• Research Activities

    Industrial Flows
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Liquid Metal and Industrial Flows

Industrial Flows

- Nuclear Reactor Safety
- Process Optimization
- Multi-Phase Flows
- Nanotechnology

The SESAME EU (thermal-hydraulics Simulations and Experiments for the Safety Assessment of MEtal cooled reactors) project deals with thermal-hydraulics of new European nuclear reactors. VKI as the leadership of the work package dealing with Guidelines, Education and Dissemination.  25 partners are involved in SESAME. 

The MYRTE EU (MYrrha Research and Transmutation Endeavour) project deals with specific studies for the improvement of the numerical simulations of the flow and temperature field of the MYRRHA reactor.   A new wind tunnel has been constructed and commissioned for the measurements of heat transfer with different gases at low Prandtl number. VKI is also work package leader of the activities dealing with Dissemination and Communication.  The project has 27 partners.

Spray Cooling: After the key study on regenerative roll quench, the close collaboration with DREVER Int. SA is maintained in the frame of a research programme on strip cooling by water sprays under the support of the Walloon Region. The new Spray Cooling facility is continually used at the VKI to conduct in real industrial conditions an experimental investigation of the boiling heat transfer produced water spray impacting hot moving strip.

Liquid Film Coating: Modelling of jet wiping process for galvanized substrate continues within a very close collaboration with ArcelorMittal and Bekaert companies involving PhD thesis and research contracts.  For this last research contract, a new test bench has been designed and constructed at VKI.

Solid-liquid mixing: A collaboration with CETIM in the frame of the LEDITH common laboratory continued this year with the objective of performing multi-phase stereo-PIV measurements in a stirring tank. A new facility was designed, consisting on a 638mm cylinder with three baffles, and two types of impellers: pitched blade or paddle that can rotate up to 600 rpm and with adjustable position inside the stirring tank. Stereo-PIV measurements of the solid liquid mixing were performed on a vertical plane and a horizontal plane for different velocities, different solid concentrations, and with the two type of blades. Refractive index matching was used to guarantee measurements with a solid concentration up to 10% in volume fraction. An in-house Particle Tracking Velocimetry algorithms was implemented to be able to measure the solid particle velocity. These measurements are unique by the scale of the facility, the relatively high loading, and the processing of the solid phase velocity.

Aerothermal measurements of compact heat exchanger by additive manufacturing: This work is part of the NATHENA project funded by the European commission through the Cleansky 2 programme. The objective of the project is to improve the heat transfer performances of air-air heat exchangers through more sophisticated fin designs, possible through the use of additive manufacturing techniques. The VKI is responsible for all the experimental validations. The first phase of the research project was performed together with one RM during the academic year 2018-2019. The work consisted in measuring different fin designs in an elementary channel heated from the top using an electrical resistance, and varying the applied flow rate. The inlet and outlet velocity profiles, as well as the inlet and outlet temperatures, but also the temperatures inside the channel and under the resistance were monitored. In addition, the spatial evolution of the pressure drop inside the channel was also monitored. This work resulted in a conference paper accepted at the Aerospace Europe Conference next February 2020. The future work will consist in measuring elementary channels in a cross-flow arrangement (hot flow at 300°C and cold flow at -25°C).

 

Philippe Planquart

Research Manager

Jeroen van Beeck

Dean, Head of Department, Professor in the Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics Department