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Non-intrusive characterization of sand particles dispersed in gas–water bubbly flow using straight and bent pipes with vibration sensing

Wang, Kai, Liu, Gang, Li, Yichen, Wang, Jinbang, Wang, Gang
Powder technology 2019 v.344 pp. 598-610
acoustics, energy, petroleum, pipes, powders, sand, statistical analysis, vibration, water flow
The transport of a solid dispersed in a gas-water bubbly pipe flow is widely encountered in petroleum engineering. In this paper, the characterization of solid particles dispersed in a water-gas bubbly flow was developed based on vibration sensing from straight and bent pipes. Typical frequency-domain analysis, time-domain statistical analysis, and time-domain joint analysis were applied for sand-vibration signal identification and characterization. Verification experiments were performed, and good agreements were found between the sand concentration (0–0.24 wt%) with uniformly mixed sand size (300–600 μm) and sand-vibration energy in water flow and water-gas bubbly flow. Characteristic frequency bands of 4–5 kHz (horizontal straight pipe), 3.9–5 kHz (bent pipe), and 4.7–5 kHz (vertical straight pipe) were found. The sensor installed on a bent pipe obtained the highest vibration energy of water/water-gas bubbly flow among tested pipes; with the increase of sand injected, a sensor installed on the outer wall at 45° on the elbow obtained the most obvious vibration energy caused by sand–wall interaction. The validity of the detected sand signals was verified using an acoustic sensor. In summary, the vibration-sensing method is applicable to characterize solid particles in water-gas bubbly pipe flow.