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International Heat Transfer Conference 6

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)


C. K. Chan
Chemical, Nuclear, and Thermal Engineering Department, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Dean Vijay K. Dhir
Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

Ivan Catton
Morin, Martinelli, Gier Memorial Heat Transfer Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, USA


The discharge of a standing water slug inside a vertically oriented open-ended tube into a water pool was studied experimentally and theoretically. The transient motion of the air-water interface was observed with high-speed cinematography for different tube diameters, pressure differences, and initial water slug lengths by sudden pressurization of the air space above the water column. It was observed that the Taylor instability breaks up the interface and a water spike grows into the gaseous region. The liquid spike grows monotonically with time, but the growth rate slows down as the liquid spike attains a finite height. The spike breaks up prior to complete vent clearing and the breakup creates a two-phase region behind the primary interface. A theoretical model was established to study the effects of virtual mass and the interfacial instability on the slug motion. By the method of similitude, the governing similitude parameters for the slug motion are found to be the Froude number, gLc/Uc2; the Euler number, PccUc2; and the Weber number, ρcLcUc2/σ. Calculated results based on a modified slug flow model and linear instability theory are agreeable, with experimental values for the initial growth period which was generally less than 0.015 second after the interface started to grow.

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