Inclined slurry flows occur often in industrial applications such as mining and dredging. Pipelines transporting slurries contain inclined sections of various lengths and slopes. If the transported slurry is settling slurry then pipe inclination considerably affects flow structure and behavior.

We discuss settling slurry flow near and at the deposition limit at which stationary deposit starts to be formed at the bottom of the pipe. In particular, we focus on the effect of the pipe slope on the deposition velocity, and on the solids distribution and manometric hydraulic gradient in flow round the deposition limit. We introduce our new layered model for inclined settling slurry flows and demonstrate its predictive capabilities. Model predictions are verified by our experiment in a laboratory loop. We also introduce our new experimental approach to a detection of the deposition velocity based on radiometric sensing of the change of local concentration of solids at the bottom of a pipe.

Our experiments cover a broad range of flow slopes and contain measurements of solids distribution in a pipe cross section. Experimental results show that the degree of flow stratification and frictional pressure drop decrease with the increasing angle of inclination in the ascending pipe while the opposite applies in the descending pipe, which affects the deposition velocity and other related flow parameters.

A comparison with model predictions demonstrates that experimentally observed effects of pipe inclination are reproduced well by the layered model. Predicted deposition velocities, pressure drops and solids distributions are in a good agreement with the experimental results and indicate suitability of the model for engineering practice.

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