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Process observation using flow sight glasses

Sight glasses for monitoring flows in pipelines

Process observation using flow sight glasses

Different types of flow sight glasses

Flow sight glasses are industrial sight glass devices that are equipped with common piping connections and can be installed in like any other industrial valve. Most types are available with flanges, welding ends or threaded connections.

The most basic type, as shown in Figure 5 on the left side, has a straight main body and two opposite sight glass windows. Extrapolating from this basic type, three-way or four-way sight glass devices as well as sight glasses with multiple viewports are also available.

With an appropriate mechanical design and the right materials for body, glass, bolts and gaskets, this type of sight glass can be built for applications operating at 1000 °C or 1000 bar.

For improved observation of the process fluid, tubular sight glasses as shown in Figure 5 in the middle can be used.

This type of sight glass offers 360° view of the process fluid and is almost completely without wake spaces. These properties make this type of sight glass especially suited for applications requiring hygienic conditions at relatively low pressure (maximum 16 bar). The lack of wake space also reduces drag within the sight glass body. The relatively large open glass area frequently often necessitates the addition of an impact protection shell made of acrylic glass, as shown in Figure 5.

Due to manufacturing limitations the maximum allowable pressure for this type of tubular sight glass is significantly lower than for other flow sight glasses, especially in large nominal sizes.

For significantly higher temperatures and pressures, tubular sight glasses can also be manufactured in an intermediate flange design, which is available in quartz glass in addition to borosilicate glass. One such sight glass is shown in Figure 5 on the right, installed between welded neck flanges.

A more extensive overview with technical information and detailed images is available at !

We, ACI Industriearmaturen GmbH, based in Eschweiler near Aachen (NRW, Germany), are a system supplier for industrial valves and industrial components.

We are the right partner for you when it comes to the handling of gaseous and liquid media. Take advantage of our experience and benefit from our knowledge and favorable conditions, which we can pass on to you through cooperation with our partners.

Our wide and also deep product range as well as our fast and flexible acting make us your powerful partner. You get everything from the shut-off valve to the compact system in DIN and ANSI design. Let our qualified staff advise you.

ACI Industriearmaturen GmbH
Dirk Göttgens
Auf dem Pesch 11
52249 Eschweiler

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