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Experimental Investigation of Slug Characteristics Through a Standard Pipe Bend

[+] Author Affiliations
N. R. Kesana, R. Vieira

The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK

E. Schleicher, U. Hampel

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Dresden, Saxony, Germany

B. S. McLaury, S. A. Shirazi

University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK

Paper No. IMECE2013-62896, pp. V07AT08A040; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 7A: Fluids Engineering Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5631-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Slug flow is a very common flow pattern encountered during the production of petroleum fluids. Likewise, pipe bends are often used to change the direction of the fluids during transportation. This work focuses on comparing various slug characteristics before and after a pipe bend. For this investigation, a dual Wire Mesh Sensor (WMS) is utilized. Measurements are made by placing the sensor before and after the bend. In order to obtain higher spatial and temporal resolution of the signals, a sampling frequency of 10,000 Hz is used. Experiments were conducted in a 76.2 mm (3-inch) diameter pipe utilizing air and water as fluids. Effect of fluid viscosity is also studied by conducting the experiments using three different liquid viscosities: 1, 10 and 40 cP. The experiments were conducted with superficial gas velocity ranging from 9.1 m/s to 35 m/s, and superficial liquid velocity ranged from 0.45 to 0.76 m/s. The three-dimensional time series void data from the Wire-Mesh sensor before and after the bend are analyzed to obtain averaged void fractions, structure of the slugs, void in liquid slugs, bubble size distributions, and radial profiles of gas velocity. Also, this study presents the differences in the void fraction distributions in slugs and pseudo slugs. Since pseudo slugs occur between slug and annular regimes, this information can further the understanding of the effect of flow characteristics on erosion occurring from solid particles for this flow pattern. Finally, from this comprehensive analysis the influence of the bend on the gas and liquid distributions over the cross-section has been discussed.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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