In a nuclear power plant, one of the important issues is evaluation of the safety of reactor core and its pipes when an earthquake occurs. Many researchers have conducted studies on constructions of plants. Consequently, there is some knowledge about earthquake-resisting designs. However the influence of an earthquake vibration on thermal fluid inside a nuclear reactor plant is not fully understood. Especially, there are little knowledge how coolant in a core response when large earthquake acceleration is added.

Some studies about the response of fluid to the vibration were carried out. And it is supposed that the void fraction or the power of core is fluctuated with the oscillation by the experiments and numerical analysis. However detailed mechanism about a kinetic response of gas and liquid phases is not enough investigated, therefore the aim of this study is to clarify the influence of vibration of construction on bubbly flow structure. In order to investigate it, we visualize changing of bubbly flow structure in pipeline on which sine wave is applied.

Bubbly flow is produced with injecting gas into liquid flow through a horizontally circular pipe. In order to vibrate the test section, the oscillating table is used. The frequency of vibration added from the table is from 1.0 Hz to 10 Hz and acceleration is from 0.4 G to 1 G (1 G = 9.8 m/s2). The test section and a high speed video camera are fixed on the table. Thus the relative velocity between the camera and the test section is ignored. In the visualization experiment, the PIV measurement is conducted. Then the motion of bubbles, for example the shape, the positions and the velocity are measured with observation.

In addition, by varying added oscillation amplitude, frequency and flow rate of the fluids, the correlation between these parameters and bubble motion was evaluated.

It was clarified that the characteristic bubble deformation and velocity profile around bubble is caused by oscillation in each oscillation phase time. When structure vibration affects the flow, two main mechanisms are supposed. One is the addition of body force of the oscillation acceleration to liquid phase and bubble, and the other is the velocity oscillation of the test section and the effect of the boundary layer of the pipe wall. It was also found that the bubble deformation is correlated with the fluctuation of relative liquid velocity field to bubble and pressure gradient in the flow area.

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