Particle image velocimetry measurements of the mean flow characteristics in a bubble plume
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A direct measurement method for the velocity field in multiphase flows using the particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) methods is developed to study the flow characteristics of an unbounded bubble plume in quiescent, unstratified ambient conditions. A single camera is used to obtain images containing both bubbles and fluid tracer particles. Using gray-scale thresholding, phase-separated images of the bubbles are produced, and bubble velocities are obtained from these images using the standard PTV method. Regular PIV is applied to the mixed fluid images, and bubble vectors are removed using a velocity threshold and vector median filter that is calibrated to the PTV result. From the separate velocity fields, the time-averaged flow characteristics of a bubble plume are studied. Gaussian velocity profiles match the entrained fluid velocity, and top-hat velocity profiles match the bubble velocity. Time-averaged values are also presented of velocity, plume width, entrained fluid volume flux, and void fraction as a function of height. From these data, the entrainment coefficient for the entrained ambient fluid is calculated and lies between 0.08 near the plume source and 0.05 in the upper reaches. The results for the entrainment coefficient, together with those from the literature, are correlated to a nondimensional velocity, given by the ratio of the bubble slip velocity us to a characteristic velocity in the plume (B/z)1/3, where B=kinematic buoyancy flux and z is the height above the source. 2007 ASCE.