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The shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a thin annulus

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Title: The shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a thin annulus
Authors: Lei, Q
Xie, Z
Pavlidis, D
Salinas, P
Veltin, J
Matar, O
Pain, C
Muggeridge, A
Gyllensten, A
Jackson, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We study the shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a horizontal or slightly inclined thin annulus. Experimental data show that in the horizontal annulus, bubbles develop a unique ‘tadpole-like’ shape with a semi-circular cap and a highly stretched tail. As the annulus is inclined, the bubble tail tends to vanish, resulting in a significant decrease of bubble length. To model the bubble evolution, the thin annulus is conceptualised as a ‘Hele-Shaw’ cell in a curvilinear space. The three-dimensional flow within the cell is represented by a gap-averaged, two-dimensional model, which achieved a close match to the experimental data. The numerical model is further used to investigate the effects of gap thickness and pipe diameter on the bubble behaviour. The mechanism for the semi-circular cap formation is interpreted based on an analogous irrotational flow field around a circular cylinder, based on which a theoretical solution to the bubble velocity is derived. The bubble motion and cap geometry is mainly controlled by the gravitational component perpendicular to the flow direction. The bubble elongation in the horizontal annulus is caused by the buoyancy that moves the bubble to the top of the annulus. However, as the annulus is inclined, the gravitational component parallel to the flow direction becomes important, causing bubble separation at the tail and reduction in bubble length.
Issue Date: 25-Nov-2018
Date of Acceptance: 14-Aug-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/63495
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2018.696
ISSN: 0022-1120
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Start Page: 1017
End Page: 1039
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume: 285
Copyright Statement: © Cambridge University Press 2018. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Statoil ASA
Funder's Grant Number: EP/K003976/1
Keywords: 01 Mathematical Sciences
09 Engineering
Fluids & Plasmas
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-09-21
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Faculty of Engineering