For homogenous two-phase bubbly flows, the theoretical speed of sound is dramatically reduced at moderate void fractions to speeds much lower than the speed of sound for either single phase. This theoretical speed of sound would suggest a propensity for bubbly flows to reach choked conditions when traveling through a convergent nozzle. However, for a bubbly flow to be considered homogenous requires assumptions that may not be realized in practical applications. In this experimental study, a bubbly flow was sent through a convergent nozzle before entering a large chamber. By setting steady flow conditions upstream and then reducing the chamber pressure via a vacuum pump, the transient response in terms of gas and liquid flow rates and upstream channel pressure was determined. The bubble size was carefully varied from ∼0.3–1 mm while holding gas and liquid flow rates constant in order to study how bubble size affects the transient flow characteristics. High-speed imaging was used for measuring the bubbles. Experiments were also conducted at two gas-liquid mass flow ratios. Results are presented to demonstrate the impact of bubble size and gas-liquid ratio on the transient response of upstream gas and liquid flow rates, upstream pressure and exit Mach number to the lowering of pressure downstream of the convergent nozzle. Results are presented both for flows that remained in the bubbly regime and for flows that transitioned to an annular flow regime during a trial.

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