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Characteristics of Flow Structure around Cylindrical Bridge Piers in Pressure-Flow Conditions

Carnacina, I, Leonardi, N and Pagliara, S (2019) Characteristics of Flow Structure around Cylindrical Bridge Piers in Pressure-Flow Conditions. Water, 11 (11). ISSN 2073-4441

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The emerging shift of extreme events, combined with an aging infrastructure and bridges, highlights the potential increase in the risk of damage and catastrophic failure of bridges with climate change. This article analyzes the behavior of the flow and turbulence features in proximity to bridge piers, at two different moments of the scour temporal evolution in free-surface and pressure-flow conditions. Bridge pressure-flow conditions occur when the water depth submerges a bridge deck during extreme events. A circular pier and two rectangular decks of different lengths were used for this research. All tests were carried out in clear water conditions at the sediment critical velocity. This paper studied first the rate of scour temporal evolution and scour morphologies. Second, velocity measurements were taken using a Nortek acoustic Velocimeter at 25 Hz sampling rate in both free-surface and pressure-flow conditions. The average three-dimensional flow velocities, turbulence intensities, Reynolds stress, and turbulent kinetic energy were studies for the cross section corresponding to the center of the pier. The results show that pressure flow conditions accelerate the scour rate. This rate approximately reaches twice the scour in free-surface conditions with a vertical contraction of about 17%. Flow and turbulence measurements clearly exhibit how, under pressure-flow conditions, the additional turbulence and accelerated velocity modifies the flow pattern and circulation, accelerating the scour evolution around the bridge base. While numerous studies exist for pier scour and turbulence in free-surface conditions, pressure flow conditions received limited attention in the past. These results provide essential information for understanding scour mechanisms and for facilitating the design of future structures to increase bridge safety and resilience.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TG Bridge engineering
Divisions: Civil Engineering (merged with Built Env 10 Aug 20)
Publisher: MDPI
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 10:02
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:34
DOI or ID number: 10.3390/w11112240
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11668
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