Parshall Flume Materials

Parshall flumes are among the most popular and widely used flume options out there, thanks to their well-researched applications and equations and their relatively easy installation. Before you commit to a Parshall flume of your own, however, you need to make sure that you opt for a flume that will last, and longevity largely depends on the material. Learn all about the most common Parshall flume materials, and discover which would work best for your needs.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a common material for Parshall flumes, but is it the best? Under normal flow conditions, stainless steel can last for quite a while. In fact, its lifespan could be considered indefinite in such conditions. Constant normal flows aren’t all that common, however, so a stainless steel flume may be subject to corrosion.

How abusive and corrosive the flow is will significantly impact how long stainless steel flumes can last. The more corrosive and/or rough a flow is, the shorter the flume’s lifespan will be. This is generally true for all materials, but it’s important to remember that the longevity of stainless steel is compromised by corrosion.

Galvanized Steel

If you’re working with irrigation, galvanized steel is among the most popular materials to choose from. The material is relatively cost-effective, and you get the protection of zinc. Corrosion in galvanized steel is measured by how the zinc is being broken down. Galvanized steel can last you quite a while in soft-water applications, but hard water will break it down faster. 

In fact, there are several factors that can vastly alter the longevity of galvanized steel. Gasses in the air alone can cause zinc to corrode, so flume applications tend to focus on submergence because there are less dissolved oxygens in the water. You can always regalvanize the flume, but cold galvanization isn’t as solid as hot-dipped galvanization. That means you’ll be treating the flume for galvanization periodically for its entire use.


Fiberglass flumes are among the most popular options for a wide variety of applications. The primary concern for other materials is corrosion, but fiberglass doesn’t significantly corrode at all. While suspended grit and debris can wear down the outer gel coat, regular cleaning can minimize that kind of damage, easily setting the lifespan of a fiberglass flume to 20 years at the least.

If you’re dealing with chemical wastewater flows, fiberglass is particularly effective. Flumes made from fiberglass are protected with polyester resins that are resistant to a variety of chemicals under typical atmospheric temperatures. As is the case with all materials, however, the level of abuse suffered under the flow plays a major role in the overall lifespan of the Parshall flume.

Fiberglass Flumes at Tracom

If you’re looking for the best of the available Parshall flume materials, fiberglass, look no further than Tracom. Our fiberglass creations are entirely customizable and long-lasting, so you can get the flow measurements you need for years to come with the precision you deserve. Contact us today to get started on the process for your very own fiberglass Parshall flume.

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