Simulation of vertical core-annular flow with a turbulent annulus

Haoyu Li*, M. J.B.M. Pourquié, G. Ooms, R. A.W.M. Henkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) with the Launder & Sharma low-Reynolds number k−ε model was used to simulate core-annular flow in the same configuration with vertical upflow as considered by Kim & Choi (2018), who carried out Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS), and by Vanegas Prada (1999), who performed experiments. The DNS are numerically very accurate and can thus be used for benchmarking of the RANS turbulence model. There is a large ratio between the oil and water viscosities, and the density difference between the water and oil is only small. The frictional pressure drop was fixed and the water holdup fraction was varied. Differences between the RANS and DNS predictions, e.g. in the wave structure and in the Reynolds stresses, are discussed. Despite the shortcomings of the considered Launder & Sharma low-Reynolds number k−ε model in RANS, in comparison to DNS, the RANS approach properly describes the main flow structures for upward moving core-annular flow in a vertical pipe, like the travelling interfacial waves in combination with a turbulent water annulus. The Fanning friction factor with RANS is 18% lower than with DNS, and the holdup ratio with RANS is only slightly higher than with DNS (i.e. it has a slightly larger tendency to accumulate water in RANS than in DNS).

Original languageEnglish
Article number104551
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Core-annular flow
  • Fanning friction factor
  • Hold-up ratio
  • interfacial waves
  • RANS versus DNS

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