Isolated slug traveling in a voided line and impacting at an end orifice

Junling He, Qingzhi Hou, Xuliang Yang, Huanfeng Duan, Lei Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Driven by upstream high-pressure steam, liquid slugs in nuclear power plant pipelines impact the end orifice at high speed, leading to bursting pipelines and threatening the plant's safety. This research aimed to accurately and efficiently assess the dynamic behavior of an isolated slug driven by pressurized air in a voided line with an end orifice. An improved one-dimensional (1D) model for the slug motion and impact was established. The dynamic variation of the pressure at both the slug's tail and front, the variation of the slug length, and the frictional resistance coefficient in the model was obtained by three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Based on 27 cases with different pipeline diameters and tank pressures, it was observed that the driving air pressure had a quadratic relationship and that the slug length had a constant rate of decrease vs the slug tail displacement. Finally, the decrease in the driving air pressure behind the slug, the increase in the air pressure ahead of the slug, the holdup coefficient, and the friction factor obtained from the 3D CFD results were interpreted in the 1D model, and the velocity histories of the liquid slug were found to be in excellent agreement with the 3D CFD solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number027105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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