Experimental Study of the Two-Phase Flow Patterns of Air-Water Mixture at Vertical Bend Inlet and Outlet

  • V. A. Musa Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zakho, Iraq http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5282-5475
  • L. A. Abdulkareem Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Zakho, Iraq
  • O. M. Ali Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zakho, Iraq
Keywords: flow pattern in vertical pipes, flow pattern in horizontal pipes, air-water flow, wire mesh sensor (WMS), two-phase flow at bends


Air-water two-phase flow in pipes introduces a noticeable challenge due to the complexity of the fluids. Thus, to estimate the best design and reasonable financing cost of the transportation pipelines where the bends are presenting a part of their accessories, the investigators should have been able to estimate the flow regime occurring at different directions. An experiment was carried out by using a 90o bend fixed with two pipes where the flow was upstream from a vertical to a horizontal pipe which were representing the bend inlet and outlet respectively. Two wire-mesh sensors were used for obtaining the data of the void fractions (α) at water superficial velocities (Usl) which changed from 0.052 to 0.419m/s, and air superficial velocities (Usg) from 0.05 to 4.7m/s. Furthermore, the characterization of flow regimes of the air-water flow at both bend inlet and outlet were competed accurately by using void fraction analysis of the time series, Power Spectral Density (PSD), tomographic images observed by the sensor program, and the Probability Density Function (PDF) method. The flow regimes of vertical flow lines at the bend inlet were observed as bubbly, cap-bubble, slug, and churn flow, whereas the flow regimes of the horizontal flow line at the bend outlet were characterized as having stratified, stratified wavy, bubbly, plug, slug, wavy annular, and semi-annular flow due to the gravity and bend effects.


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