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Title: Optimization of the UVP+PD rheometric method for flow behavior monitoring of industrial fluid suspensions
Authors: Kotzé, Reinhardt 
Wiklund, Johan 
Haldenwang, Rainer 
Keywords: Ultrasonic Velocity Profiling (UVP);Industrial fluid suspensions;Pressure Drop (PD);Non-Newtonian fluids
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Applied Rheology
Abstract: Ultrasonic Velocity Profiling (UVP) is a powerful technique for velocity profile measurements in research and engineering applications as it is the only available method that is cost-effective, relatively easy to implement and applicable to opaque fluid suspensions, which are frequently found in industry. UVP can also be combined with Pressure Drop (PD) measurements in order to obtain rheological parameters of non-Newtonian fluids by fitting theoretical rheological models to a single velocity profile measurement. The flow properties of complex fluids are almost exclusively obtained today using commercially available instruments, such as conventional rotational rheometers or tube (capillary) viscometers. Since these methods are time-consuming and unsuitable for real-time process monitoring, the UVP+PD methodology becomes a very attractive alternative for in-line flow behavior monitoring as well as quality control in industrial applications. However, the accuracy of the UVP+PD methodology is highly dependent on the shape and magnitude of the measured velocity profiles and there are still a few problems remaining with current instrumentation and methods in order to achieve the robustness and accuracy required in industrial applications. The main objective of this research work was to optimize an UVP+PD system by implementing new transducer technology and signal processing techniques for more accurate velocity profile measurements as well as rheological characterization of complex fluids under industrial/realistic conditions. The new methodology was evaluated in two different pipe diameters (22.5 and 52.8 mm) and tested with three different non-Newtonian fluids in order to obtain a wide range of rheological parameters. Results were also compared to conventional rotational rheometry and tube viscometry. It was found that rheological parameters obtained from accurate velocity data across the pipe radius, especially close to pipe walls where the velocity gradient is high, showed better agreement to conventional rheometry than when compared to results obtained using profiles measured with conventional UVP instrumentation and commercial software (Met- Flow SA Version 3.0). The UVP+PD method is now more robust and accurate. The main challenge remaining is to successfully implement a complete non-invasive system in industrial processes that is able to achieve real-time and accurate complex flow monitoring of non-Newtonian fluid suspensions.
Appears in Collections:Eng - Journal articles (DHET subsidised)

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