Stability of Water Lubricated Flow of Yield Stress Fluid in Sloping Pipe
Université de Bretagne Occidentale,
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2 Université Paul Verlaine, ICPM, 1, Bld Dominique ARAGO. F-57078 METZ Cedex, France
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To facilitate the transport of viscous crudes in a pipe, an immiscible lubricating liquid, usually water, is added. In such configuration, the water migrates into the regions of high shear at the pipe wall where it lubricates the flow. The pumping pressures being balanced by wall shear stresses in the water, the flow therefore requires pressures comparable to pumping water alone, at the same total throughput . So significant savings in pumping power can be derived from this process provided that it is well monitored. Indeed, instabilities usually take place at the oil/water interface and they constitute an important source of energy dissipation. Precisely, a core annular flow is known to undergo a long-wave instability of capillary type, modified by shear occuring at low Reynolds. Above a given critical Reynolds number, the flow is unstable to shorter waves which leads to an emulsification system of water droplets in oil. In present work, an experimental study of the stability of sloping plane Poiseuille flow of well characterized viscoplastic mineral oils lubricated by water was performed. The investigation was carried out by means of image analysis based on spatiotemporal diagrams (STD). Notably indicated are the effects of bed slope, flow rates ratio and oil rheology on flow stability.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010