A novel model is used to predict the inception moment and location of a phenomenon known as the column separation or slack line. The existing models for prediction of the cavitation phenomenon in internal flow systems in general are primarily formulated for the capture of the inception moment and initial location of the event only. Hence questions such as where the incepted cavities and bubbles tend to go, or the detailed state of a slack line in time should be addressed using a different approach.
The model presented in this paper is validated and verified against experimental data available in the literature before being applied to a 53 Km (33 miles) industrial pipeline. Imposing conditions at the injection and delivery ends of the line tests various scenarios causing column separation. Hydraulic parameters such as pressure head and flowrate as well as interfacial mass transfer rate of the incepting and collapsing bubbles and cavity zones are predicted in real time over the entire domain of space and time.
The results predicted the fate of the separated column of the fluid, whether they rejoin or continue to change the size with different rates or even if they become stabilized stationary cavity pockets after passage of minutes or hours. Results are also compared based on the initial cause of the column separation such as huge transients. Also, accurate prediction of the whole column separation event, distinguishes it from other events, which would commonly mimic or mask the column separation by exhibiting identical hydraulic footprints.