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Effect of flow obstacle on droplet sizes in vertical annular air-water flow in a small diameter pipe

Shibamoto, Yasuteru ; Sun, Haomin  ; Yonomoto, Taisuke 

Droplet size distributions have been measured for air-water annular-mist flow in a vertical 12.0 mm diameter pipe at atmospheric pressure. A laser diffraction technique has been employed using a Malvern Spraytec instrument. The test section was specially designed for meticulous measurement in the present experiment: any optical windows were not used to avoid problems arose from glass contamination by sucking the liquid film through the wall just below the measurement elevation. Sauter mean diameters measured in this work decreased simply with an increase of air superficial velocity, whereas the dependence on water superficial velocity showed complicated dependency on air velocity. The effect of a flow obstacle on droplet size distribution was also investigated. A small tube was placed in the centerline of the test section as an obstacle. Three obstacles having different blockage ratio were tested. It is found through the present experiments that the obstacle effect is not so significant for the blockage ratio of up to 0.3, and the droplet diameter decreases to approximately 80% in average. Based on the data, an empirical correlation to predict Sauter diameter was developed by modifying the existing correlation. A hydraulic equivalent diameter that takes account of the blockage ratio is applied to the characteristic length in the correlation.

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