Frictional pressure drop (also called wall drag) for a two-phase flow has been investigated for several decades. However, the two-phase frictional pressure drop models in the state-of-the-art thermal-hydraulic system codes are significantly different from each other, especially in the way to partition the wall friction force of liquid and vapor phases in the two-fluid momentum equations. This may lead to unphysical results in some flow conditions.

In this technical note, the two-phase wall frictional pressure drop models in the RELAP5/MOD3, TRACE V5, and SPACE codes are discussed in terms of the wall friction partition into the liquid and vapor momentum equations. To show the effect of different partition methods in the three codes, we simulated air-water bubbly flows in a horizontal pipe. The results of the calculations show that the partition method has a direct effect on the relative velocity of the two phases, and it may lead to unphysical behaviors of dispersed bubbles and droplets. It is strongly recommended to revisit the two-fluid formulation and the partition method of two-phase wall drag in the state-of-the-art system codes.