Flow visualization of R32 in parallel-port microchannel tube

Houpei Li, Pega Hrnjak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents visualization of two-phase flow of R32 in a parallel-flow microchannel tube with hydraulic diameter of 0.643 mm. Six visualization sections are installed in the facility, the same as in Li and Hrnjak (2017). Flow patterns are classified as: plug/slug, transitional, and annular flow. In plug/slug flow, a clear interface between liquid slug and vapor plug is observed. In transitional flow, the interface between slug and plug is broken and becomes a thick liquid ring and vapor bridge. In annular flow, only a liquid film is observed in the channel. The flow pattern map of R32 is reported. Mass flux changes from 50 to 300 kg-m−2s−1. The two-phase flow is generated by adding heat to subcooled refrigerant. The interface velocity and vapor plug length fraction (close to void fraction) are measured from high speed video. The velocity and vapor fraction agree to results based on a homogeneous assumption. When mass flux is 50 kg-m−2 s−1, the flow is always in plug/slug from vapor quality 0 to 1. Annular flow is observed at high quality when mass flux is higher than 100 kg-m−2 s−1. Transitional flow is observed when mass flux is higher than 150 kg-m−2 s−1, and it connects the plug/slug and annular flow patterns. Most flow pattern correlations fail to fit the measured flow pattern map. This is due to the difference in two-phase flow generation method and experimental conditions between this paper and the database used in correlations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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