Using X-rays to Visualize Multiphase Flows


Monday, February 28, 2022 - 9:00am


Engr II 1519


Professor Theodore J. Heindel - Iowa State University


Multiphase flows are commonly found in many industries (e.g., chemical and fuel processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing) as well as throughout the environment (e.g., waves, rain, avalanches). Although multiphase flows are commonly observed, their operation and control are very complex. Experimental observations of multiphase flows are crucial to improve our understanding of the fundamental hydrodynamic and transport processes, as well as to develop and validate fundamental models. This seminar will provide an overview of the multiphase flow research performed in the Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory at Iowa State University. A key feature of this research is the use of a unique X-ray flow visualization facility that can perform X-ray radiography, stereography, and computed tomography imaging. X-ray radiography is the act of producing a 2D projection of a 3D object based on the X-ray absorption characteristics of the object. X-ray stereography uses information from two radiographic projections to determine 3D position information. X-ray computed tomography produces a time-average 3D density map of an object showing internal details. Several examples of each of these imaging methods will be discussed relative to various multiphase flows, including gas-liquid, gas-solid, and particle-particle flows. The seminar will conclude with examples from high-speed X-ray flow visualization using X-rays produced at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.


Ted Heindel is an ISU University Professor, the Bergles Professor of Thermal Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Multiphase Flow Research and Education (CoMFRE); he also holds a courtesy professor appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He directs the Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory, which houses a one-of-a-kind instrument for performing X-ray visualization studies of complex fluid flows. His research currently focuses on multiphase flow hydrodynamics (e.g., mixing in gas-liquid, gas-solid, and particle-particle flows) and multiphase flow visualization and characterization using X-ray imaging technology. His research program has been funded by over 60 projects supported through the NSF, ONR, USDA, DOE, the State of Iowa, and industrial partners. He has co-authored one book and published over 95 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 280 conference papers, abstracts, and technical reports. Ted has been recognized at ISU with a Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2018, the Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award in 2014, the College of Engineering’s Superior Engineering Teacher of the Year Award in 2006, and was twice selected by graduating seniors as mechanical engineering’s Professor of the Year. He is an ASME Fellow, a past associate editor for the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, and a past chair of the Fluids Measurement and Instrumentation Technical Committee of ASME. He is currently a co-organizer of the International Journal of Multiphase Flow Spotlight Virtual Seminar Series and an associate editor of the International Journal of Multiphase Flow. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in the thermal sciences.

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