Examination of swirling flow using electrical resistance tomography

Ryan Stevenson, Susan T.L. Harrison, Nick Miles, Jan J. Cilliers

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Swirling flow within pipeline systems has significant industrial applications such as the suspension of particles at lower pumping power, improved particle mixing and the reduced erosion of pipeline bends due to slurries. However, the detection and analysis of swirling solids using technologies such as laser Doppler anemometry is expensive and of limited value in opaque fluids. In this paper, a novel and cheaper electrical resistance tomography (ERT) system is used to examine swirling flow of plastic beads and quartzite over four planes in a horizontal pipeline system. The resulting images are further rendered into three dimensions whereby the swirling bulk-solid motion is clearly evident. This new technology and the resultant 3D visualisations have potential to enable improved analysis of swirling flow as well as to identify areas of erosion in pipeline systems. Through this, greater understanding of multiphase systems should be attained, providing information to advance modelling of fluid behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • ERT
  • Pipeline
  • Slurry
  • Swirling flow
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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