Hydraulic physical model production with Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) manufacturing techniques
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionE3S Web of Conferences. 2018, 40 . 10.1051/e3sconf/20184005065
Physical models are a well-accepted tool in hydraulic engineering, allowing for the detailed characterisation of flow processes and the validation of structure designs with complex boundary conditions. The methods used to construct physical models typically produce a surface roughness which does not necessarily scale with the surface roughness of the prototype. In this context, this paper discusses novel construction methods allowing a detailed reproduction of roughness elements in scaled models, such as Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) manufacturing techniques and bed casting techniques. In particular, the present paper details the protocols developed to mill out a correct representation of the complex rock-fractured geometry of a closed channel which was obtained from Terrestrial Laser Scanners. The novelty of this scaled model production is the implementation of optical accesses in a closed (pressurized) hydraulic model, to allow for Particle Image Velocimetry measurements with a minimum impact on the reproduced roughness elements. The effectiveness of this production protocol is discussed in the context of modelling the roughness effects on the flow regime.