Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Jamil Khan

Abstract

Multiphase flow models and correlations are indispensable tools for the design and operation of vital flow systems that power various industries. The development, validation and tuning of these flow models & correlations depend on the availability of reliable and accurate data. This dissertation reports on an experimental campaign that not only generated crucial two-phase flow data but also evaluated the effect of inclination angle on several flow parameters of interest. The report details the experimental investigation of upward, adiabatic, co-current two-phase (gas/liquid) flow through a 101.6 mm inner diameter (ID) pipe. Experimental data for the investigation were acquired using an industrial scale, inclinable test rig designed and commissioned at the University of South Carolina. The fully instrumented test rig was equipped with a 7.3 m long, 101.6 mm inner diameter (ID) pipe and outfitted with a range of flow control devices, measurement instrumentation, flow condition monitoring sensors and a robust flow supply, transmission and storage system. The test fluids employed were air (1.2 kg/m3, 2.0 × 104Pa·s ) and water (998 kg/m3, 0.001 Pa·s, 0.072 N/m). All tests were operated at ambient temperature and pressure, approximately. The superficial gas and liquid velocities (JL & JG) ranged between (0.311-2.489 m/s) and (0.622-2.801 m/s), respectively. Two-phase flow regime, void fraction and pressure drop data were acquired using a high-speed camera, a dual Wire mesh sensor (WMS) and a differential pressure (DP) gauge, respectively. All data were collected at six (6) different orientation angles between 0° and 75° (from horizontal). The effect of the variation of inclination angles on different flow parameters including flow regime, void fraction and pressure drop were investigated and reported. It was determined that inclination angle has significant effect on all flow parameters.

The observed variations were found to have been dictated by specific flow conditions and the effect of several forces including buoyancy, gravity, surface tension, inertia etc. Flow regime maps were also developed for all orientations investigated, and local processes within the regime transition zones analyzed. The data acquired provided insight into the hydrodynamic behavior of two-phase (gas/liquid) flow in relatively large diameter pipes at various inclinations, extending beyond the near-horizontal and near-vertical range that are commonplace in literature. The data would also be a valuable contribution to the two-phase (gas/liquid) database and provide potential future value for flow model and correlation development/improvement.

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