An Electrical Method for Measuring Air Concentration in Flowing Air-Water Mixtures

Owen P. Lamb, John M. Killen

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


An electrical instrument has been developed to measure the air concentration in flowing air-water mixtures as part of an investigation of the mechanism by which atmospheric air is entrained in flowing water. The theory, development, and verification of this instrument are described in this report. The instrument is shown in Figs. 6c and 7, and the electrical circuit is shown in Fig. 9b. The electrical measurement of air concentration was chosen after examining possible mechanical, chemical, and magnetic methods. The method consists basically of a measurement of the difference between the conductivity of a mixture of air and water and conductivity of water alone. A mechanical strut supporting a pair of electrical probes has been combined with the electrical circuit in such a manner that air-concentration measurements may be made, not at a point, but at least in a small region of the flow. With this instrument it is now possible to traverse the flow cross section both vertically and laterally and to obtain the distribution of air in the flowing mixture. The relation between the instrument readings and air-concentration values are determined theoretically and the instrument is direct reading. by checking the results of the electrical method against a direct mechanical sampling method, it has been determined that the values of air concentration computed form theoretical conditions alone were sufficiently accurate for experimental work without further calibration. The instrument is now designed for application in an experimental laboratory channel, but with the use of a more rugged strut and supporting structure the method could be applied equally well in large flumes and spillways.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Mar 1950


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