Planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) was applied to horizontal air/water two-phase annular flow in order to clearly image the liquid film and interfacial wave behavior at the top, side and bottom of the tube. The visualization section was fabricated from FEP, which has nearly the same refractive index as water at room temperature. This index-matched test section was used to allow imaging of the water to within approximately 10 microns of the 15.1 mm I.D. tube wall. A small amount of dye was added to the water with a peak excitation wavelength near that of a pulsed Nd:YAG laser (532 nm). The laser system generated an approximately 5 ns pulsed light sheet at 30 Hz. Images of the liquid film were captured using a digital video camera with a macro lens for a resolution of about 8.2 microns/pixel. Cross-sectional data at 68 annular flow conditions were obtained. The observations of the liquid film between waves indicated that the film thickness was relatively insensitive to both gas and liquid flow in the annular regime, confirming film thickness measurements reported elsewhere. In addition, the structure of waves changes significantly from wavy-annular, where peaked or cresting waves dominate, to fully annular, where the waves are much more turbulent and unstructured. The wave height decreases with increased gas flow and is relatively insensitive to increased liquid flow in the annular regime. The entrainment of gas in the liquid by the waves is very apparent from these images. Although the precise entrainment mechanisms are not entirely clear, a viable folding action mechanism is proposed. The visualization results will be discussed in relation to both conceptual and computational annular flow modeling.

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