Measurement in opaque flows: a review of measurement techniques for dispersed multiphase flows

Christian Poelma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


A review is presented of measurement techniques to characterise dispersed multiphase flows, which are not accessible by means of conventional optical techniques. The main issues that limit the accuracy and effectiveness of optical techniques are briefly discussed: cross-talk, a reduced signal-to-noise ratio, and (biased) data drop-out. Extensions to the standard optical techniques include the use of fluorescent tracers, refractive index matching, ballistic imaging, structured illumination, and optical coherence tomography. As the first non-optical technique, a brief discussion of electrical capacitance tomography is given. While truly non-invasive, it suffers from a low resolving power. Ultrasound-based techniques have rapidly evolved from Doppler-based profiling to recent 2D approaches using feature tracking. The latter is also suitable for time-resolved flow studies. Magnetic resonance velocimetry can provide time-averaged velocity fields in 3D for the continuous phase. Finally, X-ray imaging is demonstrated to be an important tool to quantify local gas fractions. While potentially very powerful, the impact of the techniques will depend on the development of acquisition and measurement protocols for fluid mechanics, rather than for clinical imaging. This requires systematic development, aided by careful validation experiments. As theoretical predictions for multiphase flows are sparse, it is important to formulate standardised ‘benchmark’ flows to enable this validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2089-2111
JournalActa Mechanica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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