Water Lubricated Pipelining
in Vertical Pipes

Principal Investigators
Daniel D. Joseph
Runyuan Bai


The experiment consisted of water lubricated pipelining of a 6.01 poise oil in a 3/8 inch vertical return flow pipe. Measured values of the flow rates, holdup ratios, and pressure gradients, as well as the observed flow types were compared with the coresponding theoretcal predictions based on ideal laminar flow and the linear theory of stability.

Through the different conditions performed in the experiment, many different flow regimes can be distinguished. In up flow, buoyancy lifts the oil in the water, drawing out the oil core in the direction of the pressure gradient. The stabilization of capillary instabilities then leads to wavy flow in trains of sharp crests connected by long filaments which we call bamboo waves. In down flow the lifting action of buoyancy opposes the pressure gradient, compressing the oil into buckled structures which we call corkscrew waves. The differences between up and down flows decrease as the pressure gradient increases, and disturbed bamboo waves emerge as the stable structure.

The Project

 "Bamboo" Waves
 "Corkscrew" Waves

Return to Lubricated Pipelining Home

| AEM Home | Institute of Technology |

| Academics | Research | People | Information | Contact AEM |
| Major Projects | by Specialty | Other Programs |