Vertical upward two-phase flows in annulus are of great importance in many industrial fields due to the closely relationship between the flow patterns and the heat transfer characteristics. Common flow patterns in annulus are bubbly (B), slug (S), churn (C) and annular (A) flow, most of which are quite similar to those in tubes. However, due to the elliptic nose and asymmetric shape of the Taylor bubble in annulus, the slug to churn flow transition could be influenced by the channel geometry which was usually ignored in most of the previous researches. The flow pattern transition criteria for tubes are thus not applicable for annulus, especially for slug to churn flow transition, which should be separately studied. Therefore, in this paper, the basic characteristics of the flow pattern in annulus and their transition mechanism are analyzed. In addition, a set of semi-empirical transition criteria with higher accuracy are assessed and selected for annulus based on theoretical analysis and comparisons with experimental data.

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