The results from an experimental study of reduced-gravity two-phase flows are reported in this paper. The experiments were conducted in simulated reduced-gravity conditions in a ground-based test facility with a circular test section of 25 mm inner diameter. The flow conditions for which data were acquired lie in the dispersed droplet to slug flow transition and slug flow regime. Local data were acquired for 17 different flow conditions at three axial locations. The acquired data complement and extend those discussed in an earlier paper by the authors (Vasavada et al. in, Exp Fluids 43: 53–75, 2007). The radial profiles and axial changes in the local data are analyzed and discussed in this paper. The area-averaged data, in conjunction with the local data, are discussed to highlight important interaction mechanisms occurring between fluid particles, i.e., drops. The data clearly show the effect of progressive coalescence leading to formation of slug drops. Furthermore, the shape of slug drops in reduced-gravity conditions was observed to be different from that in normal-gravity case. The analyses presented here show the presence of drop coalescence mechanisms that lead to the formation of slug drops and transition from dispersed droplet flow to the slug flow regime. The most likely causes of the coalescence mechanism are random collision of drops driven by turbulence eddies in the continuous phase and wake entrainment of smaller drops that follow preceding larger drops in the wake region. Data from flow conditions in which the breakup mechanism due to impact of turbulent eddies on drops illustrate the disintegration mechanism.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 28, 2010
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