Experimental investigation of bubbling in particle beds with high solid holdup

Songbai Cheng, Daisuke Hirahara, Youhei Tanaka, Yoji Gondai, Bin Zhang, Tatsuya Matsumoto, Koji Morita, Kenji Fukuda, Hidemasa Yamano, Tohru Suzuki, Yoshiharu Tobita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A series of experiments on bubbling behavior in particle beds was performed to clarify three-phase flow dynamics in debris beds formed after core-disruptive accident (CDA) in sodium-cooled fast breeder reactors (FBRs). Although in the past, several experiments have been performed in packed beds to investigate flow patterns, most of these were under comparatively higher gas flow rate, which may be not expected during an early sodium boiling period in debris beds. The current experiments were conducted under two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) conditions separately, in which water was used as liquid phase, and bubbles were generated by injecting nitrogen gas from the bottom of the viewing tank. Various particle-bed parameters were varied, including particle-bed height (from 30. mm to 200. mm), particle diameter (from 0.4. mm to 6. mm) and particle type (beads made of acrylic, glass, alumina and zirconia). Under these experimental conditions, three kinds of bubbling behavior were observed for the first time using digital image analysis methods that were further verified by quantitative detailed analysis of bubbling properties including surface bubbling frequency and surface bubble size under both 2D and 3D conditions. This investigation, which hopefully provides fundamental data for a better understanding and an improved estimation of CDAs in FBRs, is expected to benefit future analysis and verification of computer models developed in advanced fast reactor safety analysis codes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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