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Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170

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Numerical prediction of fully-suspended slurry ow in horizontal pipes

Gianandrea Vittorio Messa a, Michael Malin b, Stefano Malavasi a,
Dipt. I.C.A., Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
CHAM Limited, Bakery House, 40 High Street, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AU, UK

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Turbulent solidliquid slurry ows in horizontal pipes are encountered in many engineering elds, such as mining,
Received 18 March 2013 chemical and petroleum. In many applications, turbulence is effective in keeping all the solids suspended, preventing
Received in revised form 20 December 2013 particle accumulation. A two-uid model for predicting the main features of fully-suspended slurry ows, namely
Accepted 1 February 2014
pressure gradient, solidvolume-fraction distribution, and velocity prole, is presented. The model is robust and nu-
Available online 10 February 2014
merically stable, and requires relatively low computer time to provide converged steady-state solutions. The novelty
of the proposed model and its better performance compared to similar ones resides in the method of accounting for
Two-uid model some key physical mechanisms governing these ows, namely turbulent dispersion, interphase friction, and the me-
Slurries chanical contribution to friction. The performance of the model is checked by comparison with experimental data
Fully-suspended ow available in the literature over a wide range of operating conditions: pipe diameter between 50 and 150 mm; par-
Two-phase ow ticle size between 90 and 520 m; mean delivered solid concentration up to 40% by volume; and slurry supercial
Pipe ow velocity between 1 and 7 m/s. The dispersed phase consists of either sand or spherical glass beads.
2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction nature have been developed for roughly estimating the deposition ve-
locity: an overview is reported by Albunaga [2] and Pecker and Helvaci
Pipe ows of solidliquid mixtures in the form of slurry are com- [3]. As an example, the formula of Wasp [4], which is one of the simplest
monly encountered in many applications, in the eld of both civil and and most frequently cited in the literature, is given below:
industrial engineering. Pressure gradient and concentration distribution
!1=6 v
have been the most serious concern of researchers, as they dictate the u
dp u
1=5 t p
selection of pump capacity and may be used to determine parameters VD 4 C 2jgjDp 1 1
Dp f
of direct importance (mixture and solid ow rates) as well as secondary
effects like wall abrasion and particle degradation.
The ow of solidliquid mixtures is very complex. Doron and Barnea where: VD is the deposition velocity; dp is the particle size; Dp is the pipe
[1] identied the ow patterns that characterize the ow of slurries diameter; C is the delivered solid volume fraction; g is the gravitational
through horizontal pipes. If the ow rate is sufciently high, turbulence acceleration; and f and p are the density of the uid and particles
is effective in keeping all the solids suspended (fully suspended ow); respectively.
otherwise the particles accumulate at the pipe bottom and form a packed The present work focuses on fully-suspended ow, and so the con-
bed, either sliding (ow with a moving bed) or not (ow with a stationary siderations reported below hold when turbulence is effective in keeping
bed). The transitions between ow patterns are not always clear and they all the solids suspended. The pressure gradient of the solidliquid slurry
are usually identied by post-processing measured data in terms of solid is generally higher than that of an equal ow rate of pure liquid because
volume-fraction prole and pressure gradient [2]. In particular, the transi- the particles produce additional dissipation. Actually, the way in which
tion between fully-suspended and bed ows corresponds to a minimum the particles affect the dissipation is a very complex matter, and under
in the plot of pressure gradient versus slurry supercial velocity (which specic ow conditions, either negligible variations or even a decrease
is the ratio between the volumetric ow rate of the two-phase mixture in losses with respect to the single-phase case was observed [5]. Howev-
and the area of the pipe section), qualitatively depicted in Fig. 1. er, this eventuality was not considered here, because it is very rare and
The threshold velocity between the two regimes is usually referred to as pronounced only for vertical pipe ows. The frictional loss of the two-
the deposition velocity. Several correlations usually of an empirical phase ow is considered as a combination of viscous friction and me-
chanical friction [2,3,6]. The former is due to the liquid viscosity in the
laminar sublayer, and is not affected by the solid particles unless they
Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 02 2399 6261.
are ne enough to be trapped within the laminar sublayer, which is
E-mail addresses: (G.V. Messa), not the case here. The latter is due to particlewall interactions which
(M. Malin), (S. Malavasi). are the result of the dispersive action of both turbulence and particle
0032-5910/ 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
62 G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170

with respect to the pipe axis, and the maximum value is shifted towards
the upper wall. This behavior was interpreted by Ling and co-workers
[10] as a consequence of the fact that, due to the effect of gravity, the
slurry density in the lower part of the pipe is higher than that in the
upper part. As a result, the uid spends more energy to drive the parti-
cles in the lower part, resulting in a lower slurry velocity in that area.
Actually, the asymmetry of the velocity prole is almost undetectable
for pseudo-homogeneous ows.
Numerous experimental investigations have been carried out to de-
termine pressure gradients, volume fraction distributions, and less
frequently, velocity proles of slurry ows in horizontal pipes. The dis-
persed phase is usually sand [6,1117], but spherical glass beads
[1820], ash [21] and solid nitrogen particles [22,23] have also been
The experimental determination of solid volume fraction and veloc-
ity presents considerable technical difculties. Local values of solid vol-
ume fraction can be measured by isokinetic probe sampling, but these
techniques may produce signicant errors near both the pipe wall [24]
and the pipe axis [12]. More accurate results but with uncertainties
of a few percent are obtained using expensive gamma-ray density
Fig. 1. Qualitative plot of pressure gradient versus slurry supercial velocity. The curve for gauges, which are used to determine chord-average values of solid vol-
an equal ow rate of pure liquid is depicted too.
ume fraction. The mean concentration of the slurry is characterized in
different ways by researchers. Kaushal and Tomita [18,20] and Kaushal
et al. [19] considered an overall area-average concentration, evaluated
collisions. Some authors have argued for the existence of a hydrody- by integrating the local volume fraction prole measured by an
namic lift force to account for the repulsion of particles from the pipe isokinetic sampling probe. Matousek [7,13] measured the mean deliv-
wall observed in some experiments, which is accompanied by a de- ered concentration in the pipeline by a counter ow meter. Other au-
crease of the mechanical friction [7]. Wilson and co-workers [8,9] devel- thors [14,15] reported values of the mean in-situ concentration,
oped a model to account for this effect, but the global nature of its obtained by adding weighted quantities of solids to the loop, whose vol-
formulation precludes its implementation in a CFD code. ume was known. In all cases, the uncertainty about this parameter must
The distribution of the delivered solid volume fraction over the pipe be considered when making reference to literature data.
section shows a gradient along the vertical direction arising from gravi- Local values of velocity in slurry ows are commonly measured by
tational stratication. Fully-suspended ows in which this gradient is the electrical probe developed at the University of Saskatchewan [25]
clearly detectable are referred to as heterogeneous ows [1]. Conversely, or, less frequently, by Laser Doppler Velocimetry. The former method al-
if the slurry supercial velocity is very high, and the effect of gravity is lows detecting the velocity of the particles, and the main limitation is
negligible compared to drag and turbulent dispersion, the solid volume that the measurements may be affected by the distortion in the ow
fraction can be regarded as uniformly distributed (pseudo-homogeneous eld produced by the probe, especially close to the pipe walls. The latter
ow). Whatever the ow pattern, the solid volume fraction distribution method is capable of providing the uid and particle velocities, but spe-
is usually quantied by means of its characteristic vertical prole, which cic procedures are required for discriminating between the two veloc-
according to the kind of instrumentation used to perform the measure- ities. Numerous examples of applying LDV for solidliquid ows are
ments, is either the prole along the vertical diameter (Fig. 2(a)) or the reported in the literature [26], but the technique is claimed to be unre-
chord-averaged prole (Fig. 2(b)). Since the variation of the solid volume liable for concentrated mixtures (mean delivered solid concentration
fraction along each horizontal chord is likely to be small, the two proles above 1520% by volume) except homogeneous ows in which the dif-
are generally close to each other. ference in velocity between the phases is small [27].
The axial velocity distribution is not univocally dened for a two- Simplied models have been developed based on a global formula-
phase ow, since it may be represented in terms of either the uid ve- tion to predict macroscopic parameters like the pressure gradient for
locity, the particle velocity, or the mass-averaged mixture velocity. all ow congurations. The equivalent liquid models apply in the case
Whatever velocity is considered, unlike that of a single-phase ow, of fully-suspended ows [3,7], while two- and three-layer models
the axial velocity distribution of a solidliquid mixture is asymmetric [2833] may be employed for ows with moving bed and stationary

Fig. 2. Solid volume fraction distribution: (a) values along the vertical diameter and (b) chord-averaged prole.
G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170 63

deposit, respectively. Improved versions have been proposed to account In the interests of guaranteeing the widest possible applicability, the
for the presence of multi-sized particles [21], the inuence of particle model predictions of the main features of the ow (pressure gradient,
shape [14], the additional stresses due to particlewall interactions and solid-concentration and velocity distributions) are validated with
[3], and the already-mentioned repulsion of particles from the wall respect to various sets of experimental data [7,11,1315] over a large
observed in some experiments [9]. Using those models, the pressure range of operating conditions, in terms of pipe diameter (50 to
gradient can be estimated easily, and the predictions agree with the 150 mm), grain material (glass beads and sand), particle size (90 to
experimental evidence over a wide range of operating conditions. 520 m), slurry supercial velocity (1 to 7 m/s), and mean delivered
Therefore, these models represent a very powerful tool for most engi- solid concentration up to 40% by volume of mixture. The uncertainties
neering applications. However, their global formulation makes them of both computations and measurements are discussed when compar-
unsuitable for predicting the solidvolume-fraction and velocity distri- ing the numerical results with those of the experiment.
butions, which require the development and validation of distributed
models that can also be applied to more complex geometries. 2. Mathematical model
CFD has been widely used to investigate solidliquid pipe ows, but
there is a need for the development of a model that is both reliable and 2.1. Conservation equations
computationally economical, and therefore attractive to engineers. The
majority of existing CFD models employ an EulerianEulerian approach, The two-phase ow is represented by using an Eulerian approach in
since EulerianLagrangian models are not applicable to dense mixtures which both phases are treated as interpenetrating continua. The ow is
due to their excessive computational cost. Some workers studied the assumed to be statistically steady in the sense that Reynolds-averaging
problem by means of the Algebraic Slip Model (ASM), which solves the has been applied, and so the continuity equation for phase k = f, p takes
momentum equation for the mixture rather than for both phases, there- the following form:
by saving computational time. However, the ASM assumes that local
equilibrium is achieved between the phases over short spatial length  k k Uk  k D k 2
scales, so that it can be used only for very low values of the Stokes num-
ber. Also when applicable, the ASM proved inadequate to estimate the where: k is the volume fraction; k is the density; Uk is the velocity
pressure drop even for fully-suspended ows [33], and it doesn't seem vector; and D is a phase diffusion coefcient, which appears in the
very accurate in predicting the solid volume fraction distribution phase diffusion term that represents the turbulent ux associated
[10,33]. Most authors made use of an Eulerian two-uid model with clo- with correlations between uctuating velocity u k and volume
sures derived either from empirical or semi-empirical relations [34], or fraction k. These correlations, which appear in all conservation equa-
from the Kinetic Theory of Granular Flow (KTGF) [22,23,33,3537]. Any- tions, are modeled in terms of a gradient-diffusion approximation in
way, even for pipe ows, the existing two-uid models show some prob- which the phase-diffusion coefcient D is the same for both phases
lems which may complicate their application to more complex ows of and is given by:
engineering interest. The rst impression is that these models are easily
t; f
susceptible to numerical instabilities, which often results in solutions D 3

characterized by non-physical asymmetry [33] or oscillations [37]. In
some cases, the simulations are very time-consuming; for example,
where t,f is the turbulent kinematic viscosity of the carrier uid phase,
Ekambara et al. [36] attained a stable steady-state solution performing
determined by turbulence modeling; and is the turbulent Schmidt
a U-RANS simulation and then averaged the solution over a considerable
number for volume fractions. The origin of the correlations uk k in all
time interval. A similar procedure may not be easily applicable when
conservation equations has been claried elsewhere [40] and their
dealing with complex geometries, since the calculation time would prob-
modeling by means of a gradient diffusion approximation with diffusiv-
ably become prohibitively expensive. In other cases, the validation of
ity given by Eq. (3) is a well known approach in the literature. The tur-
these models with respect to the experimental evidence is often rather
bulent Schmidt number for volume fractions may in some sense be
poor, in the sense that the comparison is either limited to a few ow con-
interpreted as the ratio of turbulent momentum transport to the turbu-
ditions [33,35] or highlights an occasionally excellent capacity of the
lent transport of phase mass. However, the numerical value of is not
model to describe adequately the main features of the ow [37]. It is
well established in the literature because no single constant value can
worth noticing that none of the existing models proved unquestionably
be used to match the various sets of experimental data [41,42]. These
capable of detecting the minimum in the pressure gradient versus slurry
values typically fall in the range 0.2 to 0.9. In the proposed model, we
velocity, which characterizes the transition to bed ows [23,35].
set the turbulent Schmidt number for volume fractions equal to 0.7,
In this work a mathematical model is presented for the prediction of
since this value procures the best overall agreement with the experi-
fully-suspended ows in horizontal pipes, which is based on an Euler
mental evidence. The presence of phase diffusion uxes in all conserva-
Euler approach that uses the Inter-Phase Slip Algorithm (IPSA) of
tion equations, which has the advantage of promoting numerical
Spalding [38,39]. The proposed model shows comparable or better
stability, distinguishes the present model from similar ones applied to
agreement with the experimental evidence than similar models
slurry ows. The mean global continuity is given by the equation that
[33,3537], and it also overcomes the main limitations inferred from in-
states that the two volume fractions must sum to unity.
spection of these earlier papers, namely susceptibility to numerical in-
The momentum equation for phase k = f, p is:
stability and high computational cost. In fact, the new model requires
relatively low computer time to attain a converged steady-state solution h  i
 k k Uk Uk k P  k T k T t;k k k g Mk  k DUk k
and is capable of providing a numerical solution without unphysical
asymmetries or oscillations. The novelty of the proposed model, which 4
is the basis for its good performance, resides in the combined use of
modeling strategies previously developed but never employed simulta- where: P is the pressure, shared by the phases; Tk and Tt,k are the viscous
neously to the ows considered in this paper: phase diffusion uxes are and turbulent stress tensors respectively; and Mk is the generalized drag
introduced in all conservation equations to reproduce the effect of the force per unit volume, which will be discussed later. The viscous stress
turbulent dispersion of particles; the presence of other particles on the tensor (present only in the uid phase) and the turbulent stress tensor
interfacial momentum transfer is taken into account by considering (present in both phases) are given by:
their effect on a mixture viscosity; a wall function is employed to
model the mechanical contribution to the wall shear stress. T f 2 f D f T t;k 2k t;k Dk 5
64 G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170

where: is the kinematic viscosity of the uid, t,k is the eddy viscosity, In the absence of an appropriate closure model, the effect of the hy-
and Dk is the deformation rate tensor, equal to: drodynamic lift force is ignored in the present work. A semi-theoretical
model for this force was derived by Antal et al. [48] for airwater bubbly
h i
Dk 0:5 Uk Uk

6 ow in the laminar regime, but it proved unsuitable for slurry ows,
conrming the observations of Ekambara et al. [36]. Conversely, the
model of Wilson and co-workers [8,9] is applicable to slurry ows, but
where the superscript + indicates that the transpose of the dyadic
cannot be included in a CFD code due to the global nature of its
Uk is taken.
The interfacial momentum transfer term accounts for the momen-
tum transfer between phases, and is given by stationary drag, Saffman
2.2. Turbulence modeling
and Magnus lift, added mass, history and other forces [43]. The two-
uid model represents the turbulent dispersion of particles by means
The following modied form of the k model is used for evaluating
of phase diffusion uxes in all conservation equations, including the
the turbulent kinematic viscosity of the carrier uid t,f:
phasic continuity equation (Eq. (1)), and so an explicit turbulent-
dispersion force term makes no appearance in the momentum equa- t; f t; f
 f f Uf k  f f k f f P k  f k f
tion. A literature review [36,44] revealed that lift, virtual mass and k
history forces are negligible for the ows considered here. The results 10
of preliminary simulations regarding different ow conditions served
as further conrmation of these indications. The interfacial transfer
term is therefore given by: t; f
 f f Uf  f f f f C 1 P k C 2
Mk C jU jU 7 t; f
4dp d p f r r  f f 11

where: Cd is the drag coefcient; and Ur is the slip velocity between the
phases, equal to UpUf for k = f and to UfUp for k = p. The drag coef-
cient is given by the well known Schiller and Naumann [45] formula: t; f C 12

" #
24  0:687
 in which Pk = 2t,fDf : Uf is the volumetric production rate of k due to
Cd max 1 0:15Rep ; 0:44 8
Rep the working of the Reynolds stresses against the mean ow. The stan-
dard values [49] of the model constants are employed, namely k =
in which Rep is the particle Reynolds number. Following Ishii and 1.0, = 1.314, C = 0.09, C1 = 1.44, and C2 = 1.92. The form of
Mishima [43], in order to account for the presence of other particles, the k model turbulence model employed for the present simulations
the particle Reynolds number is dened as Rep = Cdp|Ur|/m, where is the simplest possible extension [50,51] of the standard high-
m is the viscosity of the mixture. Several empirical correlations for the Reynolds form of the k model of Launder and Spalding [49] to two-
mixture viscosity are available in the literature [46], and typically they phase ows, apart from the inclusion of phase-diffusion terms, which
depend on parameters that account for the shape and size distribution are required for consistency with the corresponding terms in the
of the particles. In the present work, use is made of a local formulation phase continuity equations [38,51]. A rigorous mathematical derivation
of the Mooney [47] formula, which relates m to the local solid volume of the transport equations for k and , of which Eqs. (10)(12) are a sim-
fraction, p: plied formulation, is provided in Elghobashi and Abou-Arab [52]. In
order to account for the inuence of the dispersed phase on the turbu-
! lence of the continuous phase, the extra-viscosity model of Sato and
m f exp : 9 Sekoguchi [53] was briey explored but nally not employed because
1 p = pm
it was found to have no inuence on the ow variables addressed in
this paper.
Two the two tting parameters in Eq. (9) are the maximum packing There appears to be no simple model of general validity for evalua-
concentration pm and the intrinsic viscosity []. The former accounts tion of the particle eddy viscosity t,p in dense particle ows. Neverthe-
for the shape and size distribution of the particles, as well as the shear less, even the simple model of t,p = t,f indicated by Issa and Oliveira
rate. For a given set of particles, it can be measured statistically by [54] was found to yield accurate predictions of those features of slurry
allowing the slurry to settle in a quiescent condition, but due to the ows which are of the most engineering interest, namely pressure gra-
complexity of the interacting mechanisms involved when the slurry is dient, solid volume fraction distribution, and velocity distribution. No
owing, pm is generally found as a tting parameter, and checked signicant variation was observed when employing the other algebraic
against experimental ndings [3]. In the present work, pm was set to models listed in Messa [46].
0.7, a value which lies in the range of 0.60.75 reported in the literature.
It should be noted that lower values have been used for highly irregular- 2.3. Computational domain and boundary conditions
shaped particles [14]. The intrinsic viscosity was assigned a value of a 2.5
in all the simulations. This value has been well documented in the liter- The computational domain is shown in Fig. 3, where it is evident
ature for spherical particles. For the rst time, the mixture viscosity ap- that ow and geometrical symmetry about the vertical axis [11,19]
proach is employed in a two-uid model for the simulation of slurry have been exploited by solving only over one half of the pipe section.
ows in pipes. In particular, the asymptotic behavior of the viscosity of At the pipe inlet, the following variables are imposed: the mass
the mixture, which tends to innity as the solid concentration ap- uxes of both phases, f in in in in
f uz,f and pp uz,p; the mean axial velocities
proaches the maximum packing one, sets an upper limit to the concen- in in
of the two phases, uz,f and uz,p; the turbulent kinetic energy, kin; and
tration of particles, preventing the solids from over-packing. This avoids its dissipation rate, in. The distributions of uin in in in
z,f, u z,p, k , and are
the need to introduce a collisional pressure term in the dispersed-phase obtained from the boundary-layer theory of Prandtl and Nikuradse
momentum equations. The absence of this term contributes to the nu- [55] for fully-developed single-phase ows in straight pipes. No
merical stability of the proposed model. slip is assumed between the phases at the inlet section, and therefore
G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170 65

2.4. Computational methodology

The general-purpose, commercial CFD code PHOENICS is employed

for the numerical solution of the nite-volume analog of the mathemat-
ical model described above. This is done by using the built-in Eulerian,
two-uid, Inter-Phase Slip Algorithm (IPSA) of Spalding [38,39] togeth-
er with user-dened functions and subroutines for implementation of
specic constitutive equations and boundary conditions. The calcula-
tions are performed following the elliptic-staggered formulation in
which the scalar variables are evaluated at the cell centers and the ve-
locity components at the cell faces. Central differencing is employed
for the diffusion terms, while the convection terms are discretized
using the hybrid differencing scheme of Spalding [56]. The nite-
volume equations are solved iteratively by means of the SIMPLEST
[50] and IPSA [38,39] algorithms of Spalding. The calculation procedure
Fig. 3. Computational domain and boundary conditions. is organized in a slab-by-slab manner, in which all the dependent vari-
ables are solved at the current slab before the solver routine moves to
the same velocity distribution is applied to the uid and the particles the next slab. The numerical solution procedure requires appropriate
(uz,f = uin
z,p). relaxation of the eld variables to achieve convergence. Inertial relaxa-
tion is applied to the momentum equations with a false-time step of
in in N 12N 1 2r 1 0.01 s, which is the order of the cell convection time. A linear relaxation
u f ;z up;z Vs 1 N p factor of 0.4 is applied to all other ow variables.
2N2 Dp f 13 A cylindrical-polar structured mesh was used to discretize the do-
2 V s Dp
f 1:82 logRe1:64 Re main. A grid independence study revealed that a grid consisting of
90,000 cells (15 angular by 30 radial by 200 axial) produces a consistent
numerical solution. However, it is the disposition of the cells rather than
" !3 # their overall number that is the key feature to guarantee the reliability
in 2 f 2 2r 10 2r of the results. In the single-phase ow case, the equilibrium wall func-
k Vs 1 14
8 3 Dp 3 Dp tion of Launder and Spalding [49] for smooth walls in conjunction
with the standard k turbulence model poses strict requirements on
the dimensionless wall distance of the rst grid point y+ = u*y/,
k3=2 where u* is the friction velocity. This law holds in the log law region,
0:1643 and therefore, strictly it may be applied only for y+ in the range from
" !4 # 15 30 to about 130. As a consequence, the numerical solution (and, in par-
Dp 2r 2r
lm 0:140:08 0:06 ticular, the computed pressure gradient) is reliable only if the aforemen-
2 Dp Dp
tioned condition is satised. Fig. 4 depicts the computed pressure
gradient versus y+ for a given set of ow conditions. In the plot, the
In Eq. (13), Vs is the supercial velocity of the slurry. The inlet trend of the white circles, which refer to the single-phase case, conrms
volume fractions of both phases (fin and pin) are taken as uniformly dis- that the pressure gradient is predicted inconsistently for y+ b 30.
tributed. At the outlet, the normal gradients of all variables and the With a two-uid model the situation is more complex because
value of the pressure are set to zero. The length of the computational do- the phases are treated as coupled interpenetrating continua, and thus
main is 100Dp to ensure that fully-developed ow conditions are the dependence of the computed pressure gradient on y+ is more dif-
attained, which typically occurs some 50Dp downstream of the inlet, cult to interpret. With the proposed two-uid model, in which the equi-
conrming the results of previous workers [10]. At the pipe wall, no librium wall function of Launder and Spalding [49] for smooth walls is
slip conditions are imposed to both phases, and the equilibrium wall applied to both phases, it was judged appropriate to dene y+ with re-
function of Launder and Spalding [49] for smooth walls is employed to spect to the friction velocity of the uid phase uf and still satisfy the
evaluate the velocity component parallel to the wall for the two phases
uw w w
k = f,p, the turbulent kinetic energy k , and its dissipation rate in the
near wall cells:
k 1 u y
ln E k 16

w uf
k q 17

w 3=4 kw
C 18

where: uk is the friction velocity of phase k = f, p; = 0.41 is the von

Karman constant; E is a roughness parameter, which was set to 8.6 as Fig. 4. Computed pressure gradient as a function of the dimensionless distance between
appropriate for smooth walls; and y is the normal distance of the rst the centers of the near wall cells and the pipe wall y+. The single-phase case is reported
grid point from the wall. too.
66 G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170

constrain 30 b y+ b 130. The coupling between the phases inuences ow features of main engineering interest, namely the pressure gradi-
signicantly the dependence of pressure gradient upon y+, which dif- ent, the solid volume fraction distribution, and the velocity distribution.
fers signicantly from the single-phase case (Fig. 4). In this work, the These features will be addressed in separate sub-sections below.
mesh was designed in such a way that y+ = 30, which is the smallest
possible value consistent with the application of the equilibrium wall
function for smooth walls in the single-phase ow case. As illustrated 3.1. Pressure gradient
in Messa [46], for a given y+, further increase in the mesh resolution
procured negligible changes in the numerical solution, in terms of all The capability of the model to predict the pressure gradient of
the three main features of interest (pressure gradient, and solid concen- the slurry is discussed rst. Fig. 5 compares the predicted pressure
tration and velocity distributions). gradient which is depicted as a function of the slurry supercial veloc-
The PHOENICS solver was run until the sum of the absolute residual ity with the measured values for the ow conditions listed in Table 1.
errors over the whole solution domain is less than 1% of reference quan- In all cases, the carrier uid is water at 20 C (density = 998.23 kg/m3;
tities based on the total inow of the variable in question. An additional kinematic viscosity = 106 m2/s). Unfortunately neither the density of
requirement is that the values of the monitored dependent variables at the solid particles nor the pipe roughness is reported in the experiments
a selected location do not change by more than 0.1% between subse- of Matousek [7]; and so in the simulations the former was set to
quent iteration cycles. 2650 kg/m3, which is the value declared by Gillies et al. [15], and the
The proposed model appears very robust, and is capable of providing pipe was regarded as hydraulically smooth. The same assumption
a converged steady-state solution within a relatively short computer holds in the experiments of Gillies et al. [15] and Shaan et al. [14], due
time. As a rough estimate, about half an hour CPU time is required to the extremely low pipe roughness to diameter ratio ( 2 10 5).
with a quad-core Intel processor with 2.83 GHz and 8 GB RAM. The plots reported in Fig. 5 indicate that the proposed model procures
a good estimation of the pressure gradient for fully-suspended ows
3. Results over a wide range of operating conditions. Conversely, the model is
not capable of detecting the minimum in the pressure gradient versus
The numerical model is validated by comparing the results of the slurry-supercial-velocity curve, which characterizes the transition
simulations against experimental data reported by different authors from fully suspended to bed ows (cases P4 and P6). The same limita-
[7,11,1315]. The analysis is limited to fully-suspended ows, even if tion is shared by other two-uid models available in the literature
moving-bed ow conditions were marginally addressed in order to es- [23,35]. Moreover, for the same ow conditions P4 and P6, the model
tablish the overall applicability of the model. Unfortunately, the ow overestimates the pressure gradient at high supercial velocity. A possi-
pattern was rarely declared by the experimenters, although in a few ble explanation for such behavior will be provided later.
cases [14], it could be established rather unquestionably from measure- Fig. 6 shows the parity plot computed pressure gradient versus
ments of the deposition velocity. More frequently, it could be evidenced measured pressure gradient for all the simulations. The ow condi-
from the plots of pressure gradient versus slurry velocity, where howev- tions include those summarized in Table 1, as well as the additional
er the identication of the minimum may be rather confusing. In the ex- ones reported in Table 2. In all cases, the ow is fully-suspended, as in-
periments of Roco and Shook [11], the ow pattern could be only ferred from the experimental data. Basically for all the ow conditions
guessed from the shape of the concentration prole, or from an a priori considered, the model predicts the pressure gradient to within about
estimation of the deposition velocity. The comparison focuses on the 20% of the measured value. Although such a level of accuracy could

Fig. 5. Pressure gradient versus slurry supercial velocity for the ow conditions reported in Table 1 ( : experiments from [7,14,15]; : prediction).
G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170 67

Table 1 Table 2
Flow conditions considered in the pressure gradient versus velocity comparison. Additional ow conditions reported in the parity plot comparison.

Case ID Experimenter Dp [mm] Particles p [kg/m3] dp [m] C [%] Experimenter Dp [mm] Particles p [kg/m3] dp [m] C [%]

P1 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 19 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 24
P2 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 28 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 33
P3 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 11 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 20
P4 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 40 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 31
P5 Matousek [7] 150.0 Sand 120 26
P6 Matousek [7] 150.0 Sand 370 26
P7 Shaan et al. [14] 53.2 Glass beads 2440 100 15
P8 Shaan et al. [14] 53.2 Glass beads 2440 100 35 the center of the particles lies in the log law region [8], which is precisely
the big particle case.

be acceptable for many engineering applications, an attempt is now 3.2. Volume fraction distribution
made to investigate more deeply the results in Fig. 6.
For this reason, it is proposed to classify the particles according to The predictive capability of the model for simulating the volume
their size expressed in wall units, d+ +
p = uf dp/. The quantity dp allows fraction distribution is now considered for the ow conditions listed
comparing the size of the particles to that of the boundary layer, and it in Table 3, as investigated experimentally by Roco and Shook [11],
depends on both the particle size and the ow conditions (via uf ). As Gillies et al. [15], and Matousek [7,13]. The pipe is assumed hydraulically
sketched in Fig. 7, the particles are referred to as small if their size is smooth even if this hypothesis could be veried only in the experiments
small compared to the extension of the log law region and big other- of Gillies et al. [15], who reported values of pipe roughness. In the ow
wise. The threshold value of dp+ = 50 separates the two classes. This conditions investigated by Gillies et al. [15] and Matousek [7,13] the
value appears rather arbitrary, but it is not very signicant in itself complete suspension of the particles was veried from the plots of pres-
because the ow conditions considered refer to either dp+ 50 or sure gradient versus slurry supercial velocity; while in those of Roco
dp+ 50. The red-lled points and the white-lled ones in Fig. 6 corre- and Shook [11] it was inferred by comparing the slurry velocity with
spond to small and big particles respectively. The accuracy of the the estimates of the deposition velocity provided by the formula of
predictions of the pressure gradient can be related rather clearly to Wasp [4] (Eq. (1)). The experimental evidence suggests either hetero-
the particle class. In fact, the two-uid model overestimates the pres- geneous or pseudo-homogeneous ow. All the data considered for com-
sure gradient for the big particles, while an underestimation is more parison are obtained using gamma-ray absorption methods, which
likely to occur for the small ones. If the attention is limited to the latter entail errors of the order of only a few percentage points. Since this tech-
class, the predictions of pressure gradient basically lie within the inter- nique allows measuring chord-average values of solid volume fraction,
val [15%, 0] of the measured value, with signicant increase of the re- the comparison between computations and measurements was made
liability of the model. Two reasons may contribute to explain the in terms of the chord-average solid volume fraction prole (Fig. 2(b)).
overestimation which characterizes the big particles. Firstly, the con- The results are reported in Fig. 8, in which the data of Matousek [7,13]
siderable dimension of the particles compared to the boundary layer have error bars indicating the uncertainty declared by the author. The
thickness may cast doubt on the assumption that the solid phase be- good agreement between computations and measurements indicates
haves as a continuum within the log law region, with mean velocity the model's ability to predict the volume fraction distribution of fully-
given by the smooth-wall log law of Launder and Spalding [48]. More- suspended slurries over a wide range of operating conditions. As far as
over, the effects of the hydrodynamic lift (not considered in the compu- the experiments of Matousek [7,13] are concerned, the lack of complete
tations due to the lack of a proper closure model) are enhanced when information about the experimental conditions must be taken into
account when comparing measurements and predictions, especially in
regard to the deviations observed in cases C12 and C15.

3.3. Velocity distribution

The velocity distributions are now considered for the ow condi-

tions summarized in Table 4, as investigated experimentally by Roco
and Shook [11] and Gillies et al. [15]. The hypothesis of hydraulically
smooth pipes, veried in the experiments of Gillies et al. [15], could

Fig. 6. Parity plot computed pressure gradient versus measured pressure gradient for
all the ow conditions listed in Tables 1 and 2. Fig. 7. Classication between small and big particles.
68 G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170

Table 3
Solid volume fraction distribution: ow conditions considered for comparison.

Case ID Experimenter Dp [mm] Particles p [kg/m3] dp [m] C [%] Vs [m/s]

C1 Roco and Shook [11] 51.5 Sand 2650 165 9 3.78

C2 Roco and Shook [11] 51.5 Sand 2650 165 19 4.17
C3 Roco and Shook [11] 51.5 Sand 2650 165 29 4.33
C4 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 19 3.00
C5 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 24 3.00
C6 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 28 3.00
C7 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 33 3.00
C8 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 11 5.40
C9 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 20 5.40
C10 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 30 5.40
C11 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 280 41 5.40
C12 Matousek [7,13] 150.0 Sand 120 26 2.00
C13 Matousek [7,13] 150.0 Sand 120 35 2.00
C14 Matousek [7,13] 150.0 Sand 120 34 6.00
C15 Matousek [7,13] 150.0 Sand 370 26 6.00

only be presumed for the data of Roco and Shook [11]. Likewise, from and velocity measurements, but not with respect to the pressure
analysis of the solidvolume-fraction distribution, the effectiveness of gradient data.
the turbulence in keeping the solids fully suspended was veried for
the ow conditions of Gillies et al. [15], who reported plots of pressure 4. Conclusion
gradient versus slurry velocity, but only inferred for the data of Roco
and Shook [11] by verifying that the slurry velocity is much higher A mathematical model has been described for the simulation of
than the deposition velocity calculated from Eq. (1). Since both experi- fully-suspended slurry ows in horizontal pipes. The model is based
menters used the electrical probe developed at the University of on an EulerianEulerian approach, and uses the Inter-Phase Slip Algo-
Saskatchewan [25], which provides values of the particle velocity, the rithm (IPSA) of Spalding [38,39]. The combined use of existing modeling
comparison between experiments and computations was made with strategies, never previously employed together for the prediction of
respect to the axial particle velocity prole along the vertical diameter. slurry ows in horizontal pipes, allows a reliable prediction of these
Fig. 9 shows the results of this comparison, and it can be seen that the ows. Phase diffusion uxes are introduced in all conservation equa-
model predicts velocity proles in rather good agreement with the ex- tions to account for the turbulent dispersion of particles. The mixture
perimental data. In particular, the model is capable of reproducing the viscosity approach is employed to model the effect of the presence of
asymmetry of the prole, in which the maximum velocity is positioned multiple particles on interfacial momentum transfer. A wall function is
above the pipe axis (cases V2, V3, and V4). Other previous two-uid used to model the additional wall shear stress due to interactions be-
models [33,36] were also able to reproduce this characteristic feature tween the particles and the wall. The model proved robust and numer-
of the ow, but no comparison with the measurements was reported. ically stable, and converged steady-state solutions were attained within
On the other hand, the application-specic model of Roco and Shook a relatively short computer time. In comparison with similar models,
[11] is experimentally validated with respect to solid volume fraction the present model reveals better performance in terms of numerical

Fig. 8. Chord-average solid volume fraction prole for the ow conditions reported in Table 3 (: experiments from [7,11,14,15]; : prediction).
G.V. Messa et al. / Powder Technology 256 (2014) 6170 69

Table 4
Velocity distribution: ow conditions considered for comparison.

Case ID Experimenter Dp [mm] Particles p [kg/m3] dp [m] C [%] Vs [m/s]

V1 Roco and Shook [11] 51.5 Sand 2650 165 9 3.78

V2 Roco and Shook [11] 50.7 Sand 2650 520 12 3.20
V3 Roco and Shook [11] 50.7 Sand 2650 520 11 4.00
V4 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 20 1.33
V5 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 20 2.00
V6 Gillies et al. [15] 103.0 Sand 2650 90 20 3.00

Fig. 9. Particle velocity prole along the vertical diameter for the ow conditions reported in Table 4 (: experiments from [11,15]; : prediction).

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Gianandrea Vittorio Messa was born in Monza, Italy, on July 6, 1984. He received his
in: C. Taylor, K. Morgan (Eds.), Recent Advances in Numerical Methods in Fluids,
Master's Degree in Civil Engineering and his PhD in Hydraulics from Politecnico di Milano,
Pineridge Press Limited, Swansea, UK, 1980, pp. 139168.
in 2009 and 2013, respectively. Since 2013 he is a Post-Doc Research Assistant at the ICA
[39] D.B. Spalding, IPSA 1981: new developments and computed results, CFDU Report
Dept. of Politecnico di Milano. His research interests include the numerical modeling of
HTS/81/2, Imperial College, London, 1981.
multiphase ows and the study of the dissipation and cavitation characteristics of pipeline
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dispersion in Eulerian multi-phase ows, Proc. 5th International Conference on Mul-
tiphase Flow ICMF2004, 2004, Paper No. 392.
Michael Malin was born in Birmingham, England on May 30, 1954. He received his
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Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aston University in Birmingham in
lent particle dispersion in dilute ows, Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 22 (4) (1996)
1976. He then received his Master's Degree and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from
Imperial College, England in 1977 and 1986, respectively. Since 1977 he has worked for
[42] X. Chen, Y. Li, X. Niu, M. Li, D. Chen, X. Yu, A general two-phase turbulent ow model
Concentration Heat and Momentum (CHAM) Ltd., England on the development and appli-
applied to the study of sediment transport in open channels, Int. J. Multiphase Flow
cation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods for the numerical simulation of a
37(9), 10991108
diverse range of environmental and industrial processes. Since 1998 he has been Technical
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Support Manager for CHAM's general-purpose CFD code, PHOENICS.
Nucl. Eng. Des. 82 (23) (1984) 107126.
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Stefano Malavasi was born in Novara, Italy, on October 10, 1967. He received his Master's
J. Fluid Mech. 186 (1) (1988) 199222.
Degree in Civil Engineering and his PhD in Hydraulics from Politecnico di Milano, in 1992
[45] L. Shiller, A. Naumann, A drag coefcient correlation, Z. Ver. Dtsch. Ing. 77 (1935)
and 1997, respectively. In 1999 he became an Assistant Professor of Hydraulics at the
I.I.A.R. Dept. of Politecnico di Milano, and since 2008 he is an Associate Professor of Hy-
[46] G.V. Messa, Two-uid Model for SolidLiquid Flows in Pipeline Systems, PhD Thesis
draulics in the same department. His research interests include ow eld measurement
Politecnico di Milano University, Milano, Italy, 2013.
techniques, uidstructure interactions, uid-dynamic control devices, and multiphase
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