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Slug Flow

(Sample model : slug.dat)

Slug flow is a phenomenon that occurs under special circumstances of two phase
gas-liquid flow. It is the most serious scenario in two phase flow as it involves a
moving liquid mass pushed by gases in between.
Slugs can also form due to inadvertent collection of liquid in relief lines and low
quality steam flow in well collection.
Slug flow is not very uniform as the process of formation of slugs is random. This
makes it hard to predict slug forces accurately.
Slugs characteristics are:
Slug speed v : usually 0.5 to 1.0 times the gas velocity
Slug length L : The longer, the more conservative
Slug fluid density
D2
Slug cylinder area A=
4

r time phase between successive slugs

Slug forces are generated when changes in flow direction occurs as at elbows. The
change in momentum causes these forces. The amplitude of the slug force for 90-
deg elbow is:

Slug Force = AV 2

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Typical forcing functions on 90-deg and 45-deg elbows are shown below

R
It takes the slug head seconds to exit the bend and to attain the maximum slug
V
force AV 2 , where R is the length of the bend. The peak slug force is sustained for
L R R
seconds. It then drops in seconds.
V V

At pipe reduction or at orifice locations the characteristics of the slug force history
can be different. In this case, the rise time can be assumed zero and the slug
impact duration is 2L/V.

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The slug load is ideally suited for time history analysis in AutoPIPE. You can model
the phase between successive impacts on different elbows. Only one TIH file and
one THL file need to be entered for each slug. The TIH file profile is shown above.
The THL file defines points of application of the TIH file and the direction of load
application. It also specifies the time the load will act at each point. A force will be
applied at each elbow Near and Far points as shown in the sketch.
The TIH file depends on slug length, but the THL does not. THL vary with slug
speed.
Most of the response to slug flow is primarily caused by low frequency modes that
have large modal displacements in the direction of slug loading.

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Sample Slug Problem
ASME B31.4
2
Pressure: 1.034 N/mm (150 psi)
Temperature: 93.3 deg.C (200 F)
Slug Length = 3.05 m (10 ft)
3
Fluid density = 800.92 kg/m
Fluid velocity = 15.24 m/sec (50 ft/sec)
2

(113.098 in2)
Fluid Force: AV 2 800.92*0.072966*15.242 = 13573 N (3051.33 lbs)

45-deg bends:

R
Tr=
V
L R
V

90-deg bends:

R
Tr=
V
L R
V

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45-deg slug definition

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90-deg slug definition

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