Fan Selection Considerations

We all know fans move air, but in industrial applications, they also move particles, parts, and even products. Both Mass Flow Rate (movement of materials) and Volumetric Flow Rate (movement of air) are important to know when calculating fan specifications and performance.

What’s the Difference and Units of Measure

The difference between Mass Flow Rate and Volumetric Flow Rate is twofold: what is being moved and how we measure it.

Mass Flow Rate

The Mass Flow Rate is most important when the fan application is moving materials or products from point A to point B for simple conveyance or further processing. We measure it in a simple calculation, dividing the mass of whatever is being moved (usually measured in pounds or kilograms) by a unit of time (seconds, minutes, or even hours).

Volumetric Flow Rate

The Volumetric Flow Rate measures the volume of air/gas over time, and it’s one of the key measurements we use to size and design a fan for its application. In the United States, the most common unit of measure is cubic feet per minute or CFM. As with the Mass Flow Rate, there are various acceptable units of measure, for example, cubic meters instead of cubic feet, or seconds instead of minutes.

Hear from an Application Engineer About the Variable Speed Fan

Chet White, Senior Application Engineer / Sales & Marketing Manager, discusses the differences between Volumetric Flow Rate and Mass Flow Rate in this 2⅓-minute whiteboard video.

To ask questions, get more details, or discuss your application, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers.

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