Pressure drop of slush nitrogen flow in converging-diverging pipes and corrugated pipes

Katsuhide Ohira, Jun Okuyama, Kei Nakagomi, Koichi Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Cryogenic slush fluids such as slush hydrogen and slush nitrogen are solid-liquid, two-phase fluids. As a functional thermal fluid, there are high expectations for use of slush fluids in various applications such as fuels for spacecraft engines, clean-energy fuels to improve the efficiency of transportation and storage, and as refrigerants for high-temperature superconducting equipment. Experimental flow tests were performed using slush nitrogen to elucidate pressure-drop characteristics of converging-diverging (C-D) pipes and corrugated pipes. In experimental results regarding pressure drop in two different types of C-D Pipes, i.e., a long-throated pipe and a short-throated pipe, each having an inner diameter of 15 mm, pressure drop for slush nitrogen in the long-throated pipe at a flow velocity of over 1.3 m/s increased by a maximum of 50-60% as compared to that for liquid nitrogen, while the increase was about 4 times as compared to slush nitrogen in the short-throated pipe. At a flow velocity of over 1.5 m/s in the short-throated pipe, pressure drop reduction became apparent, and it was confirmed that the decrease in pressure drop compared to liquid nitrogen was a maximum of 40-50%. In the case of two different types of corrugated pipes with an inner diameter of either 12 mm or 15 mm, a pressure-drop reduction was confirmed at a flow velocity of over 2 m/s, and reached a maximum value of 37% at 30 wt.% compared to liquid nitrogen. The greater the solid fractions, the smaller the pipe friction factor became, and the pipe friction factor at the same solid fraction showed a constant value regardless of the Reynolds number. From the observation of the solid particles' behavior using a high-speed video camera and the PIV method, the pressure-drop reduction mechanisms for both C-D and corrugated pipes were demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-783
Number of pages13
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • Converging-diverging pipe
  • Corrugated pipe
  • Hydrogen energy
  • Pressure-drop reduction
  • Slush nitrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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