Author(s): Ling Zhou; Tianwen Pan; Huan Wang; Deyou Liu; Pei Wang
Keywords: Air–water interaction; transient flow; trapped air; water hammer; water pipelines
Abstract: Transient flow caused by air expulsion is investigated. Earlier experimental studies involved the horizontal or horizontal–vertical pipe cases, or the vertical pipe case with relatively less test range. This paper focuses on the vertical pipe case with much broader ranges of orifice size and air length to more completely characterize the transient response. Observations show air release undergoes two distinct stages: stage 1 with pressurization, expansion and release of air pocket; stage 2 with an impacting water hammer pressure when water reaches the pipe end. Two types of pressure oscillation patterns are found, depending on orifice size. When orifice sizes are small, air cushioning effect prevents high water hammer pressures from being generated. As orifice size increases, the water hammer pressure is dominant. As initial air length increases, the maximum pressure firstly increases and then decreases. An elastic-water model could well reproduce the measured air pressure oscillations and impact pressure.