Abstract

The presence of sand particles within production fluids can lead to serious erosion and erosion-corrosion damage to production facilities. Sand particle behavior in multiphase flow is complicated and as a result, the erosion mechanism in such a flow is complex. Several erosion experiments were carried out to study the effects of sand particle size and superficial gas velocity on erosion rate in a standard 76.2 mm I.D. elbow. All experiments were performed in vertical upward slug/churn flow. An ultrasonic device was used to measure the thickness loss at different locations of the outer elbow wall. Erosion pattern and maximum erosion rate were obtained at different operating conditions. The erosion measurements were compared with experimental data previously obtained in horizontal slug/pseudo slug flow. For nearly the same flow condition, comparisons revealed that erosion damage in vertical slug/churn flow is considerably higher than that in horizontal slug/pseudo slug flow.

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