Electrical Based Tomography Systems for Slurry Flow
Slurry transportation is required in a diverse range of sectors, from food to minerals processing; and oil sands processing to nuclear waste management. As a process it requires significant levels of energy and the abrasive nature of materials used can lead to ongoing issues of pipeline erosion.
ITS technology has been developed which provides information regarding the level of solids flowing through a pipe without the need of nuclear sources (usually gamma densitometers). This is done through the contrasting electrical conductivity between solids and the flowing liquid.
In addition, the real time concentration distribution allows process owners to “see” inside the pipe and determine flow conditions (moving stationary bed, turbulent flow etc). This information can be used to understand flow; providing an experimental basis for CFD and other models in complex flows – such as pipe bends – and help manage flows to reduce levels of abrasion on pipe walls. Sensors themselves can be made of hard wearing materials (such as Hastelloy).
ITS has also developed cross-correlation software, where two measurement planes are compared to provide the flow velocity profile at different sections of the pipe. This can be used to measure the flow of moving beds on different orientation of pipelines.
ITS sensors do not need regularisation of flow conditions and can be placed near bends, at pipeline changes and so on.