Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 492–497 | Cite as

Simultaneous measurement of size and velocity of microbubbles moving in an opaque tube using an X-ray particle tracking velocimetry technique

  • Sang Joon Lee
  • Seok Kim
Research Article


An X-ray particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) technique was developed to simultaneously measure the sizes and velocities of microbubbles in a fluid without optical aberration. This technique is based on a combination of in-line X-ray holography and PTV. The X-ray PTV technique uses a configuration similar to that of conventional optical imaging techniques, and is easy to implement. In the present work, microbubbles generated from a fine wire by electrical heating were used as tracer particles. The X-ray PTV technique simultaneously recorded size and velocity data for microbubbles (φ b =10–60 μm) moving upward in an opaque tube (inner diameter φ=2.7 mm). Due to the different refractive indices of water and air, phase contrast X-ray images clearly show the exact size and shape of overlapped microbubbles. In all of the working fluids tested (deionised water and 0.01 M and 0.10 M NaCl solutions), the measured terminal velocity of the microbubbles rising through the solution was proportional to the square of the bubble diameter. The proposed technique can be used to extract useful information on the behaviour of various bio/microscale fluid flows that are not amenable to analysis using conventional methods.


X-ray PTV Microbubble Opaque material Size In-line holography 



Experiments using the 1B2 beam line of the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory were supported in part by the Ministry of Science and Technology and POSTECH. The authors would like to thank the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation for financial support (grant no. R01-2004-020-10500-0) and Dr. H.S. Youn for his assistance during the experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangKorea

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