Staff at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a compact, non-invasive, ultrasonic interrogation technique to characterize fluid or dense slurry during pipeline transport or in process vessels during mixing or settling. The ultrasonic transducers are mounted directly on the outside of the process container or pipe spool piece so the pipe or vessel wall becomes part of the measurement system. The transducers are pulsed to measure the density, speed of sound, and attenuation of the signal which penetrates the pipe wall and through the slurry. These signals are analyzed to determine fluid density, solids concentration, and track changes in particle size. Analysis of multiple signal reflections provides increased measurement sensitivity.

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