A salinometer is a machine that is capable of measuring the table salt (NaCl) content, known assalinity, of a solution. Another name for a salinometer is a conductivity meter, as dissolved salt in water will increase its ability to conduct electricity at measurable levels. Equipment to measure the salt quantity of water is widely used on ships, so its fitting that the first apparatus to do this was invented by several oceanographers. The Wenner-Smith-Soule salinometer was built in 1930, and, in 1934, it was incorporated into International Ice Patrol Vessels. The International Ice Patrol (ICP) was established in 1914 after the sinking of the Titanic to monitor the movement of icebergs in the north Atlantic Ocean so that further ships collisions could be avoided. To define salinometers better it can be said that they measure the capacity of ions that are present in an aqueous solution to carry electric current.
What is a Salinometer?
The Salinometer measures and supervises the salinity of fresh water produced by distillation of seawater. The salinity is measured in “parts per million”(ppm).The electrode unit measures the conductive and this value is equal to a certain no. of ppm.The salinity can be monitored on the salinometer digitally in ppm. The Salinometer gives audible and visible warning when the salinity surpasses a given value.
How is a Salinometer works?
A salinometer is a device that is used to determine the salinity of water. A salinometer generally works by passing an electric current through any known mass of water. Since salt water conducts electricity much more easily than pure water the salinity content of water can be easily calculated. Because of this salinometers are also known as conductivity meters. The Salinometer measures the salinity of water based on scientific concepts.
1) The water is a good conductor of electricity and hence it's always advised not to touch electrical appliances with wet hands and so on.
2) The Sea water on the other hand contains lots of impurities such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and so forth. The chlorine ions help in conduction and hence these impurities increase conductivity of water.
Infact this is the very principle which is used in a Salinometer. One important assumption made in a Salinometer is that the conductivity is mainly due to sodium chloride and the effect of other impurities is ignored. This may not give a very accurate reading of purity but is good enough to indicate the purity for practical purposes on board.