Flow Speed Measurement and Rheometry by Pulsed Neutron Activation

[+] Author and Article Information
K. G. A. Porges, S. A. Cox, C. Herzenberg, C. Kampschoer

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439

J. Fluids Eng 111(3), 337-341 (Sep 01, 1989) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3243649 History: Received January 04, 1989; Online October 26, 2009


Pulsed Neutron Activation (PNA) is a means of noninvasive flow velocity measurement based on tagging the flowing medium with a short-lived radioactivity. Previous work with salt or dye-tagging showed poor accuracy in turbulent and failed in laminar flow when conventional data processing was used. However, use of a data acquisition and processing scheme that is based on tag dispersion modelling can produce absolute values over a wide range of flow speeds and regimes with high accuracy. For non-Newtonian/laminar flow, rheological information can also be obtained. The inherently non-intrusive nature of PNA tagging makes this scheme available for slurry measurements. The performance of PNA in slurry flow at up to 60 percent solid content was compared to full-flow diversion and weighing. Errors ranged from less than 0.2 percent at high Reynolds’ numbers to about 2 percent for paste flow. Rheological parameters (yield shear stress or flow behavior index) could be determined with an accuracy that compared to that of a spindle viscometer with grab-samples. The PNA scheme thus offers a unique means of studying slurry flow in a dedicated laboratory facility, or of providing calibration for other flowmeters in an industrial plant through temporary installation by a team of expert consultants.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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