WATER

TUNNEL

There are many occasions in fluid mechanic research that requires knowledge of the flow mechanism associated with complex fluid-structure interactions. In such cases it may be advantageous to determine the fluid behavior by visualization of the phenomena using a water tunnel facility.

 

ESI has developed a gravity driven, low speed, recirculating water tunnel facility with two different rectangular test section options,

  • an open test section, and

  • a closed test section.

Both test sections are fully transparent and equipped for Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and flow visualization and stereo imaging.

 

A large 550 gallon tank serves as the upstream water reservoir and is capable of providing a 7 ft HO hydrostatic pressure head (i.e., 3 psi) to the test sections. To minimize disturbances in the water flow from the reservoir being transferred to the test section, flow conditioning is incorporated as the water exits the supply reservoir and passes through multiple delivery tubes. Each tube is equipped with a separate flow control valve and preliminary flow conditioning elements, after which the water moves into the test section.

 

On exiting the test section the water is captured by a 500 gallon receiving tank and returned to the supply tank allowing continuous run time. However, in the event where dye is used for flow visualization the option to ‘dump’ the water is available.

The open test section option:

 

This option includes, but are not limited to,

  • Open Test Section (Figure 1) with dimensions  of:

6.375” wide x 4.25” deep and 8” in length (162 mm x 108 mm x 203 mm)

  • The system is stable and capable of very low water speeds down to 6.0 mm/sec

  • Test section design allows for easy modification to the overall size of the test section.

Figure 1: Open Rectangular Test Section

 Figure 2: Flat Plate Laminar Boundary Layer Visualized Using Dye

As an example, the test section configuration shown in Figure 1 is fitted with a submerged flat plate with an extended sidewall. A side view of the flat plate boundary layer is visualized using dye traces at low speed, Figure 2.

The closed test section option:

 

This option includes:-

  • Closed Test Section (Figure 3) with dimensions of:

18” wide x 4” deep and 24” in length

(450 mm x 100 mm x 610 mm)

  • The system is stable and capable of low water speeds down to 20.0 mm/sec

  • Test section design allows for easy modification to the overall size of the test section.

 Figure 3: Closed Rectangular Test Section with Blade Cascade Insert

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