Time to Dissolve Air Bubbles in Drain Line

by Kenneth L. Lee, Assoc. Prof.; Mech. and Struct. Dept., School of Engrg. and Appl. Science, Univ. of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA,
David K. Black, Engr.; Standard Oil Company of California, Huntington Beach, CA; formerly, Grad. Student, Univ. of California at Los Angeles, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 181-194

Document Type: Journal Paper


A theoretical equation is derived for the time required to dissolve a static air bubble in a large tank of water. With certain simplifying approximations a similar expression was derived for the rate of solution of an air bubble in a long tube filled with water such as may be encountered in many types of soil mechanics tests. Confirming experimental data is also presented. The studies provide methods for estimating the time required to dissolve a small bubble inadvertently trapped in drain lines using a back pressure. These times may range from several hours to days for the sizes of tubes and bubbles often encountered in typical soil mechanics testing equipment. The effect of small trapped air bubbles on the pore pressure response of a triaxial test specimen is analyzed.

Subject Headings: Drainage | Water tanks | Soil tests | Triaxial tests | Statics (mechanics) | Approximation methods | Water management | Soil classification

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