Horizontal bubbly flow with elbow restrictions: Interfacial area transport modeling

Justin D. Talley, Seungjin Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    The present study develops an interfacial area transport equation applicable to an air-water horizontal bubbly flow, along which two types of horizontal elbows are installed as flow restrictions. Two sets of experiments are performed in a round glass tube of 50.3 mm inner diameter. Along the test section, a 90-degree elbow is installed at L/D = 206.6 from the two-phase mixture inlet and then a 45-degree elbow is installed at L/D = 353.5. In total, 15 different flow conditions in the bubbly flow regime for each of the two flow restriction experiments are studied. Detailed local two-phase flow parameters are acquired by a double-sensor conductivity probe at four different axial locations in the 90-degree experiment and three different axial locations in the 45-degree experiment. The effect of the elbows is found to be evident in the distribution of local parameters as well as in the development of interfacial structures. It is clear that the elbows make an effect on the bubble interactions resulting in significant changes to both the void fraction and interfacial area concentration. In the present analysis, the interfacial area transport equation is developed in one-dimensional form via area averaging. In the averaging process, characteristic non-uniform distributions of the flow parameters in horizontal two-phase flow are treated mathematically through a distribution parameter. The mechanistic models for the major bubble interaction phenomena developed in vertical flow analysis are employed in the present study. Furthermore, the change in pressure due to the minor loss of an elbow is taken into consideration by using a newly developed correlation analogous to Lockhart and Martinelli's. In total, 105 area-averaged data points are employed to benchmark the present model. The present model predicts the data relatively well with an average percent difference of approximately ±20%.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1111-1120
    Number of pages10
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 1 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Mechanical Engineering


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