Parshall Flume Materials and Lifespan

Parshall flumes are perhaps the most popular tool for water management systems everywhere, and for very good reason. These top-quality flumes provide great accuracy, flexible installation and are very easy to use, making it small wonder they remain such a consistently popular choice. However, before you can install Parshall flumes in your water management operation, you need to pick the right manufacturing material, of which there are several great options.

The best way to pick the right Parshall flume material for your needs is to examine durability and lifespan so that you can be sure your flow management tool will last year after year. Read about different Parshall flume materials that you could use and find out which option is the best choice for your system’s needs.

Galvanized Steel

If you’re looking for a Parshall flume that provides a good combination of affordability and durability, then a good construction material is galvanized steel. Depending on the needs of your water management system, galvanized steel will generally hold up well over time and provide you with the consistent readings your operation needs.

However, there are some risks to using galvanized steel that you should be aware of. Galvanized steel contains high zinc content, and because of this it can be vulnerable to stresses such as degradation from consistently high flow rates, gasses and stresses from hard water. If your operation experiences any of these issues, galvanized steel may not be the best option.

Stainless Steel

One of the longest lasting, most durable material you could ask for with any product, including Parshall flumes, is stainless steel. The longevity of stainless steel is legendary, and in water management systems that do not operate under stressful conditions, stainless steel Parshall flumes may last in perpetuity. Unfortunately, stainless steel flumes are almost always used in high intensity environments, which can severely reduce their lifespan.

How long your stainless steel Parshall flume will last depends entirely on your operation. The more energetic or corrosive the flows that you deal with, the quicker the integrity of your flume will be diminished.


Perhaps the best choice of Parshall flume materials is fiberglass. Unlike stainless steel and galvanized steel, there is no corrosion risk with a fiberglass Parshall flume. Generally, these tools will last fifteen years or more, although this will vary from system to system.

The biggest risk of using a fiberglass flume is having the protective gel coat wear off due to sediment in your flow. Once the gel coat is gone, your fiberglass flume will be subject to major risks like UV damage. However, if the sediment content of your flows is minimal, then your fiberglass flumes will last well into the future.

Advice for Choosing Parshall Flume Materials

Although every flume construction material has its advantage, the one that offers you the highest level of utility is fiberglass. Find out why fiberglass is the king of Parshall flume materials by examining the product catalogue provided by Tracom, FRP.

Tracom produces fiberglass flumes and other water management tools that are both durable and accurate—a winning combination. Learn more about our superior products and how you can use these tools to increase the success of your water management system.