Experimental studies have been carried out to support the development of a framework of the two-fluid model along with an interfacial area transport equation applicable to reduced gravity two-phase flows. The experimental study simulates the reduced gravity condition in ground based facilities by using two immiscible liquids of similar density namely, water as the continuous phase and Therminol 59® as the dispersed phase. We have acquired a total of eleven data sets in the bubbly flow and bubbly to slug flow transition regimes. These flow conditions have area-averaged void (volume) fractions ranging from 3 to 30% and channel Reynolds number for the continuous phase between 2,900 and 8,800. Flow visualization has been performed and a flow regime map developed which is compared with relevant bubbly to slug flow regime transition criteria. The comparison shows that the transition boundary is well predicted by the criterion based on critical void fraction. The value of the critical void fraction at transition was experimentally determined to be approximately 25%. In addition, important two-phase flow local parameters, including the void fraction, interfacial area concentration, droplet number frequency and droplet velocity, have been acquired at two axial locations using state-of-the-art multi-sensor conductivity probe. The radial profiles and axial development of the two-phase flow parameters show that the coalescence mechanism is enhanced by either increasing the continuous or dispersed phase Reynolds number. Evidence of turbulence induced particle interaction mechanism is highlighted. The data presented in this paper clearly show the marked differences in terms of bubble (droplet) size, phase distribution and phase interaction in two-phase flow between normal and reduced gravity conditions.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2007
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