The effects of surface tension on flooding in counter-current two-phase flow in an inclined tube Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of surface tension on flooding phenomena in counter-current two-phase flow in an inclined tube. Previous studies by other researchers have shown that surface tension has a stabilizing effect on the falling liquid film under certain conditions and a destabilizing or unclear trend under other conditions. Experimental results are reported herein for air-water systems in which a surfactant has been added to vary the liquid surface tension without altering other liquid properties. The flooding section is a tube of 16 mm in inner diameter and 1.1 m length, inclined at 30-60° from horizontal. The flooding mechanisms were observed by using two high-speed video cameras and by measuring the time variation of liquid hold-up along the test tube. The results show that effects of surface tension are significant. The gas velocity needed to induce flooding is lower for a lower surface tension. There was no upward motion of the air-water interfacial waves upon flooding occurrence, even for lower a surface tension. Observations on the liquid film behavior after flooding occurred suggest that the entrainment of liquid droplets plays an important role in the upward transport of liquid. Finally, an empirical correlation for flooding velocities is proposed that includes functional dependencies on surface tension and tube inclination. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Deendarlianto, .., Ousaka, A., Indarto, .., Kariyasaki, A., Lucas, D., Vierow, K., Vallee, C., & Hogan, K.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • October 2010