Velocity Measurement of Air-Water Mixtures

Lorenz G. Straub, John M. Killen, Owen P. Lamb

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


A troublesome aspect of experimental studies of flow phenomena in air-water mixtures has long been that of making accurate velocity measurements. In the pas, bulk-flow measurements have been made variously with surface floats, injected dyes or salt clouds, and relationships between the discharge and depth of flow. Point measurements of velocity have been attempted by measuring stagnation pressures in the air-water mixture. These methods have not been of sufficient accuracy for many purposes. An instrument for making accurate point velocity measurements throughout a section of an aerated flow stream has been invented and developed at the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory. The transit time, between two fixed electrodes, of minute cloudlets of salt solution injected repetitively into the flowing air-water mixture is measured electronically. A rate of 15 injections per sec permits a direct measure of the mean flow velocity over a short stream filament. In the present form of the instrument, this mean velocity is indicated directly on a meter calibrated in feet per second. Measurements can be made in aerated flows with air concentrations exceeding 70 or 80 per cent and at very high velocities. Velocity measurements with the new velocity meter in nonaerated flows check within 1 or 2 per cent of those made with a Pitot tube. The integrated water discharge inan aerated flow stream, taking into account both the measured air distribution and the velocity distribution and making reasonable estimates of the water discharge through the boundary areas have also checked the water discharge through the boundary areas have also checked the water discharge measured directly with an accuracy of 1.5 per cent.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Mar 1952


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