WIT Press

Experimental measurements and CFD results of liquid film thickness in vertical downward air–water annular flow


Free (open access)


Volume 10 (2022), Issue 2



Page Range

93 - 103

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Y. Rivera, J.L. Muñoz-Cobo, A. Escrivá, C. Berna & Y. Córdova


Annular gas–liquid flows have been extensively studied over the years. However, the nonlinear behavior of the interface is still currently the subject of study by multiple researchers worldwide. The appearance of a liquid layer on the wall and its turbulent behavior support the heat exchange of multiple systems in the industrial field. Research in this area allows the optimization of these installations as well as the analysis of possible safety problems if the liquid film disappears. This study first shows some of the most important findings obtained in the GEPELON experimental facility (GEneración de PElícula ONdulatoria or Wavy Film Generator). The facility was built in order to analyze the behavior of the liquid film in annular downward air–water flow. The experimental range of the inlet conditions is 800–8000 for the ReL and 0–110,000 for the Reg. Measurements for the mean film thickness show a fairly good agreement with the empirical correlations and the measurements of other authors. One of the most demanded applications of this type of measurements is the validation of computational dynamics or CFD codes. Therefore, the experiment has been modeled using Ansys CFX software, and the simulation results have been compared with the experimental ones. This article outlines some of the reasons why two-phase flow simulations are currently challenging and how the codes are able to overcome them. Simulation predictions are fairly close to the experimental measurements, and the mean film thickness evolution when changing the boundary conditions also shows a good agreement.


CFD simulation, conductance probe, experimental measurements, film thickness, vertical downward annular flow.