In order to assess the critical sand deposition condition, a unique 4-in ID test facility was designed and constructed, which enables the pipe to be inclined 1.5 deg upward. Experiments were conducted with air–water-glass beads at low sand concentrations (< 10,000 ppm), and the air and water flow rates were selected to ensure stratified flow regime along the pipe. At constant superficial liquid velocity, the gas velocity was reduced to find the critical sand deposition velocity. Six sand flow regimes are identified, namely, fully dispersed solid flow, dilute solids at the wall, concentrated solids at the wall, moving dunes, stationary dunes, and stationary bed. The experimental results reveal that sand flow regimes under air–water stratified flow are strong functions of phase velocities, particle size, and particle concentration. Also, the results show that air–water flow regime plays an important role in particle transport; slug flow has high capability to transport particles at the pipe bottom, while the stratified flow has high risk of sand deposition. As long as the sand dunes are observed at the pipe bottom, the critical sand deposition velocities slightly increase with concentrations, while for stationary bed, the critical velocity increases exponentially with concentration.

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