The most common type of displacement flow meter is the nutating disk, or wobble plate meter.
A typical nutating disk is shown in Figure.
This type of flow meter is normally used for water service, such as raw water supply and evaporator feed. The movable element is a circular disk which is attached to a central ball. A shaft is fastened to the ball and held in an inclined position by a cam or roller. The disk is mounted in a chamber which has spherical side walls and conical top and bottom surfaces.
The fluid enters an opening in the spherical wall on one side of the partition and leaves through the other side. As the fluid flows through the chamber, the disk wobbles, or executes a nutating motion. Since the volume of fluid required to make the disc complete one revolution is known, the total flow through a nutating disc can be calculated by multiplying the number of disc rotations by the known volume of fluid.
To measure this flow, the motion of the shaft generates a cone with the point, or apex, down. The top of the shaft operates a revolution counter, through a crank and set of gears, which is calibrated to indicate total system flow. A variety of accessories, such as automatic count resetting devices, can be added to the fundamental mechanism, which perform functions in addition to measuring the flow.