wide variety of fluid types, including those with high particulate or gaseous content. Meanwhile, magnetic flow meters work best with conductive liquids, including corrosive or abrasive ones. They are ideal for industrial contexts but have limited use.


Ultrasonic flow meters provide a budget-friendly option for many pipeline systems. With their non-intrusive measurement feature, ultrasonic meters reduce the risk of contamination. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, repair fees, or downtime. Plus, ultrasonic flow meters are easy to install and incorporate into an existing flow system, reducing direct installation costs and indirect costs associated with downtime.

Data Accuracy

With quality ultrasonic flow converters, ultrasonic flow meters can provide nanosecond measurements of flow velocity based on the time difference between upstream and downstream signals.

Magnetic flow meters can also provide accurate data readings, but not to the same extent as ultrasonic meters. Magnetic flow meters apply a magnetic field to a conductive fluid flowing through a pipe. The fluid’s movement through the magnetic field generates a voltage that is measured by electrodes attached to the pipe, with the voltage being proportional to the flow velocity of the fluid. This measurement system excels with conductive fluids. Non-conductive fluids, such as oils and gases, will not produce a measurable signal, making magnetic flow meters ineffective for these substances.

Ultrasonic flow meters offer many benefits in comparison to magnetic flow meters. With assistance from PMT and our technology solutions, you can enhance your ultrasonic flow meters with precise measurement technology and reap their many benefits. Contact PMT today, and we’ll help you find the right ultrasonic flow converter and precise measurement tool for your needs.