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Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

Gas Bubble Size Measurements in Liquid Mercury Using an Acoustic Spectrometer

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiongjun Wu

Dynaflow Inc.,
10621-J Iron Bridge Road,
Jessup, MD 20794
e-mail: wxj@dynaflow-inc.com

Mark Wendel

Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
1 Bethel Valley Road,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
e-mail: wendelmw@ornl.gov

Georges Chahine

Dynaflow Inc.,
10621-J Iron Bridge Road,
Jessup, MD 20794
e-mail: glchahine@dynaflow-inc.com

Bernie Riemer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
1 Bethel Valley Road,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
e-mail: riemerbw@ornl.gov

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 19, 2013; final manuscript received December 24, 2013; published online January 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Olivier Coutier-Delgosha.

J. Fluids Eng 136(3), 031303 (Jan 24, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: FE-13-1100; doi: 10.1115/1.4026440 History: Received February 19, 2013; Revised December 24, 2013

A properly dispersed population of small bubbles can mitigate cavitation damage to a spallation neutron source target. In order to measure such a bubble population, an acoustic device was developed and implemented in a mercury loop at ORNL. The instrument generated pulses of various frequencies and measured their acoustic propagation in the bubbly medium. It then deduced sound speed and attenuation at the various frequencies and used an inverse problem solver to provide near real-time measurements of bubble size distribution and void fraction. The measurements were then favorably compared with an optical method.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Picture of the SNS target vessel at ORNL

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Fig. 2

Cross-section view of the SNS target vessel with arrows indicating direction of the mercury flow

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Fig. 3

Experimental setup of the MBTL at ORNL. The loop can accommodate various bubble generator modules and can measure bubble size distributions simultaneously using acoustical and optical methods.

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Fig. 4

Experimental setup of the acoustic measurement device used in the present study. A twin-set hydrophones with two different operating frequency ranges (centered at 50 kHz and 150 kHz) were used to expand the bubble size measurement range.

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Fig. 5

A sample image of the bubbles deposited on the horizontal glass viewing window two minutes after the pump was tripped

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Fig. 6

Schematic of the operation flow chart of the acoustic bubble measurement technique [13]

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Fig. 7

Sketch of the square inlet orifice bubble generator (left) and a picture focused on the air injection teeth with the orifices shown (right)

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Fig. 8

Sketch of the swirl chamber of the DynaSwirl swirling flow bubble generator [19]

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Fig. 9

Sketch of the double mitered bend bubble generator

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Fig. 10

Bubble density distributions from acoustic and optical measurements of bubble population generated from the square inlet orifice bubble generator at a mercury flow rate of 0.96 L/s and a helium gas injection rate of 40 sccm

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Fig. 11

Bubble density distributions from acoustic and optical measurements of bubble population generated by the swirling flow bubble generator at mercury flow rate of 0.88 L/s and helium gas injection rate of 20 sccm

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Fig. 12

Bubble density distributions from acoustic and optical measurements of bubble population generated from double mitered bend bubble generator at mercury flow rate of 1.25 L/s and helium gas injection rate of 10 sccm

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Fig. 13

Void fraction variation with the injection rate of helium for the square inlet orifice bubble generator for a mercury flow rate at 0.96 L/s. The dashed line is a trend line of the measurement data.

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Fig. 14

Variation of bubble size distribution with the injection rate of helium for the square inlet orifice bubble generator. The dashed lines are trendlines to visualize the trend of bubble size distribution.

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Fig. 15

Variation of bubble size distribution with the injection rate of helium for the swirling flow bubble generator. The dashed lines are trendlines to visualize the trend of bubble size distribution.

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Fig. 16

Variation of the bubble size distribution with the injection rate of helium for the double mitered bend bubble generator. The dashed lines are trendlines to visualize the trend of bubble size distribution.

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Fig. 17

Comparison of bubble size distributions for the three bubble generators (swirling flow, square orifice and double mitered) with helium gas injection rate at 10 sccm

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Fig. 18

Comparison of bubble size distributions for the three bubble generators (swirling flow, square orifice and double mitered) with helium gas injection rate at 80 sccm

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Fig. 19

Comparison of bubble size distributions for two bubble generators (square orifice and double mitered) with helium gas injection rate at 160 sccm

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