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Title: Gas Bubble Formation in Stagnant and Flowing Mercury

Abstract

Investigations in the area of two-phase flow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) facility are progressing. It is expected that the target vessel lifetime could be extended by introducing gas into the liquid mercury target. As part of an effort to validate the two-phase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, simulations and experiments of gas injection in stagnant and flowing mercury have been completed. The volume of fluid (VOF) method as implemented in ANSYS-CFX, was used to simulate the unsteady two-phase flow of gas injection into stagnant mercury. Bubbles produced at the upwards-oriented vertical gas injector were measured with proton radiography at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. The comparison of the CFD results to the radiographic images shows good agreement for bubble sizes and shapes at various stages of the bubble growth, detachment, and gravitational rise. Although several gas flows were measured, this paper focuses on the case with a gas flow rate of 8 cc/min through the 100-micron-diameter injector needle. The acoustic waves emitted due to the detachment of the bubble and during subsequent bubble oscillations were recorded with a microphone, providing a precise measurement of the bubble sizes. As the mercury flow ratemore » increases, the drag force causes earlier bubble detachment and therefore smaller bubbles.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1042714
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 5th Joint ASME/JSME Fluids Engineering Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 20070730, 20070802
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ACOUSTICS; BUBBLE GROWTH; BUBBLES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; FLOW RATE; FLUID MECHANICS; GAS FLOW; GAS INJECTION; SERVICE LIFE; LIQUID METALS; MERCURY; OSCILLATIONS; PROTON RADIOGRAPHY; SHAPE; SIMULATION; SIZE; TARGETS; TWO-PHASE FLOW

Citation Formats

Wendel, Mark W, Abdou, Ashraf A, Riemer, Bernie, and Felde, David K. Gas Bubble Formation in Stagnant and Flowing Mercury. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Wendel, Mark W, Abdou, Ashraf A, Riemer, Bernie, & Felde, David K. Gas Bubble Formation in Stagnant and Flowing Mercury. United States.
Wendel, Mark W, Abdou, Ashraf A, Riemer, Bernie, and Felde, David K. Mon . "Gas Bubble Formation in Stagnant and Flowing Mercury". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1042714,
title = {Gas Bubble Formation in Stagnant and Flowing Mercury},
author = {Wendel, Mark W and Abdou, Ashraf A and Riemer, Bernie and Felde, David K},
abstractNote = {Investigations in the area of two-phase flow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) facility are progressing. It is expected that the target vessel lifetime could be extended by introducing gas into the liquid mercury target. As part of an effort to validate the two-phase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, simulations and experiments of gas injection in stagnant and flowing mercury have been completed. The volume of fluid (VOF) method as implemented in ANSYS-CFX, was used to simulate the unsteady two-phase flow of gas injection into stagnant mercury. Bubbles produced at the upwards-oriented vertical gas injector were measured with proton radiography at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. The comparison of the CFD results to the radiographic images shows good agreement for bubble sizes and shapes at various stages of the bubble growth, detachment, and gravitational rise. Although several gas flows were measured, this paper focuses on the case with a gas flow rate of 8 cc/min through the 100-micron-diameter injector needle. The acoustic waves emitted due to the detachment of the bubble and during subsequent bubble oscillations were recorded with a microphone, providing a precise measurement of the bubble sizes. As the mercury flow rate increases, the drag force causes earlier bubble detachment and therefore smaller bubbles.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • In this work, we present computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of helium bubble formation and detachment at a submerged needle in stagnant and co-flowing mercury. Since mercury is opaque, visualization of internal gas bubbles was done with proton radiography (pRad) at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE2). The acoustic waves emitted at the time of detachment and during subsequent oscillations of the bubble were recorded with a microphone. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model was used to simulate the unsteady two-phase flow of gas injection in mercury. The VOF model is validated by comparing detailed bubble sizes and shapesmore » at various stages of the bubble growth and detachment, with the experimental measurements at different gas flow rates and mercury velocities. The experimental and computational results show a two-stage bubble formation. The first stage involves growing bubble around the needle, and the second follows as the buoyancy overcomes wall adhesion. The comparison of predicted and measured bubble sizes and shapes at various stages of the bubble growth and detachment is in good agreement.« less
  • ABSTRACT Pressure waves created in liquid mercury pulsed spallation targets have been shown to induce cavitation damage on the target container. One way to mitigate such damage would be to absorb the pressure pulse energy into a dispersed population of small bubbles, however, measuring such a population in mercury is difficult since it is opaque and the mercury is involved in a turbulent flow. Ultrasonic measurements have been attempted on these types of flows, but the flow noise can interfere with the measurement, and the results are unverifiable and often unrealistic. Recently, a flow loop was built and operated atmore » Oak Ridge National Labarotory to assess the capability of various bubbler designs to deliver an adequate population of bubbles to mitigate cavitation damage. The invented diagnostic technique involves flowing the mercury with entrained gas bubbles in a steady state through a horizontal piping section with a glass-window observation port located on the top. The mercury flow is then suddenly stopped and the bubbles are allowed to settle on the glass due to buoyancy. Using a bright-field illumination and a high-speed camera, the arriving bubbles are detected and counted, and then the images can be processed to determine the bubble populations. After using this technique to collect data on each bubbler, bubble size distributions were built for the purpose of quantifying bubbler performance, allowing the selection of the best bubbler options. This paper presents the novel procedure, photographic technique, sample visual results and some example bubble size distributions. The best bubbler options were subsequently used in proton beam irradiation tests performed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The cavitation damage results from the irradiated test plates in contact with the mercury are available for correlation with the bubble populations. The most effective mitigating population can now be designed into prototypical geometries for implementation into an actual SNS target.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Pressure waves created in liquid mercury pulsed spallation targets have been shown to create cavitation damage to the target container. One way to mitigate such damage would be to absorb the pressure pulse energy into a dispersed population of small bubbles, however, creating such a population in mercury is difficult due to the high surface tension and particularly the non-wetting behavior of mercury on gas-injection hardware. If the larger injected gas bubbles can be broken down into small bubbles after they are introduced to the flow, then the material interface problem is avoided. Research at the Oak Ridge National Labarotorymore » is underway to develop a technique that has shown potential to provide an adequate population of small-enough bubbles to a flowing spallation target. This technique involves gas injection at an orifice of a geometry that is optimized to the turbulence intensity and pressure distribution of the flow, while avoiding coalescence of gas at injection sites. The most successful geometry thus far can be described as a square-toothed orifice having a 2.5 bar pressure drop in the nominal flow of 12 L/s for one of the target inlet legs. High-speed video and high-resolution photography have been used to quantify the bubble population on the surface of the mercury downstream of the gas injection sight. Also, computational fluid dynamics has been used to optimize the dimensions of the toothed orifice based on a RANS computed mean flow including turbulent energies such that the turbulent dissipation and pressure field are best suited for turbulent break-up of the gas bubbles.« less
  • The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is an accelerator-based neutron source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).The nuclear spallation reaction occurs when a proton beam hits liquid mercury. This interaction causes thermal expansion of the liquid mercury which produces high pressure waves. When these pressure waves hit the target vessel wall, cavitation can occur and erode the wall. Research and development efforts at SNS include creation of a vertical protective gas layer between the flowing liquid mercury and target vessel wall to mitigate the cavitation damage erosion and extend the life time of the target. Since mercury is opaque, computational fluidmore » dynamics (CFD) can be used as a diagnostic tool to see inside the liquid mercury and guide the experimental efforts. In this study, CFD simulations of three dimensional, unsteady, turbulent, two-phase flow of helium gas injection in flowing liquid mercury over smooth, vertically grooved and horizontally grooved walls are carried out with the commercially available CFD code Fluent-12 from ANSYS. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model is used to track the helium-mercury interface. V-shaped vertical and horizontal grooves with 0.5 mm pitch and about 0.7 mm depth were machined in the transparent wall of acrylic test sections. Flow visualization data of helium gas coverage through transparent test sections is obtained with a high-speed camera at the ORNL target test facility (TTF). The helium gas mass flow rate is 8 mg/min and introduced through a 0.5 mm diameter port. The local mercury velocity is 0.9 m/s. In this paper, the helium gas flow rate and the local mercury velocity are kept constant for the three cases. Time integration of predicted helium gas volume fraction over time is done to evaluate the gas coverage and calculate the average thickness of the helium gas layer. The predicted time-integrated gas coverage over vertically grooved and horizontally grooved test sections is better than over a smooth wall. The simulations show that the helium gas is trapped inside the grooves. The predicted time-averaged gas coverage is in good qualitative agreement with the measured gas coverage.« less