A semi-empirical model of two-phase flow of refrigerant-134a through short tube orifices

Yongchan Kim, Dennis L. O'Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Measurements were conducted on Refrigerant-134a flowing through short tube orifices with length-to-diameter (L/D) ratios ranging from 5 to 20. Both two-phase and subcooled liquid flow conditions entering the short tube were examined for upstream pressures ranging from 896 to 1448 kPa and for qualities as high as 10% and subcoolings as high as 13.9°C. Data were analyzed as a function of the main operating variables and tube geometry. Semi-empirical models for both single- and two-phase flow at the inlet of the short tubes were developed to predict the mass flow of Refrigerant-134a through short tube orifices. Choked flow conditions for Refrigerant-134a were typically established when downstream pressures were reduced below the saturation pressure corresponding to the inlet temperature. The flow rate strongly depended on the upstream pressure and upstream subcooling/quality. The mass flow also depended on cross-sectional area and short tube length. The mass flow model utilized a modified orifice equation that formulated the mass flow as a function of normalized operating variables and short tube geometry. For a two-phase flow entering the short tube, the modified orifice equation was corrected using a theoretically derived expression that related the liquid portion of the mass flow under two-phase conditions to a flow that would occur if the flow were a single-phase liquid. It was found that for sharp-edged short tubes with single- and two-phase flow, approximately 95% of the measured data and model's prediction were within ±15% of each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-435
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • air conditioning system
  • critical flow
  • orifice tube
  • two-phase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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