Wherever measuring conditions are extreme and conventional measuring technologies fail, non-contact radiometric systems are the answer. Radiometric measurements are based on the principle of attenuation. The source emits gamma radiation that penetrates both, the vessel and its contents, and is subsequently detected by the detector. If there is no material in the radiation path, the intensity of the radiation remains almost the same.

However, if the radiation has to penetrate matter, it is attenuated. The attenuation increases with increasing density of the penetrated material. Since this principle applies to almost every radiometric measurement, it can be used to determine not only the density of the material in the vessel, but also its level, or to perform a limit switch task.

Level measurement for industrial process

In the process industry, precise systems for level and level switch measurement are fundamental and make an important contribution to the safety and high quality of production and logistics processes.

Level measurements for extreme process conditions can easily be done with the help of radiometric measurement technology. Invented by Berthold, this technology has been providing reliable measurements for more than 70 years. Applications are most frequently carried out on liquids and solids in process tanks, storage tanks or silos.

However, there are requirements in which level measurements are not feasible or attainable with conventional measurement technology due to the extreme boundary conditions or only possible with very high installation or maintenance costs. This is applicable, for example, in environments with high pressure or high temperatures or with aggressive or abrasive media.

Contactless and yet perfect

Therefore, radiometric measurements are usually the very last option for process level control. As the use of radiometry involves a certain amount of work, such as regulatory approvals, however with proper compliance with regulations, this technique offers many clear. The technique is highly reproducible and reliable. The systems are characterized by their wear-free and maintenance-free operation; moreover, only a single calibration is sufficient during initial commissioning. The advantages of the systems extend over the entire lifetime, starting with the simple installation, which can also be easily retrofitted to existing vessels, through the smooth handling and operation, right up to the very long, reliable and safe use.


Henning Springer
MECOSA (Pty) Ltd
Tel. +27 11 257 6100

Share this article