International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.125, 179-189, 2018
Downward two phase flow experiment and general flow regime transition criteria for various pipe sizes
Flow regime map is often used in choosing constitutive correlations for the two-phase flow model. The related research mainly concentrates on the vertical upward and horizontal flow, while it is not sufficient in the vertical downward flow. Downward flow is very important as it is frequently encountered in the industrial applications. To enrich the downward flow research, an experiment is performed on a piping system with an inner diameter of 0.1524 m. Four different flow patterns (bubbly flow, cap bubbly flow, churn turbulent flow, and annular flow) are classified with the artificial neural network method. The probability density function (PDF) profile of each flow pattern is discussed. The proposed flow regime map is compared with the other experiments and the effect of the pipe size is discussed. The existing downward flow regime boundary criteria are assessed with the experiment results. It is found that these criteria cannot fit the experiment results well. A set of general boundary criteria are still needed. In this paper, the criteria for the boundary of the bubbly flow, the boundary between the cap bubbly flow and the slug flow, and the boundary of the falling film regime are proposed. They are verified with the experiments on different size pipes. A significant inlet effect on the flow regime boundary is found. The falling film boundary criterion proposed cannot be applied when a sparger is used to inject gas into the downward test section. Published by Elsevier Ltd.