Pressure Pulse Propagation in Two-Component Slug Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Samuel Martin

School of Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga. 30332

M. Padmanabhan

Alden Research Laboratories, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Holden, Mass. 01520

J. Fluids Eng 101(1), 44-52 (Mar 01, 1979) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3448733 History: Received April 18, 1977; Online October 12, 2010


The simple model of pressure pulse propagation in slug flow proposed by Henry, Grolmes, and Fauske has been extended by considering wave reflection and wave transmission at gas-liquid interfaces. A frequency-response model applied to a series of idealized gas and liquid slugs yields a pulse propagation speed that approaches the homogeneous model value as the number of slugs is increased for a given void fraction. All characteristic roots from the solution to a three-equation drift-flux model are related to the velocity of the center of mass of the mixture. The pulse propagation speed relative to this velocity is exactly equal to the homogeneous model value, however. Measured pulse propagation speeds in vertically downward slug flow are, as anticipated, much less than those predicted by the simple model of Henry, Grolmes, and Fauske, but slightly greater than the homogeneous model value. Measured pressure surges produced by the rapid closure of a downstream valve in a pipeline are reasonably well predicted by the drift-flux model. For the range of void fractions, pressures, and velocities encountered in this study, it is concluded that pressure pulse speeds and the magnitude of pressure surges in slug flow can be adequately predicted by a homogeneous model.

Copyright © 1979 by ASME
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