Two Phase Fluid Flow Review

Fluid Flow Table of Contents
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Knowledge

Two Phase Fluid Flow Review

In fluid mechanics , two-phase flow occurs in a system containing gas and liquid with a meniscus separating the two phases . Two-phase flow is a particular example of multiphase flow .

All of the fluid flow relationships discussed previously are for the flow of a single phase of fluid whether liquid or vapor. At certain important locations in fluid flow systems the simultaneous flow of liquid water and steam occurs, known as two-phase flow. These simple relationships used for analyzing single-phase flow are insufficient for analyzing two-phase flow.

There are several techniques used to predict the head loss due to fluid friction for two-phase flow. Two-phase flow friction is greater than single-phase friction for the same conduit dimensions and mass flow rate. The difference appears to be a function of the type of flow and results from increased flow speeds. Two-phase friction losses are experimentally determined by measuring pressure drops across different piping elements. The two-phase losses are generally related to single-phase losses through the same elements.

One accepted technique for determining the two-phase friction loss based on the single-phase loss involves the two-phase friction multiplier (R), which is defined as the ratio of the two-phase head loss divided by the head loss evaluated using saturated liquid properties.

two-phase friction multiplier

two-phase friction multiplier declarations

The friction multiplier (R) has been found to be much higher at lower pressures than at higher pressures. The two-phase head loss can be many times greater than the single-phase head loss.

Although a wide range of names has been used for two-phase flow patterns, we shall define only three types of flow. The flow patterns to be used are defined as follows:

1. Bubbly flow: there is dispersion of vapor bubbles in a continuum of liquid.

2. Slug flow: in bubbly flow, the bubbles grow by coalescence and ultimately become of the same order of diameter as the tube. This generates the typical bullet-shaped bubbles that are characteristic of the slug-flow regime.

3. Annular flow: the liquid is now distributed between a liquid film flowing up the wall and a dispersion of droplets flowing in the vapor core of the flow.