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Numerical Analysis of Free Surface Flow over a

Submerged Rectangular Bridge Deck


Chia-Ren Chu, Ph.D. 1; Chun-Hsuan Chung 2; Tso-Ren Wu, Ph.D. 3; and Chung-Yue Wang, Ph.D. 4

Abstract: This study integrates a large eddy simulation model to investigate the effect of a submerged rectangular cylinder on the hydro-
dynamics of free surface flows. The simulation results are validated by the results of flume experiments. Then the numerical model is utilized
to examine the influences of Reynolds number, Froude number, and blockage ratio on the flow field and the force coefficients of the deck. The
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simulation results reveal that the drag coefficient is dependent on the deck’s Froude number and blockage ratio of the bridge deck, rather than
the Reynolds number. For both subcritical and transcritical flows, the drag coefficient increases as the blockage ratio increases. However, due
to the wave-induced drag, the drag coefficient of the cylinder in transcritical flows is greater than that in subcritical flows with the same
blockage ratio. On the other hand, the lift coefficient is a function of the submergence ratio and the deck’s Froude number. The separation
shear flow on the upper side of the cylinder is constrained by the water surface when the submergence ratio h < 2.0, and resulting in an
asymmetric pressure distribution on the upper and lower sides of the deck, which subsequently generates a downward force on the bridge
deck. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001177. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Author keywords: Large eddy simulation; Drag coefficient; Lift coefficient; Blockage ratio; Free surface flow; Froude number.

Introduction where FD = drag in the direction of the flow; ρ = density of water;


U o = free-stream velocity of the undisturbed flow; and A = frontal
During flooding events, bridge decks can be partially or entirely area of the bridge body. The lift coefficient, CL , is defined as
submerged in the river flows when the design discharge is ex-
ceeded. There have been several incidents around the world FL
CL ¼ ð2Þ
where bridge decks have been fully submerged in torrential flows. 1=2ðρU 2o AÞ
When bridge decks are submerged, the hydrodynamic loading on
these bridges is an essential parameter for evaluating their safety. where FL = lift coefficient. The drag and lift coefficients are func-
For submerged bridges, due to the presence of a free surface and the tions of the bridge configuration, attack angle, and the Reynolds
complicated interaction between the bridge structure and river flow, number of the river flows (Hamill 1999). Naudascher and Medlarz
the hydrodynamic drag and lift forces are difficult to determine (1983) measured the drag coefficient of a girder bridge and found
(Hamill 1999). that the wave motion and vortex formation between the girders gen-
In previous studies, Apelt and Isaacs (1968) measured the hy- erated a peak loading on the bridge deck. Malavasi and Guadagnini
drodynamic forces of three different types of bridge piers under (2003) used a laboratory flume and dynamometers to measure the
various inclination angles between the stream flow and pier axis. mean hydrodynamic forces on partially and fully submerged cyl-
The experimental results were presented in the form of dimension- inders with a rectangular cross section. Their results revealed that
less drag coefficient and lift coefficient. The drag coefficient, CD , is the force coefficients (drag, lift, and moment coefficients) were de-
defined as pendent on the Reynolds number and the submergence ratio of the
bridge deck. The submergence ratio is defined as
FD Ho − h
CD ¼ ð1Þ h ¼ ð3Þ
1=2ðρU 2o AÞ D

1 where H o = water depth of the undisturbed flow; D = thickness


Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, National Central Univ., 300
Jhong-Da Rd., Jhong-Li, Taoyuan, Taiwan 32001, ROC (corresponding of the cylinder; and h = distance from the underside of the deck
author). E-mail: crchu@cc.ncu.edu.tw to the channel floor (Fig. 1). Malavasi and Guadagnini (2003) also
2
Master of Science, Dept. of Civil Engineering, National Central Univ., showed that the drag and lift coefficients significantly deviated
300 Jhong-Da Rd., Jhong-Li, Taoyuan, Taiwan 32001, ROC. E-mail: from the values in an unbounded domain.
genek850@hotmail.com However, Jempson and Apelt (2005) pointed out that the force
3
Associate Professor, Institute of Hydrological and Oceanic Sciences, coefficients of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2003) were under the
National Central Univ., 300 Jhong-Da Rd., Jhong-Li, Taoyuan, Taiwan influence of the proximity effects of the channel bed and so could
32001, ROC. E-mail: tsoren@cc.ncu.edu.tw not be applied to girder bridges with solid guardrails above the
4
Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, National Central Univ., 300 deck and girders below. Malavasi et al. (2004) used particle image
Jhong-Da Rd., Jhong-Li, Taoyuan, Taiwan 32001, ROC. E-mail: cywang@
velocimetry (PIV) to measure the unsteady velocities around a rec-
cc.ncu.edu.tw
Note. This manuscript was submitted on May 2, 2015; approved on tangular bridge deck. In another paper, Malavasi and Guadagnini
March 9, 2016; published online on July 21, 2016. Discussion period open (2007) experimentally studied the interaction between free surface
until December 21, 2016; separate discussions must be submitted for in- flows and a submerged rectangular cylinder. The aspect ratio of
dividual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Hydraulic Engineer- the cylinder was L=D ¼ 3 (where L is the streamwise length of
ing, © ASCE, ISSN 0733-9429. the cylinder and D is the height), the Reynolds number was

© ASCE 04016060-1 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


∂ ūi
¼0 ð5Þ
∂xi
Uo P=0
L   
∂ρui ∂ρui uj ∂ P̄ ∂ ∂ui ∂uj
9D þ ¼− þ ρgδ i3 þ μ þ ð6Þ
D ∂t ∂xj ∂xi ∂xj eff ∂xj ∂xi
Ho
where the subscripts i, j ¼ 1; 2; 3 ¼ x, y, and z directions, respec-
h tively; t = time; u and P = velocity and pressure; the overbar =
z
x Channel bed quantity of the spatially filtered value (Pope 2000); ρ = density
of the water; g = gravitational acceleration; and μeff = effective
viscosity, defined as
15D 3D 60D
μeff ¼ μ þ μSGS ð7Þ
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of a fully submerged rectangular cylinder
where μ = dynamic viscosity of the water; and μSGS = viscosity
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of the subgrid scale turbulence. In this study, the subgrid scale


turbulence was modeled using the dynamic model proposed by
R ¼ U o D=ν ¼ 1.21 × 104 through 3.68 × 104 . They found that Smagorinsky (1963):
the rectangular cylinder created a blockage effect on the water flow, qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
and that the Reynolds number and the blockage ratio together μSGS ¼ ρðCs Δs Þ2 2S̄ij S̄ij ð8Þ
affected the hydrodynamic loading on the cylinder. The blockage
ratio is defined as the ratio of the frontal area of the cylinder to the where Cs = Smagorinsky coefficient; and Sij = filtered rate of strain
cross-sectional area of channel flow. When the width of the cylinder tensor:
is equal to the width of the channel, the blockage ratio is equal to  
1 ∂ui ∂uj
S̄ij ¼ þ ð9Þ
D 2 ∂xj ∂xi
Br ¼ ð4Þ
Ho
and Δs = characteristic length of the spatial filter, which can be
calculated as
Picek et al. (2007) conducted flume experiments to observe the
water level and discharge around model bridge decks. Based on the Δs ¼ ðΔxΔyΔzÞ1=3 ð10Þ
experimental results, they proposed empirical equations to calcu-
late the head loss for partially and fully submerged decks. They where Δx, Δy, and Δz = three components of the grid lengths. In
also modified the discharge coefficient and used energy equations this study, the value of the Smagorinsky coefficient was set as Cs ¼
to predict the downstream water level. 0.15 after a comparison with the experimental data of Malavasi and
Besides experimental studies, Malavasi and Trabucchi (2008) Guadagnini (2007). This is close to the value Cs ¼ 0.10–0.12 sug-
used a k − ε turbulence model to investigate the proximity effects gested by Deardorff (1970) for boundary layer flows, and by
of a solid wall on the wake flow of a rectangular cylinder (aspect O’Neil and Meneveau (1997) for wake flows. In addition, the pro-
ratio L=D ¼ 3) placed above a solid wall with different gap ratios jection method (DeLong 1997) was used to solve the Poisson
h=D (h is the distance from the underside of the cylinder to the Pressure Equation (PPE) and to decouple the velocity and pressure
wall). Their simulation results showed that the drag and lift coef- in the Navier-Stokes equations. For the unsteady flow simulation,
ficients increased as the gap ratio h=D decreased. Arslan et al. the time derivative term used the forward difference scheme.
(2013) used a large eddy simulation (LES) model and flume experi- The convergence criterion for the momentum equations was
ments to study the flow field around a partially submerged rectan- set as 10−5 .
gular cylinder. Their results indicated that the flow separation and The kinematics of the water surface was solved by the volume of
reattachment underneath the cylinder and the vortex formation in fluid (VOF) method (Hirt and Nichols 1981). The volume fraction
the wake area were highly related to the submergence ratio and the fm occupied by the water in a grid cell can be described by
turbulence intensity in the approaching flow.
∂f m ∂
In view of these mentioned studies, there is a need to clarify þ ðf u Þ ¼ 0 ð11Þ
the effect of the free surface on the hydrodynamic loading of sub- ∂t ∂xj m j
merged rectangular cylinders, especially in supercritical flow. This
study uses a large eddy simulation (LES) model to investigate the The value of fm ¼ 1 represents the cell is full of water; and
interaction between a blocking cylinder and free surface flow with a 0 < f m < 1 represents the cell partially occupied by air. The wall
high Froude number. A series of numerical simulations were car- function was used to calculate the velocity near the channel floor,
ried out to examine the influences of the Reynolds number, Froude as suggested by Cabot and Moin (2000):
number, and blockage ratio on the pressure distribution and force μSGS þ

coefficient of the submerged cylinder. ¼ κzþ ð1 − e−zw =A Þ2 ð12Þ


μ

zu
Numerical Model zþ ¼ ð13Þ
ν
This study used a three-dimensional LES model to compute the where z = distance from the cell center to the wall; κ = von Karman
free surface flow around a rectangular cylinder. The fluid motion constant (¼ 0.41); u = shear velocity; and the parameter A ¼ 17.
was simulated by solving the continuity equation and filtered Further details of the numerical model can be found in Wu
Navier-Stokes equations: et al. (2014).

© ASCE 04016060-2 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


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Fig. 2. Computational domain and grid arrangement (693 × 20 × 64 cells)

The velocity distribution at the inlet boundary was set as laboratory experiments. The first experiment was conducted in
 α a circulating water flume 1.10 m in length and 0.12 m in width.
UðzÞ z z A rectangular cross-sectional cylinder (length L ¼ 0.03 m, thick-
¼ if ≤ 1 ð14Þ
Uo δ δ ness D ¼ 0.01 m, and width identical to the width of the channel)
was fixed in a rectangular channel; the length of the cylinder was
UðzÞ z parallel to the flow direction [Fig. 3(a)]. The water surface was
¼ 1 if > 1 ð15Þ measured by a point gauge with a resolution of 0.1 mm. The up-
Uo δ
stream water depth was H o ¼ 0.056 m, the distance from the
where U o = free-stream velocity (velocity outside the boundary underside of the cylinder to the channel floor h ¼ 0.036 m, and
layer); δ = thickness of the boundary layer; and α = exponent the submergence ratio h ¼ 2.0. The Reynolds number was R ¼
of the velocity profile. The values of δ=Ho ¼ 0.1 and α ¼ 0.5 were U o D=ν ¼ 4; 300 and the Froude number FH ¼ U o =ðgH o Þ1=2 ¼
set for the simulation. Because the thickness, δ, of the boundary 0.58. The water surface suddenly dropped behind the cylinder
layer flow was much smaller than the water depth, H o , the ap- and generated a hydraulic jump downstream. The measured and
proaching flow was close to a uniform flow. The wake flow of simulated water surfaces are compared in Fig. 3(b), which the hori-
the cylinder will not be influenced by the velocity gradient in zontal and vertical coordinates are not in proportional scale. The
the boundary layer flow. average relative error between the measured and simulated water
The channel floor and cylinder surface were set as a no-slip surfaces was 3.72%. The good agreement between them validated
boundary condition; the lateral boundaries were set as a free-slip the capability of the present numerical model to simulate the inter-
boundary condition. The outlet boundary was set as the same veloc- action between the free surface flow and a submerged cylinder.
ity profile as the inlet boundary. The pressure above the water sur- The second experiment to validate the numerical model was
face was set as zero. The simulation results indicated that the conducted by Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007). A rectangular cyl-
boundary condition at the outlet does not affect the simulation re- inder (length L ¼ 0.18 m, thickness D ¼ 0.06 m, and aspect ratio
sults when the outlet (x=D ¼ 63) was far away from the cylinder. L=D ¼ 3) was installed in the channel, parallel to the channel floor.
The computational domain was discretized by the finite-volume The width of the cylinder was also equal to the width of the chan-
method (FVM). The grid arrangement was shown in Fig. 2. The nel, and the distance from the underside of the cylinder to the chan-
entire computational domain was divided into three zones. Zone nel floor was h ¼ 0.14 m. The water depth of the undisturbed flow
II (−10 < x=D < 13), where the cylinder was located, adopted a was in the range of Ho = 0.17–0.50 m, the upstream velocity
uniform grid with the smallest grid size (Table 1). The stretching was U o ¼ 0.2 m=s, the submergence ratio was h = 0.5–6.0, the
ratio of the adjacent grids in Zones I and III was 1.04.
blockage ratio was Br = 0.12–0.35. The Reynolds number
The initial time step, Δt, for the LES model was set as
1 × 10−4 s, and the Courant number was Cr ¼ 0.85, which led
to the minimum time step of 1 × 10−4 through 2 × 10−3 s. The sim-
ulation results before the dimensionless time τ ¼ tU o =D ¼ 166 Table 1. Simulation Results of Different Computational Grids
(normalized by mean velocity U o and cylinder thickness D) Computational grid Grid 1 Grid 2 Grid 3
were discarded to exclude the initial transient of the numerical Number of cells 591 × 10 × 49 891 × 20 × 95 1,090 × 20 × 95
model. The time-averaged velocity and pressure were calculated Smallest grid size Δx=D ¼ 0.10 Δx=D ¼ 0.05 Δx=D ¼ 0.033
from the simulation results between the dimensionless time Δy=D ¼ 0.10 Δy=D ¼ 0.05 Δy=D ¼ 0.050
τ ¼ 166–200. Δz=D ¼ 0.10 Δz=D ¼ 0.05 Δz=D ¼ 0.050
Difference compared with experimental result
CD 2.280 2.150 2.146
Model Validation Δ (%) 7.04 0.94 0.75
Note: Simulation results are compared with the experimental results of
In order to validate the present numerical model, the simulation Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007): CD ¼ 2.13; FH ¼ 0.125, h ¼ 2,
results of the LES model were compared with the results of two Br ¼ 0.23, and L=D ¼ 3.

© ASCE 04016060-3 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


4
Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007)
2D LES model
3 3D LES model

CD
(a)

1.4 1
1.2

1.0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
0.8 (a) h*
z / Ho
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0.6 2
0.4 0
Exp., FrH = 0.58
0.2 -2
LES, FrH = 0.58
0.0 -4
-10 0 10 20 30
x/D -6

CL
(b) -8

Fig. 3. Flume experiment of free surface flow over submerged cylin- -10 Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007)
der: (a) photograph; (b) measured and simulated water surfaces; gray -12 LES-2D
area represents the location of the cylinder (distance x=D ¼ 0–3.0 and LES-3D
-14
height z=H o ¼ 0.64–0.82)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
(b) h*

Fig. 4. Comparison of model prediction and experimental results


R ¼ 1.2 × 104 , and the Froude number of the channel flow was in of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007): (a) drag coefficient; (b) lift
the range of FH ¼ 0.09–0.15. coefficient
The grid sensitivity was checked by comparing the simulation
results of three different grids for the same flow condition (velocity
U o ¼ 0.20 m=s, submergence ratio h ¼ 2.0, and blockage ratio
the blockage ratio to decrease. The decreased blockage ratio
Br ¼ 0.23). Table 1 shows the simulation results of the different
resulted in the decrease of the drag coefficient. For this reason,
computational grids. The time-averaged drag and lift coefficients
it was difficult to discern the effects of the blockage ratio and
were computed from the pressure distribution around the cylinder.
the submergence ratio on the drag coefficient, based on the exper-
The simulated drag coefficients of Grid 2 and Grid 3 compared imental results of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007).
favorably with the experimental result CD ¼ 2.13 of Malavasi In addition, the drag coefficient approached CD ¼ 1.62 when
and Guadagnini (2007). The maximum difference between the the submergence ratio was h ≥ 4.0. This was close to the simu-
measured and simulated drag coefficient of Grid 2 was 0.94%. lation result CD ¼ 1.56 of Yu and Kareem (1996) and slightly
Therefore, Grid 2 was used for the rest of the simulation to reduce larger than the experimental results, CD ¼ 1.40, of Mizota et al.
the computing time. (1988) and CD ¼ 1.30 of Hoerner (1965) for a rectangular cylinder
Fig. 4 shows that the simulated CD and CL compared favorably L=D ¼ 3, as well as the simulation result, CD ¼ 1.20, of Shimada
with the experimental results of Malavasi and Guadagnini and Ishihara (2002) in an unbounded domain. The discrepancy
(2007). Several flow conditions were also computed by the two- in the drag coefficient was believed to be caused by the difference
dimensional version of the present LES model to check whether in the turbulence level of the approaching flow, as demonstrated by
the two-dimensional LES model could be used for the simulation. the experimental results of Courchesne and Laneville (1982).
As can be seen in Fig. 4, the result of three-dimensional (3D) model Fig. 4(b) shows that the lift coefficient, CL , was negative and
was slightly better than that of the two-dimensional model. In order decreased as the submergence ratio, h , increased in the range
to simulate the three-dimensional characteristics of turbulent of 0 < h < 1.0. This was due to the negative pressure (suction)
flows, the 3D LES model was used for the rest of the simulation. produced by the separation shear layer only occurring on the lower
Moreover, Fig. 4(a) shows that the drag coefficient increased as the side of the cylinder when h < 1.0. When the cylinder was fully
submergence ratio, h ¼ ðHo − hÞ=D, increased in the range of submerged (h ≥ 1.2), the lift coefficient increased with the
0 < h < 1.0. Since the cylinder was partially submerged when increasing submergence ratio, h , until CL approached zero
h < 1.0, the frontal area of the cylinder under the water surface (h ≥ 4.0). This occurred because the pressure distributions on
and the drag increased as the submergence ratio, h , increased. the upper and lower sides of the cylinder became symmetric
However, when h ≥ 1.2 the value of CD decreased as the submer- when the water surface no longer influenced the separation shear
gence ratio, h , increased. This is because the experiment of flow on the upper side of the cylinder. In summary, the present LES
Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007) increased the submergence model could be used to simulate the hydrodynamic loading on a
ratio h by increasing the total water depth, H o , which caused submerged cylinder.

© ASCE 04016060-4 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


Table 2. Flow Conditions and Simulation Results for Scale-Model and
Full-Scale Cases
Casea D (m) H o (m) Uo (m=s) R FH FD CD CL
Experiment b
0.06 0.26 0.20 1.2 × 104 0.13 0.26 2.13 −1.67
Scale-Model 1 0.06 0.26 0.20 1.2 × 104 0.13 0.26 2.15 −1.58
Scale-Model 2 0.06 0.26 1.00 6.0 × 104 0.63 1.30 2.64 −5.02
Full-Scale 1 0.60 2.60 0.10 6.0 × 104 0.02 0.04 2.23 −0.85
Full-Scale 2 0.60 2.60 3.18 1.9 × 106 0.63 1.30 2.62 −5.02
a
Submergence ratio, h ¼ 2; blockage ratio, Br ¼ 0.23; and the aspect
ratio, L=D ¼ 3.
b
Experimental results of Malavasi and Gaudagnini (2007).

Results and Discussion


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The validated large eddy simulation model was then used to investi-
gate the interaction of the free surface flow and a submerged, rectan-
gular cylinder. A series of numerical simulations were carried out to
evaluate the effects of the Reynolds number, Froude number, blockage
ratio, and submergence ratio on the force coefficients of the cylinder.

Reynolds Number Effect


Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007), according to their experimental
results, said that the drag and lift coefficients were dependent on
the Reynolds number. Since their experiments were carried out in
a laboratory flume with a scale model, the Reynolds numbers,
Rð¼ U o D=vÞ, of the flume experiments were much smaller than
those for actual bridges. The influence of the Reynolds number
on the force coefficients of bridge decks remains unknown.
On the other hand, the mean drag coefficients of bluff bodies with
sharp corners should be independent of the Reynolds number, R,
when R > 104 (Hoerner 1965). Therefore, it was necessary to
clarify the role of the Reynolds number on the force coefficients
of a submerged deck. The present LES model was used to simulate
the hydrodynamic loading of a rectangular cylinder with a thick-
ness of D ¼ 0.6 m and a length of L ¼ 1.8 m. The water depth of
the undisturbed flow was Ho ¼ 2.6 m; the bridge pier was not con-
sidered. These parameters were 10 times larger than those of the
flume experiments, but the aspect ratio L=D ¼ 3, submergence ra-
tio h ¼ 2.0, and blockage ratio Br ¼ 0.23, were identical to those
in the experiments of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007).
Table 2 compares the simulation results of the different Reynolds
numbers. The cases with a cylinder thickness of D ¼ 0.06 m are
referred to as the Scale-Model Cases, those with D ¼ 0.6 m are
called the Full-Scale Cases. The good agreement between the sim-
ulation results of Scale-Model 1 and the experimental results of
Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007) again validated the present LES
numerical model. The Reynolds number R ¼ 6.0 × 104 of Scale- Fig. 5. Side view of time-averaged velocity vectors on the central plane
Model 2 was much smaller than the R ¼ 1.91 × 106 of Full-Scale of the cylinder for h ¼ 2, Br ¼ 0.23: (a) Scale-Model 2 (R ¼ 6 × 104
2, but the drag and lift coefficients of these two cases were very and FD ¼ 1.30); (b) Full-Scale 2 (R ¼ 1.91 × 106 and FD ¼ 1.30);
close. On the other hand, the Reynolds numbers (R ¼ 6.0 × 104 ) (c) Full-Scale 1 (R ¼ 6 × 104 and FD ¼ 0.04)
for Scale-Model 2 and Full-Scale 1 were identical, but the drag and
lift coefficients were different. Furthermore, the Froude numbers
FH ¼ 0.63 (FD ¼ 1.30) of Scale-Model 2 and Full-Scale 2 were Uo
FD ¼ pffiffiffiffiffiffi ð16Þ
the same. This indicated that the Reynolds number was not the most gD
influential factor for the problem, while the Froude number was es-
sential for the hydrodynamic loading of the submerged cylinders. where D = thickness of the cylinder.
Figs. 5(a–c) show the side views of the time-averaged velocity
vectors on the central plane of the cylinder for Scale-Model 2, Full-
Froude Number Effect
Scale 2, and Full-Scale 1, respectively. The velocities were normal-
In order to examine the influence of the flow condition on the ized by the free-stream velocity, U o . The water surface of the low
force coefficients of the cylinder, Malavasi and Guadagnini (2003) Froude number (FD ¼ 0.04 for Full-Scale 1) remained flat and un-
defined a deck Froude number as disturbed. On the other hand, the water surfaces of high Froude

© ASCE 04016060-5 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


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Fig. 7. Time-averaged pressure coefficients Cp on the cylinder for


Scale-Model 2 and Full-Scale 1 and 2: (a) front and rear faces; (b) upper
and lower sides

Another thing worth pointing out is that the mean velocities above the
cylinder in Fig. 5(c) are larger than those in Figs. 5(a and b). This
was believed due to the blockage effect of Full-Scale 1 being more
significant than that of the high-Froude-number cases, as the water
surface was elevated above the cylinder.
The time-averaged pressure distribution around the cylinder
is shown in Fig. 6. The pressure coefficient is defined as
P − Ps
Cp ¼ ð17Þ
0.5ρU 2o
where Ps = hydrostatic pressure calculated by the simulated water
level; and ρ = water density; therefore, the pressure coefficient Cp =
dynamic pressure. Similar to the velocity vectors shown in Fig. 5,
the pressure distributions of the high Froude numbers (Scale-Model
Fig. 6. Side view of time-averaged pressure distribution on the central 2 and Full-Scale 2) were very much alike, but different from that of
plane of the cylinder for h ¼ 2, Br ¼ 0.23: (a) Scale-Model 2 the low Froude number (Full-Scale 1).
(R ¼ 6 × 104 and FD ¼ 1.30); (b) Full-Scale 2 (R ¼ 1.91 × 106 and The time-averaged pressure coefficients, Cp , on the centerline of
FD ¼ 1.30); (c) Full-Scale 1 (R ¼ 6 × 104 and FD ¼ 0.04) the cylinder are depicted in Fig. 7. For high-Froude-number cases
(Scale-Model 2 and Full-Scale 2), the pressure distributions on the
front and rear faces of the cylinder were very close [Fig. 7(a)], even
though the Reynolds numbers were different. However, the frontal
numbers (FD ¼ 1.30: Scale-Model 2 and Full-Scale 2) were pressure of the low-Froude-number case (Full-Scale 1) was much
elevated in front of the cylinder and dropped suddenly behind larger than that of the high-Froude-number cases because the
the cylinder. In addition, the flow field above the cylinder was dif- blockage effect of Full-Scale 1. On the other hand, the suction (neg-
ferent from that of beneath the cylinder for all three cases. There ative pressure) on the rear face for the high-Froude-number cases
were reverse flows above the cylinder, but no reverse flow beneath were greater than that of the low-Froude-number case, and this
the cylinder. This is because the flow field above the cylinder was a was believed caused by the high-speed flow in the hydraulic jump
free surface flow, while that beneath the cylinder was a confined flow. behind the cylinder.

© ASCE 04016060-6 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8
z / Ho

0.6

0.4 FrD = 0.26 FrD = 0.52


FrD = 0.78 FrD = 0.98
0.2
FrD = 1.30
0.0
-10 0 10 20 30
x/D
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Fig. 8. Water surface variation of different Froude numbers for h ¼ 2


and Br ¼ 023; gray area represents the location of the cylinder (height
z=H o ¼ 0.54–0.77 and distance x=D ¼ 0–3.0)

Fig. 7(b) shows that the pressure coefficients on the upper and
lower sides of the cylinder were asymmetric for all three cases. For
the pressure on the upper side, the suction (negative pressure) of the
low Froude number case was larger than that of the high-Froude-
number cases. The pressure on the low side of the cylinder was
similar to the simulation result of Bruno et al. (2010) for a rectan-
gular cylinder (L=D ¼ 5) in an unconfined domain. However, the
suction (negative pressure) on the the upper side of the cylinder in
the low-speed flow (FD ¼ 0.04) was larger than that in the high-
speed case (FD ¼ 1.30). This is due to the different section areas of
the flow path (and velocity) in low-speed and high-speed flows.
In order to examine the influence of the Froude number on the
flow condition around the cylinder, the water surfaces of different
deck Froude numbers were compared in Fig. 8. The position of the
water surface was determined by the location of the volume fraction
f m ¼ 0.50. The grey area represents the location of the cylinder
(height z=H o ¼ 0.54–0.77 and length x=D ¼ 0.0–3.0). The Froude
number of the channel flow was in the range of FH ¼ U o =
ðgH o Þ1=2 ¼ 0.13–0.63. Namely, the channel flows were all sub-
critical flows, according to the Froude number, FH . However, the
flow condition covered subcritical flow to supercritical flow while
using the deck Froude number FD ¼ U o =ðgDÞ1=2 ¼ 0.26–1.30.
The water surface was smooth and undisturbed for the low
Froude number (FD ¼ 0.26). However, due to the blockage effect,
the water surfaces of the high Froude number (FD ≥ 0.78) cases
were elevated by the cylinder and dropped behind the cylinder.
The water level in front of the cylinder and the amplitude of the
surface disturbance behind the cylinder increased as the deck
Fig. 9. Side view of time-averaged velocity vectors on the central
Froude number increased. Naudascher (1991) called a similar sur-
plane of the cylinder for h ¼ 2 and Br ¼ 023: (a) FD ¼ 0.26;
face disturbance caused by the bridge piers in supercritical flows a
(b) FD ¼ 0.78; (c) FD ¼ 1.30
“forced hydraulic jump.” The surface disturbance behind the cyl-
inder gradually decreased as the water flowed downstream. This is
similar to the ship wave generated by a moving object near the
water surface (Bal 2008). Fig. 10 depicts the pressure distribution around the cylinder for
The side views of the velocity vectors around the cylinder for Froude numbers FD ¼ 0.26, 0.78, and 1.30. The pressure coeffi-
FD ¼ 0.26, 0.78, and 1.30 are shown in Figs. 9(a–c), respectively. cients on the upper side of the cylinder were very similar, while
For the subcritical flow (FD ¼ 0.26), the velocities behind the the suction (negative pressure) on the lower side of the subcritical
cylinder displayed the vortex shedding phenomenon. However, flow (FD ¼ 0.26) was significantly smaller than that of the tran-
for the transcritical and supercritical flows (FD ¼ 0.78 and 1.30) scritical or supercritical flows (FD ¼ 0.78 and 1.30). The pressure
in Figs. 9(b and c), the velocities behind the cylinder were influ- difference between the upper and lower sides engendered a down-
enced by the forced jump, rather than by vortex shedding. The tran- ward force on the cylinder (negative lift coefficient CL ), and the
scritical flow is the transition from subcritical flow (FD < 0.52) to downward lift coefficient of a high Froude number was larger than
supercritical flow (FD > 1). that of a low Froude number.

© ASCE 04016060-7 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


3.0

2.5

2.0

CD
1.5

1.0
Malavasi & Guadagnini (2007): Scale model
Present study: 2D LES, Scale model
0.5 Present study: 3D LES, Scale model
Present study: 3D LES, Full scale
0.0
0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0
(a) FrD
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-2

-4

CL
-6

-8
Malavasi & Guadagnini (2007): Scale model
Present study: 2D LES, Scale model
-10 Present study: 3D LES, Scale model
Present study: 3D LES, Full scale
-12
0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0
(b) FrD

Fig. 11. Relationship between force coefficients and deck


Froude number for h ¼ 2 and Br ¼ 023: (a) drag coefficient; (b) lift
coefficient

increased as the deck Froude number increased in transcritical flow


and became a constant CD ¼ 2.6 in supercritical flows (FD > 1).
The increase of the drag coefficient from CD ¼ 2.2 to CD ¼ 2.6
was due to the wave-induced drag (Naudascher 1991; Fox et al.
2004). As shown in Fig. 11(b), the lift coefficient suddenly de-
creased from CL ¼ −1.5 to −5.0 as the flow condition changed
from subcritical flow to trans-critical flow (FD > 0.78). This
was because the suctions (negative pressures) on the lower side
of the cylinder in the high-Froude-number cases were much larger
than that for the subcritical flow (Fig. 10).

Blockage Effect
Fig. 10. Side view of time-averaged pressure coefficient on the central
plane of the cylinder for h ¼ 2 and Br ¼ 023: (a) FD ¼ 0.26; Besides the Froude number effect, the blockage ratio is also an es-
(b) FD ¼ 0.78; (c) FD ¼ 1.30 sential parameter for the flow field. This section focuses on the
blockage effect on the force coefficients. The variation of the block-
age ratio involved two different simulation conditions. The first
simulation series changed the water depth Ho ¼ 0.23–0.50 m,
The predicted drag and lift coefficients of the cylinder were while keeping the cylinder thickness of D ¼ 0.06 m and the height
plotted against the deck Froude number, as shown in Fig. 11. from the channel floor to the cylinder a constant h ¼ 0.14 m. The
The submergence ratio was h ¼ 2.0, blockage ratio Br ¼ 0.23, submergence ratio was in the range of h ¼ 1.0–6.0 and the block-
and the aspect ratio of the cylinder L=D ¼ 3. As shown in age ratio Br ¼ 0.10–0.30. This was similar to the experimental
Fig. 11(a), the drag coefficient CD ¼ 2.25 in subcritical flows setup of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007). The second simulation
(FD < 0.52), was close to the value CD ¼ 2.0–2.2 suggested by series changed the water depth, Ho , and the cylinder height above
Hamill (1999) for bridge deck design. However, the CD value the channel floor, h, to keep the submergence ratio constant at

© ASCE 04016060-8 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


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Fig. 12. Time-averaged pressure coefficients on the central plane of the cylinder for different blockage ratios, submergence ratio h ¼ 2, and deck
Froude number FD ¼ 0.26: (a) Br ¼ 0.15; (b) Br ¼ 0.20; (c) Br ¼ 0.25; (d) Br ¼ 0.30

h ¼ 2.0. The blockage ratio was in the range of Br ¼ 0.05–0.20. Fig. 13(b) shows the pressure coefficients on the upper and
In this way, the distance from the water surface to the cylinder was lower sides of the cylinder, which reveal several phenomena:
unvarying. Through these two simulation series, the blockage effect (1) the suction (negative pressure) at the leading edges of the
could be distinguished from the influence of the submergence ratio. cylinder increased as the blockage ratio increased; (2) for the
Fig. 12 shows the time-averaged velocity vectors on the central same blockage ratio, the dynamic pressures near the leading
plane of the cylinder for blockage ratios Br ¼ 0.15, 0.20, 0.25, and edges of the upper and lower sides were very close; (3) the pres-
0.30 in a subcritical flow. The deck Froude number was FD ¼ 0.26 sure distribution on the upper and lower sides gradually became
and Reynolds number R ¼ 1.2 × 104. As can be seen, there were asymmetric when x=D > 0.60, due to the influence of water
small surface disturbances near the leading edge of the cylinder, surface on the separation shear layer on the upper side of
especially for high blockage ratios. Also, the reversed shear the cylinder; and (4) the dynamic pressures on the upper sides
flow on the lower side of the cylinder was more apparent than that of the cylinder (solid lines) were close to zero in the region
on the upper side because the flow field beneath the cylinder was x=D > 1.0, and the blockage effect on the upper pressures
a confined flow, while the flow above the cylinder was a free sur- was trivial.
face flow. Fig. 14(a) shows the relationship between the force coefficient
Fig. 13(a) illustrates the pressure coefficients on the front and and blockage ratio for a sub-critical flow of FD ¼ 0.26. The exper-
rear faces of the cylinder for different blockage ratios in a subcriti- imental results of Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007) were also plot-
cal flow. Due to the blockage effect, the pressure coefficient on the ted in the figure for comparison, which clearly shows that the
front face increased as the value of Br increased. However, the suc- drag coefficient was a constant CD ¼ 1.62 when the blockage ratio
tion (negative pressure) on the rear face of the cylinder was in the was Br < 0.14, and that the value of CD increased monotonically as
range of −0.20 to −0.05; the blockage ratio did not have a signifi- the blockage ratio, Br, increased when Br > 0.14. This was close to
cant effect on the suction. This led to the increased pressure differ- the experimental results of West and Apelt (1982) for circular cyl-
ence between the front and rear faces of the cylinder with an inders in confined flows. They found that, for a blockage ratio of
increasing blockage ratio; a higher pressure difference resulted 0.06 < Br < 0.16, the drag coefficient did not vary significantly
in a greater horizontal force on the cylinder. from that without the blockage effect.

© ASCE 04016060-9 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


1.6
Br = 0.10 : front side rear side
1.4 Br = 0.15 : front side rear side
Br = 0.20 : front side rear side
Br = 0.25 : front side rear side
1.2 Br = 0.30 : front side rear side

1.0
Z/D

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2
0.0
-0.4 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4
Cp (a)
(a)
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0.5

0.0

-0.5

-1.0
Cp

-1.5 Br = 0.10 : upper side, lower side


Br = 0.15 : upper side, lower side
Br = 0.20 : upper side, lower side
-2.0 Br = 0.25 : upper side, lower side
Br = 0.30 : upper side, lower side
-2.5
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 (b)
(b) x/D
Fig. 14. Relationship between force coefficients and blockage ratio for
Fig. 13. Distribution of time-averaged pressure coefficients on the cy-
subcritical flow (FD ¼ 0.26): (a) drag coefficient; (b) lift coefficient
linder surface in subcritical flow (FD ¼ 0.26), h ¼ 2: (a) front and rear
faces; (b) upper and lower sides

pressure distribution on the upper and lower sides of the cylinder,


which subsequently generated a downward force on the cylinder.
Fig. 14(a) also demonstrates that the drag coefficient was inde- The blockage effect of a submerged cylinder in a transcritical
pendent of the submergence ratio once the cylinder was fully sub- flow was also studied. Fig. 15 shows the relationship between
merged (h > 1). The drag coefficient of CD = 2.0–2.2 suggested the drag coefficient and blockage ratio in subcritical and transcrit-
by Hamill (1999) is not applicable to rectangular bridge decks ical flows, with a submergence ratio h ¼ 2. The drag coefficient
when the blockage ratio Br > 0.23. An empirical equation between increased as the blockage ratio increased, in spite of the Froude
the drag coefficient and blockage ratio can be found by the least- number. However, the drag coefficient in a transcritical flow
square regression: (FD ¼ 0.78), because of the wave-induced drag, was systematically
larger than that in a subcritical flow (FD ¼ 0.26). For the same
CD
¼ 1 þ β · Brn ð18Þ
CDo
3.5
LES, FrD = 0.26
where the parameters were β ¼ 115.3 and n ¼ 4.0. The value 3.0
LES, FrD = 0.78
CDo ¼ 1.62 was the drag coefficient of a rectangular cylinder
2.5
(L=D ¼ 3) in an unconfined domain (blockage ratio Br < 0.14).
This equation could be used to compute the drag coefficients of 2.0
a fully submerged rectangular cylinder (L=D ¼ 3) in a subcritical
CD

flow. 1.5
On the other hand, Fig. 14(b) shows the relationship between the
lift coefficient and blockage ratio. The flow condition of blockage 1.0
ratio Br > 0.25 corresponded to the case of submergence ratio h <
0.5
2.0 for the experimental conditions of Malavasi and Guadagnini
(2007). The lift coefficient was CL ≈ −1.5 for submergence ratio 0.0
h > 2.0, regardless of the blockage ratio, Br. However, the lift co- 0.00 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.20 0.24 0.28 0.32
efficient CL dropped to a fairly small value when the submergence Br
ratio was 1.0 < h < 2.0. This was because the separation shear
Fig. 15. Relationship between drag coefficients and blockage ratio for
flow on the upper side of the cylinder was considerably restrained
subcritical (FD ¼ 0.78) and transcritical flows (FD ¼ 0.78), h ¼ 2
by the water surface when h < 2.0, and resulted in the asymmetric

© ASCE 04016060-10 J. Hydraul. Eng.

J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060


blockage ratio, the ratio between the drag coefficients of transcrit- Cabot, W., and Moin, P. (2000). “Approximate wall boundary conditions in
ical flow and that of subcritical flow was about 1.05–1.16. the large eddy simulation of high Reynolds number flow.” Flow
Turbul. Combust., 63(1), 269–291.
Courchesne, J., and Laneville, A. (1982). “An experimental evaluation
Conclusion of drag coefficient for rectangular cylinders exposed to grid turbulence.”
J. Fluids Eng., 104(4), 523–528.
This study integrated a large eddy simulation (LES) model and vol- Deardorff, J. W. (1970). “A numerical study of three dimensional turbulent
channel flow at large Reynolds numbers.” J. Fluid Mech., 41(2),
ume of fluid (VOF) method to investigate the effect of a submerged
453–480.
rectangular cylinder on the hydrodynamics of the free surface DeLong, M. (1997). “Two examples of the impact of partitioning with
flows. The model prediction was validated by the water surface pro- Chaco and Metis on the convergence of additive-Schwarz precondi-
files of flume experiments and the measured force coefficients of tioned FGMRES.” Technical Rep. No. LA-UR-97-4181, Los Alamos
Malavasi and Guadagnini (2007). Then, the verified numerical National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.
model was used to examine the influences of Reynolds number, Fox, R. W., McDonald, A. T., and Pritchard, P. J. (2004). An introduction to
Froude number, and blockage ratio on the force coefficients of a fluid mechanics, 6th Ed., Wiley, New York.
submerged rectangular cylinder with an aspect ratio of L=D ¼ 3. Hamill, L. (1999). Bridge hydraulics, E&FN Spon, London.
Hirt, C. W., and Nichols, B. D. (1981). “Volume of fluid (VOF) method for
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The numerical results revealed that the flow conditions could


be divided into subcritical flow (FD < 0.52), transcritical flow the dynamics of free boundaries.” J. Comp. Phys., 39(1), 201–225.
Hoerner, S. F. (1965). Fluid dynamic drag: Theoretical, experimental and
(0.78 ≤ FD ≤ 1.0), and supercritical (FD > 1.0). The water surface
statistical information, Hoerner Fluid Dynamics, Washington, DC.
was flat and undisturbed in a sub-critical flow. In trans-critical or Jempson, M. A., and Apelt, C. J. (2005). “Discussion of “Hydrodynamic
super-critical flow, the water surface was elevated in front of the loading on river bridges”.” J. Hydraul. Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-
submerged cylinder, creating a forced jump behind the cylinder. 9429(2005)131:7(621), 621–622.
The drag coefficient of the cylinder was dependent on the deck Malavasi, S., Franzetti, S., and Blois, G. (2004). “PIV investigation of flow
Froude number, FD ¼ U o =ðgDÞ1=2 , and blockage ratio, rather than around submerged river bridge deck.” On River Flow 2004: Proc., 2nd
the Reynolds number R. Because of the wave-induced drag, the Int. Conf. on Fluvial Hydraulics, Taylor and Francis, London, 601–608.
drag coefficients in transcritical and supercritical flows were Malavasi, S., and Guadagnini, A. (2003). “Hydrodynamic loading on river
systematically greater than that in a subcritical flow when the bridges.” J. Hydraul. Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2003)129:
blockage ratio and submergence ratio were the same. 11(854), 854–861.
Malavasi, S., and Guadagnini, A. (2007). “Interactions between a
For a subcritical flow, the drag coefficient, CD , remained con-
rectangular cylinder and a free-surface flow.” J. Fluids Struct., 23(8),
stant when blockage ratio Br < 0.14, but increased as the blockage 1137–1148.
ratio increased when Br > 0.14. This was because the pressure dif- Malavasi, S., and Trabucchi, N. (2008). “Numerical investigation of the
ference between the front and rear faces of the cylinder increased flow around a rectangular cylinder near a solid wall.” Proc., Bluff
due to the blockage effect. The simulation results indicated that the Bodies Aerodynamics and Applications, Milano, Italy, 20–24.
lift coefficient was CL ≈ −1.5 when the submergence ratio Mizota, T., Yamada, H., Kubo, Y., Okajima, A., Knisely, C. W., and
h > 2.0, regardless of the blockage ratio, Br. However, the lift co- Shirato, H. (1988). “Aerodynamic characteristics of fundamental
efficient, CL , dropped to fairly small value when the submergence structures. Part 1.” J. Wind Eng., 36, 50–52 (in Japanese).
ratio was 1.0 < h < 2.0, due to the influence of the water surface Naudascher, E. (1991). Hydrodynamic force: IAHR hydrodynamic struc-
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modelling in a turbulent plane wake.” J. Fluid Mech., 349, 253–293.
The financial support from the China Engineering Consultants Picek, T., Havlik, A., Mattas, D., and Mares, K. (2007). “Hydraulic calcu-
Inc. (CECI) under Grant No. 00940 and Ministry of Science lation of bridges at high water stages.” J. Hydraul. Res., 45(3), 400–406.
and Technology (MOST) of Republic of China, Taiwan under Pope, S. B. (2000). Turbulent flows, Cambridge University Press,
Grant No. 101-2119-M-008-003 are gratefully appreciated. Cambridge, U.K.
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model to the prediction of aerodynamic characteristics of rectangular
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J. Hydraul. Eng., 04016060