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Experimental investigation on rapid filling of a large-scale pipeline

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Author: Hou, Q. · Tijsseling, A.S. · Laanearu, J. · Annus, I. · Koppel, T. · Bergant, A. · Vučković, S. · Anderson, A. · Westende, J.M.C. van 't
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Source:Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 11, 140
Identifier: 520177
Article number: 04014053
Keywords: Mechanics · Air-water interface · Experimentation · Flow-regime transition · Large-scale pipeline · Two-phase flow · Unsteady flow · Air-water interface · Industrial Innovation · Fluid Mechanics Chemistry & Energetics · HTFD - Heat Transfer & Fluid Dynamics · TS - Technical Sciences


This study presents the results from detailed experiments of the two-phase pressurized flow behavior during the rapid filling of a large-scale pipeline. The physical scale of this experiment is close to the practical situation in many industrial plants. Pressure transducers, water-level meters, thermometers, void fraction meters, and flow meters were used to measure the two-phase unsteady flow dynamics. The main focus is on the water-air interface evolution during filling and the overall behavior of the lengthening water column. It is observed that the leading liquid front does not entirely fill the pipe cross section; flow stratification and mixing occurs. Although flow regime transition is a rather complex phenomenon, certain features of the observed transition pattern are explained qualitatively and quantitatively. The water flow during the entire filling behaves as a rigid column as the open empty pipe in front of the water column provides sufficient room for the water column to occupy without invoking air compressibility effects. As a preliminary evaluation of how these large-scale experiments can feed into improving mathematical modeling of rapid pipe filling, a comparison with a typical one-dimensional rigid-column model is made.