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The rotameters are flowmeters of variable area, through which the fluid (liquid, gas or steam) flows in a vertical conic tube, from the bottom up, where the floater lays. The tube may be made of glass, plastic or metal depending of the application. Since the weight of the floater is constant, increasing the flow requires an increase in the free flow area, once the pressure drop of the floater remains constant. Therefore, positioning of the floater indicates the flow rate. These flowmeters are broadly used in industrial processes, where instant observation of flow is necessary. They are very appropriate for low flow rates, because they present an excellent relation between cost and performance. They are unaffected by variations of the flow speed at the entrance, therefore do not need upstream straight piping.

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