Monday, September 13, 2010

What is an Orifice?

An orifice is a small opening provided on the side or bottom of a tank, through which a fluid is flowing. The opening can be of any shape or cross-section, like rectangular, triangular or circular. The orifices may discharge fluid into the atmosphere or from one tank to another.

Orifices are classified based on the shape or the cross-sectional area as:
  • Rectangular orifice
  • Circular orifice
  • Triangular orifice and
  • Square orifice
Orifices are classified based on the size of the orifice and the head of fluid above the orifice as:
  • Small orifice and
  • Large orifice
Depending on the shape of the upstream edge of the orifices, they are classified as:
  • Sharp-edged orifice and
  • Bell-mouthed orifice
They are also classified based on the nature of the discharge as:
  • Partially submerged or drowned orifice
  • Fully submerged or drowned orifice
  • Free discharging orifices


  1. If the formula for determining the discharge through each type of the orifice is given, your article will be better in quality

    1. Noted. I will write another article to include the necessary formulae for calculating the discharge through the different types of orifices. Thanks.

  2. nice blog and We manufacturers Rotameters, Reflex Level Gauges, Electro Magnetic Flow Meter, Sight Flow Indicator, Level Switches.

  3. it helped me.thanx for this,!!
    i suggest to please include images of different classifications of orifice..thnx again..

    1. Noted. I will try to get some relevant images for the orifices for better understanding. Thanks.

    2. oooooooo did it really help you did it

  4. qasam khan pakistanMarch 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    if you explain it i think it must be very clear

  5. Definition
    An opening, in a vessel, through which the liquid flows out is known as orifice. This hole or opening is called an orifice, so long as the level of the liquid on the upstream side is above the top of the orifice.
    The typical purpose of an orifice is the measurement of discharge. An orifice may be provided in the vertical side of a vessel or in the base. But the former one is more common.
    Types Of Orifices
    Orifices can be of different types depending upon their size, shape, and nature of discharge. But the following are important from the subject point of view.
    A. According to size:
    Small orifice
    Large orifice
    B. According to shape:
    Circular orifice
    Rectangular orifice
    Triangular orifice
    C. According to shape of edge:
    D. According to nature of discharge:
    Fully submerged orifice
    Partially submerged orifice

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  43. How to determine whether the orifice is small or large ?


  45. What is the different between large orifice and small orifice?