Experimental investigation of drag reduction effects of polymer additives on turbulent pipe flow using ultrasound Doppler velocimetry


Abstract: Drag reduction in fully developed turbulent pipe flow with 4 concentrations (200 to 500 wppm or mg/kg) of low molecular weight sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) in aqueous solutions was investigated experimentally. Drag reduction was determined by pressure drop measurements. Maximum drag reduction achieved was 22% using 500 wppm CMC solution. To observe the impact of the presence of CMC on the flow, ultrasound Doppler velocimetry (UDV) was employed to monitor the instantaneous velocity distributions. Experimental measurements were used to calculate Fanning friction factor and radial distributions of the axial time-averaged velocity, velocity fluctuation (turbulent intensity), and eddy viscosity. Two impacts of increasing CMC concentration on the flow field were observed. The first effect was the decrease in the mean velocity gradient, especially near the wall, with increasing polymer amount, which in turn gave rise to a lower friction factor or pressure drop. Furthermore, smaller eddy viscosities were obtained in the flow. The second impact of polymer addition was on the velocity fluctuation or turbulent intensity variation along the radial distribution. Presence of the polymer suppressed the velocity fluctuations near the wall while the intensity in the turbulent core region became stronger than in the case of lower or no polymer addition.

Keywords: Ultrasound Doppler velocimetry, turbulent pipe flow, water soluble polymers, drag reduction

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