Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Analytical Upper Limit of Drag Reduction With Polymer Additives in Turbulent Pipe Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Xin Zhang

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
e-mail: xz4476@mun.ca

Xili Duan

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
e-mail: xduan@mun.ca

Yuri Muzychka

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
e-mail: yurim@mun.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 19, 2017; final manuscript received November 29, 2017; published online January 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Mhamed Boutaous.

J. Fluids Eng 140(5), 051204 (Jan 24, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1437; doi: 10.1115/1.4038757 History: Received July 19, 2017; Revised November 29, 2017

Flow drag reduction induced by chemical additives, more commonly called drag-reducing agents (DRAs), has been studied for many years, but few studies can manifest the mechanism of this phenomenon. In this paper, a new mathematical model is proposed to predict the upper limit of drag reduction with polymer DRAs in a turbulent pipe flow. The model is based on the classic finitely extensible nonlinear elastic-Peterlin (FENE-P) theory, with the assumption that all vortex structures disappear in the turbulent flow, i.e., complete laminarization is achieved. With this model, the maximum drag reduction by a DRA at a given concentration can be predicted directly with several parameters, i.e., bulk velocity of the fluid, pipe size, and relaxation time of the DRA. Besides, this model indicates that both viscosity and elasticity contribute to the drag reduction: before a critical concentration, both viscosity and elasticity affect the drag reduction positively; after this critical concentration, elasticity still works as before but viscosity affects drag reduction negatively. This study also proposes a correlation format between drag reduction measured in a rheometer and that estimated in a pipeline. This provides a convenient way of pipeline drag reduction estimation with viscosity and modulus of the fluids that can be easily measured in a rheometer.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Comparison of experimental data with calculated drag reduction from the upper limit model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The linear relationship between α and DR exp 

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Relationships between measured fluid properties in rheometer, calculated upper limit of drag reduction (DRcal), and estimated drag reduction in pipe flow (DR exp )

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Drag reduction performance of two DRAs ability at the same velocity originally from Abubakar et al. [41] and at the same concentration from Kamel and Shah [38]



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