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A novel experimental apparatus for investigating bubbly flows in a slot geometry.

Capponi, Antonio and Crosby, Andrew C. and Lishman, Stephen and Llewellin, Edward W. (2020) 'A novel experimental apparatus for investigating bubbly flows in a slot geometry.', Review of scientific instruments., 91 (4). 045110.


Bubbly flows occur in a wide variety of industrial and environmental settings. While there is a broad literature that describes bubbly flow behavior in pipes and channels, flow in a high aspect ratio slot has received little attention. We describe the design and construction of a new experimental apparatus to investigate the processes associated with bubbly flows in a slot geometry. The apparatus is designed to perform scaled analog experiments to investigate the flow of bubbly magma through the sub-volcanic plumbing system, but it is sufficiently flexible to address many other flow scenarios. The main bubble column, which can be inclined up to 30° from the vertical, comprises a glass-walled slot 3 m wide and 2 m tall, with 3 cm gap width. A modular and flexible gas injection system allows the number, spacing, and diameter of the gas emission points to be varied, as well as gas injection flux, and a pumped recirculation system allows the concurrent liquid flow rate to be controlled and varied. A dedicated data acquisition system synchronizes high-speed videography with temperature and pressure data from different points in the apparatus. Preliminary data are presented to demonstrate the operation of the apparatus and to illustrate the types of fluid dynamic information that can be captured.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2020 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date accepted:24 March 2020
Date deposited:21 April 2020
Date of first online publication:14 April 2020
Date first made open access:21 April 2020

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