The sensitivity of orifice plate metering to poorly conditioned and swirling flows are subjects of concerns to flow meter users and manufacturers. The distortions caused by pipe fittings and pipe installations upstream of the orifice plate are major sources of this type of non‐standard flows. These distortions will alter the accuracy of metering up to an unacceptable degree.Design/methodology/approach – The design of orifice plate meters that are independent of the initial flow conditions of the upstream is a major object of flow metering. Either using a long straight pipe or a flow conditioner upstream of an orifice plate usually achieves this goal. The effect of cone swirler flow conditioner for both standard and non‐standard flow conditions has been carried out in the experimental rig. The measuring of mass flow rate under different conditions and different Reynolds numbers were used to establish a change in discharge coefficient relative to a standard one.Findings – The experimental results using the cone swirler flow conditioner showed that the combination of an orifice plate and cone swirler flow conditioner is broadly insensitive to upstream disturbances. The results clearly show that this flow conditioner can attenuate the effect of both swirling and asymmetric flows on metering to an acceptable level.Originality/value – Previous work on the orifice plate has shown that the concept has promise. The results of using a combination of a cone swirler and orifice plate for non‐standard flow conditions including swirling flow and asymmetric flow show this package can preserve the accuracy of metering up to the level required in the standards, providing that a new discharge coefficient is used for the combined swirler and orifice plate.
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