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Numerical Simulation of Two-Phase Slug Flows in Microchannels

[+] Author Affiliations
A. Mehdizadeh, S. A. Sherif, W. E. Lear

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Paper No. HT2009-88126, pp. 245-252; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 3: Combustion, Fire and Reacting Flow; Heat Transfer in Multiphase Systems; Heat Transfer in Transport Phenomena in Manufacturing and Materials Processing; Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Environmental Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education; Visualization of Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4358-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


In this paper the Navier-stokes equations for a single liquid slug have been solved in order to predict the circulation patterns within the slug. Surface tension effects on the air-water interface have been investigated by solving the Young–Laplace equation. The calculated interface shape has been utilized to define the liquid slug geometry at the front and tail interfaces of the slug. Then the effects of the surface tension on the hydrodynamics of the two-phase slug flow have been compared to those where no surface tension forces exist. The importance of the complex flow field features in the vicinity of the two interfaces has been investigated by defining a non-dimensional form of the wall shear stress. The latter quantity has been formulated based on non-dimensional parameters in order to define a general Moody friction factor for typical two-phase slug flows in microchannels. Moreover, the hydrodynamics of slug flow formation has been examined using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The volume-of-fluid (VOF) method has been applied to monitor the growth of the instability at the air-water interface. The lengths of the slugs have been correlated to the pressure fluctuations in the mixing region of the air and water streams at an axisymmetric T-junction. The main frequencies of the pressure fluctuations have been investigated using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) method.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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