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Single-beam gamma densitometry measurements of oil–water flow in horizontal and slightly inclined pipes

Gamma densitometry is a frequently used non-intrusive method for measuring component volume fractions in multiphase flow systems. The application of a single-beam gamma densitometer to investigate oil–water flow in horizontal and slightly inclined pipes is presented. The experiments are performed in a 15 m long, 56 mm diameter, inclinable stainless steel pipe using Exxsol D60 oil (viscosity 1.64 mPa s, density 790 kg/m 3 ) and water (viscosity 1.0 mPa s, density 996 kg/m 3 ) as test fluids. The test pipe inclination is changed in the range from 5° upward to 5° downward. Experimental measurements are reported at three different mixture velocities, 0.25, 0.50 and 1.00 m/s, and the inlet water cut is varied from 0 to 1. The gamma densitometer is composed of radioactive isotope of Am-241 with the emission energy of 59.5 keV, scintillation detector (NaI(Tl)) and signal processing system. The time averaged cross-sectional distributions of oil and water phases are measured by traversing the gamma densitometer along the vertical pipe diameter. Based on water volume fraction measurements, water hold-up and slip ratio are estimated. The total pressure drop over the test section is measured and frictional pressure drop is estimated based on water hold-up measurements. The measurement uncertainties associated with gamma densitometry are also discussed. The measured water hold-up and slip ratio profiles are strongly dependent on pipe inclination. In general, higher water hold-up values are observed in upwardly inclined pipes compared to the horizontal and downwardly inclined pipes. At low mixture velocities, the slip ratio decreases as the water cut increases. The decrease is more significant as the degree of inclination increases. The frictional pressure drop for upward flow is slightly higher than the horizontal flow. In general, there is a marginal difference in frictional pressure drop values for horizontal and downwardly inclined flows. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Multiphase Flow Elsevier
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