The magnetic-distortion probe: Velocimetry in conducting fluids

Miralles, Sophie; Verhille, Gautier; Plihon, Nicolas; Pinton, Jean-François
September 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Sep2011, Vol. 82 Issue 9, p095112
Academic Journal
A new type of velocimeter, capable of local velocity measurements in conducting fluids, is introduced. The principle of the 'magnetic-distortion probe' is based on the measurement of the induced magnetic field by the flow of a conducting fluid in the vicinity of a localized magnetic field. The new velocimeter has no moving parts, and can be enclosed in a sealed cap, easing the implementation in harsh environments, such as liquid metals. The proposed method allows one to probe both the continuous part and fluctuations of the velocity, the temporal and spatial resolution being linked to the actual geometric configuration of the probe. A prototype probe has been tested in a gallinstan pipe flow and in a fully turbulent flow of liquid gallium generated by the counter rotation of two coaxial impellers in a cylinder. The signals have been compared to a reference potential probe and show very good agreement both for time-averaged velocities and turbulent fluctuations. The prototype is shown to detect motion from a few cm s-1 to a few m s-1. Moreover, the use of the magnetic-distortion probe with large-scale applied magnetic field is discussed.


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