Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

New possibilities for velocity measurements in metallic melts

Eckert, S.; Gerbeth, G.; Stefani, F.

During last decades magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects have attracted growing interest because of its potential impact on numerous industrial technologies. In processes involving electrically conducting liquids, the application of an external magnetic field offers efficient opportunities for a contactless flow control and fluid handling. However, for a well-aimed optimisation of the flow structure local information about flow quantities like velocity, pressure, temperature, concentration or void fraction is necessary. In case of liquid metals the choice of a suitable measuring technique is a crucial problem, because the user is confronted with the problems of opaque fluids, high temperatures as well as a strong chemical reactivity of the fluid against many materials. Therefore, measuring techniques well-known from ordinary hydrodynamics generally fail for liquid metal applications. As a consequence, no commercial measuring systems are available for liquid metal applications.
We present a summary of our R&D activities on velocity measuring techniques for liquid metal flows. Various model experiments with various liquid melts at different temperatures have been performed to test and evaluate local sensors as well as integral methods.
A mechano-optical probe was developed which has to be positioned directly inside the liquid metal flow. The measuring principle is based on the separation of a direct mechanical interaction between flow and sensor tip and the optical acquisition and processing of the signal. The insensitivity of the system to electrical noise and external magnetic fields can be considered as an important advantage. Until now, the sensor has been tested in metallic melts up to temperatures of about 450 °C, but an extension up to 800°C should be straightforward. The ultrasound Doppler velocimetry (UDV) represents a powerful tool since it delivers a full velocity profile along the ultrasonic beam. It can operate with a direct contact to the melt, but also through a channel wall. To overcome the thermal restriction of the ultrasonic transducers an acoustic wave guide has been used. The acoustic wave guide and the piezoelectric element are combined in form of an integrated sensor. This approach allowed the first successful application of the ultrasound Doppler technique in liquid metals at temperatures above 200°C. The feasibility of this integrated sensor concept was demonstrated in experiments in metallic melts as sodium, PbBi, CuSn or aluminium.
In some applications even a coarse knowledge of the flow topology and the direction of the main eddies would be of high value. We study the possibility of velocity reconstruction in electrically conducting fluids from external measurements of induced magnetic fields. The method is based on the fact that an external magnetic field is deformed by the motion of the fluid. Applying the primary magnetic field in two different directions and measuring the related induced magnetic fields at an array of Hall probes, the three-dimensional velocity field can be reconstructed. Besides some theoretical basics, we present experimental results of a demonstration experiment.

  • Lecture (Conference)
    Sino-German Workshop on EPM, 11.-13.10.2004, Shanghai, China

Publ.-Id: 7054