Experimental investigation of fine-grained settling slurry flow behaviour in inclined pipe sections

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For the safe and economical design and operation of freight pipelines it is necessary to know slurry flow behaviour in inclined pipe sections, which often form significant part of pipelines transporting solids. Fine-grained settling slurry was investigated on an experimental pipe loop of inner diameter D = 100 mm with the horizontal and inclined pipe sections for pipe slopes ranging from −45° to +45°. The slurry consisted of water and glass beads with a narrow particle size distribution and mean diameter d50 = 180 µm. The effect of pipe inclination, mean transport volumetric concentration, and slurry velocity on flow behaviour, pressure drops, deposition limit velocity, and concentration distribution was studied. The study revealed a stratified flow pattern of the studied slurry in inclined pipe sections. Frictional pressure drops in the ascending pipe were higher than that in the descending pipe, the difference decreased with increasing velocity and inclination. For inclination less than about 25° the effect of pipe inclinations on deposition limit velocity and local concentration distribution was not significant. For descending pipe section with inclinations over −25° no bed deposit was observed.

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