Small liquid measurements: What Is Liquid Measurement?

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What Is Liquid Measurement?

Liquid measurement is the amount of liquid a vessel or container holds and its measurement in standard units. This is also referred to as capacity or the volume of the vessel. The two most common units of measuring liquid are:

  • Millilitres

  • Litres

What is Millilitre?

A millilitre is the smallest metric unit that measures the smallest quantity of liquid and is equal to a thousandth of a litre. Hence, we can say 1 litre = 1000 millilitres. The figure below shows the 1000 millilitres of water in a jug.

Jug with 1000 ml of water

20 drops of water makes about 1 millilitre of liquid

One teaspoon of liquid makes about 5 millilitres

How is Millilitre Written in Short?

In short, millilitres are often written as Ml or ML. Hence, 100 Ml or ML is written as 100 millilitres.


One millilitre is also equivalent to 1 cubic centimetre.

1ml = 1 cubic cm

In other words, we can say 1 millilitre is the same as a little cube that is 1 cm on each side (1 cubic centimetre).

What is Litre?

A litre is another basic metric unit that is used to measure the capacity of liquid. The figure below shows the 1 litre of water in a jug.

Jug with 1 litre of water

How is Litre Written in Short?

In short, litre is often written as L or l. Hence, 3 L or 3l means 3 litres.

Milk, soda, juices, and other drinks are often sold in litres.


Other Liquid Measurements

Cubic Millilitre

A cube with one millimetre on each side is equivalent to 1 cubic millilitre. Hence, we need 1000 cubic millimetres to make 1 cubic millilitre. 1 cubic millilitre is also equal to one-millionth of a litre or one-billionth of a cubic metre.

Cubic Centimetre

1 cubic centimetre, written as cm³, which is a cube that is 1 cm on each side. It is also equivalent to 1 ML. Hence, 1 cm³ = 1 ML.

1 cubic centimetre is also one-thousandth of a litre or one-millionth of a cubic metre.


A decilitre, written as dl, is 1/10 of a litre or 100 ml. Hence, 1 dl = 100 ml.

Cubic Metre

1 Cubic metre, written as m³, is a cube with 1 metre on each side. Also, 1 m³ = 1000 litres.


1 Megalitre, written as ML, is useful for measuring large quantities of water, such as in dams or in small lakes. 1 megalitre is one million litres or 1 megalitres = 1,000,000 litres. Also, 1 megalitre (ML) = 1000 m³.

Cubic Kilometre

A Cubic Kilometre is useful for measuring large lakes, seas, and oceans. It is written as Km³, is a cube that is 1 Kilometre on each side. 1 Cubic Kilometre is equivalent to 1 billion m³. It can also be written as 1 Km³ = 1,000,000,000 cubic metres.

Liquid Measurement Tools

The different tools for measuring liquid are:

Measuring Cups and Pitchers: We generally use cups and pitchers with markings in the kitchen to measure the quantity of liquid. The pictures given below show different cups and pitchers in the kitchen.

Measuring cups

Laboratory Essentials: The liquid measurement equipment such as beakers, conical flask, test tubes, and graduated cylinders with permanent markings in metric or customary are used to measure liquids precisely for performing tests with chemicals and other liquid compounds. The picture given below shows a few laboratory essentials with markings.

Laboratory Essentials

Common Metric and US Metric Conversion for Measuring Liquids

The table below shows some common metric and US metric conversions for measuring the volume of liquids.



1 Fluid Ounce

29.57 millilitres

1 Cup

236.588 millilitres

1 Quart

946.353 millilitres

1 Millilitre

0.034 Fluid Ounces

1 litre

33.8 Fluid Ounces

Did You Know?

  • The Pacific ocean holds almost 700,000,000 Km³ of water.

  • Lake Bikanel, widely known as the largest continental lake in the world, holds almost 23,600 Km³ of water.

  • 1 tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of 15 millilitres.

  • 1 litre is very close to the volume of a kilogram of water.

  • A millilitre is about the size of a grape.


In short, liquid measurement is defined as the amount of liquid a vessel holds and its measurement in standard units. In other words, it is also referred to as the volume or amount of vessel. Infant milk bottle with a millimetre marking is an example of liquid measurement.

US Standard Volume

US Standard Volume

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These are the most common measurements:

  • Fluid Ounces
  • Cups
  • Pints
  • Quarts
  • Gallons


Fluid Ounces (fl oz) are small. 

About how much fits in a small medicine cup.


Fluid Ounce!

«Fluid Ounce» is used for volume, «Ounce» for mass, and they are different.

  • For example, 1 fluid ounce of honey has a mass of about 1.5 ounces!
  • But for water, 1 fluid ounce has a mass of about 1 ounce.

If you mean an ounce of fluid say «fluid ounce» («fl oz»)



A small glass holds about 8 fluid ounces, which is also called 1 cup.

1 cup = 8 fluid ounces

Here we have 2/3 cup (two-thirds of a cup) of milk, or about 5 fluid ounces


By the way … we can measure volume using special Measuring Cups … !


A pint is equal to 2 cups (example: a large glass of milk!)

1 pint = 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces


When measuring many cups of liquid all put together we might want to use quarts.

A quart (qt) is the same thing as 4 cups or 2 pints.  

1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups = 32 fluid ounces

If we still need more liquid we can switch to using gallons.

A gallon (gal) is the same as 16 cups or 8 pints or 4 quarts.  It is the largest liquid measurement.

(Note that a quart is a quarter of a gallon!)


In Summary:

1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups = 128 fluid ounces

Other Volume Measurements

Cubic Inch

Volume is length by length by length,

so the Cubic Inch is a cube that is 1 inch on each side.

The Unit is written many ways, such as:

  • in3
  • inch3
  • cu in
  • cu inch
  • cubic inches
  • etc …

Barrel of Oil

1 oil barrel (bbl) is equal to 42 gallons (or about 160 Liters)


More Examples

A fluid ounce is:

  • very close to 30 milliliters (metric volume)
  • more precisely 29. 5735297 milliliters

A pint is:

  • about half a liter
  • more precisely 473.176473 milliliters

A quart is:

  • about a liter
  • more precisely 946.352946 milliliters

A gallon is:

  • about 4 liters
  • more precisely 3.7854118 liters



Activity: Discover Capacity

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Mass flow meter Promass A 100



Promass A is renowned for its high accuracy in measuring low flow rates of liquids and gases under high and low pressure conditions. Combined with the most compact transmitter housing, the flowmeter offers versatility in a small footprint. Promass A 100 is best suited for system integrators, modular and original equipment manufacturers. Available in an even more compact hygienic stainless steel housing, it can be placed on even the most compact stands.

The measuring principle is independent of the physical properties of the medium, such as density and viscosity.
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  • Highest process safety – self-draining measuring tube design

  • stroke, density, temperature)

  • Compact installation — no straight runs before and after the flowmeter

  • Compact transmitter – full functionality in small dimensions

  • Quick setup without additional software or hardware — Embedded web server

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  • Promass 80A

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Types of flow meters, their scope, advantages and disadvantages

  • Electromagnetic flow meters
    • Benefits of
    • Magnetic Flowmeters

    • Disadvantages
  • Ultrasonic flow meters
    • Benefits of the
    • ultrasonic flow meters

    • Defects
  • Tachometers
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
  • Coriolis meters
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
  • Vortex meters
    • Benefits
    • Disadvantages
  • Differential Pressure Flowmeters
    • Benefits
    • Defects

The flow meter is a device for measuring the amount of spent (passed through the pipeline) working substance, liquid or gas. Since compressible and incompressible substances have their own measurement specifics, devices in this segment also differ in their operating principles. Each category is designed to work in an environment with certain operational characteristics, differs in special parameters, has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Electromagnetic flowmeters

These devices are based on Faraday’s law (electromagnetic induction). An electromotive force is generated by the action of water or other conductive liquid passing through a magnetic field. It turns out that the liquid flows between the poles of the magnet, creating an EMF, and the device fixes the voltage between the 2 electrodes, thereby measuring the volume of the flow. This device works with minimal errors, provided that purified liquids are transported and does not slow down the flow in any way.

Benefits of

Magnetic Flowmeters

  • There are no moving or stationary parts in the cross section, which allows you to maintain the speed of transporting the liquid.
  • Measurements can be made over a large dynamic range.


  • If there are magnetic and conductive deposits, pollution in the liquid, the device will work with distortions.

Ultrasonic flow meters

Flowmeters of this type are equipped with ultrasonic signal transmitters. The speed of the signal from the transmitter to the receiver will change every time the fluid moves. If the ultrasonic signal goes in the direction of the flow, then the time decreases, if it goes against it, it increases. By the difference in the time of signal passage along the flow and against it, the volumetric flow rate of the liquid is calculated. As a rule, such devices are equipped with an analog output and a microprocessor control unit, and all displayed data is displayed on an LED display.

Benefits of

Ultrasonic Flowmeters

  • Vibration and shock resistant.
  • Stable, durable housing.
  • Suitable for refinery and cooling applications.
  • Measures the flow of water and liquids similar to water in physical properties.
  • Operates in the average dynamic range of measurements.
  • Can be mounted on large diameter pipelines.


  • Increased sensitivity to vibrations.
  • Susceptibility to precipitation that absorbs or reflects ultrasound.
  • Sensitivity to flow distortions.


In tachometric type flow meters, the main measuring element is the impeller or turbine (located perpendicular or parallel to the flow, respectively). The process measures the speed of rotation and the number of revolutions made in the stream.


  • Suitable for liquid, steam and gas flow measurements.
  • Simple and cheap models.
  • Easy to mount on small diameter pipelines and are often used in domestic environments.
  • Operate without power supply, no electrical connection required.


  • For a large diameter pipeline (that is, in industrial metering), tachometric flow meters will be too expensive due to the increased metal consumption, and also too bulky.
  • They create hydraulic resistance to flow and in the case of large diameters can cause «blocking» or fail due to mechanical failure.
  • Low reliability for industrial measurements, low dynamic range.
  • Insufficient accounting accuracy: the results are affected by impurities and foreign objects in the stream.
  • The service life is not long enough: suitable for domestic conditions, but not for industry.

Coriolis meters

The action is based on the Coriolis effect: U-shaped tubes are subject to vibrations during movement, and vibrational vibrations, in turn, cause the substance to twist. The magnitude of the phase shift depends on the mass flow rate of the liquid or vapor. The flow rate is measured taking into account the resulting twist angle. Most often, such flow meters are used for liquid media, including paints, varnishes, liquid polymers.


  • Mass flow is measured directly.
  • Precipitation or impurities dissolved in the liquid do not affect the measurement results.
  • There are no obstacles in the internal section, the system works stably.
  • Suitable for measuring all types of liquid, regardless of their electrical conductivity.


  • Expensive, complex technological components.
  • The need for high-precision mounting.
  • Measuring accuracy may change due to strong vibrations.

Vortex meters

These devices measure the frequency of oscillations that occur in the flow of gas or liquid at the time of bypassing obstacles. The flow around leads to the formation of vortices (in fact, this is why this type of device got its name), and the magnitude of the change in vortices allows you to calculate the flow strength.


  • Suitable for measuring the flow of gases, industrial air.
  • There are no moving parts in the design.


  • There are mechanical obstacles in the section that prevent the movement of the medium.
  • When the bluff body is contaminated, the measurement accuracy is significantly reduced.
  • The instrument is sensitive to temperature changes.
  • The occurrence of vibrations affects the results.
  • Measurements are possible in a small dynamic range.

Vortex flowmeters measure the frequency of oscillations that occur in a liquid or gas stream as it flows around obstacles. When flowing around obstacles, a vortex is formed, from which the devices get their name.

Differential Pressure Flowmeters

The principle of operation of such devices is based on the measurement of the pressure drop that occurs when a liquid or gas flow passes through a narrowing device (washer, nozzle).

By alexxlab

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