Numerical simulation of shear thinning slug flows: the effect of viscosity variation on the shape of Taylor bubbles and wall shear stress

  • A. AhmadpourEmail author
  • E. Amani
  • M. Esmaili
Technical Paper


In the present work, the rise of a single Taylor bubble through stagnant shear thinning liquids is numerically investigated. The non-Newtonian liquid rheology is modeled using the well-known Carreau–Yasuda viscosity function and the gas/liquid interface is captured by the volume of fluid method. 2D axisymmetric and 3D numerical results obtained by the finite volume method are strongly validated against available experimental measurements for Newtonian and shear thinning cases. A detailed parametric study is also undertaken in order to delineate and quantify the effect of viscosity variation of the liquid phase on the Taylor bubble rising in vertical tubes. It was shown that the rate of viscosity decline and the overall extent of viscosity variation significantly alter the main features of a slug flow including bubble rise velocity, liquid velocity field, bubble shape, wall shear stress, and the absence/presence of a liquid recirculation zone behind the gas bubble. A detailed account of these effects is provided in the present study.


Slug flow Shear thinning behavior Taylor bubble Volume of fluid (VOF) Vertical tube 


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringAmirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)TehranIran

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