Message Board Thread - "Vessel Level Indicator"

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Vessel Level Indicator Carl M 6/24/2005
Not an IR camera application here. A customer delivers animal grain to farm bins and silos(metal). IR may be used to determine the product level at certain times of the day when the vessel is in it's thermal state is transient. Does anyone here know of a thermal paint, film or other methods to acomplish this (without an IR camera)?

Thank You.

Carl M.
Applied Standards LLC
Re:Vessel Level Indicator JKEngineer 6/24/2005
You could use encapsulated liquid crystals. These are the chemicals in the color change thermometers that are available. You would have to find some that were formulated for a sufficiently broad temperature range to cover all values of interest.
Jack M. Kleinfeld, P.E.
Kleinfeld Technical Services, Inc.
Infrared Thermography, Finite Element Analysis, Process Engineering

Bronx, NY 10463

866-884-6644 toll free
212-214-0919 fax and voice mail or
come see what we can do for you:
Re:Vessel Level Indicator Carl M 6/27/2005
Thanks you, Jack.
I believe there is a problem with using the liquid crystal films in this application due to the deterioration from UV. The distributors for these products say that they don't last very long outside in the sunlight.

I'm still looking.
Re:Vessel Level Indicator Tony Holliday (HAWK IR) 6/27/2005

Do you want continuous level readings or simply a "Full" signal?

For continuous level sensors I have used Ultrasonic systems in the past, these systems incorporate an ultrasonic transducer installed into the top of the tank. This "fires" ultrasonic waves into the tank and depending on the time taken for the wave to return to the transducer the system can give you a distance away from the tank top.

Depending on the calibrated range of the transducer it will give a linear signal generally ranged 4-20mA from 0-100% which can then be scaled in a SCADA/DCS system of just a simple indicator on the tank.

They do have what is called a "blocking distance" to take into account but overall they work really well.

For simple "full" level indication, you could look at a "tuning-fork" type assembly. These things work by monitoring the frequency of the vibration at the end of a fork inside the tank. The frequency of the vibration in air is different than that in gas or solids. Once a difference is sensed, a simple set of contacts opens (or closes depending if it is setup as a failsafe system) and you can take this to a lamp or something that indicates "FULL".

Endress & Hauser is the manufacturer equipment I used to use,

I hope this helps, drop me a line if I can help more.


Tony Holliday
Hawk IR International Ltd.
Toll Free. 1-877-4-HAWKIR

Re:Vessel Level Indicator Manuel 6/28/2005
hi carl

there are Ultrasonic Sensors wich use is for level applications or otherd raw-materials.

i used this on sand and glass tanks besides soda-ash applications. there are cheaper and very accute. maybe they can fit perfect your application.

roberto cruz
Re:Vessel Level Indicator Carl M 7/1/2005
Thank you all for your suggestions.

I am familiar with the various level indicator/controller devices as I also work as an industrial electrician and instrument tech. The task is to find either a portable device the grain delivery driver may use, or a thermal activated paint of some sort to tell where the level of the product is in the silo before delivery. The IR imagers are beyond the budget of the company.

Thanks again,

Carl M.

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