An Analytical-Numerical Model for Two-Phase Slug Flow through a Sudden Area Change in Microchannels


1 Building Technologies Research and Integration Center Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, TN, USA

2 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, P.O, Box 116300, USA


In this paper, two new analytical models have been developed to calculate two-phase slug flow pressure drop in microchannels through a sudden contraction. Even though many studies have been reported on two-phase flow in microchannels, considerable discrepancies still exist, mainly due to the difficulties in experimental setup and measurements. Numerical simulations were performed to support the new analytical models and to explore in more detail the physics of the flow in microchannels with a sudden contraction. Both analytical and numerical results were compared to the available experimental data and other empirical correlations. Results show that models, which were developed based on the slug and semi-slug assumptions, agree well with experiments in microchannels. Moreover, in contrast to the previous empirical correlations which were tuned for a specific geometry, the new analytical models are capable of taking geometrical parameters as well as flow conditions into account.