Red Meters Provide Non-Nuclear Density Measurement in Slurry Transport

The Red Meter is an in-line, real time, non-nuclear density measurement system that was introduced to the market in 2016. It has been installed in dredging operations in the United States and elsewhere, and is used in a variety of industries where product is transferred by pipeline.

The company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

The system consists of an in-line rubber chamber that replaces a section of the discharge pipe, with a precision displacement laser sensor installed below the chamber. These elements are enclosed in a red steel housing. 

The laser produces 3,000 interrogations per second of the slurry, and relays the measurement data to a PLC, along with raw data from multiple sensors, which are processed using a patented algorithm to produce 20 or more density readings per second. The chamber is a flanged, industrial rubber hose the diameter of the discharge pipe. A natural gum rubber lining provides a clear path that allows a full-volume reading by the laser. Technicians from Red Meter install and calibrate the system, which can weigh approximately 700 pounds.

The Red Meter can accommodate pipe sizes from two inches to 60 inches.

As is common when dredging abrasive materials, the cartridge can be rotated 90 degrees when showing signs of wear, providing a long life for the installation. Because there is no sensor contact, wear is only a concern inside the chamber.

The real-time, direct measurement provides a certified accuracy of +/- .25 percent.  Readings are automatically compensated for pressure, temperature and vibration. The customer can choose any or all of eight parameters: percent solids, density, temperature, pressure, mass flow, granular density, SG wet and SG dry. All the sensors report continuously.

A 7-inch integrated touch screen on the outer wall of the housing can display six parameters simultaneously, in either numerical or graphic format. A USB port allows download and transfer of data. Communication is by a 4/20 mA loop, Ethernet, Modbus or Wi-Fi.

The system is customized to the user’s application. The algorithms incorporate parameters specific to each application. By continuously monitoring all parameters, the system can detect problems, such as a rapid rise or fall in slurry density, instantly.

The Red Meter was introduced to the market in 2016, after five years in research and development.

On the company website,, a case study of a dredging project using a Red Meter shows the readouts of the parameters the customer is following, as well as the record of the dredging process that shows a rise in density followed by a return to normal flow.