Experimental analysis on the behavior of water drops dispersed in oil within a centrifugal pump impeller

by Rodolfo Marcilli Perissinotto, William Monte Verde, Carlos Eduardo Perles, Jorge Luiz Biazussi, Marcelo Souza de Castro, Antonio Carlos Bannwart, published at Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, Volume 112, 1 April 2020, 109969.


This paper aims to investigate the behavior of water drops in an oil continuous medium inside a centrifugal pump impeller working at eight operational conditions (up to 1200 rpm and 2.8 m³/h) with two-phase liquid-liquid flows. Water-in-oil dispersions were produced with low water fractions around 1% in volume, thus the dispersed phase became arranged as water drops. Experiments for pump performance and flow visualization were conducted using a high-speed camera and a pump prototype with a transparent shell. Flow images revealed that the large water drops usually deform, elongate, and break up into smaller ones, especially at high pump rotations and oil flow rates, while small water drops tend to keep their spherical geometry without deformations and fragmentations. A sample of drops were tracked and their equivalent diameters, residence times, and velocities were calculated. The tracking indicated that the water drops travel random trajectories in the channels, generally undergoing a deceleration along their pathway. Furthermore, the residence times and the average velocities of water drops strongly depend on the flow conditions. For the conditions tested, the water drops presented equivalent diameters between 0.1 and 6.0 mm, average velocities from 0.4 to 1.7 m/s, and residence times between 30 and 152 ms. For a more complete analysis, the results achieved in this study are constantly compared with results available in literature regarding oil drops in oil-in-water dispersions.

DOI: 10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2019.109969

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