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Numerical Simulation of Bubble Formation in Co-Flowing Mercury

[+] Author Affiliations
Ashraf Ibrahim

Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN

Mark Wendel, David Felde, Bernard Riemer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Paper No. FEDSM2008-55083, pp. 43-49; 7 pages
  • ASME 2008 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting collocated with the Heat Transfer, Energy Sustainability, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences
  • Volume 1: Symposia, Parts A and B
  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4840-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3832-3
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


In this work, we present computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of helium bubble formation and detachment at a submerged needle in stagnant and co-flowing mercury. Since mercury is opaque, visualization of internal gas bubbles was done with proton radiography (pRad) at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE2 ). The acoustic waves emitted at the time of detachment and during subsequent oscillations of the bubble were recorded with a microphone. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model was used to simulate the unsteady two-phase flow of gas injection in mercury. The VOF model is validated by comparing detailed bubble sizes and shapes at various stages of the bubble growth and detachment, with the experimental measurements at 1.66 mg/min helium gas flow rate and different mercury velocities. The experimental and computational results show a two-stage bubble formation in stagnant mercury. The first stage involves growing bubble around the needle, and the second follows as the buoyancy overcomes wall adhesion. The comparison of predicted and measured bubble sizes and shapes at various stages of the bubble growth and detachment is in good agreement.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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