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Design and manufacture of equipment for engineering education and research. Constantly evolving for the growing demands of the engineering education sector.


Axial Fan Demonstration Unit

The FM41 produces gas flow by virtue of the momentum changes imparted across the rotary blades, parallel to the axis of rotation. Such fans are more suitable for higher flows at lower delivery pressures than their centrifugal counterparts.

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FM41 Axial Fan Demonstration Unit – Issue 3

The axial fan produces gas flow by virtue of the momentum changes imparted across the rotary blades, parallel to the axis of rotation. Such fans are more suitable for higher flows at lower delivery pressures than their centrifugal counterparts.

Comparison of the performance characteristics of the FM41 Axial Fan with those of the FM40 Centrifugal Fan thus provides an instructional exercise of valuable practical application.

Ordering Specification

  • A small-scale axial fan demonstration unit, comprising of an inlet duct, the fan, an
    outlet duct and an adjustable aperture, all mounted on a stainless steel base
  • Equipped with electronic measurement sensors for fan head pressure, flow rate (via
    orifice plate), fan speed and air temperature
  • Transparent ducts give visibility of the fan in operation
  • Capable of being linked to a PC (not supplied) via a USB interface console (an essential accessory), which does not require internal access to the computer. Also enables interfacing to other software packages
  • Supplied with software providing full instructions for setting up, operating, calibrating and performing the teaching exercises. Facilities for logging, processing and displaying data graphically
  • Offers a complete teaching package of coursework and laboratory investigation

Instructional Capabilities

  • Measurement of inherent-speed machine performance in terms of static and total pressures, rotor speed and motor input power, as a function of inlet flow
  • Measurement of overall efficiency and estimation of impeller power efficiency
  • Measurement of performance at constant speeds
  • Introduction to similarity laws for scale-up
  • Comparison of student calculations with computer results


An axial fan, mounted on a stainless steel plinth. Transparent air inlet and air outlet ducts allow the fan construction to be clearly observed. A manually operated adjustable aperture allows the air flow rate to be varied.

A calibrated orifice plate is used on the discharge to measure the air flow rate. Electronic sensors measure the pressure head developed across the fan, the pressure across the orifice plate (and thus the flow rate), the rotational speed of the fan and the air temperature. The fan speed is controlled by modulated DC supply, complete with current sensing to allow the power drawn by the fan to be measured.

An IFD7 is required to provide the conditioning electronics for the sensors and to allow their readings to be displayed on the computer software. Connections to the IFD7 are a single multi-way connector for the sensors and a power connector for the fan drive.

The equipment is provided with advanced education and data logging software. See the software section of this data sheet for further details.

Performance Specification

Max flow rate: 38 l/s typical
Max head: 0.06kPa
Max fan speed: 2,700rpm
Motor power rating: 5W


All Armfield CAPTURE units are now supplied with LabVIEW™ based software to present and record the data in a way that is straightforward to use and understand for the student, yet offers a wide range of advanced features and capabilities.

Software Capabilities

Each piece of FM equipment is supplied with its own run time software. This can be installed on any Windows based PC and requires no additional licences or software to be installed to use it to its full extent. It includes a range of facilities and capabilities designed to make the operation of the equipment and processing of the results very straightforward. This enables the student to focus on generating a true understanding of the subject material.

Typical functions include:

  • Diagrammatic representation of the equipment complete with real-time display of the various sensor outputs
  • Detailed ‘help’ facilities giving in depth guidance
  • Automatic data logging of sensor values into a spread sheet format
  • Control over sampling intervals
  • Sophisticated graph plotting facilities of both measured and calculated values, including comparisons taken under different conditions
  • Export of data to Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software
  • General notepad facility
  • Facility to add notes to an individual sample
  • Calibration facility for sensors
  • Real-time bar graph display of sensor outputs
  • Recent history graphical display

Software Upgrades

Existing CAPTURE MkII users can upgrade to the new LabVIEW™ software, (i.e. any system incorporating an IFD7 Interface Unit). No hardware changes are necessary unless also upgrading from a 32-bit to a 64-bit computer. If the computer operating system is being upgraded at the same time it may also be necessary to upgrade the IFD7. See the IFD7 section for more details.

Software Source Code

Advanced LabVIEW users may wish to access and modify the code supplied by Armfield. Armfield can supply the source code for the LabVIEW software, enabling the programs to be optimised for particular requirements.

To use this facility, an up to date version of the National Instruments LabVIEW development software must be installed on the PC, together with all applicable licences. (Note, Armfield do not supply National Instruments Software.)

Order Code FM-LV-SC.

Software Order Codes

FM40-LV-RT, FM41-LV-RT etc. for standard software or FM-LV-SC for the source code version.

Technical Details

The analogue output data is digitised and transferred to a computer using the standard USB (Universal Serial Bus). This allows any standard modern Windows computer to be used, including notebooks, and does not require any internal access to the computer.

The equipment is supplied complete with a USB lead for connection to the computer.

The FM41 interfaces to the computer using the IFD7 device and the USB port of the computer.

Also available is a software driver that allows the outputs to be read in other software programs, such as Labview.

Essential Equipment

Shipping Specification

Volume: 0.75m3
Gross weight: 90kg

Overall Dimensions

Height: 0.95m
Length: 0.85m
Width: 0.45m