An experimental technique for the analysis of slug flows in pneumatic pipelines using pressure measurements

J. Li, S. Pandiella, C. Webb, Don McGlinchey, Andrew Cowell, J. Xiang, Liz Knight, John Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An experimental technique has been developed to measure the flow characteristics of slugs in dense phase pneumatic conveying using pressure measurements. This method is based on the unique characteristics of slug flows in pipes, i.e., an axial pressure fluctuation along the pipeline and a pressure difference in the radial direction at the back of a slug. Standard differential pressure transducers were used in this study and the influence of the finite response time of these transducers was considered. Experiments were conducted over a range of gas-solids flow conditions and experimental data were analyzed to describe the behavior of solids slugs through pipes. The calculated slug velocity and length using axial pressure measurements were confirmed by video recordings, and the synthesis between axial and radial pressure signals showed reasonable agreement in flow pattern analysis. This relatively simple measuring technique has been found effective in detecting solids slugs traveling through horizontal pipes and will distinguish various flow regimes. It provides a useful and easily applied tool for system optimizing and benchmarking in industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParticulate Science And Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007



  • pressure measurement
  • slug flow analysis
  • low-velocity pneumatic conveying

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