Selection Guide for Flow

How to choose an Alicat flow meter or flow controller

The questions below can help you narrow down the many options Alicat has for mass flow controllers and mass flow meters. Follow the links to the appropriate product page to learn more about your chosen model. Then get in touch with one of our skilled applications engineers who can help you build your perfect instrument. Call us at +1.888.290.6060 or send your inquiry to info@alicat.com.

What is your medium? Are you flowing a gas or liquid?

  • If you are flowing a liquid, you will need an L-Series meter, available in flow rates from 0-0.5 ccm to 0-10 lpm, or an LC-Series controller, available in flow rates from 0-5 ccm to 0-10 lpm.
  • If you are flowing a gas, which one? The Gas Select list shows all of the selectable mixed and pure gas calibrations that are preloaded onto each Alicat mass flow instrument for gases. If your gas is one of the corrosive gases, you will need an S-Series mass flow instrument as we proceed.

Do you want to measure, control or calibrate your gas flow?

  • If you only want to measure flow rates, you will need an M-Series mass flow meter, available in full-scale ranges from 0-0.5 sccm to 0-5000 slpm, or other equivalent engineering units.
    • You can also choose an MB-Series portable mass flow meter with an integrated rechargeable battery for field use without wires.
    • If you require low pressure drop (less than 1 psi), then be sure to look at our Whisper Series (MW), with pressure drops as low as 0.06 psi (4 mbar) at full scale. (Note that the maximum inlet pressure for the Whisper Series is 45 psig, compared with 145 psig for our standard M Series.)
  • If you want to control flows, you will need an MC-Series mass flow controller, available in full-scale ranges from 0-0.5 sccm to 0-5000 slpm, or other equivalent engineering units.
    • If your application requires flowing gas into a process in one direction and then out in the reverse direction, you may find that our MCD-Series bidirectional mass flow controllers can simplify your equipment needs.
    • If you require low pressure drop (less than 1 psi), then be sure to look at our Whisper Series (MCW/MCDW), with pressure drops as low as 0.06 psi (4 mbar) at full scale. (Note that the maximum inlet pressure for the Whisper Series is 45 psig, compared with 145 psig for our standard M Series.)
    • If you want to control flows using vacuum, you may benefit from our MCV-Series mass flow controller for vacuum, which includes an integrated pneumatic shut-off valve to prevent vacuum chamber contamination when you have a zero setpoint. This series is available in flow ranges from 0-0.5 sccm to 0-20 slpm.
  • If you are calibrating flow rates, your easiest solution will be an MB-Series portable flow calibrator with an integrated rechargeable battery for ease of use in the field. Portable calibrators are available in full-scale ranges from 0-0.5 sccm to 0-5000 slpm, or other equivalent engineering units.
    • If you are calibrating volumetric flows, or otherwise require low pressure drop (less than 1 psi), then be sure to look at our Whisper Series (MWB), with pressure drops as low as 0.06 psi (4 mbar) at full scale. (Note that the maximum inlet pressure for the Whisper Series is 45 psig, compared with 145 psig for our standard M Series.)
    • For calibration of flow ranges wider than a 200:1 turndown (e.g., 1-200 sccm), choose Alicat’s PCU-Series portable calibration unit, a field-portable unit that integrates 3 portable flow calibrators of differing ranges for a combined turndown range of up to 1,000,000:1.

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