Transient thermal performance of ice slurries pumped through pipes

G L Quarini, Eric A Ainslie, Dominic Ash, Alban N Leiper, Daniel J McBryde, Martin Herbert, Tim J Deans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The paper examines the transient melting rates of ice slurries being pumped through pipes whose walls are initially warmer than the freezing temperature of the slurry. The application for this work is the new innovative pipe cleaning method known as ice pigging. Ice pigging consists of introducing a length of ice slurry consisting of small ice crystals in a fluid matrix of water and a freezing point depressant into a pipe. The ice slurry forms a semi-solid plug whose temperature is at the freezing temperature of ice at the prevailing operating conditions. The plug cools the pipe walls, which in turn results in some phase change within the slurry. The plug is propelled along the pipe by a pressurised fluid introduced behind the plug. This results in the pipe walls being exposed to large time-varying temperature changes, with the front of the plug receiving the greatest heat flux. The purpose of undertaking ice pigging is to clean the pipe walls with the high shear at between the walls and the semi-solid slurry.

Analytical transient conduction theory is adopted to estimate the energy removed from the pipe wall as a result of the passing ice pig. This is used to develop equations predicting the amount of phase change occurring in the pig and hence estimate the distance it can travel before it has melted. The resultant model enables ice pig users to estimate how much ice slurry is required to undertake successfully a specific ice pigging task. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-748
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2013
EventInternational Symposium on Innovative Materials for Processes in Energy Systems (IMPRES) - For Fuel Cells, Heat Pumps and Sorption Systems - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 29 Nov 20101 Dec 2010


  • Ice
  • Phase change
  • Thermalhydraulics
  • Pipe flow
  • Cleaning


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