Journal article

Development of a drift-flux model for heavy liquid metal/gas flow

The gas lift pump concept based on the bubbling of an inert gas into the primary reactor coolant to enhance natural circulation is currently considered in a number of PbBi-cooled reactor concepts. Thus, the analysis of available void fraction data and the development of two-phase heavy liquid metal/gas flow calculational models have become an important issue in the study of advanced nuclear reactor systems. In the absence of the detailed two-phase flow information needed to develop a flow regime map and the associated interfacial relations, drift-flux models have often been used in the thermal-hydraulic analysis of nuclear and other systems. Accordingly, we consider, in the current paper, the analysis of five sets of experimental data with different geometries, working fluids, flow rates and void fraction ranges, with a view to obtaining a best fit to the data in the form of a drift-flux model. The results of the analysis show that, for systems with flowing fluid, it is possible to represent the heavy liquid metal void fraction data in the form of a drift-flux correlation with a residual error of as low as 0.016, thus offering an improvement over existing void correlations.


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