Omega-Luitex법을 이용한 수력점프 발생시 러프 베드의 와류 진화 예측 및 영향 분석

Cong Trieu Tran, Cong Ty Trinh

Abstract

The dissipation of energy downstream of hydropower projects is a significant issue. The hydraulic jump is exciting and widely applied in practice to dissipate energy. Many hydraulic jump characteristics have been studied, such as length of jump Lj and sequent flow depth y2. However, understanding the evolution of the vortex structure in the hydraulic jump shows a significant challenge. This study uses the RNG k-e turbulence model to simulate hydraulic jumps on the rough bed. The Omega-Liutex method is compared with Q-criterion for capturing vortex structure in the hydraulic jump. The formation, development, and shedding of the vortex structure at the rough bed in the hydraulic jumper are analyzed. The vortex forms and rapidly reduces strength on the rough bed, resulting in fast dissipation of energy. At the rough block rows 2nd and 3rd, the vortex forms a vortex rope that moves downstream and then breaks. The vortex-shedding region represents a significant energy attenuation of the flow. Therefore, the rough bed dissipates kinetic energy well. Adding reliability to the vortex determined by the Liutex method, the vorticity transport equation is used to compare the vorticity distribution with the Liutex distribution. The results show a further comprehension of the hydraulic jump phenomenon and its energy dissipation.

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Chuan Wang ^{abc}, Hao Yu ^{b}, Yang Yang ^{b}, Zhenjun Gao ^{c}, Bin Xi ^{b}, Hui Wang ^{b}, Yulong Yao ^{b}

^{a}International Shipping Research Institute, GongQing Institute of Science and Technology, Jiujiang, 332020, China^{b}College of Hydraulic Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225009, China^{c}College of Mechanical and Power Engineering, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, 443002, China

Numerical simulations and experiments were combined to investigate pulsed jet scour.

The effect mechanism of pulse amplitude on the variation of scour hole depth was analyzed.

Models for the prediction of relative low pulse width with the inlet pulse amplitude have been developed.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of the pulse width and amplitude on the scouring of sand beds by vertical submerged pulsed jets using a combination of experimental and numerical calculations. The reliability of the numerical calculations is verified through a comparison between the numerical simulations with the sedimentation scour model and the experimental data at a low pulse width T_{2} of 0, with the result that the various errors are within 5%. The results show that the scour hole depth |h_{min}| grows with the relative low pulse width T_{3} throughout three intervals: a slowly increasing zone I, a rapidly increasing zone II, and a decreasing zone III, producing a unique extreme value of |h_{min}|. The optimal scouring effect equation was obtained by analytically fitting the relationship curve between the pulse amplitude V and the relatively low pulse width T_{3.} Including the optimal T_{3} and optimal duty cycle ƞ. The difference in the scour hole depth |h_{min}| under different pulse amplitudes is reflected in the initial period F of the jet. With an increasing pulse amplitude, |h_{min}| goes through three intervals: an increasing zone M, decreasing zone N, and rebound zone R. It is found that the scouring effect in the pulse jet is not necessarily always stronger with a larger amplitude. The results of the research in this paper can provide guidance for optimizing low-frequency pulsed jets for related engineering practices, such as dredging and rock-breaking projects.

Introduction

Submerged jet scouring technology is widely used in marine engineering and dredging projects due to its high efficiency and low cost, and a wide range of research exists on the topic (Zhang et al., 2017; Thaha et al., 2018; Lourenço et al., 2020). Numerous scholars studied the scouring caused by different forms of jets, such as propeller jets (Curulli et al., 2023; Wei et al., 2020), plane jets (Sharafati et al., 2020; Mostaani and Azimi, 2022), free-fall jets (Salmasi and Abraham, 2022; Salmasi et al., 2023), and moving jets (Wang et al., 2021). Among them, vertical jets were more popular than inclined jets due to theirs simple equipment and good silt-scouring performance (Chen et al., 2023; Wang et al., 2017). So, a large number of scholars have proposed relevant static and dynamic empirical equations for the scour depth of submerged jets. Among them, Chen et al. (2022) and Mao et al. (2023) investigated the influence of jet diameters, jet angles, exit velocities, and impinging distances on scouring effects. Finally, based on a large amount of experimental data and theoretical analysis, a semi-empirical equation for the dynamic scour depth in equilibrium was established. Amin et al. (2021) developed semi-empirical prediction equations for asymptotic lengths and empirical equations for the temporal development of lengths. Shakya et al. (2021, 2022) found that the ANN model in dimensionless form performs better than the ANN model in dimensioned form and proposed an equation for predicting the depth of static scour under submerged vertical jets using MNLR. Kartal and Emiroglu (2021) proposed an empirical equation for predicting the maximum dynamic scour depth for a submerged vertical jet with a plate at the nozzle. The effect of soil properties on jet scour has also been studied by numerous scholars. Among them, Nguyen et al. (2017) investigated the effects of compaction dry density and water content on the scour volume, critical shear stress, linear scour coefficient, and volumetric scour coefficient using a new jet-scour test device. Dong et al. (2020) investigated the effect of water content on scour hole size through experiments with a vertical submerged jet scouring a cohesive sediment bed. It was found that the depth and width of the scour holes increased with the increasing water content of the cohesive sediments, and equations for the scour depth and width in the initial stage of scouring and the calculation of the scouring rate were proposed. Kartal and Emiroglu (2023) studied the scouring characteristics of different nozzle types produced in non-cohesive sands. The results of the study found that the air entrainment rate of venturi nozzles was 2–6.5 times higher than that of circular nozzles. Cihan et al. (2022) investigated the effect of different proportions of clay and sand on propeller water jet scouring. And finally, he proposed an estimation equation for the maximum depth and length of the scour hole under equilibrium conditions. From the above summary, it is clear that a great deal of research has been carried out on submerged jet scouring under continuous jet flows.

Pulsed jets have advantages such as higher erosion rates and entrainment rates compared to continuous jets and have therefore received more attention in the development of engineering fields such as cleaning and rock breaking (Raj et al., 2019; Zhu et al., 2019; Kang et al., 2022; Y. Zhang et al., 2023). In the study of jet structure, Li et al. (2018, 2019a, 2019b, 2023) investigated the effects of the jet hole diameter, the number of jet holes, the jet distance, and the tank pressure on pulse jet cleaning. It was found that the transient pressure below the injection hole gradually increased along the airflow direction of the injection pipe, and the peak positive pressure at the inner surface of the injection pipe also increased. Liu and Shen (2019) investigated the effect of a new venturi structure on the performance of pulse jet dust removal. It was found that the longer the length of the venturi or the shorter the throat diameter of the venturi, the greater the energy loss. Zhang et al. (2023b) studied jet scouring at different angles based on FLOW-3D. It was found that counter flow scouring is better than down flow scouring. In the study of pulsed structure, Li et al. (2020) investigated the effects of different pulse amplitudes, pulse frequencies, and circumferential pressures on the rock-breaking performance. It was found that the rock-breaking performance of the jet increased with increasing pulse amplitude. However, due to the variation in pulse frequency, the rock-breaking performance does not show a clear pattern. The effect of Reynolds number on pulsating jets impinging on a plane was systematically investigated by H. H Medina et al. (2013) It was found that pulsation leads to a shorter core region of the jet, a faster decrease in the centerline axial velocity component, and a wider axial velocity distribution. Bi and Zhu (2021) investigated the effect of nozzle geometry on jet performance at low Reynolds numbers, while Luo et al. (2020) studied pulse jet propulsion at high Reynolds numbers and finally found that higher Reynolds numbers accelerate the formation of irregular vortices and symmetry-breaking instabilities. Cao et al. (2019) investigated the effect of four different pulse flushing methods on diamond core drilling efficiency. It was found that the use of intermittent rinsing methods not only increases penetration rates but also reduces rinse fluid flow and saves power.

Previous research on vertical submerged jet scouring has primarily focused on the effect of jet structure on scouring under continuous jet conditions. However, there have been fewer studies conducted on scouring under pulsed jet conditions. We found that the pulsed jet has a high erosion rate and entrainment rate, which can significantly enhance the scouring effect of the jet. Therefore, to address the research gap, this paper utilizes a combination of numerical calculations and experiments to investigate the effects of high pulse width, low pulse width, and amplitude on the scouring of vertically submerged jets. The study includes analyzing the structure of the pulsed jet flow field, studying the evolution of the scouring effect over time, and examining the relationship between the optimal pulse width, duty cycle, and amplitude. The study’s conclusions of the study can provide a reference for optimizing the performance of pulse jets in the fields of jet scouring applications, such as dredger dredging and pulse rock breaking, as well as a theoretical basis for the development of submerged pulse jets.

Section snippets

Model and calculation settings

Fig. 1 shows the geometric model of the submerged vertical jet impinging on the sand bed, which was built in Flow-3D on a 1:1 dimensional scale corresponding to the experiment. The jet scour simulation was set up between four baffles, where the top baffle was used to ensure that the jet entered only from the brass tube, and the remaining three tank baffles were used to fix the sediment and water body. The computational domain consisted of only solid and liquid components, with the specific

The effects of the pulse width on submerged jet scouring

The blocking pulsed jet, indicated as A and C in Fig. 8(a)–is discontinuous and divided into a water section and a pulse interval section. The water section in region A is not a regular shape, due to part of the water section near the side wall being affected by the wall friction and the falling speed being lower, but this also shows that the wall plays a certain buffer role. Region B of Fig. 8(a) shows the symmetrical vortex generation that occurs below the nozzle as the water section is

conclusions

In this paper, the effects of the pulse width and pulse amplitude on jet scour under submerged low-frequency pulse conditions are discussed and investigated, and the following conclusions have been reached.

(1)The errors of between the Flow-3D simulation and the experimental measurements were within 5%, which proves that the sedimentation scouring model of Flow-3D can reliably perform numerical calculation of the type considered in this paper.

(2)The change in the high pulse width T_{1} in the pulse cycle

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Chuan Wang: Data curation, Conceptualization. Hao Yu: Writing – original draft. Yang Yang: Writing – review & editing, Supervision. Zhenjun Gao: Supervision, Writing – review & editing. Bin Xi: Resources, Project administration. Hui Wang: Software, Data curation. Yulong Yao: Validation, Software.

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

•Landslide travel distance is considered for the first time in a predictive equation.

•Predictive equation derived from databases using 3D physical and numerical modeling.

•The equation was successfully tested on the 2018 Anak Krakatau tsunami event.

•The developed equation using three-dimensional data exhibits a 91 % fitting quality.

Abstract

Landslide tsunamis, responsible for thousands of deaths and significant damage in recent years, necessitate the allocation of sufficient time and resources for studying these extreme natural hazards. This study offers a step change in the field by conducting a large number of three-dimensional numerical experiments, validated by physical tests, to develop a predictive equation for the maximum initial amplitude of tsunamis generated by subaerial landslides. We first conducted a few 3D physical experiments in a wave basin which were then applied for the validation of a 3D numerical model based on the Flow3D-HYDRO package. Consequently, we delivered 100 simulations using the validated model by varying parameters such as landslide volume, water depth, slope angle and travel distance. This large database was subsequently employed to develop a predictive equation for the maximum initial tsunami amplitude. For the first time, we considered travel distance as an independent parameter for developing the predictive equation, which can significantly improve the predication accuracy. The predictive equation was tested for the case of the 2018 Anak Krakatau subaerial landslide tsunami and produced satisfactory results.

The Anak Krakatau landslide tsunami on 22nd December 2018 was a stark reminder of the dangers posed by subaerial landslide tsunamis (Ren et al., 2020; Mulia et al. 2020a; Borrero et al., 2020; Heidarzadeh et al., 2020; Grilli et al., 2021). The collapse of the volcano’s southwest side into the ocean triggered a tsunami that struck the Sunda Strait, leading to approximately 450 fatalities (Syamsidik et al., 2020; Mulia et al., 2020b) (Fig. 1). As shown in Fig. 1, landslide tsunamis (both submarine and subaerial) have been responsible for thousands of deaths and significant damage to coastal communities worldwide. These incidents underscored the critical need for advanced research into landslide-generated waves to aid in hazard prediction and mitigation. This is further emphasized by recent events such as the 28th of November 2020 landslide tsunami in the southern coast mountains of British Columbia (Canada), where an 18 million m^{3} rockslide generated a massive tsunami, with over 100 m wave run-up, causing significant environmental and infrastructural damage (Geertsema et al., 2022).

Physical modelling and numerical simulation are crucial tools in the study of landslide-induced waves due to their ability to replicate and analyse the complex dynamics of landslide events (Kim et al., 2020). In two-dimensional (2D) modelling, the discrepancy between dimensions can lead to an artificial overestimation of wave amplification (e.g., Heller and Spinneken, 2015). This limitation is overcome with 3D modelling, which enables the scaled-down representation of landslide-generated waves while avoiding the simplifications inherent in 2D approaches (Erosi et al., 2019). Another advantage of 3D modelling in studying landslide-generated waves is its ability to accurately depict the complex dynamics of wave propagation, including lateral and radial spreading from the slide impact zone, a feature unattainable with 2D models (Heller and Spinneken, 2015).

Physical experiments in tsunami research, as presented by authors such as Romano et al. (2020), McFall and Fritz (2016), and Heller and Spinneken (2015), have supported 3D modelling works through validation and calibration of the numerical models to capture the complexities of wave generation and propagation. Numerical modelling has increasingly complemented experimental approach in tsunami research due to the latter’s time and resource-intensive nature, particularly for 3D models (Li et al., 2019; Kim et al., 2021). Various numerical approaches have been employed, from Eulerian and Lagrangian frameworks to depth-averaged and Navier–Stokes models, enhancing our understanding of tsunami dynamics (Si et al., 2018; Grilli et al., 2019; Heidarzadeh et al., 2017, 2020; Iorio et al., 2021; Zhang et al., 2021; Kirby et al., 2022; Wang et al., 2021, 2022; Hu et al., 2022). The sophisticated numerical techniques, including the Particle Finite Element Method and the Immersed Boundary Method, have also shown promising results in modelling highly dynamic landslide scenarios (Mulligan et al., 2020; Chen et al., 2020). Among these methods and techniques, FLOW-3D HYDRO stands out in simulating landslide-generated tsunami waves due to its sophisticated technical features such as offering Tru Volume of Fluid (VOF) method for precise free surface tracking (e.g., Sabeti and Heidarzadeh 2022a). TruVOF distinguishes itself through a split Lagrangian approach, adeptly reducing cumulative volume errors in wave simulations by dynamically updating cell volume fractions and areas with each time step. Its intelligent adaptation of time step size ensures precise capture of evolving free surfaces, offering unparalleled accuracy in modelling complex fluid interfaces and behaviour (Flow Science, 2023).

Predictive equations play a crucial role in assessing the potential hazards associated with landslide-generated tsunami waves due to their ability to provide risk assessment and warnings. These equations can offer swift and reasonable evaluations of potential tsunami impacts in the absence of detailed numerical simulations, which can be time-consuming and expensive to produce. Among multiple factors and parameters within a landslide tsunami generation, the initial maximum wave amplitude (Fig. 1) stands out due to its critical role. While it is most likely that the initial wave generated by a landslide will have the highest amplitude, it is crucial to clarify that the term “initial maximum wave amplitude” refers to the highest amplitude within the first set of impulse waves. This parameter is essential in determining the tsunami’s impact severity, with higher amplitudes signalling a greater destructive potential (Sabeti and Heidarzadeh 2022a). Additionally, it plays a significant role in tsunami modelling, aiding in the prediction of wave propagation and the assessment of potential impacts.

In this study, we initially validate the FLOW-3D HYDRO model through a series of physical experiments conducted in a 3D wave tank at University of Bath (UK). Upon confirmation of the model’s accuracy, we use it to systematically vary parameters namely landslide volume, water depth, slope angle, and travel distance, creating an extensive database. Alongside this, we perform a sensitivity analysis on these variables to discern their impacts on the initial maximum wave amplitude. The generated database was consequently applied to derive a non-dimensional predictive equation aimed at estimating the initial maximum wave amplitude in real-world landslide tsunami events.

Two innovations of this study are: (i) The predictive equation of this study is based on a large number of 3D experiments whereas most of the previous equations were based on 2D results, and (ii) For the first time, the travel distance is included in the predictive equation as an independent parameter. To evaluate the performance of our predictive equation, we applied it to a previous real-world subaerial landslide tsunami, i.e., the Anak Krakatau 2018 event. Furthermore, we compare the performance of our predictive equation with other existing equations.

2. Data and methods

The methodology applied in this research is a combination of physical and numerical modelling. Limited physical modelling was performed in a 3D wave basin at the University of Bath (UK) to provide data for calibration and validation of the numerical model. After calibration and validation, the numerical model was employed to model a large number of landslide tsunami scenarios which allowed us to develop a database for deriving a predictive equation.

2.1. Physical experiments

To validate our numerical model, we conducted a series of physical experiments including two sets in a 3D wave basin at University of Bath, measuring 2.50 m in length (W_{L}), 2.60 m in width (W_{W}), and 0.60 m in height (W_{H}) (Fig. 2a). Conducting two distinct sets of experiments (Table 1), each with different setups (travel distance, location, and water depth), provided a robust framework for validation of the numerical model. For wave measurement, we employed a twin wire wave gauge from HR Wallingford (https://equipit.hrwallingford.com). In these experiments, we used a concrete prism solid block, the dimensions of which are outlined in Table 2. In our experiments, we employed a concrete prism solid block with a density of 2600 kg/m^{3}, chosen for its similarity to the natural density of landslides, akin to those observed with the 2018 Anak Krakatau tsunami, where the landslide composition is predominantly solid rather than granular. The block’s form has also been endorsed in prior studies (Watts, 1998; Najafi-Jilani and Ataie-Ashtiani, 2008) as a suitable surrogate for modelling landslide-induced waves. A key aspect of our methodology was addressing scale effects, following the guidelines proposed by Heller et al. (2008) as it is described in Table 1. To enhance the reliability and accuracy of our experimental data, we conducted each physical experiment three times which revealed all three experimental waveforms were identical. This repetition was aimed at minimizing potential errors and inconsistencies in laboratory measurements.

Table 1. The locations and other information of the laboratory setups for making landslide-generated waves in the physical wave basin. This table details the specific parameters for each setup, including slope range (α), slide volume (V), kinematic viscosity (ν), water depth (h), travel distance (D), surface tension coefficient of water (σ), Reynolds number (R), Weber number (W), and the precise coordinates of the wave gauges (WG).

The acceptable ranges for avoiding scale effects are based on the study by Heller et al. (2008).⁎⁎

The Reynolds number (R) is given by g^{0.5}h^{1.5}/ν, with ν denoting the kinematic viscosity. The Weber number (W) is W = ρgh^{2}/σ, where σ represents surface tension coefficient and ρ = 1000kg/m^{3} is the density of water. In our experiments, conducted at a water temperature of approximately 20 °C, the kinematic viscosity (ν) and the surface tension coefficient of water (σ) are 1.01 × 10^{−6} m²/s and 0.073 N/m, respectively (Kestin et al., 1978).

Table 2. Specifications of the solid block used in physical experiments for generating subaerial landslides in the laboratory.

Solid-block attributes

Property metrics

Geometric shape

Slide width (b_{s})

0.26 m

Slide length (l_{s})

0.20 m

Slide thickness (s)

0.10 m

Slide volume (V)

2.60 × 10^{−3} m^{3}

Specific gravity, (γ_{s})

2.60

Slide weight (m_{s})

6.86 kg

2.2. Numerical simulations applying FLOW-3D hydro

The detailed theoretical framework encompassing the governing equations, the computational methodologies employed, and the specific techniques used for tracking the water surface in these simulations are thoroughly detailed in the study by Sabeti et al. (2024). Here, we briefly explain some of the numerical details. We defined a uniform mesh for our flow domain, carefully crafted with a fine spatial resolution of 0.005 m (i.e., grid size). The dimensions of the numerical model directly matched those of our wave basin used in the physical experiment, being 2.60 m wide, 0.60 m deep, and 2.50 m long (Fig. 2). This design ensures comprehensive coverage of the study area. The output intervals of the numerical model are set at 0.02 s. This timing is consistent with the sampling rates of wave gauges used in laboratory settings. The friction coefficient in the FLOW-3D HYDRO is designated as 0.45. This value corresponds to the Coulombic friction measurements obtained in the laboratory, ensuring that the simulation accurately reflects real-world physical interactions.

In order to simulate the landslide motion, we applied coupled motion objects in FLOW-3D-HYDRO where the dynamics are predominantly driven by gravity and surface friction. This methodology stands in contrast to other models that necessitate explicit inputs of force and torque. This approach ensures that the simulation more accurately reflects the natural movement of landslides, which is heavily reliant on gravitational force and the interaction between sliding surfaces. The stability of the numerical simulations is governed by the Courant Number criterion (Courant et al., 1928), which dictates the maximum time step (Δt) for a given mesh size (Δx) and flow speed (U). According to Courant et al. (1928), this number is required to stay below one to ensure stability of numerical simulations. In our simulations, the Courant number is always maintained below one.

In alignment with the parameters of physical experiments, we set the fluid within the mesh to water, characterized by a density of 1000 kg/m³ at a temperature of 20 °C. Furthermore, we defined the top, front, and back surfaces of the mesh as symmetry planes. The remaining surfaces are designated as wall types, incorporating no-slip conditions to accurately simulate the interaction between the fluid and the boundaries. In terms of selection of an appropriate turbulence model, we selected the k–ω model that showed a better performance than other turbulence methods (e.g., Renormalization-Group) in a previous study (Sabeti et al., 2024). The simulations are conducted using a PC Intel® Core™ i7-10510U CPU with a frequency of 1.80 GHz, and a 16 GB RAM. On this PC, completion of a 3-s simulation required approximately 12.5 h.

2.3. Validation

The FLOW-3D HYDRO numerical model was validated using the two physical experiments (Fig. 3) outlined in Table 1. The level of agreement between observations (O_{i}) and simulations (S_{i}) is examined using the following equation:(1)�=|��−����|×100where ε represents the mismatch error, O_{i} denotes the observed laboratory values, and S_{i} represents the simulated values from the FLOW-3D HYDRO model. The results of this validation process revealed that our model could replicate the waves generated in the physical experiments with a reasonable degree of mismatch (ε): 14 % for Lab 1 and 8 % for Lab 2 experiments, respectively (Fig. 3). These values indicate that while the model is not perfect, it provides a sufficiently close approximation of the real-world phenomena.

In terms of mesh efficiency, we varied the mesh size to study sensitivity of the numerical results to mesh size. First, by halving the mesh size and then by doubling it, we repeated the modelling by keeping other parameters unchanged. This analysis guided that a mesh size of ∆x = 0.005 m is the most effective for the setup of this study. The total number of computational cells applying mesh size of 0.005 m is 9.269 × 10^{6}.

2.4. The dataset

The validated numerical model was employed to conduct 100 simulations, incorporating variations in four key landslide parameters namely water depth, slope angle, slide volume, and travel distance. This methodical approach was essential for a thorough sensitivity analysis of these variables, and for the creation of a detailed database to develop a predictive equation for maximum initial tsunami amplitude. Within the model, 15 distinct slide volumes were established, ranging from 0.10 × 10^{−3} m^{3} to 6.25 × 10^{−3} m^{3} (Table 3). The slope angle varied between 35° and 55°, and water depth ranged from 0.24 m to 0.27 m. The travel distance of the landslides was varied, spanning from 0.04 m to 0.07 m. Detailed configurations of each simulation, along with the maximum initial wave amplitudes and dominant wave periods are provided in Table 4.

Table 3. Geometrical information of the 15 solid blocks used in numerical modelling for generating landslide tsunamis. Parameters are: l_{s}, slide length; b_{s}, slide width; s, slide thickness; γ_{s}, specific gravity; and V, slide volume.

Solid block

l_{s} (m)

b_{s} (m)

s (m)

V (m^{3})

γ_{s}

Block-1

0.310

0.260

0.155

6.25 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-2

0.300

0.260

0.150

5.85 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-3

0.280

0.260

0.140

5.10 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-4

0.260

0.260

0.130

4.39 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-5

0.240

0.260

0.120

3.74 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-6

0.220

0.260

0.110

3.15 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-7

0.200

0.260

0.100

2.60 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-8

0.180

0.260

0.090

2.11 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-9

0.160

0.260

0.080

1.66 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-10

0.140

0.260

0.070

1.27 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-11

0.120

0.260

0.060

0.93 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-12

0.100

0.260

0.050

0.65 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-13

0.080

0.260

0.040

0.41 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-14

0.060

0.260

0.030

0.23 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Block-15

0.040

0.260

0.020

0.10 × 10^{−3}

2.60

Table 4. The numerical simulation for the 100 tests performed in this study for subaerial solid-block landslide-generated waves. Parameters are a_{M}, maximum wave amplitude; α, slope angle; h, water depth; D, travel distance; and T, dominant wave period. The location of the wave gauge is X=1.030 m, Y=1.210 m, and Z=0.050 m. The properties of various solid blocks are presented in Table 3.

Test-

Block No

α (°)

h (m)

D (m)

T(s)

a_{M} (m)

1

Block-7

45

0.246

0.029

0.510

0.0153

2

Block-7

45

0.246

0.030

0.505

0.0154

3

Block-7

45

0.246

0.031

0.505

0.0156

4

Block-7

45

0.246

0.032

0.505

0.0158

5

Block-7

45

0.246

0.033

0.505

0.0159

6

Block-7

45

0.246

0.034

0.505

0.0160

7

Block-7

45

0.246

0.035

0.505

0.0162

8

Block-7

45

0.246

0.036

0.505

0.0166

9

Block-7

45

0.246

0.037

0.505

0.0167

10

Block-7

45

0.246

0.038

0.505

0.0172

11

Block-7

45

0.246

0.039

0.505

0.0178

12

Block-7

45

0.246

0.040

0.505

0.0179

13

Block-7

45

0.246

0.041

0.505

0.0181

14

Block-7

45

0.246

0.042

0.505

0.0183

15

Block-7

45

0.246

0.043

0.505

0.0190

16

Block-7

45

0.246

0.044

0.505

0.0197

17

Block-7

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0199

18

Block-7

45

0.246

0.046

0.505

0.0201

19

Block-7

45

0.246

0.047

0.505

0.0191

20

Block-7

45

0.246

0.048

0.505

0.0217

21

Block-7

45

0.246

0.049

0.505

0.0220

22

Block-7

45

0.246

0.050

0.505

0.0226

23

Block-7

45

0.246

0.051

0.505

0.0236

24

Block-7

45

0.246

0.052

0.505

0.0239

25

Block-7

45

0.246

0.053

0.510

0.0240

26

Block-7

45

0.246

0.054

0.505

0.0241

27

Block-7

45

0.246

0.055

0.505

0.0246

28

Block-7

45

0.246

0.056

0.505

0.0247

29

Block-7

45

0.246

0.057

0.505

0.0248

30

Block-7

45

0.246

0.058

0.505

0.0249

31

Block-7

45

0.246

0.059

0.505

0.0251

32

Block-7

45

0.246

0.060

0.505

0.0257

33

Block-1

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0319

34

Block-2

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0294

35

Block-3

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0282

36

Block-4

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0262

37

Block-5

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0243

38

Block-6

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0223

39

Block-7

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0196

40

Block-8

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0197

41

Block-9

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0198

42

Block-10

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0184

43

Block-11

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0173

44

Block-12

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0165

45

Block-13

45

0.246

0.045

0.404

0.0153

46

Block-14

45

0.246

0.045

0.404

0.0124

47

Block-15

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0066

48

Block-7

45

0.202

0.045

0.404

0.0220

49

Block-7

45

0.204

0.045

0.404

0.0219

50

Block-7

45

0.206

0.045

0.404

0.0218

51

Block-7

45

0.208

0.045

0.404

0.0217

52

Block-7

45

0.210

0.045

0.404

0.0216

53

Block-7

45

0.212

0.045

0.404

0.0215

54

Block-7

45

0.214

0.045

0.505

0.0214

55

Block-7

45

0.216

0.045

0.505

0.0214

56

Block-7

45

0.218

0.045

0.505

0.0213

57

Block-7

45

0.220

0.045

0.505

0.0212

58

Block-7

45

0.222

0.045

0.505

0.0211

59

Block-7

45

0.224

0.045

0.505

0.0208

60

Block-7

45

0.226

0.045

0.505

0.0203

61

Block-7

45

0.228

0.045

0.505

0.0202

62

Block-7

45

0.230

0.045

0.505

0.0201

63

Block-7

45

0.232

0.045

0.505

0.0201

64

Block-7

45

0.234

0.045

0.505

0.0200

65

Block-7

45

0.236

0.045

0.505

0.0199

66

Block-7

45

0.238

0.045

0.404

0.0196

67

Block-7

45

0.240

0.045

0.404

0.0194

68

Block-7

45

0.242

0.045

0.404

0.0193

69

Block-7

45

0.244

0.045

0.404

0.0192

70

Block-7

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0190

71

Block-7

45

0.248

0.045

0.505

0.0189

72

Block-7

45

0.250

0.045

0.505

0.0187

73

Block-7

45

0.252

0.045

0.505

0.0187

74

Block-7

45

0.254

0.045

0.505

0.0186

75

Block-7

45

0.256

0.045

0.505

0.0184

76

Block-7

45

0.258

0.045

0.505

0.0182

77

Block-7

45

0.259

0.045

0.505

0.0183

78

Block-7

45

0.260

0.045

0.505

0.0191

79

Block-7

45

0.261

0.045

0.505

0.0192

80

Block-7

45

0.262

0.045

0.505

0.0194

81

Block-7

45

0.263

0.045

0.505

0.0195

82

Block-7

45

0.264

0.045

0.505

0.0195

83

Block-7

45

0.265

0.045

0.505

0.0197

84

Block-7

45

0.266

0.045

0.505

0.0197

85

Block-7

45

0.267

0.045

0.505

0.0198

86

Block-7

45

0.270

0.045

0.505

0.0199

87

Block-7

30

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0101

88

Block-7

35

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0107

89

Block-7

36

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0111

90

Block-7

37

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0116

91

Block-7

38

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0117

92

Block-7

39

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0119

93

Block-7

40

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0121

94

Block-7

41

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0127

95

Block-7

42

0.246

0.045

0.404

0.0154

96

Block-7

43

0.246

0.045

0.404

0.0157

97

Block-7

44

0.246

0.045

0.404

0.0162

98

Block-7

45

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0197

99

Block-7

50

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0221

100

Block-7

55

0.246

0.045

0.505

0.0233

In all these 100 simulations, the wave gauge was consistently positioned at coordinates X=1.09 m, Y=1.21 m, and Z=0.05 m. The dominant wave period for each simulation was determined using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) function in MATLAB (MathWorks, 2023). Furthermore, the classification of wave types was carried out using a wave categorization graph according to Sorensen (2010), as shown in Fig. 4a. The results indicate that the majority of the simulated waves are on the border between intermediate and deep-water waves, and they are categorized as Stokes waves (Fig. 4a). Four sample waveforms from our 100 numerical experiments are provided in Fig. 4b.

The dataset in Table 4 was used to derive a new predictive equation that incorporates travel distance for the first time to estimate the initial maximum tsunami amplitude. In developing this equation, a genetic algorithm optimization technique was implemented using MATLAB (MathWorks 2023). This advanced approach entailed the use of genetic algorithms (GAs), an evolutionary algorithm type inspired by natural selection processes (MathWorks, 2023). This technique is iterative, involving selection, crossover, and mutation processes to evolve solutions over several generations. The goal was to identify the optimal coefficients and powers for each landslide parameter in the predictive equation, ensuring a robust and reliable model for estimating maximum wave amplitudes. Genetic Algorithms excel at optimizing complex models by navigating through extensive combinations of coefficients and exponents. GAs effectively identify highly suitable solutions for the non-linear and complex relationships between inputs (e.g., slide volume, slope angle, travel distance, water depth) and the output (i.e., maximum initial wave amplitude, a_{M}). MATLAB’s computational environment enhances this process, providing robust tools for GA to adapt and evolve solutions iteratively, ensuring the precision of the predictive model (Onnen et al., 1997). This approach leverages MATLAB’s capabilities to fine-tune parameters dynamically, achieving an optimal equation that accurately estimates a_{M}. It is important to highlight that the nondimensionalized version of this dataset is employed to develop a predictive equation which enables the equation to reproduce the maximum initial wave amplitude (a_{M}) for various subaerial landslide cases, independent of their dimensional differences (e.g., Heler and Hager 2014; Heller and Spinneken 2015; Sabeti and Heidarzadeh 2022b). For this nondimensionalization, we employed the water depth (h) to nondimensionalize the slide volume (V/h^{3}) and travel distance (D/h). The slide thickness (s) was applied to nondimensionalize the water depth (h/s).

2.5. Landslide velocity

In discussing the critical role of landslide velocity for simulating landslide-generated waves, we focus on the mechanisms of landslide motion and the techniques used to record landslide velocity in our simulations (Fig. 5). Also, we examine how these methods were applied in two distinct scenarios: Lab 1 and Lab 2 (see Table 1 for their details). Regarding the process of landslide movement, a slide starts from a stationary state, gaining momentum under the influence of gravity and this acceleration continues until the landslide collides with water, leading to a significant reduction in its speed before eventually coming to a stop (Fig. 5) (e.g., Panizzo et al. 2005).

To measure the landslide’s velocity in our simulations, we attached a probe at the centre of the slide, which supplied a time series of the velocity data. The slide’s velocity (v_{s}) peaks at the moment it enters the water (Fig. 5), a point referred to as the impact time (t_{Imp}). Following this initial impact, the slides continue their underwater movement, eventually coming to a complete halt (t_{Stop}). Given the results in Fig. 5, it can be seen that Lab 1, with its longer travel distance (0.070 m), exhibits a higher peak velocity of 1.89 m/s. This increase in velocity is attributed to the extended travel distance allowing more time for the slide to accelerate under gravity. Whereas Lab 2, featuring a shorter travel distance (0.045 m), records a lower peak velocity of 1.78 m/s. This difference underscores how travel distance significantly influences the dynamics of landslide motion. After reaching the peak, both profiles show a sharp decrease in velocity, marking the transition to submarine motion until the slides come to a complete stop (t_{Stop}). There are noticeable differences observable in Fig. 5 between the Lab-1 and Lab-2 simulations, including the peaks at 0.3 s . These variations might stem from the placement of the wave gauge, which differs slightly in each scenario, as well as the water depth’s minor discrepancies and, the travel distance.

2.6. Effect of air entrainment

In this section we examine whether it is required to consider air entrainment for our modelling or not as the FLOW-3D HYDRO package is capable of modelling air entrainment. The process of air entrainment in water during a landslide tsunami and its subsequent transport involve two key components: the quantification of air entrainment at the water surface, and the simulation of the air’s transport within the fluid (Hirt, 2003). FLOW-3D HYDRO employs the air entrainment model to compute the volume of air entrained at the water’s surface utilizing three approaches: a constant density model, a variable density model accounting for bulking, and a buoyancy model that adds the Drift-FLUX mechanism to variable density conditions (Flow Science, 2023). The calculation of the entrainment rate is based on the following equation:(2)�������=������[2(��−�����−2�/���)]1/2where parameters are: V_{air}, volume of air; C_{air}, entrainment rate coefficient; A_{s}, surface area of fluid; ρ, fluid density; k, turbulent kinetic energy; g_{n}, gravity normal to surface; L_{t}, turbulent length scale; and σ, surface tension coefficient. The value of k is directly computed from the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) (k–w) calculations in our model.

In this study, we selected the variable density + Drift-FLUX model, which effectively captures the dynamics of phase separation and automatically activates the constant density and variable density models. This method simplifies the air-water mixture, treating it as a single, homogeneous fluid within each computational cell. For the phase volume fractions f_{1}and f_{2}, the velocities are expressed in terms of the mixture and relative velocities, denoted as u and u_{r}, respectively, as follows:(3)��1��+�.(�1�)=��1��+�.(�1�)−�.(�1�2��)=0(4)��2��+�.(�2�)=��2��+�.(�2�)−�.(�1�2��)=0

The outcomes from this simulation are displayed in Fig. 6, which indicates that the influence of air entrainment on the generated wave amplitude is approximately 2 %. A value of 0.02 for the entrained air volume fraction means that, in the simulated fluid, approximately 2 % of the volume is composed of entrained air. In other words, for every unit volume of the fluid-air mixture at that location, 2 % is air and the remaining 98 % is water. The configuration of Test-17 (Table 4) was employed for this simulation. While the effect of air entrainment is anticipated to be more significant in models of granular landslide-generated waves (Fritz, 2002), in our simulations we opted not to incorporate this module due to its negligible impact on the results.

3. Results

In this section, we begin by presenting a sequence of our 3D simulations capturing different time steps to illustrate the generation process of landslide-generated waves. Subsequently, we derive a new predictive equation to estimate the maximum initial wave amplitude of landslide-generated waves and assess its performance.

3.1. Wave generation and propagation

To demonstrate the wave generation process in our simulation, we reference Test-17 from Table 4, where we employed Block-7 (Tables 3, 4). In this configuration, the slope angle was set to 45°, with a water depth of 0.246 m and a travel distance at 0.045 m (Fig. 7). At 0.220 s, the initial impact of the moving slide on the water is depicted, marking the onset of the wave generation process (Fig. 7a). Disturbances are localized to the immediate area of impact, with the rest of the water surface remaining undisturbed. At this time, a maximum water particle velocity of 1.0 m/s – 1.2 m/s is seen around the impact zone (Fig. 7d). Moving to 0.320 s, the development of the wave becomes apparent as energy transfer from the landslide to the water creates outwardly radiating waves with maximum water particle velocity of up to around 1.6 m/s – 1.8 m/s (Fig. 7b, e). By the time 0.670 s, the wave has fully developed and is propagating away from the impact point exhibiting maximum water particle velocity of up to 2.0 m/s – 2.1 m/s. Concentric wave fronts are visible, moving outwards in all directions, with a colour gradient signifying the highest wave amplitude near the point of landslide entry, diminishing with distance (Fig. 7c, f).

3.2. Influence of landslide parameters on tsunami amplitude

In this section, we investigate the effects of various landslide parameters namely slide volume (V), water depth (h), slipe angle (α) and travel distance (D) on the maximum initial wave amplitude (a_{M}). Fig. 8 presents the outcome of these analyses. According to Fig. 8, the slide volume, slope angle, and travel distance exhibit a direct relationship with the wave amplitude, meaning that as these parameters increase, so does the amplitude. Conversely, water depth is inversely related to the maximum initial wave amplitude, suggesting that the deeper the water depth, the smaller the maximum wave amplitude will be (Fig. 8b).

Fig. 8a highlights the pronounced impact of slide volume on the a_{M}, demonstrating a direct correlation between the two variables. For instance, in the range of slide volumes we modelled (Fig. 8a), The smallest slide volume tested, measuring 0.10 × 10^{−3} m^{3}, generated a low initial wave amplitude (a_{M}= 0.0066 m) (Table 4). In contrast, the largest volume tested, 6.25 × 10^{−3} m^{3}, resulted in a significantly higher initial wave amplitude (a_{M}= 0.0319 m) (Table 4). The extremities of these results emphasize the slide volume’s paramount impact on wave amplitude, further elucidated by their positions as the smallest and largest a_{M} values across all conducted tests (Table 4). This is corroborated by findings from the literature (e.g., Murty, 2003), which align with the observed trend in our simulations.

The slope angle’s influence on a_{M} was smooth. A steady increase of wave amplitude was observed as the slope angle increased (Fig. 8c). In examining travel distance, an anomaly was identified. At a travel distance of 0.047 m, there was an unexpected dip in a_{M}, which deviates from the general increasing trend associated with longer travel distances. This singular instance could potentially be attributed to a numerical error. Beyond this point, the expected pattern of increasing a_{M} with longer travel distances resumes, suggesting that the anomaly at 0.047 m is an outlier in an otherwise consistent trend, and thus this single data point was overlooked while deriving the predictive equation. Regarding the inverse relationship between water depth and wave amplitude, our result (Fig. 8b) is consistent with previous reports by Fritz et al. (2003), (2004), and Watts et al. (2005).

The insights from Fig. 8 informed the architecture of the predictive equation in the next Section, with slide volume, travel distance, and slope angle being multiplicatively linked to wave amplitude underscoring their direct correlations with wave amplitude. Conversely, water depth is incorporated as a divisor, representing its inverse relationship with wave amplitude. This structure encapsulates the dynamics between the landslide parameters and their influence on the maximum initial wave amplitude as discussed in more detail in the next Section.

3.3. Predictive equation

Building on our sensitivity analysis of landslide parameters, as detailed in Section 3.2, and utilizing our nondimensional dataset, we have derived a new predictive equation as follows:(5)��/ℎ=0.015(tan�)0.10(�ℎ3)0.90(�ℎ)0.10(ℎ�)−0.11where, V is sliding volume, h is water depth, α is slope angle, and s is landslide thickness. It is important to note that this equation is valid only for subaerial solid-block landslide tsunamis as all our experiments were for this type of waves. The performance of this equation in predicting simulation data is demonstrated by the satisfactory alignment of data points around a 45° line, indicating its accuracy and reliability with regard to the experimental dataset (Fig. 9). The quality of fit between the dataset and Eq. (5) is 91 % indicating that Eq. (5) represents the dataset very well. Table 5 presents Eq. (5) alongside four other similar equations previously published. Two significant distinctions between our Eq. (5) and these others are: (i) Eq. (5) is derived from 3D experiments, whereas the other four equations are based on 2D experiments. (ii) Unlike the other equations, our Eq. (5) incorporates travel distance as an independent parameter.

Table 5. Performance comparison among our newly-developed equation and existing equations for estimating the maximum initial amplitude (a_{M}) of the 2018 Anak Krakatau subaerial landslide tsunami. Parameters: a_{M}, initial maximum wave amplitude; h, water depth; v_{s}, landslide velocity; V, slide volume; b_{s}, slide width; l_{s}, slide length; s, slide thickness; α, slope angle; and ����, volume of the final immersed landslide. We considered ����= V as the slide volume.

Geometrical and kinematic parameters of the 2018 Anak Krakatau subaerial landslide based on Heidarzadeh et al. (2020), Grilli et al. (2019) and Grilli et al. (2021): V=2.11 × 10^{7} m^{3}, h= 50 m; s= 114 m; α= 45°; l_{s}=1250 m; b_{s}= 2700 m; v_{s}=44.9 m/s; D= 2500 m; a_{M}= 100 m −150 m.⁎⁎

a_{M}= An average value of a_{M} = 134 m is considered in this study.⁎⁎⁎

The equation of Bolin et al. (2014) is based on the reformatted one reported by Lindstrøm (2016).⁎⁎⁎⁎

Error is calculated using Eq. (1), where the calculated a_{M} is assumed as the simulated value.

Additionally, we evaluated the performance of this equation using the real-world data from the 2018 Anak Krakatau subaerial landslide tsunami. Based on previous studies (Heidarzadeh et al., 2020; Grilli et al., 2019, 2021), we were able to provide a list of parameters for the subaerial landslide and associated tsunami for the 2018 Anak Krakatau event (see footnote of Table 5). We note that the data of the 2018 Anak Krakatau event was not used while deriving Eq. (5). The results indicate that Eq. (5) predicts the initial amplitude of the 2018 Anak Krakatau tsunami as being 130 m indicating an error of 2.9 % compared to the reported average amplitude of 134 m for this event. This performance indicates an improvement compared to the previous equation reported by Sabeti and Heidarzadeh (2022a) (Table 5). In contrast, the equations from Robbe-Saule et al. (2021) and Bolin et al. (2014) demonstrate higher discrepancies of 4200 % and 77 %, respectively (Table 5). Although Noda’s (1970) equation reproduces the tsunami amplitude of 134 m accurately (Table 5), it is crucial to consider its limitations, notably not accounting for parameters such as slope angle and travel distance.

It is essential to recognize that both travel distance and slope angle significantly affect wave amplitude. In our model, captured in Eq. (5), we integrate the slope angle (α) through the tangent function, i.e., tan α. This choice diverges from traditional physical interpretations that often employ the cosine or sine function (e.g., Heller and Hager, 2014; Watts et al., 2003). We opted for the tangent function because it more effectively reflects the direct impact of slope steepness on wave generation, yielding superior estimations compared to conventional methods.

The significance of this study lies in its application of both physical and numerical 3D experiments and the derivation of a predictive equation based on 3D results. Prior research, e.g. Heller et al. (2016), has reported notable discrepancies between 2D and 3D wave amplitudes, highlighting the important role of 3D experiments. It is worth noting that the suitability of applying an equation derived from either 2D or 3D data depends on the specific geometry and characteristics inherent in the problem being addressed. For instance, in the case of a long, narrow dam reservoir, an equation derived from 2D data would likely be more suitable. In such contexts, the primary dynamics of interest such as flow patterns and potential wave propagation are predominantly two-dimensional, occurring along the length and depth of the reservoir. This simplification to 2D for narrow dam reservoirs allows for more accurate modelling of these dynamics.

This study specifically investigates waves initiated by landslides, focusing on those characterized as solid blocks instead of granular flows, with slope angles confined to a range of 25° to 60°. We acknowledge the additional complexities encountered in real-world scenarios, such as dynamic density and velocity of landslides, which could affect the estimations. The developed equation in this study is specifically designed to predict the maximum initial amplitude of tsunamis for the aforementioned specified ranges and types of landslides.

4. Conclusions

Both physical and numerical experiments were undertaken in a 3D wave basin to study solid-block landslide-generated waves and to formulate a predictive equation for their maximum initial wave amplitude. At the beginning, two physical experiments were performed to validate and calibrate a 3D numerical model, which was subsequently utilized to generate 100 experiments by varying different landslide parameters. The generated database was then used to derive a predictive equation for the maximum initial wave amplitude of landslide tsunamis. The main features and outcomes are:

•The predictive equation of this study is exclusively derived from 3D data and exhibits a fitting quality of 91 % when applied to the database.

•For the first time, landslide travel distance was considered in the predictive equation. This inclusion provides more accuracy and flexibility for applying the equation.

•To further evaluate the performance of the predictive equation, it was applied to a real-world subaerial landslide tsunami (i.e., the 2018 Anak Krakatau event) and delivered satisfactory performance.

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Funding

RS is supported by the Leverhulme Trust Grant No. RPG-2022-306. MH is funded by open funding of State Key Lab of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, grant number SKHL2101. We acknowledge University of Bath Institutional Open Access Fund. MH is also funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation grant no. 6217 (awarded in 2023).

Acknowledgements

Authors are sincerely grateful to the laboratory technician team, particularly Mr William Bazeley, at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Bath for their support during the laboratory physical modelling of this research. We appreciate the valuable insights provided by Mr. Brian Fox (Senior CFD Engineer at Flow Science, Inc.) regarding air entrainment modelling in FLOW-3D HYDRO. We acknowledge University of Bath Institutional Open Access Fund.

Data availability

All data used in this study are given in the body of the article.

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In order to comprehensively reveal the evolutionary dynamics of the molten pool and the state of motion of the fluid during the high-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) process, this study aims to deeply investigate the specific manifestations of the multiphase flow, solidification phenomena, and heat transfer during the process by means of numerical simulation methods. Numerical simulation models of SS316L single-layer HP-LPBF formation with single and double tracks were constructed using the discrete element method and the computational fluid dynamics method. The effects of various factors such as Marangoni convection, surface tension, vapor recoil, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool have been paid attention to during the model construction process. The results show that the molten pool exhibits a “comet” shape, in which the temperature gradient at the front end of the pool is significantly larger than that at the tail end, with the highest temperature gradient up to 1.69 × 10^{8} K/s. It is also found that the depth of the second track is larger than that of the first one, and the process parameter window has been determined preliminarily. In addition, the application of HP-LPBF technology helps to reduce the surface roughness and minimize the forming size.

Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) has become a research hotspot in the field of additive manufacturing of metals due to its advantages of high-dimensional accuracy, good surface quality, high density, and high material utilization.^{1,2} With the rapid development of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics, the demand for microfabrication technology is increasing day by day.^{3} High-precision laser powder bed fusion (HP-LPBF) is one of the key manufacturing technologies for tiny parts in the fields of electronics, medical, automotive, biotechnology, energy, communication, and optics because of its process characteristics such as small focal spot diameter, small powder particle size, and thin powder layup layer thickness.^{4–13} Compared with LPBF, HP-LPBF has the significant advantages of smaller focal spot diameter, smaller powder particle size, and thinner layer thickness. These advantages make HP-LPBF perform better in producing micro-fine parts, high surface quality, and parts with excellent mechanical properties.

HP-LPBF is in the exploratory stage, and researchers have already done some exploratory studies on the focal spot diameter, the amount of defocusing, and the powder particle size. In order to explore the influence of changing the laser focal spot diameter on the LPBF process characteristics of the law, Wildman et al.^{14} studied five groups of different focal spot diameter LPBF forming 316L stainless steel (SS316L) processing effect, the smallest focal spot diameter of 26 μm, and the results confirm that changing the focal spot diameter can be achieved to achieve the energy control, so as to control the quality of forming. Subsequently, Mclouth et al.^{15} proposed the laser out-of-focus amount (focal spot diameter) parameter, which characterizes the distance between the forming plane and the laser focal plane. The laser energy density was controlled by varying the defocusing amount while keeping the laser parameters constant. Sample preparation at different focal positions was investigated, and their microstructures were characterized. The results show that the samples at the focal plane have finer microstructure than those away from the focal plane, which is the effect of higher power density and smaller focal spot diameter. In order to explore the influence of changing the powder particle size on the characteristics of the LPBF process, Qian et al.^{16} carried out single-track scanning simulations on powder beds with average powder particle sizes of 70 and 40 μm, respectively, and the results showed that the melt tracks sizes were close to each other under the same process parameters for the two particle-size distributions and that the molten pool of powder beds with small particles was more elongated and the edges of the melt tracks were relatively flat. In order to explore the superiority of HP-LPBF technology, Xu et al.^{17} conducted a comparative analysis of HP-LPBF and conventional LPBF of SS316L. The results showed that the average surface roughness of the top surface after forming by HP-LPBF could reach 3.40 μm. Once again, it was verified that HP-LPBF had higher forming quality than conventional LPBF. On this basis, Wei et al.^{6} comparatively analyzed the effects of different laser focal spot diameters on different powder particle sizes formed by LPBF. The results showed that the smaller the laser focal spot diameter, the fewer the defects on the top and side surfaces. The above research results confirm that reducing the laser focal spot diameter can obtain higher energy density and thus better forming quality.

LPBF involves a variety of complex systems and mechanisms, and the final quality of the part is influenced by a large number of process parameters.^{18–24} Some research results have shown that there are more than 50 factors affecting the quality of the specimen. The influencing factors are mainly categorized into three main groups: (1) laser parameters, (2) powder parameters, and (3) equipment parameters, which interact with each other to determine the final specimen quality. With the continuous development of technologies such as computational materials science and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the method of studying the influence of different factors on the forming quality of LPBF forming process has been shifted from time-consuming and laborious experimental characterization to the use of numerical simulation methods. As a result, more and more researchers are adopting this approach for their studies. Currently, numerical simulation studies on LPBF are mainly focused on the exploration of molten pool, temperature distribution, and residual stresses.

Finite element simulation based on continuum mechanics and free surface fluid flow modeling based on fluid dynamics are two common approaches to study the behavior of LPBF molten pool.^{25–28} Finite element simulation focuses on the temperature and thermal stress fields, treats the powder bed as a continuum, and determines the molten pool size by plotting the elemental temperature above the melting point. In contrast, fluid dynamics modeling can simulate the 2D or 3D morphology of the metal powder pile and obtain the powder size and distribution by certain algorithms.^{29} The flow in the molten pool is mainly affected by recoil pressure and the Marangoni effect. By simulating the molten pool formation, it is possible to predict defects, molten pool shape, and flow characteristics, as well as the effect of process parameters on the molten pool geometry.^{30–34} In addition, other researchers have been conducted to optimize the laser processing parameters through different simulation methods and experimental data.^{35–46} Crystal growth during solidification is studied to further understand the effect of laser parameters on dendritic morphology and solute segregation.^{47–54} A multi-scale system has been developed to describe the fused deposition process during 3D printing, which is combined with the conductive heat transfer model and the dendritic solidification model.^{55,56}

Relevant scholars have adopted various different methods for simulation, such as sequential coupling theory,^{57} Lagrangian and Eulerian thermal models,^{58} birth–death element method,^{25} and finite element method,^{59} in order to reveal the physical phenomena of the laser melting process and optimize the process parameters. Luo et al.^{60} compared the LPBF temperature field and molten pool under double ellipsoidal and Gaussian heat sources by ANSYS APDL and found that the diffusion of the laser energy in the powder significantly affects the molten pool size and the temperature field.

The thermal stresses obtained from the simulation correlate with the actual cracks,^{61} and local preheating can effectively reduce the residual stresses.^{62} A three-dimensional thermodynamic finite element model investigated the temperature and stress variations during laser-assisted fabrication and found that powder-to-solid conversion increases the temperature gradient, stresses, and warpage.^{63} Other scholars have predicted residual stresses and part deflection for LPBF specimens and investigated the effects of deposition pattern, heat, laser power, and scanning strategy on residual stresses, noting that high-temperature gradients lead to higher residual stresses.^{64–67}

In short, the process of LPBF forming SS316L is extremely complex and usually involves drastic multi-scale physicochemical changes that will only take place on a very small scale. Existing literature employs DEM-based mesoscopic-scale numerical simulations to investigate the effects of process parameters on the molten pool dynamics of LPBF-formed SS316L. However, a few studies have been reported on the key mechanisms of heating and solidification, spatter, and convective behavior of the molten pool of HP-LPBF-formed SS316L with small laser focal spot diameters. In this paper, the geometrical properties of coarse and fine powder particles under three-dimensional conditions were first calculated using DEM. Then, numerical simulation models for single-track and double-track cases in the single-layer HP-LPBF forming SS316L process were developed at mesoscopic scale using the CFD method. The flow genesis of the melt in the single-track and double-track molten pools is discussed, and their 3D morphology and dimensional characteristics are discussed. In addition, the effects of laser process parameters, powder particle size, and laser focal spot diameter on the temperature field, characterization information, and defects in the molten pool are discussed.

II. MODELING

A. 3D powder bed modeling

HP-LPBF is an advanced processing technique for preparing target parts layer by layer stacking, the process of which involves repetitive spreading and melting of powders. In this process, both the powder spreading and the morphology of the powder bed are closely related to the results of the subsequent melting process, while the melted surface also affects the uniform distribution of the next layer of powder. For this reason, this chapter focuses on the modeling of the physical action during the powder spreading process and the theory of DEM to establish the numerical model of the powder bed, so as to lay a solid foundation for the accuracy of volume of fluid (VOF) and CFD.

1. DEM

DEM is a numerical technique for calculating the interaction of a large number of particles, which calculates the forces and motions of the spheres by considering each powder sphere as an independent unit. The motion of the powder particles follows the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics, including translational and rotational,^{38,68–70} which are expressed as follows:����¨=���+∑��ij,

(1)����¨=∑�(�ij×�ij),

(2)

where �� is the mass of unit particle i in kg, ��¨ is the advective acceleration in m/s^{2}, And g is the gravitational acceleration in m/s^{2}. �ij is the force in contact with the neighboring particle � in N. �� is the rotational inertia of the unit particle � in kg · m^{2}. ��¨ is the unit particle � angular acceleration in rad/s^{2}. �ij is the vector pointing from unit particle � to the contact point of neighboring particle �.

Equations (1) and (2) can be used to calculate the velocity and angular velocity variations of powder particles to determine their positions and velocities. A three-dimensional powder bed model of SS316L was developed using DEM. The powder particles are assumed to be perfect spheres, and the substrate and walls are assumed to be rigid. To describe the contact between the powder particles and between the particles and the substrate, a non-slip Hertz–Mindlin nonlinear spring-damping model^{71} was used with the following expression:�hz=��������+��[(�����ij−�eff����)−(�����+�eff����)],

(3)

where �hz is the force calculated using the Hertzian in M. �� and �� are the radius of unit particles � and � in m, respectively. �� is the overlap size of the two powder particles in m. ��, �� are the elastic constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �ij is the unit vector connecting the centerlines of the two powder particles. �eff is the effective mass of the two powder particles in kg. �� and �� are the viscoelastic damping constants in the normal and tangential directions, respectively. �� and �� are the components of the relative velocities of the two powder particles. ��� is the displacement vector between two spherical particles. The schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles is shown in Fig. 1.

Schematic diagram of overlapping powder particles.

Because the particle size of the powder used for HP-LPBF is much smaller than 100 μm, the effect of van der Waals forces must be considered. Therefore, the cohesive force �jkr of the Hertz–Mindlin model was used instead of van der Waals forces,^{72} with the following expression:�jkr=−4��0�*�1.5+4�*3�*�3,

(4)1�*=(1−��2)��+(1−��2)��,

(5)1�*=1��+1��,

(6)

where �* is the equivalent Young’s modulus in GPa; �* is the equivalent particle radius in m; �0 is the surface energy of the powder particles in J/m^{2}; α is the contact radius in m; �� and �� are the Young’s modulus of the unit particles � and �, respectively, in GPa; and �� and �� are the Poisson’s ratio of the unit particles � and �, respectively.

2. Model building

Figure 2 shows a 3D powder bed model generated using DEM with a coarse powder geometry of 1000 × 400 × 30 μm^{3}. The powder layer thickness is 30 μm, and the powder bed porosity is 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 31.7 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 15–53 μm. The geometry of the fine powder was 1000 × 400 × 20 μm^{3}, with a layer thickness of 20 μm, and the powder bed porosity of 40%. The average particle size of this spherical powder is 11.5 μm and is normally distributed in the range of 5–25 μm. After the 3D powder bed model is generated, it needs to be imported into the CFD simulation software for calculation, and the imported geometric model is shown in Fig. 3. This geometric model is mainly composed of three parts: protective gas, powder bed, and substrate. Under the premise of ensuring the accuracy of the calculation, the mesh size is set to 3 μm, and the total number of coarse powder meshes is 1 704 940. The total number of fine powder meshes is 3 982 250.

Geometric modeling of the powder bed computational domain: (a) coarse powder, (b) fine powder.

B. Modeling of fluid mechanics simulation

In order to solve the flow, melting, and solidification problems involved in HP-LPBF molten pool, the study must follow the three governing equations of conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and conservation of momentum.^{73} The VOF method, which is the most widely used in fluid dynamics, is used to solve the molten pool dynamics model.

1. VOF

VOF is a method for tracking the free interface between the gas and liquid phases on the molten pool surface. The core idea of the method is to define a volume fraction function F within each grid, indicating the proportion of the grid space occupied by the material, 0 ≤ F ≤ 1 in Fig. 4. Specifically, when F = 0, the grid is empty and belongs to the gas-phase region; when F = 1, the grid is completely filled with material and belongs to the liquid-phase region; and when 0 < F < 1, the grid contains free surfaces and belongs to the mixed region. The direction normal to the free surface is the direction of the fastest change in the volume fraction F (the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction), and the direction of the gradient of the volume fraction can be calculated from the values of the volume fractions in the neighboring grids.^{74} The equations controlling the VOF are expressed as follows:𝛻����+�⋅(��→)=0,

(7)

where t is the time in s and �→ is the liquid velocity in m/s.

The material parameters of the mixing zone are altered due to the inclusion of both the gas and liquid phases. Therefore, in order to represent the density of the mixing zone, the average density �¯ is used, which is expressed as follows:^{72}�¯=(1−�1)�gas+�1�metal,

(8)

where �1 is the proportion of liquid phase, �gas is the density of protective gas in kg/m^{3}, and �metal is the density of metal in kg/m^{3}.

2. Control equations and boundary conditions

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of the HP-LPBF melting process. First, the laser light strikes a localized area of the material and rapidly heats up the area. Next, the energy absorbed in the region is diffused through a variety of pathways (heat conduction, heat convection, and surface radiation), and this process triggers complex phase transition phenomena (melting, evaporation, and solidification). In metals undergoing melting, the driving forces include surface tension and the Marangoni effect, recoil due to evaporation, and buoyancy due to gravity and uneven density. The above physical phenomena interact with each other and do not occur independently.

Laser heat sourceThe Gaussian surface heat source model is used as the laser heat source model with the following expression:�=2�0����2exp(−2�12��2),(9)where � is the heat flow density in W/m^{2}, �0 is the absorption rate of SS316L, �� is the radius of the laser focal spot in m, and �1 is the radial distance from the center of the laser focal spot in m. The laser focal spot can be used for a wide range of applications.

Energy absorptionThe formula for calculating the laser absorption �0 of SS316L is as follows:�0=0.365(�0[1+�0(�−20)]/�)0.5,(10)where �0 is the direct current resistivity of SS316L at 20 °C in Ω m, �0 is the resistance temperature coefficient in ppm/°C, � is the temperature in °C, and � is the laser wavelength in m.

Heat transferThe basic principle of heat transfer is conservation of energy, which is expressed as follows:𝛻𝛻𝛻�(��)��+�·(��→�)=�·(�0����)+��,(11)where � is the density of liquid phase SS316L in kg/m^{3}, �� is the specific heat capacity of SS316L in J/(kg K), 𝛻� is the gradient operator, t is the time in s, T is the temperature in K, 𝛻�� is the temperature gradient, �→ is the velocity vector, �0 is the coefficient of thermal conduction of SS316L in W/(m K), and �� is the thermal energy dissipation term in the molten pool.

Molten pool flowThe following three conditions need to be satisfied for the molten pool to flow:

Conservation of mass with the following expression:𝛻�·(��→)=0.(12)

Conservation of momentum (Navier–Stokes equation) with the following expression:𝛻𝛻𝛻𝛻���→��+�(�→·�)�→=�·[−pI+�(��→+(��→)�)]+�,(13)where � is the pressure in Pa exerted on the liquid phase SS316L microelement, � is the unit matrix, � is the fluid viscosity in N s/m^{2}, and � is the volumetric force (gravity, atmospheric pressure, surface tension, vapor recoil, and the Marangoni effect).

Surface tension and the Marangoni effectThe effect of temperature on the surface tension coefficient is considered and set as a linear relationship with the following expression:�=�0−��dT(�−��),(14)where � is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature T in N/m, �� is the melting temperature of SS316L in K, �0 is the surface tension of the molten pool at temperature �� in Pa, and σdσ/ dT is the surface tension temperature coefficient in N/(m K).In general, surface tension decreases with increasing temperature. A temperature gradient causes a gradient in surface tension that drives the liquid to flow, known as the Marangoni effect.

Metal vapor recoilAt higher input energy densities, the maximum temperature of the molten pool surface reaches the evaporation temperature of the material, and a gasification recoil pressure occurs vertically downward toward the molten pool surface, which will be the dominant driving force for the molten pool flow.^{75} The expression is as follows:��=0.54�� exp ���−���0���,(15)where �� is the gasification recoil pressure in Pa, �� is the ambient pressure in kPa, �� is the latent heat of evaporation in J/kg, �0 is the gas constant in J/(mol K), T is the surface temperature of the molten pool in K, and T_{e} is the evaporation temperature in K.

Solid–liquid–gas phase transitionWhen the laser hits the powder layer, the powder goes through three stages: heating, melting, and solidification. During the solidification phase, mutual transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states occur. At this point, the latent heat of phase transition absorbed or released during the phase transition needs to be considered.^{68} The phase transition is represented based on the relationship between energy and temperature with the following expression:�=�����,(�<��),�(��)+�−����−����,(��<�<��)�(��)+(�−��)����,(��<�),,(16)where �� and �� are solid and liquid phase density, respectively, of SS316L in kg/m^{3}. �� and �� unit volume of solid and liquid phase-specific heat capacity, respectively, of SS316L in J/(kg K). �� and ��, respectively, are the solidification temperature and melting temperature of SS316L in K. �� is the latent heat of the phase transition of SS316L melting in J/kg.

3. Assumptions

The CFD model was computed using the commercial software package FLOW-3D.^{76} In order to simplify the calculation and solution process while ensuring the accuracy of the results, the model makes the following assumptions:

It is assumed that the effects of thermal stress and material solid-phase thermal expansion on the calculation results are negligible.

The molten pool flow is assumed to be a Newtonian incompressible laminar flow, while the effects of liquid thermal expansion and density on the results are neglected.

It is assumed that the surface tension can be simplified to an equivalent pressure acting on the free surface of the molten pool, and the effect of chemical composition on the results is negligible.

Neglecting the effect of the gas flow field on the molten pool.

The mass loss due to evaporation of the liquid metal is not considered.

The influence of the plasma effect of the molten metal on the calculation results is neglected.

It is worth noting that the formulation of assumptions requires a trade-off between accuracy and computational efficiency. In the above models, some physical phenomena that have a small effect or high difficulty on the calculation results are simplified or ignored. Such simplifications make numerical simulations more efficient and computationally tractable, while still yielding accurate results.

4. Initial conditions

The preheating temperature of the substrate was set to 393 K, at which time all materials were in the solid state and the flow rate was zero.

5. Material parameters

The material used is SS316L and the relevant parameters required for numerical simulations are shown in Table I.^{46,77,78}

TABLE I.

SS316L-related parameters.

Property

Symbol

Value

Density of solid metal (kg/m^{3})

�metal

7980

Solid phase line temperature (K)

��

1658

Liquid phase line temperature (K)

��

1723

Vaporization temperature (K)

��

3090

Latent heat of melting ( J/kg)

��

2.60×105

Latent heat of evaporation ( J/kg)

��

7.45×106

Surface tension of liquid phase (N /m)

�

1.60

Liquid metal viscosity (kg/m s)

��

6×10−3

Gaseous metal viscosity (kg/m s)

�gas

1.85×10−5

Temperature coefficient of surface tension (N/m K)

��/�T

0.80×10−3

Molar mass ( kg/mol)

M

0.05 593

Emissivity

�

0.26

Laser absorption

�0

0.35

Ambient pressure (kPa)

��

101 325

Ambient temperature (K)

�0

300

Stefan–Boltzmann constant (W/m^{2} K^{4})

�

5.67×10−8

Thermal conductivity of metals ( W/m K)

�

24.55

Density of protective gas (kg/m^{3})

�gas

1.25

Coefficient of thermal expansion (/K)

��

16×10−6

Generalized gas constant ( J/mol K)

R

8.314

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

With the objective of studying in depth the evolutionary patterns of single-track and double-track molten pool development, detailed observations were made for certain specific locations in the model, as shown in Fig. 6. In this figure, P1 and P2 represent the longitudinal tangents to the centers of the two melt tracks in the XZ plane, while L1 is the transverse profile in the YZ plane. The scanning direction is positive and negative along the X axis. Points A and B are the locations of the centers of the molten pool of the first and second melt tracks, respectively (x = 1.995 × 10^{−4}, y = 5 × 10^{−7}, and z = −4.85 × 10^{−5}).

A series of single-track molten pool simulation experiments were carried out in order to investigate the influence law of laser power as well as scanning speed on the HP-LPBF process. Figure 7 demonstrates the evolution of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the single-track molten pool in the time period of 50–500 μs under a laser power of 100 W and a scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The powder bed is in the natural cooling state. When t = 50 μs, the powder is heated by the laser heat and rapidly melts and settles to form the initial molten pool. This process is accompanied by partial melting of the substrate and solidification together with the melted powder. The molten pool rapidly expands with increasing width, depth, length, and temperature, as shown in Fig. 7(a). When t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands more obviously, and the temperature starts to transfer to the surrounding area, forming a heat-affected zone. At this point, the width of the molten pool tends to stabilize, and the temperature in the center of the molten pool has reached its peak and remains largely stable. However, the phenomenon of molten pool spatter was also observed in this process, as shown in Fig. 7(b). As time advances, when t = 300 μs, solidification begins to occur at the tail of the molten pool, and tiny ripples are produced on the solidified surface. This is due to the fact that the melt flows toward the region with large temperature gradient under the influence of Marangoni convection and solidifies together with the melt at the end of the bath. At this point, the temperature gradient at the front of the bath is significantly larger than at the end. While the width of the molten pool was gradually reduced, the shape of the molten pool was gradually changed to a “comet” shape. In addition, a slight depression was observed at the top of the bath because the peak temperature at the surface of the bath reached the evaporation temperature, which resulted in a recoil pressure perpendicular to the surface of the bath downward, creating a depressed region. As the laser focal spot moves and is paired with the Marangoni convection of the melt, these recessed areas will be filled in as shown in Fig. 7(c). It has been shown that the depressed regions are the result of the coupled effect of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension.^{79} By t = 500 μs, the width and height of the molten pool stabilize and show a “comet” shape in Fig. 7(d).

Single-track molten pool process: (a) t = 50 ��, (b) t = 150 ��, (c) t = 300 ��, (d) t = 500 ��.

Figure 8 depicts the velocity vector diagram of the P1 profile in a single-track molten pool, the length of the arrows represents the magnitude of the velocity, and the maximum velocity is about 2.36 m/s. When t = 50 μs, the molten pool takes shape, and the velocities at the two ends of the pool are the largest. The variation of the velocities at the front end is especially more significant in Fig. 8(a). As the time advances to t = 150 μs, the molten pool expands rapidly, in which the velocity at the tail increases and changes more significantly, while the velocity at the front is relatively small. At this stage, the melt moves backward from the center of the molten pool, which in turn expands the molten pool area. The melt at the back end of the molten pool center flows backward along the edge of the molten pool surface and then converges along the edge of the molten pool to the bottom center, rising to form a closed loop. Similarly, a similar closed loop is formed at the front end of the center of the bath, but with a shorter path. However, a large portion of the melt in the center of the closed loop formed at the front end of the bath is in a nearly stationary state. The main cause of this melt flow phenomenon is the effect of temperature gradient and surface tension (the Marangoni effect), as shown in Figs. 8(b) and 8(e). This dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” pool. At t = 300 μs, the tendency of the above two melt flows to close the loop is more prominent and faster in Fig. 8(c). When t = 500 μs, the velocity vector of the molten pool shows a stable trend, and the closed loop of melt flow also remains stable. With the gradual laser focal spot movement, the melt is gradually solidified at its tail, and finally, a continuous and stable single track is formed in Fig. 8(d).

Vector plot of single-track molten pool velocity in XZ longitudinal section: (a) t = 50 ��, (b) t = 150 ��, (c) t = 300 ��, (d) t = 500 ��, (e) molten pool flow.

In order to explore in depth the transient evolution of the molten pool, the evolution of the single-track temperature field and the melt flow was monitored in the YZ cross section. Figure 9(a) shows the state of the powder bed at the initial moment. When t = 250 μs, the laser focal spot acts on the powder bed and the powder starts to melt and gradually collects in the molten pool. At this time, the substrate will also start to melt, and the melt flow mainly moves in the downward and outward directions and the velocity is maximum at the edges in Fig. 9(b). When t = 300 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool increase due to the recoil pressure. At this time, the melt flows more slowly at the center, but the direction of motion is still downward in Fig. 9(c). When t = 350 μs, the width and depth of the molten pool further increase, at which time the intensity of the melt flow reaches its peak and the direction of motion remains the same in Fig. 9(d). When t = 400 μs, the melt starts to move upward, and the surrounding powder or molten material gradually fills up, causing the surface of the molten pool to begin to flatten. At this time, the maximum velocity of the melt is at the center of the bath, while the velocity at the edge is close to zero, and the edge of the melt starts to solidify in Fig. 9(e). When t = 450 μs, the melt continues to move upward, forming a convex surface of the melt track. However, the melt movement slows down, as shown in Fig. 9(f). When t = 500 μs, the melt further moves upward and its speed gradually becomes smaller. At the same time, the melt solidifies further, as shown in Fig. 9(g). When t = 550 μs, the melt track is basically formed into a single track with a similar “mountain” shape. At this stage, the velocity is close to zero only at the center of the molten pool, and the flow behavior of the melt is poor in Fig. 9(h). At t = 600 μs, the melt stops moving and solidification is rapidly completed. Up to this point, a single track is formed in Fig. 9(i). During the laser action on the powder bed, the substrate melts and combines with the molten state powder. The powder-to-powder fusion is like the convergence of water droplets, which are rapidly fused by surface tension. However, the fusion between the molten state powder and the substrate occurs driven by surface tension, and the molten powder around the molten pool is pulled toward the substrate (a wetting effect occurs), which ultimately results in the formation of a monolithic whole.^{38,80,81}

Evolution of single-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 0 ��, (b) t = 250 ��, (c) t = 300 ��, (d) t = 350 ��, (e) t = 400 ��, (f) t = 450 ��, (g) t = 500 ��, (h) t = 550 ��, (i) t = 600 ��.

The wetting ability between the liquid metal and the solid substrate in the molten pool directly affects the degree of balling of the melt,^{82,83} and the wetting ability can be measured by the contact angle of a single track in Fig. 10. A smaller value of contact angle represents better wettability. The contact angle α can be calculated by�=�1−�22,

(17)

where �1 and �2 are the contact angles of the left and right regions, respectively.

Relevant studies have confirmed that the wettability is better at a contact angle α around or below 40°.^{84} After measurement, a single-track contact angle α of about 33° was obtained under this process parameter, which further confirms the good wettability.

B. Double-track simulation

In order to deeply investigate the influence of hatch spacing on the characteristics of the HP-LPBF process, a series of double-track molten pool simulation experiments were systematically carried out. Figure 11 shows in detail the dynamic changes of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool in the time period of 2050–2500 μs under the conditions of laser power of 100 W, scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. By comparing the study with Fig. 7, it is observed that the basic characteristics of the 3D morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track. However, there are subtle differences between them. The first track exhibits a basically symmetric shape, but the second track morphology shows a slight deviation influenced by the difference in thermal diffusion rate between the solidified metal and the powder. Otherwise, the other characteristic information is almost the same as that of the first track. Figure 12 shows the velocity vector plot of the P2 profile in the double-track molten pool, with a maximum velocity of about 2.63 m/s. The melt dynamics at both ends of the pool are more stable at t = 2050 μs, where the maximum rate of the second track is only 1/3 of that of the first one. Other than that, the rest of the information is almost no significant difference from the characteristic information of the first track. Figure 13 demonstrates a detailed observation of the double-track temperature field and melts flow in the YZ cross section, and a comparative study with Fig. 9 reveals that the width of the second track is slightly wider. In addition, after the melt direction shifts from bottom to top, the first track undergoes four time periods (50 μs) to reach full solidification, while the second track takes five time periods. This is due to the presence of significant heat buildup in the powder bed after the forming of the first track, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt and an increased molten pool lifetime. In conclusion, the level of specimen forming can be significantly optimized by adjusting the laser power and hatch spacing.

Evolution of double-track molten pool temperature and melt flow in the YZ cross section: (a) t = 2250 ��, (b) t = 2300 ��, (c) t = 2350 ��, (d) t = 2400 ��, (e) t = 2450 ��, (f) t = 2500 ��, (g) t = 2550 ��, (h) t = 2600 ��, (i) t = 2650 ��.

In order to quantitatively detect the molten pool dimensions as well as the remolten region dimensions, the molten pool characterization information in Fig. 14 is constructed by drawing the boundary on the YZ cross section based on the isothermal surface of the liquid phase line. It can be observed that the heights of the first track and second track are basically the same, but the depth of the second track increases relative to the first track. The molten pool width is mainly positively correlated with the laser power as well as the scanning speed (the laser line energy density �). However, the remelted zone width is negatively correlated with the hatch spacing (the overlapping ratio). Overall, the forming quality of the specimens can be directly influenced by adjusting the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing.

Double-track molten pool characterization information on YZ cross section.

In order to study the variation rule of the temperature in the center of the molten pool with time, Fig. 15 demonstrates the temperature variation curves with time for two reference points, A and B. Among them, the red dotted line indicates the liquid phase line temperature of SS316L. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximum temperature at the center of the molten pool in the first track is lower than that in the second track, which is mainly due to the heat accumulation generated after passing through the first track. The maximum temperature gradient was calculated to be 1.69 × 10^{8} K/s. When the laser scanned the first track, the temperature in the center of the molten pool of the second track increased slightly. Similarly, when the laser scanned the second track, a similar situation existed in the first track. Since the temperature gradient in the second track is larger than that in the first track, the residence time of the liquid phase in the molten pool of the first track is longer than that of the second track.

Temperature profiles as a function of time for two reference points A and B.

C. Simulation analysis of molten pool under different process parameters

In order to deeply investigate the effects of various process parameters on the mesoscopic-scale temperature field, molten pool characteristic information and defects of HP-LPBF, numerical simulation experiments on mesoscopic-scale laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing of double-track molten pools were carried out.

1. Laser power

Figure 16 shows the effects of different laser power on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. When P = 50 W, a smaller molten pool is formed due to the lower heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time. This leads to a smaller track width, which results in adjacent track not lapping properly and the presence of a large number of unmelted powder particles, resulting in an increase in the number of defects, such as pores in the specimen. The surface of the track is relatively flat, and the depth is small. In addition, the temperature gradient before and after the molten pool was large, and the depression location appeared at the biased front end in Fig. 16(a). When P = 100 W, the surface of the track is flat and smooth with excellent lap. Due to the Marangoni effect, the velocity field of the molten pool is in the form of “vortex,” and the melt has good fluidity, and the maximum velocity reaches 2.15 m/s in Fig. 16(b). When P = 200 W, the heat generated by the Gaussian light source per unit time is too large, resulting in the melt rapidly reaching the evaporation temperature, generating a huge recoil pressure, forming a large molten pool, and the surface of the track is obviously raised. The melt movement is intense, especially the closed loop at the center end of the molten pool. At this time, the depth and width of the molten pool are large, leading to the expansion of the remolten region and the increased chance of the appearance of porosity defects in Fig. 16(c). The results show that at low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool is dominant. At high laser power, recoil pressure is its main role.

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different laser powers: (a) P = 50 W, (b) P = 100 W, (c) P = 200 W.

Table II shows the effect of different laser powers on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool at a scanning speed of 800 mm/s and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. The negative overlapping ratio in the table indicates that the melt tracks are not lapped, and 26/29 indicates the melt depth of the first track/second track. It can be seen that with the increase in laser power, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, and remelted zone show a gradual increase. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also increases. Especially in the process of laser power from 50 to 200 W, the melting depth and melting width increased the most, which increased nearly 2 and 1.5 times, respectively. Meanwhile, the overlapping ratio also increases with the increase in laser power, which indicates that the melting and fusion of materials are better at high laser power. On the other hand, the dimensions of the molten pool did not change uniformly with the change of laser power. Specifically, the depth-to-width ratio of the molten pool increased from about 0.30 to 0.39 during the increase from 50 to 120 W, which further indicates that the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is greater than that in the horizontal direction with the increase in laser power. This dimensional response to laser power is mainly affected by the recoil pressure and also by the difference in the densification degree between the powder layer and the metal substrate. In addition, according to the experimental results, the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then decrease during the process of laser power increase, and always stays within the range of less than 33°. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the appropriate laser power according to the specific needs in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE II.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different laser powers.

Laser power (W)

Depth (μm)

Width (μm)

Height (μm)

Remolten region (μm)

Overlapping ratio (%)

Contact angle (°)

50

16

54

11

/

−10

23

100

26/29

74

14

18

23.33

33

200

37/45

116

21

52

93.33

28

2. Scanning speed

Figure 17 demonstrates the effect of different scanning speeds on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool at a laser power of 100 W and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. With the gradual increase in scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. When � = 200 mm/s, the slow scanning speed causes the material to absorb too much heat, which is very easy to trigger the overburning phenomenon. At this point, the molten pool is larger and the surface morphology is uneven. This situation is consistent with the previously discussed scenario with high laser power in Fig. 17(a). However, when � = 1600 mm/s, the scanning speed is too fast, resulting in the material not being able to absorb sufficient heat, which triggers the powder particles that fail to melt completely to have a direct effect on the bonding of the melt to the substrate. At this time, the molten pool volume is relatively small and the neighboring melt track cannot lap properly. This result is consistent with the previously discussed case of low laser power in Fig. 17(b). Overall, the ratio of the laser power to the scanning speed (the line energy density �) has a direct effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different scanning speed: (a) � = 200 mm/s, (b) � = 1600 mm/s.

Table III shows the effects of different scanning speed on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. It can be seen that the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. With the increase in scanning speed, the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remelted zone, and overlapping ratio show a gradual decreasing trend. Among them, the melt depth and melt width decreased faster, while the melt height and remolten region decreased relatively slowly. In addition, when the scanning speed was increased from 200 to 800 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were significantly accelerated, while the decreasing speeds of overlapping ratio were relatively slow. When the scanning speed was further increased to 1600 mm/s, the decreasing speeds of melt depth and melt width were further accelerated, and the un-lapped condition of the melt channel also appeared. In addition, the contact angle increases and then decreases with the scanning speed, and both are lower than 33°. Therefore, when selecting the scanning speed, it is necessary to make reasonable trade-offs according to the specific situation, and take into account the factors of melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio, in order to achieve the best processing results.

TABLE III.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different scanning speeds.

Scanning speed (mm/s)

Depth (μm)

Width (μm)

Height (μm)

Remolten region (μm)

Overlapping ratio (%)

Contact angle (°)

200

55/68

182

19/32

124

203.33

22

1600

13

50

11

/

−16.67

31

3. Hatch spacing

Figure 18 shows the effect of different hatch spacing on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. The surface morphology and temperature field of the first track and second track are basically the same, but slightly different. The first track shows a basically symmetric morphology along the scanning direction, while the second track shows a slight offset due to the difference in the heat transfer rate between the solidified material and the powder particles. When the hatch spacing is too small, the overlapping ratio increases and the probability of defects caused by remelting phenomenon grows. When the hatch spacing is too large, the neighboring melt track cannot overlap properly, and the powder particles are not completely melted, leading to an increase in the number of holes. In conclusion, the ratio of the line energy density � to the hatch spacing (the volume energy density E) has a significant effect on the temperature field and surface morphology of the molten pool.

Simulation results of double-track molten pool under different hatch spacings: (a) H = 0.03 mm, (b) H = 0.12 mm.

Table IV shows the effects of different hatch spacing on the characteristic information of the double-track molten pool under the condition of laser power of 100 W and scanning speed of 800 mm/s. It can be seen that the hatch spacing has little effect on the melt depth, melt width, and melt height, but has some effect on the remolten region. With the gradual expansion of hatch spacing, the remolten region shows a gradual decrease. At the same time, the overlapping ratio also decreased with the increase in hatch spacing. In addition, it is observed that the contact angle shows a tendency to increase and then remain stable when the hatch spacing increases, which has a more limited effect on it. Therefore, trade-offs and decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis when selecting the hatch spacing.

TABLE IV.

Double-track molten pool characterization information at different hatch spacings.

Hatch spacing (mm)

Depth (μm)

Width (μm)

Height (μm)

Remolten region (μm)

Overlapping ratio (%)

Contact angle (°)

0.03

25/27

82

14

59

173.33

30

0.12

26

78

14

/

−35

33

In summary, the laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing have a significant effect on the formation of the molten pool, and the correct selection of these three process parameters is crucial to ensure the forming quality. In addition, the melt depth of the second track is slightly larger than that of the first track at higher line energy density � and volume energy density E. This is mainly due to the fact that a large amount of heat accumulation is generated after the first track, forming a larger molten pool volume, which leads to an increase in the melt depth.

D. Simulation analysis of molten pool with powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter

Figure 19 demonstrates the effect of different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters on the morphology and temperature field of the double-track molten pool under a laser power of 100 W, a scanning speed of 800 mm/s, and a hatch spacing of 0.06 mm. In the process of melting coarse powder with small laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy cannot completely melt the larger powder particles, resulting in their partial melting and further generating excessive pore defects. The larger powder particles tend to generate zigzag molten pool edges, which cause an increase in the roughness of the melt track surface. In addition, the molten pool is also prone to generate the present spatter phenomenon, which can directly affect the quality of forming. The volume of the formed molten pool is relatively small, while the melt depth, melt width, and melt height are all smaller relative to the fine powder in Fig. 19(a). In the process of melting fine powders with a large laser focal spot diameter, the laser energy is able to melt the fine powder particles sufficiently, even to the point of overmelting. This results in a large number of fine spatters being generated at the edge of the molten pool, which causes porosity defects in the melt track in Fig. 19(b). In addition, the maximum velocity of the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes compared to small powder particle sizes, which indicates that the temperature gradient in the molten pool is larger for large powder particle sizes and the melt motion is more intense. However, the size of the laser focal spot diameter has a relatively small effect on the melt motion. However, a larger focal spot diameter induces a larger melt volume with greater depth, width, and height. In conclusion, a small powder size helps to reduce the surface roughness of the specimen, and a small laser spot diameter reduces the minimum forming size of a single track.

Simulation results of double-track molten pool with different powder particle size and laser focal spot diameter: (a) focal spot = 25 μm, coarse powder, (b) focal spot = 80 μm, fine powder.

Table V shows the maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder sizes and laser focal spot diameters. As can be seen from the table, the maximum temperature gradient is lower than that of HP-LPBF for both coarse powders with a small laser spot diameter and fine powders with a large spot diameter, a phenomenon that leads to an increase in the heat transfer rate of HP-LPBF, which in turn leads to a corresponding increase in the cooling rate and, ultimately, to the formation of finer microstructures.

TABLE V.

Maximum temperature gradient at the reference point for different powder particle sizes and laser focal spot diameters.

Laser power (W)

Scanning speed (mm/s)

Hatch spacing (mm)

Average powder size (μm)

Laser focal spot diameter (μm)

Maximum temperature gradient (×10^{7} K/s)

100

800

0.06

31.7

25

7.89

11.5

80

7.11

IV. CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the geometrical characteristics of 3D coarse and fine powder particles were first calculated using DEM and then numerical simulations of single track and double track in the process of forming SS316L from monolayer HP-LPBF at mesoscopic scale were developed using CFD method. The effects of Marangoni convection, surface tension, recoil pressure, gravity, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and evaporative heat dissipation on the heat and mass transfer in the molten pool were considered in this model. The effects of laser power, scanning speed, and hatch spacing on the dynamics of the single-track and double-track molten pools, as well as on other characteristic information, were investigated. The effects of the powder particle size on the molten pool were investigated comparatively with the laser focal spot diameter. The main conclusions are as follows:

The results show that the temperature gradient at the front of the molten pool is significantly larger than that at the tail, and the molten pool exhibits a “comet” morphology. At the top of the molten pool, there is a slightly concave region, which is the result of the coupling of Marangoni convection, recoil pressure, and surface tension. The melt flow forms two closed loops, which are mainly influenced by temperature gradients and surface tension. This special dynamic behavior of the melt tends to form an “elliptical” molten pool and an almost “mountain” shape in single-track forming.

The basic characteristics of the three-dimensional morphology and temperature field of the second track are similar to those of the first track, but there are subtle differences. The first track exhibits a basically symmetrical shape; however, due to the difference in thermal diffusion rates between the solidified metal and the powder, a slight asymmetry in the molten pool morphology of the second track occurs. After forming through the first track, there is a significant heat buildup in the powder bed, resulting in a longer dynamic time of the melt, which increases the life of the molten pool. The heights of the first track and second track remained essentially the same, but the depth of the second track was greater relative to the first track. In addition, the maximum temperature gradient was 1.69 × 10^{8} K/s during HP-LPBF forming.

At low laser power, the surface tension in the molten pool plays a dominant role. At high laser power, recoil pressure becomes the main influencing factor. With the increase of laser power, the effective heat transfer in the vertical direction is superior to that in the horizontal direction. With the gradual increase of scanning speed, the surface morphology of the molten pool evolves from circular to elliptical. In addition, the scanning speed has a significant effect on the melt depth, melt width, melt height, remolten region, and overlapping ratio. Too large or too small hatch spacing will lead to remelting or non-lap phenomenon, which in turn causes the formation of defects.

When using a small laser focal spot diameter, it is difficult to completely melt large powder particle sizes, resulting in partial melting and excessive porosity generation. At the same time, large powder particles produce curved edges of the molten pool, resulting in increased surface roughness of the melt track. In addition, spatter occurs, which directly affects the forming quality. At small focal spot diameters, the molten pool volume is relatively small, and the melt depth, the melt width, and the melt height are correspondingly small. Taken together, the small powder particle size helps to reduce surface roughness, while the small spot diameter reduces the forming size.

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Review on Blood Flow Dynamics in Lab-on-a-Chip Systems: An Engineering Perspective

Bin-Jie Lai

,

Li-Tao Zhu

,

Zhe Chen*

,

Bo Ouyang*

, and

Zheng-Hong Luo*

Abstract

다양한 수송 메커니즘 하에서, “LOC(lab-on-a-chip)” 시스템에서 유동 전단 속도 조건과 밀접한 관련이 있는 혈류 역학은 다양한 수송 현상을 초래하는 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.

본 연구는 적혈구의 동적 혈액 점도 및 탄성 거동과 같은 점탄성 특성의 역할을 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈류 패턴을 조사합니다. 모세관 및 전기삼투압의 주요 매개변수를 통해 LOC 시스템의 혈액 수송 현상에 대한 연구는 실험적, 이론적 및 수많은 수치적 접근 방식을 통해 제공됩니다.

전기 삼투압 점탄성 흐름에 의해 유발되는 교란은 특히 향후 연구 기회를 위해 혈액 및 기타 점탄성 유체를 취급하는 LOC 장치의 혼합 및 분리 기능 향상에 논의되고 적용됩니다. 또한, 본 연구는 보다 정확하고 단순화된 혈류 모델에 대한 요구와 전기역학 효과 하에서 점탄성 유체 흐름에 대한 수치 연구에 대한 강조와 같은 LOC 시스템 하에서 혈류 역학의 수치 모델링의 문제를 식별합니다.

전기역학 현상을 연구하는 동안 제타 전위 조건에 대한 보다 실용적인 가정도 강조됩니다. 본 연구는 모세관 및 전기삼투압에 의해 구동되는 미세유체 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 포괄적이고 학제적인 관점을 제공하는 것을 목표로 한다.

1.1. Microfluidic Flow in Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) Systems

Over the past several decades, the ability to control and utilize fluid flow patterns at microscales has gained considerable interest across a myriad of scientific and engineering disciplines, leading to growing interest in scientific research of microfluidics.

(1) Microfluidics, an interdisciplinary field that straddles physics, engineering, and biotechnology, is dedicated to the behavior, precise control, and manipulation of fluids geometrically constrained to a small, typically submillimeter, scale.

(2) The engineering community has increasingly focused on microfluidics, exploring different driving forces to enhance working fluid transport, with the aim of accurately and efficiently describing, controlling, designing, and applying microfluidic flow principles and transport phenomena, particularly for miniaturized applications.

(3) This attention has chiefly been fueled by the potential to revolutionize diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sectorsUnder various driving forces in microfluidic flows, intriguing transport phenomena have bolstered confidence in sustainable and efficient applications in fields such as pharmaceutical, biochemical, and environmental science. The “lab-on-a-chip” (LOC) system harnesses microfluidic flow to enable fluid processing and the execution of laboratory tasks on a chip-sized scale. LOC systems have played a vital role in the miniaturization of laboratory operations such as mixing, chemical reaction, separation, flow control, and detection on small devices, where a wide variety of fluids is adapted. Biological fluid flow like blood and other viscoelastic fluids are notably studied among the many working fluids commonly utilized by LOC systems, owing to the optimization in small fluid sample volumed, rapid response times, precise control, and easy manipulation of flow patterns offered by the system under various driving forces.

(4)The driving forces in blood flow can be categorized as passive or active transport mechanisms and, in some cases, both. Under various transport mechanisms, the unique design of microchannels enables different functionalities in driving, mixing, separating, and diagnosing blood and drug delivery in the blood.

(5) Understanding and manipulating these driving forces are crucial for optimizing the performance of a LOC system. Such knowledge presents the opportunity to achieve higher efficiency and reliability in addressing cellular level challenges in medical diagnostics, forensic studies, cancer detection, and other fundamental research areas, for applications of point-of-care (POC) devices.

1.2. Engineering Approach of Microfluidic Transport Phenomena in LOC Systems

Different transport mechanisms exhibit unique properties at submillimeter length scales in microfluidic devices, leading to significant transport phenomena that differ from those of macroscale flows. An in-depth understanding of these unique transport phenomena under microfluidic systems is often required in fluidic mechanics to fully harness the potential functionality of a LOC system to obtain systematically designed and precisely controlled transport of microfluids under their respective driving force. Fluid mechanics is considered a vital component in chemical engineering, enabling the analysis of fluid behaviors in various unit designs, ranging from large-scale reactors to separation units. Transport phenomena in fluid mechanics provide a conceptual framework for analytically and descriptively explaining why and how experimental results and physiological phenomena occur. The Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, along with other governing equations, is often adapted to accurately describe fluid dynamics by accounting for pressure, surface properties, velocity, and temperature variations over space and time. In addition, limiting factors and nonidealities for these governing equations should be considered to impose corrections for empirical consistency before physical models are assembled for more accurate controls and efficiency. Microfluidic flow systems often deviate from ideal conditions, requiring adjustments to the standard governing equations. These deviations could arise from factors such as viscous effects, surface interactions, and non-Newtonian fluid properties from different microfluid types and geometrical layouts of microchannels. Addressing these nonidealities supports the refining of theoretical models and prediction accuracy for microfluidic flow behaviors.

The analytical calculation of coupled nonlinear governing equations, which describes the material and energy balances of systems under ideal conditions, often requires considerable computational efforts. However, advancements in computation capabilities, cost reduction, and improved accuracy have made numerical simulations using different numerical and modeling methods a powerful tool for effectively solving these complex coupled equations and modeling various transport phenomena. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a numerical technique used to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of various flow parameters. It serves as a critical approach to provide insights and reasoning for decision-making regarding the optimal designs involving fluid dynamics, even prior to complex physical model prototyping and experimental procedures. The integration of experimental data, theoretical analysis, and reliable numerical simulations from CFD enables systematic variation of analytical parameters through quantitative analysis, where adjustment to delivery of blood flow and other working fluids in LOC systems can be achieved.

Numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element-Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) are heavily employed in CFD and offer diverse approaches to achieve discretization of Eulerian flow equations through filling a mesh of the flow domain. A more in-depth review of numerical methods in CFD and its application for blood flow simulation is provided in Section 2.2.2.

1.3. Scope of the Review

In this Review, we explore and characterize the blood flow phenomena within the LOC systems, utilizing both physiological and engineering modeling approaches. Similar approaches will be taken to discuss capillary-driven flow and electric-osmotic flow (EOF) under electrokinetic phenomena as a passive and active transport scheme, respectively, for blood transport in LOC systems. Such an analysis aims to bridge the gap between physical (experimental) and engineering (analytical) perspectives in studying and manipulating blood flow delivery by different driving forces in LOC systems. Moreover, the Review hopes to benefit the interests of not only blood flow control in LOC devices but also the transport of viscoelastic fluids, which are less studied in the literature compared to that of Newtonian fluids, in LOC systems.

Section 2 examines the complex interplay between viscoelastic properties of blood and blood flow patterns under shear flow in LOC systems, while engineering numerical modeling approaches for blood flow are presented for assistance. Sections 3 and 4 look into the theoretical principles, numerical governing equations, and modeling methodologies for capillary driven flow and EOF in LOC systems as well as their impact on blood flow dynamics through the quantification of key parameters of the two driving forces. Section 5 concludes the characterized blood flow transport processes in LOC systems under these two forces. Additionally, prospective areas of research in improving the functionality of LOC devices employing blood and other viscoelastic fluids and potentially justifying mechanisms underlying microfluidic flow patterns outside of LOC systems are presented. Finally, the challenges encountered in the numerical studies of blood flow under LOC systems are acknowledged, paving the way for further research.

Blood, an essential physiological fluid in the human body, serves the vital role of transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Additionally, blood is responsible for suspending various blood cells including erythrocytes (red blood cells or RBCs), leukocytes (white blood cells), and thrombocytes (blood platelets) in a plasma medium.Among the cells mentioned above, red blood cells (RBCs) comprise approximately 40–45% of the volume of healthy blood.

(7) An RBC possesses an inherent elastic property with a biconcave shape of an average diameter of 8 μm and a thickness of 2 μm. This biconcave shape maximizes the surface-to-volume ratio, allowing RBCs to endure significant distortion while maintaining their functionality.

(8,9) Additionally, the biconcave shape optimizes gas exchange, facilitating efficient uptake of oxygen due to the increased surface area. The inherent elasticity of RBCs allows them to undergo substantial distortion from their original biconcave shape and exhibits high flexibility, particularly in narrow channels.RBC deformability enables the cell to deform from a biconcave shape to a parachute-like configuration, despite minor differences in RBC shape dynamics under shear flow between initial cell locations. As shown in Figure 1(a), RBCs initiating with different resting shapes and orientations displaying display a similar deformation pattern

(10) in terms of its shape. Shear flow induces an inward bending of the cell at the rear position of the rim to the final bending position,

(11) resulting in an alignment toward the same position of the flow direction.

The flexible property of RBCs enables them to navigate through narrow capillaries and traverse a complex network of blood vessels. The deformability of RBCs depends on various factors, including the channel geometry, RBC concentration, and the elastic properties of the RBC membrane.

(12) Both flexibility and deformability are vital in the process of oxygen exchange among blood and tissues throughout the body, allowing cells to flow in vessels even smaller than the original cell size prior to deforming.As RBCs serve as major components in blood, their collective dynamics also hugely affect blood rheology. RBCs exhibit an aggregation phenomenon due to cell to cell interactions, such as adhesion forces, among populated cells, inducing unique blood flow patterns and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems. For blood flow in large vessels between a diameter of 1 and 3 cm, where shear rates are not high, a constant viscosity and Newtonian behavior for blood can be assumed. However, under low shear rate conditions (0.1 s

^{–1}) in smaller vessels such as the arteries and venules, which are within a diameter of 0.2 mm to 1 cm, blood exhibits non-Newtonian properties, such as shear-thinning viscosity and viscoelasticity due to RBC aggregation and deformability. The nonlinear viscoelastic property of blood gives rise to a complex relationship between viscosity and shear rate, primarily influenced by the highly elastic behavior of RBCs. A wide range of research on the transient behavior of the RBC shape and aggregation characteristics under varied flow circumstances has been conducted, aiming to obtain a better understanding of the interaction between blood flow shear forces from confined flows.

For a better understanding of the unique blood flow structures and rheological behaviors in microfluidic systems, some blood flow patterns are introduced in the following section.

2.1.1. RBC Aggregation

RBC aggregation is a vital phenomenon to be considered when designing LOC devices due to its impact on the viscosity of the bulk flow. Under conditions of low shear rate, such as in stagnant or low flow rate regions, RBCs tend to aggregate, forming structures known as rouleaux, resembling stacks of coins as shown in Figure 1(b).

(13) The aggregation of RBCs increases the viscosity at the aggregated region,

(14) hence slowing down the overall blood flow. However, when exposed to high shear rates, RBC aggregates disaggregate. As shear rates continue to increase, RBCs tend to deform, elongating and aligning themselves with the direction of the flow.

(15) Such a dynamic shift in behavior from the cells in response to the shear rate forms the basis of the viscoelastic properties observed in whole blood. In essence, the viscosity of the blood varies according to the shear rate conditions, which are related to the velocity gradient of the system. It is significant to take the intricate relationship between shear rate conditions and the change of blood viscosity due to RBC aggregation into account since various flow driving conditions may induce varied effects on the degree of aggregation.

2.1.2. Fåhræus-Lindqvist Effect

The Fåhræus–Lindqvist (FL) effect describes the gradual decrease in the apparent viscosity of blood as the channel diameter decreases.

(16) This effect is attributed to the migration of RBCs toward the central region in the microchannel, where the flow rate is higher, due to the presence of higher pressure and asymmetric distribution of shear forces. This migration of RBCs, typically observed at blood vessels less than 0.3 mm, toward the higher flow rate region contributes to the change in blood viscosity, which becomes dependent on the channel size. Simultaneously, the increase of the RBC concentration in the central region of the microchannel results in the formation of a less viscous region close to the microchannel wall. This region called the Cell-Free Layer (CFL), is primarily composed of plasma.

(17) The combination of the FL effect and the following CFL formation provides a unique phenomenon that is often utilized in passive and active plasma separation mechanisms, involving branched and constriction channels for various applications in plasma separation using microfluidic systems.

2.1.3. Cell-Free Layer Formation

In microfluidic blood flow, RBCs form aggregates at the microchannel core and result in a region that is mostly devoid of RBCs near the microchannel walls, as shown in Figure 1(c).

(18) The region is known as the cell-free layer (CFL). The CFL region is often known to possess a lower viscosity compared to other regions within the blood flow due to the lower viscosity value of plasma when compared to that of the aggregated RBCs. Therefore, a thicker CFL region composed of plasma correlates to a reduced apparent whole blood viscosity.

(19) A thicker CFL region is often established following the RBC aggregation at the microchannel core under conditions of decreasing the tube diameter. Apart from the dependence on the RBC concentration in the microchannel core, the CFL thickness is also affected by the volume concentration of RBCs, or hematocrit, in whole blood, as well as the deformability of RBCs. Given the influence CFL thickness has on blood flow rheological parameters such as blood flow rate, which is strongly dependent on whole blood viscosity, investigating CFL thickness under shear flow is crucial for LOC systems accounting for blood flow.

2.1.4. Plasma Skimming in Bifurcation Networks

The uneven arrangement of RBCs in bifurcating microchannels, commonly termed skimming bifurcation, arises from the axial migration of RBCs within flowing streams. This uneven distribution contributes to variations in viscosity across differing sizes of bifurcating channels but offers a stabilizing effect. Notably, higher flow rates in microchannels are associated with increased hematocrit levels, resulting in higher viscosity compared with those with lower flow rates. Parametric investigations on bifurcation angle,

(21) and RBC dynamics, including aggregation and deformation,

(22) may alter the varying viscosity of blood and its flow behavior within microchannels.

2.2. Modeling on Blood Flow Dynamics

2.2.1. Blood Properties and Mathematical Models of Blood Rheology

Under different shear rate conditions in blood flow, the elastic characteristics and dynamic changes of the RBC induce a complex velocity and stress relationship, resulting in the incompatibility of blood flow characterization through standard presumptions of constant viscosity used for Newtonian fluid flow. Blood flow is categorized as a viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluid flow where constitutive equations governing this type of flow take into consideration the nonlinear viscometric properties of blood. To mathematically characterize the evolving blood viscosity and the relationship between the elasticity of RBC and the shear blood flow, respectively, across space and time of the system, a stress tensor (τ) defined by constitutive models is often coupled in the Navier–Stokes equation to account for the collective impact of the constant dynamic viscosity (η) and the elasticity from RBCs on blood flow.The dynamic viscosity of blood is heavily dependent on the shear stress applied to the cell and various parameters from the blood such as hematocrit value, plasma viscosity, mechanical properties of the RBC membrane, and red blood cell aggregation rate. The apparent blood viscosity is considered convenient for the characterization of the relationship between the evolving blood viscosity and shear rate, which can be defined by Casson’s law, as shown in eq 1.

𝜇=𝜏0𝛾˙+2𝜂𝜏0𝛾˙⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√+𝜂�=�0�˙+2��0�˙+�

(1)where τ

_{0} is the yield stress–stress required to initiate blood flow motion, η is the Casson rheological constant, and γ̇ is the shear rate. The value of Casson’s law parameters under blood with normal hematocrit level can be defined as τ

_{0} = 0.0056 Pa and η = 0.0035 Pa·s.

(23) With the known property of blood and Casson’s law parameters, an approximation can be made to the dynamic viscosity under various flow condition domains. The Power Law model is often employed to characterize the dynamic viscosity in relation to the shear rate, since precise solutions exist for specific geometries and flow circumstances, acting as a fundamental standard for definition. The Carreau and Carreau–Yasuda models can be advantageous over the Power Law model due to their ability to evaluate the dynamic viscosity at low to zero shear rate conditions. However, none of the above-mentioned models consider the memory or other elastic behavior of blood and its RBCs. Some other commonly used mathematical models and their constants for the non-Newtonian viscosity property characterization of blood are listed in Table 1 below.

(24−26)Table 1. Comparison of Various Non-Newtonian Models for Blood Viscosity

The blood rheology is commonly known to be influenced by two key physiological factors, namely, the hematocrit value (H

_{t}) and the fibrinogen concentration (c

_{f}), with an average value of 42% and 0.252 gd·L

^{–1}, respectively. Particularly in low shear conditions, the presence of varying fibrinogen concentrations affects the tendency for aggregation and rouleaux formation, while the occurrence of aggregation is contingent upon specific levels of hematocrit.

(28) modifies the Casson model through emphasizing its reliance on hematocrit and fibrinogen concentration parameter values, owing to the extensive knowledge of the two physiological blood parameters.The viscoelastic response of blood is heavily dependent on the elasticity of the RBC, which is defined by the relationship between the deformation and stress relaxation from RBCs under a specific location of shear flow as a function of the velocity field. The stress tensor is usually characterized by constitutive equations such as the Upper-Convected Maxwell Model

(30) to track the molecule effects under shear from different driving forces. The prominent non-Newtonian features, such as shear thinning and yield stress, have played a vital role in the characterization of blood rheology, particularly with respect to the evaluation of yield stress under low shear conditions. The nature of stress measurement in blood, typically on the order of 1 mPa, is challenging due to its low magnitude. The occurrence of the CFL complicates the measurement further due to the significant decrease in apparent viscosity near the wall over time and a consequential disparity in viscosity compared to the bulk region.In addition to shear thinning viscosity and yield stress, the formation of aggregation (rouleaux) from RBCs under low shear rates also contributes to the viscoelasticity under transient flow

(32) of whole blood. Given the difficulty in evaluating viscoelastic behavior of blood under low strain magnitudes and limitations in generalized Newtonian models, the utilization of viscoelastic models is advocated to encompass elasticity and delineate non-shear components within the stress tensor. Extending from the Oldroyd-B model, Anand et al.

(33) developed a viscoelastic model framework for adapting elasticity within blood samples and predicting non-shear stress components. However, to also address the thixotropic effects, the model developed by Horner et al.

(34) serves as a more comprehensive approach than the viscoelastic model from Anand et al. Thixotropy

(32) typically occurs from the structural change of the rouleaux, where low shear rate conditions induce rouleaux formation. Correspondingly, elasticity increases, while elasticity is more representative of the isolated RBCs, under high shear rate conditions. The model of Horner et al.

(34) considers the contribution of rouleaux to shear stress, taking into account factors such as the characteristic time for Brownian aggregation, shear-induced aggregation, and shear-induced breakage. Subsequent advancements in the model from Horner et al. often revolve around refining the three aforementioned key terms for a more substantial characterization of rouleaux dynamics. Notably, this has led to the recently developed mHAWB model

(35) and other model iterations to enhance the accuracy of elastic and viscoelastic contributions to blood rheology, including the recently improved model suggested by Armstrong et al.

Numerical simulation has become increasingly more significant in analyzing the geometry, boundary layers of flow, and nonlinearity of hyperbolic viscoelastic flow constitutive equations. CFD is a powerful and efficient tool utilizing numerical methods to solve the governing hydrodynamic equations, such as the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation, continuity equation, and energy conservation equation, for qualitative evaluation of fluid motion dynamics under different parameters. CFD overcomes the challenge of analytically solving nonlinear forms of differential equations by employing numerical methods such as the Finite-Difference Method (FDM), Finite-Element Method (FEM), and Finite-Volume Method (FVM) to discretize and solve the partial differential equations (PDEs), allowing for qualitative reproduction of transport phenomena and experimental observations. Different numerical methods are chosen to cope with various transport systems for optimization of the accuracy of the result and control of error during the discretization process.FDM is a straightforward approach to discretizing PDEs, replacing the continuum representation of equations with a set of finite-difference equations, which is typically applied to structured grids for efficient implementation in CFD programs.

(37) However, FDM is often limited to simple geometries such as rectangular or block-shaped geometries and struggles with curved boundaries. In contrast, FEM divides the fluid domain into small finite grids or elements, approximating PDEs through a local description of physics.

(38) All elements contribute to a large, sparse matrix solver. However, FEM may not always provide accurate results for systems involving significant deformation and aggregation of particles like RBCs due to large distortion of grids.

(39) FVM evaluates PDEs following the conservation laws and discretizes the selected flow domain into small but finite size control volumes, with each grid at the center of a finite volume.

(40) The divergence theorem allows the conversion of volume integrals of PDEs with divergence terms into surface integrals of surface fluxes across cell boundaries. Due to its conservation property, FVM offers efficient outcomes when dealing with PDEs that embody mass, momentum, and energy conservation principles. Furthermore, widely accessible software packages like the OpenFOAM toolbox

(41) include a viscoelastic solver, making it an attractive option for viscoelastic fluid flow modeling.

The complexity in the blood flow simulation arises from deformability and aggregation that RBCs exhibit during their interaction with neighboring cells under different shear rate conditions induced by blood flow. Numerical models coupled with simulation programs have been applied as a groundbreaking method to predict such unique rheological behavior exhibited by RBCs and whole blood. The conventional approach of a single-phase flow simulation is often applied to blood flow simulations within large vessels possessing a moderate shear rate. However, such a method assumes the properties of plasma, RBCs and other cellular components to be evenly distributed as average density and viscosity in blood, resulting in the inability to simulate the mechanical dynamics, such as RBC aggregation under high-shear flow field, inherent in RBCs. To accurately describe the asymmetric distribution of RBC and blood flow, multiphase flow simulation, where numerical simulations of blood flows are often modeled as two immiscible phases, RBCs and blood plasma, is proposed. A common assumption is that RBCs exhibit non-Newtonian behavior while the plasma is treated as a continuous Newtonian phase.Numerous multiphase numerical models have been proposed to simulate the influence of RBCs on blood flow dynamics by different assumptions. In large-scale simulations (above the millimeter range), continuum-based methods are wildly used due to their lower computational demands.

(43) Eulerian multiphase flow simulations offer the solution of a set of conservation equations for each separate phase and couple the phases through common pressure and interphase exchange coefficients. Xu et al.

(44) utilized the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) to replicate the dynamic behavior and distortion of RBCs subjected to fluidic forces, utilizing the Johnson–Kendall–Roberts model

(45) to define the adhesive forces of cell-to-cell interactions. The iterative direct-forcing immersed boundary method (IBM) is commonly employed in simulations of the fluid–cell interface of blood. This method effectively captures the intricacies of the thin and flexible RBC membranes within various external flow fields.

(44) also adopts this approach to bridge the fluid dynamics and RBC deformation through IBM. Yoon and You utilized the Maxwell model to define the viscosity of the RBC membrane.

(47) It was discovered that the Maxwell model could represent the stress relaxation and unloading processes of the cell. Furthermore, the reduced flexibility of an RBC under particular situations such as infection is specified, which was unattainable by the Kelvin–Voigt model

(48) when compared to the Maxwell model in the literature. The Yeoh hyperplastic material model was also adapted to predict the nonlinear elasticity property of RBCs with FEM employed to discretize the RBC membrane using shell-type elements. Gracka et al.

(49) developed a numerical CFD model with a finite-volume parallel solver for multiphase blood flow simulation, where an updated Maxwell viscoelasticity model and a Discrete Phase Model are adopted. In the study, the adapted IBM, based on unstructured grids, simulates the flow behavior and shape change of the RBCs through fluid-structure coupling. It was found that the hybrid Euler–Lagrange (E–L) approach

(50) for the development of the multiphase model offered better results in the simulated CFL region in the microchannels.To study the dynamics of individual behaviors of RBCs and the consequent non-Newtonian blood flow, cell-shape-resolved computational models are often adapted. The use of the boundary integral method has become prevalent in minimizing computational expenses, particularly in the exclusive determination of fluid velocity on the surfaces of RBCs, incorporating the option of employing IBM or particle-based techniques. The cell-shaped-resolved method has enabled an examination of cell to cell interactions within complex ambient or pulsatile flow conditions

(51) surrounding RBC membranes. Recently, Rydquist et al.

(52) have looked to integrate statistical information from macroscale simulations to obtain a comprehensive overview of RBC behavior within the immediate proximity of the flow through introduction of respective models characterizing membrane shape definition, tension, bending stresses of RBC membranes.At a macroscopic scale, continuum models have conventionally been adapted for assessing blood flow dynamics through the application of elasticity theory and fluid dynamics. However, particle-based methods are known for their simplicity and adaptability in modeling complex multiscale fluid structures. Meshless methods, such as the boundary element method (BEM), smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), are often used in particle-based characterization of RBCs and the surrounding fluid. By representing the fluid as discrete particles, meshless methods provide insights into the status and movement of the multiphase fluid. These methods allow for the investigation of cellular structures and microscopic interactions that affect blood rheology. Non-confronting mesh methods like IBM can also be used to couple a fluid solver such as FEM, FVM, or the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) through membrane representation of RBCs. In comparison to conventional CFD methods, LBM has been viewed as a favorable numerical approach for solving the N–S equations and the simulation of multiphase flows. LBM exhibits the notable advantage of being amenable to high-performance parallel computing environments due to its inherently local dynamics. In contrast to DPD and SPH where RBC membranes are modeled as physically interconnected particles, LBM employs the IBM to account for the deformation dynamics of RBCs

(53,54) under shear flows in complex channel geometries.

(54,55) However, it is essential to acknowledge that the utilization of LBM in simulating RBC flows often entails a significant computational overhead, being a primary challenge in this context. Krüger et al.

(56) proposed utilizing LBM as a fluid solver, IBM to couple the fluid and FEM to compute the response of membranes to deformation under immersed fluids. This approach decouples the fluid and membranes but necessitates significant computational effort due to the requirements of both meshes and particles.Despite the accuracy of current blood flow models, simulating complex conditions remains challenging because of the high computational load and cost. Balachandran Nair et al.

(57) suggested a reduced order model of RBC under the framework of DEM, where the RBC is represented by overlapping constituent rigid spheres. The Morse potential force is adapted to account for the RBC aggregation exhibited by cell to cell interactions among RBCs at different distances. Based upon the IBM, the reduced-order RBC model is adapted to simulate blood flow transport for validation under both single and multiple RBCs with a resolved CFD-DEM solver.

(58) In the resolved CFD-DEM model, particle sizes are larger than the grid size for a more accurate computation of the surrounding flow field. A continuous forcing approach is taken to describe the momentum source of the governing equation prior to discretization, which is different from a Direct Forcing Method (DFM).

(59) As no body-conforming moving mesh is required, the continuous forcing approach offers lower complexity and reduced cost when compared to the DFM. Piquet et al.

(60) highlighted the high complexity of the DFM due to its reliance on calculating an additional immersed boundary flux for the velocity field to ensure its divergence-free condition.The fluid–structure interaction (FSI) method has been advocated to connect the dynamic interplay of RBC membranes and fluid plasma within blood flow such as the coupling of continuum–particle interactions. However, such methodology is generally adapted for anatomical configurations such as arteries

(63) where both the structural components and the fluid domain undergo substantial deformation due to the moving boundaries. Due to the scope of the Review being blood flow simulation within microchannels of LOC devices without deformable boundaries, the Review of the FSI method will not be further carried out.In general, three numerical methods are broadly used: mesh-based, particle-based, and hybrid mesh–particle techniques, based on the spatial scale and the fundamental numerical approach, mesh-based methods tend to neglect the effects of individual particles, assuming a continuum and being efficient in terms of time and cost. However, the particle-based approach highlights more of the microscopic and mesoscopic level, where the influence of individual RBCs is considered. A review from Freund et al.

(64) addressed the three numerical methodologies and their respective modeling approaches of RBC dynamics. Given the complex mechanics and the diverse levels of study concerning numerical simulations of blood and cellular flow, a broad spectrum of numerical methods for blood has been subjected to extensive review.

(65) offered an extensive review of the application of the DPD, SPH, and LBM for numerical simulations of RBC, while Rathnayaka et al.

(67) conducted a review of the particle-based numerical modeling for liquid marbles through drawing parallels to the transport of RBCs in microchannels. A comparative analysis between conventional CFD methods and particle-based approaches for cellular and blood flow dynamic simulation can be found under the review by Arabghahestani et al.

(69) offer an overview of both continuum-based models at micro/macroscales and multiscale particle-based models encompassing various length and temporal dimensions. Furthermore, these reviews deliberate upon the potential of coupling continuum-particle methods for blood plasma and RBC modeling. Arciero et al.

(70) investigated various modeling approaches encompassing cellular interactions, such as cell to cell or plasma interactions and the individual cellular phases. A concise overview of the reviews is provided in Table 2 for reference.

Table 2. List of Reviews for Numerical Approaches Employed in Blood Flow Simulation

Capillary driven (CD) flow is a pivotal mechanism in passive microfluidic flow systems

(9) such as the blood circulation system and LOC systems.

(71) CD flow is essentially the movement of a liquid to flow against drag forces, where the capillary effect exerts a force on the liquid at the borders, causing a liquid–air meniscus to flow despite gravity or other drag forces. A capillary pressure drops across the liquid–air interface with surface tension in the capillary radius and contact angle. The capillary effect depends heavily on the interaction between the different properties of surface materials. Different values of contact angles can be manipulated and obtained under varying levels of surface wettability treatments to manipulate the surface properties, resulting in different CD blood delivery rates for medical diagnostic device microchannels. CD flow techniques are appealing for many LOC devices, because they require no external energy. However, due to the passive property of liquid propulsion by capillary forces and the long-term instability of surface treatments on channel walls, the adaptability of CD flow in geometrically complex LOC devices may be limited.

3.2. Theoretical and Numerical Modeling of Capillary Driven Blood Flow

3.2.1. Theoretical Basis and Assumptions of Microfluidic Flow

The study of transport phenomena regarding either blood flow driven by capillary forces or externally applied forces under microfluid systems all demands a comprehensive recognition of the significant differences in flow dynamics between microscale and macroscale. The fundamental assumptions and principles behind fluid transport at the microscale are discussed in this section. Such a comprehension will lay the groundwork for the following analysis of the theoretical basis of capillary forces and their role in blood transport in LOC systems.

At the macroscale, fluid dynamics are often strongly influenced by gravity due to considerable fluid mass. However, the high surface to volume ratio at the microscale shifts the balance toward surface forces (e.g., surface tension and viscous forces), much larger than the inertial force. This difference gives rise to transport phenomena unique to microscale fluid transport, such as the prevalence of laminar flow due to a very low Reynolds number (generally lower than 1). Moreover, the fluid in a microfluidic system is often assumed to be incompressible due to the small flow velocity, indicating constant fluid density in both space and time.Microfluidic flow behaviors are governed by the fundamental principles of mass and momentum conservation, which are encapsulated in the continuity equation and the Navier–Stokes (N–S) equation. The continuity equation describes the conservation of mass, while the N–S equation captures the spatial and temporal variations in velocity, pressure, and other physical parameters. Under the assumption of the negligible influence of gravity in microfluidic systems, the continuity equation and the Eulerian representation of the incompressible N–S equation can be expressed as follows:

∇·𝐮⇀=0∇·�⇀=0

(7)

−∇𝑝+𝜇∇2𝐮⇀+∇·𝝉⇀−𝐅⇀=0−∇�+�∇2�⇀+∇·�⇀−�⇀=0

(8)Here, p is the pressure, u is the fluid viscosity,

𝝉⇀�⇀ represents the stress tensor, and F is the body force exerted by external forces if present.

3.2.2. Theoretical Basis and Modeling of Capillary Force in LOC Systems

The capillary force is often the major driving force to manipulate and transport blood without an externally applied force in LOC systems. Forces induced by the capillary effect impact the free surface of fluids and are represented not directly in the Navier–Stokes equations but through the pressure boundary conditions of the pressure term p. For hydrophilic surfaces, the liquid generally induces a contact angle between 0° and 30°, encouraging the spread and attraction of fluid under a positive cos θ condition. For this condition, the pressure drop becomes positive and generates a spontaneous flow forward. A hydrophobic solid surface repels the fluid, inducing minimal contact. Generally, hydrophobic solids exhibit a contact angle larger than 90°, inducing a negative value of cos θ. Such a value will result in a negative pressure drop and a flow in the opposite direction. The induced contact angle is often utilized to measure the wall exposure of various surface treatments on channel walls where different wettability gradients and surface tension effects for CD flows are established. Contact angles between different interfaces are obtainable through standard values or experimental methods for reference.

(72)For the characterization of the induced force by the capillary effect, the Young–Laplace (Y–L) equation

(73) is widely employed. In the equation, the capillary is considered a pressure boundary condition between the two interphases. Through the Y–L equation, the capillary pressure force can be determined, and subsequently, the continuity and momentum balance equations can be solved to obtain the blood filling rate. Kim et al.

(74) studied the effects of concentration and exposure time of a nonionic surfactant, Silwet L-77, on the performance of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel in terms of plasma and blood self-separation. The study characterized the capillary pressure force by incorporating the Y–L equation and further evaluated the effects of the changing contact angle due to different levels of applied channel wall surface treatments. The expression of the Y–L equation utilized by Kim et al.

(9)where σ is the surface tension of the liquid and θ

_{b}, θ

_{t}, θ

_{l}, and θ

_{r} are the contact angle values between the liquid and the bottom, top, left, and right walls, respectively. A numerical simulation through Coventor software is performed to evaluate the dynamic changes in the filling rate within the microchannel. The simulation results for the blood filling rate in the microchannel are expressed at a specific time stamp, shown in Figure 2. The results portray an increasing instantaneous filling rate of blood in the microchannel following the decrease in contact angle induced by a higher concentration of the nonionic surfactant treated to the microchannel wall.

When in contact with hydrophilic or hydrophobic surfaces, blood forms a meniscus with a contact angle due to surface tension. The Lucas–Washburn (L–W) equation

(75) is one of the pioneering theoretical definitions for the position of the meniscus over time. In addition, the L–W equation provides the possibility for research to obtain the velocity of the blood formed meniscus through the derivation of the meniscus position. The L–W equation

(10)Here L(t) represents the distance of the liquid driven by the capillary forces. However, the generalized L–W equation solely assumes the constant physical properties from a Newtonian fluid rather than considering the non-Newtonian fluid behavior of blood. Cito et al.

(76) constructed an enhanced version of the L–W equation incorporating the power law to consider the RBC aggregation and the FL effect. The non-Newtonian fluid apparent viscosity under the Power Law model is defined as

𝜇=𝑘·(𝛾˙)𝑛−1�=�·(�˙)�−1

(11)where γ̇ is the strain rate tensor defined as

𝛾˙=12𝛾˙𝑖𝑗𝛾˙𝑗𝑖⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�˙=12�˙���˙��. The stress tensor term τ is computed as τ = μγ̇

(12)where k is the flow consistency index and n is the power law index, respectively. The power law index, from the Power Law model, characterizes the extent of the non-Newtonian behavior of blood. Both the consistency and power law index rely on blood properties such as hematocrit, the appearance of the FL effect, the formation of RBC aggregates, etc. The updated L–W equation computes the location and velocity of blood flow caused by capillary forces at specified time points within the LOC devices, taking into account the effects of blood flow characteristics such as RBC aggregation and the FL effect on dynamic blood viscosity.Apart from the blood flow behaviors triggered by inherent blood properties, unique flow conditions driven by capillary forces that are portrayed under different microchannel geometries also hold crucial implications for CD blood delivery. Berthier et al.

(77) studied the spontaneous Concus–Finn condition, the condition to initiate the spontaneous capillary flow within a V-groove microchannel, as shown in Figure 3(a) both experimentally and numerically. Through experimental studies, the spontaneous Concus–Finn filament development of capillary driven blood flow is observed, as shown in Figure 3(b), while the dynamic development of blood flow is numerically simulated through CFD simulation.

Berthier et al.

(77) characterized the contact angle needed for the initiation of the capillary driving force at a zero-inlet pressure, through the half-angle (α) of the V-groove geometry layout, and its relation to the Concus–Finn filament as shown below:

(13)Three possible regimes were concluded based on the contact angle value for the initiation of flow and development of Concus–Finn filament:

𝜃>𝜃1𝜃1>𝜃>𝜃0𝜃0no SCFSCF without a Concus−Finn filamentSCF without a Concus−Finn filament{�>�1no SCF�1>�>�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament�0SCF without a Concus−Finn filament

(14)Under Newton’s Law, the force balance with low Reynolds and Capillary numbers results in the neglect of inertial terms. The force balance between the capillary forces and the viscous force induced by the channel wall is proposed to derive the analytical fluid velocity. This relation between the two forces offers insights into the average flow velocity and the penetration distance function dependent on time. The apparent blood viscosity is defined by Berthier et al.

(23) given in eq 1. The research used the FLOW-3D program from Flow Science Inc. software, which solves transient, free-surface problems using the FDM in multiple dimensions. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) method

(79) is utilized to locate and track the dynamic extension of filament throughout the advancing interface within the channel ahead of the main flow at three progressing time stamps, as depicted in Figure 3(c).

The utilization of external forces, such as electric fields, has significantly broadened the possibility of manipulating microfluidic flow in LOC systems.

(80) Externally applied electric field forces induce a fluid flow from the movement of ions in fluid terms as the “electro-osmotic flow” (EOF).Unique transport phenomena, such as enhanced flow velocity and flow instability, induced by non-Newtonian fluids, particularly viscoelastic fluids, under EOF, have sparked considerable interest in microfluidic devices with simple or complicated geometries within channels.

(81) However, compared to the study of Newtonian fluids and even other electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flows, the literature focusing on the theoretical and numerical modeling of electro-osmotic blood flow is limited due to the complexity of blood properties. Consequently, to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex blood flow behavior under EOF, theoretical and numerical studies of the transport phenomena in the EOF section will be based on the studies of different viscoelastic fluids under EOF rather than that of blood specifically. Despite this limitation, we believe these studies offer valuable insights that can help understand the complex behavior of blood flow under EOF.

4.1. EOF Phenomena

Electro-osmotic flow occurs at the interface between the microchannel wall and bulk phase solution. When in contact with the bulk phase, solution ions are absorbed or dissociated at the solid–liquid interface, resulting in the formation of a charge layer, as shown in Figure 4. This charged channel surface wall interacts with both negative and positive ions in the bulk sample, causing repulsion and attraction forces to create a thin layer of immobilized counterions, known as the Stern layer. The induced electric potential from the wall gradually decreases with an increase in the distance from the wall. The Stern layer potential, commonly termed the zeta potential, controls the intensity of the electrostatic interactions between mobile counterions and, consequently, the drag force from the applied electric field. Next to the Stern layer is the diffuse mobile layer, mainly composed of a mobile counterion. These two layers constitute the “electrical double layer” (EDL), the thickness of which is directly proportional to the ionic strength (concentration) of the bulk fluid. The relationship between the two parameters is characterized by a Debye length (λ

_{D}), expressed as

𝜆𝐷=𝜖𝑘B𝑇2(𝑍𝑒)2𝑐0⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√��=��B�2(��)2�0

(15)where ϵ is the permittivity of the electrolyte solution, k

_{B} is the Boltzmann constant, T is the electron temperature, Z is the integer valence number, e is the elementary charge, and c

_{0} is the ionic density.

When an electric field is applied perpendicular to the EDL, viscous drag is generated due to the movement of excess ions in the EDL. Electro-osmotic forces can be attributed to the externally applied electric potential (ϕ) and the zeta potential, the system wall induced potential by charged walls (ψ). As illustrated in Figure 4, the majority of ions in the bulk phase have a uniform velocity profile, except for a shear rate condition confined within an extremely thin Stern layer. Therefore, EOF displays a unique characteristic of a “near flat” or plug flow velocity profile, different from the parabolic flow typically induced by pressure-driven microfluidic flow (Hagen–Poiseuille flow). The plug-shaped velocity profile of the EOF possesses a high shear rate above the Stern layer.Overall, the EOF velocity magnitude is typically proportional to the Debye Length (λ

_{D}), zeta potential, and magnitude of the externally applied electric field, while a more viscous liquid reduces the EOF velocity.

4.2. Modeling on Electro-osmotic Viscoelastic Fluid Flow

4.2.1. Theoretical Basis of EOF Mechanisms

The EOF of an incompressible viscoelastic fluid is commonly governed by the continuity and incompressible N–S equations, as shown in eqs 7 and 8, where the stress tensor and the electrostatic force term are coupled. The electro-osmotic body force term F, representing the body force exerted by the externally applied electric force, is defined as

𝐹⇀=𝑝𝐸𝐸⇀�⇀=���⇀, where ρ

_{E} and

𝐸⇀�⇀ are the net electric charge density and the applied external electric field, respectively.Numerous models are established to theoretically study the externally applied electric potential and the system wall induced potential by charged walls. The following Laplace equation, expressed as eq 16, is generally adapted and solved to calculate the externally applied potential (ϕ).

∇2𝜙=0∇2�=0

(16)Ion diffusion under applied electric fields, together with mass transport resulting from convection and diffusion, transports ionic solutions in bulk flow under electrokinetic processes. The Nernst–Planck equation can describe these transport methods, including convection, diffusion, and electro-diffusion. Therefore, the Nernst–Planck equation is used to determine the distribution of the ions within the electrolyte. The electric potential induced by the charged channel walls follows the Poisson–Nernst–Plank (PNP) equation, which can be written as eq 17.

_{i} are the diffusion coefficient, ionic concentration, and ionic valence of the ionic species I, respectively. However, due to the high nonlinearity and numerical stiffness introduced by different lengths and time scales from the PNP equations, the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) model is often considered the major simplified method of the PNP equation to characterize the potential distribution of the EDL region in microchannels. In the PB model, it is assumed that the ionic species in the fluid follow the Boltzmann distribution. This model is typically valid for steady-state problems where charge transport can be considered negligible, the EDLs do not overlap with each other, and the intrinsic potentials are low. It provides a simplified representation of the potential distribution in the EDL region. The PB equation governing the EDL electric potential distribution is described as

_{0} is the ion bulk concentration, z is the ionic valence, and ε

_{0} is the electric permittivity in the vacuum. Under low electric potential conditions, an even further simplified model to illustrate the EOF phenomena is the Debye–Hückel (DH) model. The DH model is derived by obtaining a charge density term by expanding the exponential term of the Boltzmann equation in a Taylor series.

4.2.2. EOF Modeling for Viscoelastic Fluids

Many studies through numerical modeling were performed to obtain a deeper understanding of the effect exhibited by externally applied electric fields on viscoelastic flow in microchannels under various geometrical designs. Bello et al.

(83) found that methylcellulose solution, a non-Newtonian polymer solution, resulted in stronger electro-osmotic mobility in experiments when compared to the predictions by the Helmholtz–Smoluchowski equation, which is commonly used to define the velocity of EOF of a Newtonian fluid. Being one of the pioneers to identify the discrepancies between the EOF of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, Bello et al. attributed such discrepancies to the presence of a very high shear rate in the EDL, resulting in a change in the orientation of the polymer molecules. Park and Lee

(84) utilized the FVM to solve the PB equation for the characterization of the electric field induced force. In the study, the concept of fractional calculus for the Oldroyd-B model was adapted to illustrate the elastic and memory effects of viscoelastic fluids in a straight microchannel They observed that fluid elasticity and increased ratio of viscoelastic fluid contribution to overall fluid viscosity had a significant impact on the volumetric flow rate and sensitivity of velocity to electric field strength compared to Newtonian fluids. Afonso et al.

(85) derived an analytical expression for EOF of viscoelastic fluid between parallel plates using the DH model to account for a zeta potential condition below 25 mV. The study established the understanding of the electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow under low zeta potential conditions. Apart from the electrokinetic forces, pressure forces can also be coupled with EOF to generate a unique fluid flow behavior within the microchannel. Sousa et al.

(86) analytically studied the flow of a standard viscoelastic solution by combining the pressure gradient force with an externally applied electric force. It was found that, at a near wall skimming layer and the outer layer away from the wall, macromolecules migrating away from surface walls in viscoelastic fluids are observed. In the study, the Phan-Thien Tanner (PTT) constitutive model is utilized to characterize the viscoelastic properties of the solution. The approach is found to be valid when the EDL is much thinner than the skimming layer under an enhanced flow rate. Zhao and Yang

(87) solved the PB equation and Carreau model for the characterization of the EOF mechanism and non-Newtonian fluid respectively through the FEM. The numerical results depict that, different from the EOF of Newtonian fluids, non-Newtonian fluids led to an increase of electro-osmotic mobility for shear thinning fluids but the opposite for shear thickening fluids.Like other fluid transport driving forces, EOF within unique geometrical layouts also portrays unique transport phenomena. Pimenta and Alves

(88) utilized the FVM to perform numerical simulations of the EOF of viscoelastic fluids considering the PB equation and the Oldroyd-B model, in a cross-slot and flow-focusing microdevices. It was found that electroelastic instabilities are formed due to the development of large stresses inside the EDL with streamlined curvature at geometry corners. Bezerra et al.

(89) used the FDM to numerically analyze the vortex formation and flow instability from an electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow in a microchannel with a nozzle geometry and parallel wall geometry setting. The PNP equation is utilized to characterize the charge motion in the EOF and the PTT model for non-Newtonian flow characterization. A constriction geometry is commonly utilized in blood flow adapted in LOC systems due to the change in blood flow behavior under narrow dimensions in a microchannel. Ji et al.

(90) recently studied the EOF of viscoelastic fluid in a constriction microchannel connected by two relatively big reservoirs on both ends (as seen in Figure 5) filled with the polyacrylamide polymer solution, a viscoelastic fluid, and an incompressible monovalent binary electrolyte solution KCl.

In studying the EOF of viscoelastic fluids, the Oldroyd-B model is often utilized to characterize the polymeric stress tensor and the deformation rate of the fluid. The Oldroyd-B model is expressed as follows:

𝜏=𝜂p𝜆(𝐜−𝐈)�=�p�(�−�)

(19)where η

_{p}, λ, c, and I represent the polymer dynamic viscosity, polymer relaxation time, symmetric conformation tensor of the polymer molecules, and the identity matrix, respectively.A log-conformation tensor approach is taken to prevent convergence difficulty induced by the viscoelastic properties. The conformation tensor (c) in the polymeric stress tensor term is redefined by a new tensor (Θ) based on the natural logarithm of the c. The new tensor is defined as

Θ=ln(𝐜)=𝐑ln(𝚲)𝐑Θ=ln(�)=�ln(�)�

(20)in which Λ is the diagonal matrix and R is the orthogonal matrix.Under the new conformation tensor, the induced EOF of a viscoelastic fluid is governed by the continuity and N–S equations adapting the Oldroyd-B model, which is expressed as

(21)where Ω and B represent the anti-symmetric matrix and the symmetric traceless matrix of the decomposition of the velocity gradient tensor ∇u, respectively. The conformation tensor can be recovered by c = exp(Θ). The PB model and Laplace equation are utilized to characterize the charged channel wall induced potential and the externally applied potential.The governing equations are numerically solved through the FVM by RheoTool,

(42) an open-source viscoelastic EOF solver on the OpenFOAM platform. A SIMPLEC (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations-Consistent) algorithm was applied to solve the velocity-pressure coupling. The pressure field and velocity field were computed by the PCG (Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient) solver and the PBiCG (Preconditioned Biconjugate Gradient) solver, respectively.Ranging magnitudes of an applied electric field or fluid concentration induce both different streamlines and velocity magnitudes at various locations and times of the microchannel. In the study performed by Ji et al.,

(90) notable fluctuation of streamlines and vortex formation is formed at the upper stream entrance of the constriction as shown in Figure 6(a) and (b), respectively, due to the increase of electrokinetic effect, which is seen as a result of the increase in polymeric stress (τ

_{xx}).

(90) The contraction geometry enhances the EOF velocity within the constriction channel under high E

_{app} condition (600 V/cm). Such phenomena can be attributed to the dependence of electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow on the system wall surface and bulk fluid properties.

As elastic normal stress exceeds the local shear stress, flow instability and vortex formation occur. The induced elastic stress under EOF not only enhances the instability of the flow but often generates an irregular secondary flow leading to strong disturbance.

(92) It is also vital to consider the effect of the constriction layout of microchannels on the alteration of the field strength within the system. The contraction geometry enhances a larger electric field strength compared with other locations of the channel outside the constriction region, resulting in a higher velocity gradient and stronger extension on the polymer within the viscoelastic solution. Following the high shear flow condition, a higher magnitude of stretch for polymer molecules in viscoelastic fluids exhibits larger elastic stresses and enhancement of vortex formation at the region.

(93)As shown in Figure 6(c), significant elastic normal stress occurs at the inlet of the constriction microchannel. Such occurrence of a polymeric flow can be attributed to the dominating elongational flow, giving rise to high deformation of the polymers within the viscoelastic fluid flow, resulting in higher elastic stress from the polymers. Such phenomena at the entrance result in the difference in velocity streamline as circled in Figure 6(d) compared to that of the Newtonian fluid at the constriction entrance in Figure 6(e).

(90) The difference between the Newtonian and polymer solution at the exit, as circled in Figure 6(d) and (e), can be attributed to the extrudate swell effect of polymers

(94) within the viscoelastic fluid flow. The extrudate swell effect illustrates that, as polymers emerge from the constriction exit, they tend to contract in the flow direction and grow in the normal direction, resulting in an extrudate diameter greater than the channel size. The deformation of polymers within the polymeric flow at both the entrance and exit of the contraction channel facilitates the change in shear stress conditions of the flow, leading to the alteration in streamlines of flows for each region.

4.3. EOF Applications in LOC Systems

4.3.1. Mixing in LOC Systems

Rather than relying on the micromixing controlled by molecular diffusion under low Reynolds number conditions, active mixers actively leverage convective instability and vortex formation induced by electro-osmotic flows from alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electric fields. Such adaptation is recognized as significant breakthroughs for promotion of fluid mixing in chemical and biological applications such as drug delivery, medical diagnostics, chemical synthesis, and so on.

(95)Many researchers proposed novel designs of electro-osmosis micromixers coupled with numerical simulations in conjunction with experimental findings to increase their understanding of the role of flow instability and vortex formation in the mixing process under electrokinetic phenomena. Matsubara and Narumi

(96) numerically modeled the mixing process in a microchannel with four electrodes on each side of the microchannel wall, which generated a disruption through unstable electro-osmotic vortices. It was found that particle mixing was sensitive to both the convection effect induced by the main and secondary vortex within the micromixer and the change in oscillation frequency caused by the supplied AC voltage when the Reynolds number was varied. Qaderi et al.

(97) adapted the PNP equation to numerically study the effect of the geometry and zeta potential configuration of the microchannel on the mixing process with a combined electro-osmotic pressure driven flow. It was reported that the application of heterogeneous zeta potential configuration enhances the mixing efficiency by around 23% while the height of the hurdles increases the mixing efficiency at most 48.1%. Cho et al.

(98) utilized the PB model and Laplace equation to numerically simulate the electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid mixing process within a wavy and block layout of microchannel walls. The Power Law model is adapted to describe the fluid rheological characteristic. It was found that shear-thinning fluids possess a higher volumetric flow rate, which could result in poorer mixing efficiency compared to that of Newtonian fluids. Numerous studies have revealed that flow instability and vortex generation, in particular secondary vortices produced by barriers or greater magnitudes of heterogeneous zeta potential distribution, enhance mixing by increasing bulk flow velocity and reducing flow distance.To better understand the mechanism of disturbance formed in the system due to externally applied forces, known as electrokinetic instability, literature often utilize the Rayleigh (Ra) number,

(22)where γ is the conductivity ratio of the two streams and can be written as

𝛾=𝜎el,H𝜎el,L�=�el,H�el,L. The Ra number characterizes the ratio between electroviscous and electro-osmotic flow. A high Ra

_{v} value often results in good mixing. It is evident that fluid properties such as the conductivity (σ) of the two streams play a key role in the formation of disturbances to enhance mixing in microsystems. At the same time, electrokinetic parameters like the zeta potential (ζ) in the Ra number is critical in the characterization of electro-osmotic velocity and a slip boundary condition at the microchannel wall.To understand the mixing result along the channel, the concentration field can be defined and simulated under the assumption of steady state conditions and constant diffusion coefficient for each of the working fluid within the system through the convection–diffusion equation as below:

∂𝑐𝒊∂𝑡+∇⇀(𝑐𝑖𝑢⇀−𝐷𝑖∇⇀𝑐𝒊)=0∂��∂�+∇⇀(���⇀−��∇⇀��)=0

(23)where c

_{i} is the species concentration of species i and D

_{i} is the diffusion coefficient of the corresponding species.The standard deviation of concentration (σ

_{sd}) can be adapted to evaluate the mixing quality of the system.

(97) The standard deviation for concentration at a specific portion of the channel may be calculated using the equation below:

_{m} are the non-dimensional concentration profile and the mean concentration at the portion, respectively. C* is the non-dimensional concentration and can be calculated as

𝐶∗=𝐶𝐶ref�*=��ref, where C

_{ref} is the reference concentration defined as the bulk solution concentration. The mean concentration profile can be calculated as

𝐶m=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗�m=∫01(�*(�*)d�*∫01d�*. With the standard deviation of concentration, the mixing efficiency

_{sd}_{,0} is the standard derivation of the case of no mixing. The value of the mixing efficiency is typically utilized in conjunction with the simulated flow field and concentration field to explore the effect of geometrical and electrokinetic parameters on the optimization of the mixing results.

Viscoelastic fluids such as blood flow in LOC systems are an essential topic to proceed with diagnostic analysis and research through microdevices in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. The complex blood flow behavior is tightly controlled by the viscoelastic characteristics of blood such as the dynamic viscosity and the elastic property of RBCs under various shear rate conditions. Furthermore, the flow behaviors under varied driving forces promote an array of microfluidic transport phenomena that are critical to the management of blood flow and other adapted viscoelastic fluids in LOC systems. This review addressed the blood flow phenomena, the complicated interplay between shear rate and blood flow behaviors, and their numerical modeling under LOC systems through the lens of the viscoelasticity characteristic. Furthermore, a theoretical understanding of capillary forces and externally applied electric forces leads to an in-depth investigation of the relationship between blood flow patterns and the key parameters of the two driving forces, the latter of which is introduced through the lens of viscoelastic fluids, coupling numerical modeling to improve the knowledge of blood flow manipulation in LOC systems. The flow disturbances triggered by the EOF of viscoelastic fluids and their impact on blood flow patterns have been deeply investigated due to their important role and applications in LOC devices. Continuous advancements of various numerical modeling methods with experimental findings through more efficient and less computationally heavy methods have served as an encouraging sign of establishing more accurate illustrations of the mechanisms for multiphase blood and other viscoelastic fluid flow transport phenomena driven by various forces. Such progress is fundamental for the manipulation of unique transport phenomena, such as the generated disturbances, to optimize functionalities offered by microdevices in LOC systems.

The following section will provide further insights into the employment of studied blood transport phenomena to improve the functionality of micro devices adapting LOC technology. A discussion of the novel roles that external driving forces play in microfluidic flow behaviors is also provided. Limitations in the computational modeling of blood flow and electrokinetic phenomena in LOC systems will also be emphasized, which may provide valuable insights for future research endeavors. These discussions aim to provide guidance and opportunities for new paths in the ongoing development of LOC devices that adapt blood flow.

5.2. Future Directions

5.2.1. Electro-osmosis Mixing in LOC Systems

Despite substantial research, mixing results through flow instability and vortex formation phenomena induced by electro-osmotic mixing still deviate from the effective mixing results offered by chaotic mixing results such as those seen in turbulent flows. However, recent discoveries of a mixing phenomenon that is generally observed under turbulent flows are found within electro-osmosis micromixers under low Reynolds number conditions. Zhao

(99) experimentally discovered a rapid mixing process in an AC applied micromixer, where the power spectrum of concentration under an applied voltage of 20 V

_{p-p} induces a −5/3 slope within a frequency range. This value of the slope is considered as the O–C spectrum in macroflows, which is often visible under relatively high Re conditions, such as the Taylor microscale Reynolds number Re > 500 in turbulent flows.

(100) However, the Re value in the studied system is less than 1 at the specific location and applied voltage. A secondary flow is also suggested to occur close to microchannel walls, being attributed to the increase of convective instability within the system.Despite the experimental phenomenon proposed by Zhao et al.,

(99) the range of effects induced by vital parameters of an EOF mixing system on the enhanced mixing results and mechanisms of disturbance generated by the turbulent-like flow instability is not further characterized. Such a gap in knowledge may hinder the adaptability and commercialization of the discovery of micromixers. One of the parameters for further evaluation is the conductivity gradient of the fluid flow. A relatively strong conductivity gradient (5000:1) was adopted in the system due to the conductive properties of the two fluids. The high conductivity gradients may contribute to the relatively large Rayleigh number and differences in EDL layer thickness, resulting in an unusual disturbance in laminar flow conditions and enhanced mixing results. However, high conductivity gradients are not always achievable by the working fluids due to diverse fluid properties. The reliance on turbulent-like phenomena and rapid mixing results in a large conductivity gradient should be established to prevent the limited application of fluids for the mixing system. In addition, the proposed system utilizes distinct zeta potential distributions at the top and bottom walls due to their difference in material choices, which may be attributed to the flow instability phenomena. Further studies should be made on varying zeta potential magnitude and distribution to evaluate their effect on the slip boundary conditions of the flow and the large shear rate condition close to the channel wall of EOF. Such a study can potentially offer an optimized condition in zeta potential magnitude through material choices and geometrical layout of the zeta potential for better mixing results and manipulation of mixing fluid dynamics. The two vital parameters mentioned above can be varied with the aid of numerical simulation to understand the effect of parameters on the interaction between electro-osmotic forces and electroviscous forces. At the same time, the relationship of developed streamlines of the simulated velocity and concentration field, following their relationship with the mixing results, under the impact of these key parameters can foster more insight into the range of impact that the two parameters have on the proposed phenomena and the microfluidic dynamic principles of disturbances.

In addition, many of the current investigations of electrokinetic mixers commonly emphasize the fluid dynamics of mixing for Newtonian fluids, while the utilization of biofluids, primarily viscoelastic fluids such as blood, and their distinctive response under shear forces in these novel mixing processes of LOC systems are significantly less studied. To develop more compatible microdevice designs and efficient mixing outcomes for the biomedical industry, it is necessary to fill the knowledge gaps in the literature on electro-osmotic mixing for biofluids, where properties of elasticity, dynamic viscosity, and intricate relationship with shear flow from the fluid are further considered.

5.2.2. Electro-osmosis Separation in LOC Systems

Particle separation in LOC devices, particularly in biological research and diagnostics, is another area where disturbances may play a significant role in optimization.

(101) Plasma analysis in LOC systems under precise control of blood flow phenomena and blood/plasma separation procedures can detect vital information about infectious diseases from particular antibodies and foreign nucleic acids for medical treatments, diagnostics, and research,

(102) offering more efficient results and simple operating procedures compared to that of the traditional centrifugation method for blood and plasma separation. However, the adaptability of LOC devices for blood and plasma separation is often hindered by microchannel clogging, where flow velocity and plasma yield from LOC devices is reduced due to occasional RBC migration and aggregation at the filtration entrance of microdevices.

(103)It is important to note that the EOF induces flow instability close to microchannel walls, which may provide further solutions to clogging for the separation process of the LOC systems. Mohammadi et al.

(104) offered an anti-clogging effect of RBCs at the blood and plasma separating device filtration entry, adjacent to the surface wall, through RBC disaggregation under high shear rate conditions generated by a forward and reverse EOF direction.

Further theoretical and numerical research can be conducted to characterize the effect of high shear rate conditions near microchannel walls toward the detachment of binding blood cells on surfaces and the reversibility of aggregation. Through numerical modeling with varying electrokinetic parameters to induce different degrees of disturbances or shear conditions at channel walls, it may be possible to optimize and better understand the process of disrupting the forces that bind cells to surface walls and aggregated cells at filtration pores. RBCs that migrate close to microchannel walls are often attracted by the adhesion force between the RBC and the solid surface originating from the van der Waals forces. Following RBC migration and attachment by adhesive forces adjacent to the microchannel walls as shown in Figure 7, the increase in viscosity at the region causes a lower shear condition and encourages RBC aggregation (cell–cell interaction), which clogs filtering pores or microchannels and reduces flow velocity at filtration region. Both the impact that shear forces and disturbances may induce on cell binding forces with surface walls and other cells leading to aggregation may suggest further characterization. Kinetic parameters such as activation energy and the rate-determining step for cell binding composition attachment and detachment should be considered for modeling the dynamics of RBCs and blood flows under external forces in LOC separation devices.

5.2.3. Relationship between External Forces and Microfluidic Systems

In blood flow, a thicker CFL suggests a lower blood viscosity, suggesting a complex relationship between shear stress and shear rate, affecting the blood viscosity and blood flow. Despite some experimental and numerical studies on electro-osmotic non-Newtonian fluid flow, limited literature has performed an in-depth investigation of the role that applied electric forces and other external forces could play in the process of CFL formation. Additional studies on how shear rates from external forces affect CFL formation and microfluidic flow dynamics can shed light on the mechanism of the contribution induced by external driving forces to the development of a separate phase of layer, similar to CFL, close to the microchannel walls and distinct from the surrounding fluid within the system, then influencing microfluidic flow dynamics.One of the mechanisms of phenomena to be explored is the formation of the Exclusion Zone (EZ) region following a “Self-Induced Flow” (SIF) phenomenon discovered by Li and Pollack,

(106) as shown in Figure 8(a) and (b), respectively. A spontaneous sustained axial flow is observed when hydrophilic materials are immersed in water, resulting in the buildup of a negative layer of charges, defined as the EZ, after water molecules absorb infrared radiation (IR) energy and break down into H and OH

^{+}^{–}.

Despite the finding of such a phenomenon, the specific mechanism and role of IR energy have yet to be defined for the process of EZ development. To further develop an understanding of the role of IR energy in such phenomena, a feasible study may be seen through the lens of the relationships between external forces and microfluidic flow. In the phenomena, the increase of SIF velocity under a rise of IR radiation resonant characteristics is shown in the participation of the external electric field near the microchannel walls under electro-osmotic viscoelastic fluid flow systems. The buildup of negative charges at the hydrophilic surfaces in EZ is analogous to the mechanism of electrical double layer formation. Indeed, research has initiated the exploration of the core mechanisms for EZ formation through the lens of the electrokinetic phenomena.

(107) Such a similarity of the role of IR energy and the transport phenomena of SIF with electrokinetic phenomena paves the way for the definition of the unknown SIF phenomena and EZ formation. Furthermore, Li and Pollack

(106) suggest whether CFL formation might contribute to a SIF of blood using solely IR radiation, a commonly available source of energy in nature, as an external driving force. The proposition may be proven feasible with the presence of the CFL region next to the negatively charged hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer, coating the luminal side of blood vessels.

(108) Further research can dive into the resonating characteristics between the formation of the CFL region next to the hydrophilic endothelial glycocalyx layer and that of the EZ formation close to hydrophilic microchannel walls. Indeed, an increase in IR energy is known to rapidly accelerate EZ formation and SIF velocity, depicting similarity to the increase in the magnitude of electric field forces and greater shear rates at microchannel walls affecting CFL formation and EOF velocity. Such correlation depicts a future direction in whether SIF blood flow can be observed and characterized theoretically further through the lens of the relationship between blood flow and shear forces exhibited by external energy.

The intricate link between the CFL and external forces, more specifically the externally applied electric field, can receive further attention to provide a more complete framework for the mechanisms between IR radiation and EZ formation. Such characterization may also contribute to a greater comprehension of the role IR can play in CFL formation next to the endothelial glycocalyx layer as well as its role as a driving force to propel blood flow, similar to the SIF, but without the commonly assumed pressure force from heart contraction as a source of driving force.

5.3. Challenges

Although there have been significant improvements in blood flow modeling under LOC systems over the past decade, there are still notable constraints that may require special attention for numerical simulation applications to benefit the adaptability of the designs and functionalities of LOC devices. Several points that require special attention are mentioned below:

1.

The majority of CFD models operate under the relationship between the viscoelasticity of blood and the shear rate conditions of flow. The relative effect exhibited by the presence of highly populated RBCs in whole blood and their forces amongst the cells themselves under complex flows often remains unclearly defined. Furthermore, the full range of cell populations in whole blood requires a much more computational load for numerical modeling. Therefore, a vital goal for future research is to evaluate a reduced modeling method where the impact of cell–cell interaction on the viscoelastic property of blood is considered.

2.

Current computational methods on hemodynamics rely on continuum models based upon non-Newtonian rheology at the macroscale rather than at molecular and cellular levels. Careful considerations should be made for the development of a constructive framework for the physical and temporal scales of micro/nanoscale systems to evaluate the intricate relationship between fluid driving forces, dynamic viscosity, and elasticity.

3.

Viscoelastic fluids under the impact of externally applied electric forces often deviate from the assumptions of no-slip boundary conditions due to the unique flow conditions induced by externally applied forces. Furthermore, the mechanism of vortex formation and viscoelastic flow instability at laminar flow conditions should be better defined through the lens of the microfluidic flow phenomenon to optimize the prediction of viscoelastic flow across different geometrical layouts. Mathematical models and numerical methods are needed to better predict such disturbance caused by external forces and the viscoelasticity of fluids at such a small scale.

4.

Under practical situations, zeta potential distribution at channel walls frequently deviates from the common assumption of a constant distribution because of manufacturing faults or inherent surface charges prior to the introduction of electrokinetic influence. These discrepancies frequently lead to inconsistent surface potential distribution, such as excess positive ions at relatively more negatively charged walls. Accordingly, unpredicted vortex formation and flow instability may occur. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to these discrepancies and how they could trigger the transport process and unexpected results of a microdevice.

Zhe Chen – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; Email: zaccooky@sjtu.edu.cn

Bo Ouyang – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; Email: bouy93@sjtu.edu.cn

Zheng-Hong Luo – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9011-6020; Email: luozh@sjtu.edu.cn

Authors

Bin-Jie Lai – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; https://orcid.org/0009-0002-8133-5381

Li-Tao Zhu – Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6514-8864

NotesThe authors declare no competing financial interest.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22238005) and the Postdoctoral Research Foundation of China (No. GZC20231576).

the field of technological and scientific study that investigates fluid flow in channels with dimensions between 1 and 1000 μm

Lab-on-a-Chip Technology

the field of research and technological development aimed at integrating the micro/nanofluidic characteristics to conduct laboratory processes on handheld devices

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

the method utilizing computational abilities to predict physical fluid flow behaviors mathematically through solving the governing equations of corresponding fluid flows

Shear Rate

the rate of change in velocity where one layer of fluid moves past the adjacent layer

Viscoelasticity

the property holding both elasticity and viscosity characteristics relying on the magnitude of applied shear stress and time-dependent strain

Electro-osmosis

the flow of fluid under an applied electric field when charged solid surface is in contact with the bulk fluid

Vortex

the rotating motion of a fluid revolving an axis line

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웨어의 두 가지 서로 다른 배열(즉, 직선형 웨어와 직사각형 미로 웨어)을 사용하여 웨어 모양, 웨어 간격, 웨어의 오리피스 존재, 흐름 영역에 대한 바닥 경사와 같은 기하학적 매개변수의 영향을 평가했습니다.

유량과 수심의 관계, 수심 평균 속도의 변화와 분포, 난류 특성, 어도에서의 에너지 소산. 흐름 조건에 미치는 영향을 조사하기 위해 FLOW-3D® 소프트웨어를 사용하여 전산 유체 역학 시뮬레이션을 수행했습니다.

수치 모델은 계산된 표면 프로파일과 속도를 문헌의 실험적으로 측정된 값과 비교하여 검증되었습니다. 수치 모델과 실험 데이터의 결과, 급락유동의 표면 프로파일과 표준화된 속도 프로파일에 대한 평균 제곱근 오차와 평균 절대 백분율 오차가 각각 0.014m와 3.11%로 나타나 수치 모델의 능력을 확인했습니다.

수영장과 둑의 흐름 특성을 예측합니다. 각 모델에 대해 L/B = 1.83(L: 웨어 거리, B: 수로 폭) 값에서 급락 흐름이 발생할 수 있고 L/B = 0.61에서 스트리밍 흐름이 발생할 수 있습니다. 직사각형 미로보 모델은 기존 모델보다 무차원 방류량(Q+)이 더 큽니다.

수중 흐름의 기존 보와 직사각형 미로 보의 경우 Q는 각각 1.56과 1.47h에 비례합니다(h: 보 위 수심). 기존 웨어의 풀 내 평균 깊이 속도는 직사각형 미로 웨어의 평균 깊이 속도보다 높습니다.

그러나 주어진 방류량, 바닥 경사 및 웨어 간격에 대해 난류 운동 에너지(TKE) 및 난류 강도(TI) 값은 기존 웨어에 비해 직사각형 미로 웨어에서 더 높습니다. 기존의 웨어는 직사각형 미로 웨어보다 에너지 소산이 더 낮습니다.

더 낮은 TKE 및 TI 값은 미로 웨어 상단, 웨어 하류 벽 모서리, 웨어 측벽과 채널 벽 사이에서 관찰되었습니다. 보와 바닥 경사면 사이의 거리가 증가함에 따라 평균 깊이 속도, 난류 운동 에너지의 평균값 및 난류 강도가 증가하고 수영장의 체적 에너지 소산이 감소했습니다.

둑에 개구부가 있으면 평균 깊이 속도와 TI 값이 증가하고 풀 내에서 가장 높은 TKE 범위가 감소하여 두 모델 모두에서 물고기를 위한 휴식 공간이 더 넓어지고(TKE가 낮아짐) 에너지 소산율이 감소했습니다.

Two different arrangements of the weir (i.e., straight weir and rectangular labyrinth weir) were used to evaluate the effects of geometric parameters such as weir shape, weir spacing, presence of an orifice at the weir, and bed slope on the flow regime and the relationship between discharge and depth, variation and distribution of depth-averaged velocity, turbulence characteristics, and energy dissipation at the fishway. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed using FLOW-3D® software to examine the effects on flow conditions. The numerical model was validated by comparing the calculated surface profiles and velocities with experimentally measured values from the literature. The results of the numerical model and experimental data showed that the root-mean-square error and mean absolute percentage error for the surface profiles and normalized velocity profiles of plunging flows were 0.014 m and 3.11%, respectively, confirming the ability of the numerical model to predict the flow characteristics of the pool and weir. A plunging flow can occur at values of L/B = 1.83 (L: distance of the weir, B: width of the channel) and streaming flow at L/B = 0.61 for each model. The rectangular labyrinth weir model has larger dimensionless discharge values (Q+) than the conventional model. For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir at submerged flow, Q is proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively (h: the water depth above the weir). The average depth velocity in the pool of a conventional weir is higher than that of a rectangular labyrinth weir. However, for a given discharge, bed slope, and weir spacing, the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and turbulence intensity (TI) values are higher for a rectangular labyrinth weir compared to conventional weir. The conventional weir has lower energy dissipation than the rectangular labyrinth weir. Lower TKE and TI values were observed at the top of the labyrinth weir, at the corner of the wall downstream of the weir, and between the side walls of the weir and the channel wall. As the distance between the weirs and the bottom slope increased, the average depth velocity, the average value of turbulent kinetic energy and the turbulence intensity increased, and the volumetric energy dissipation in the pool decreased. The presence of an opening in the weir increased the average depth velocity and TI values and decreased the range of highest TKE within the pool, resulted in larger resting areas for fish (lower TKE), and decreased the energy dissipation rates in both models.

1 Introduction

Artificial barriers such as detour dams, weirs, and culverts in lakes and rivers prevent fish from migrating and completing the upstream and downstream movement cycle. This chain is related to the life stage of the fish, its location, and the type of migration. Several riverine fish species instinctively migrate upstream for spawning and other needs. Conversely, downstream migration is a characteristic of early life stages [1]. A fish ladder is a waterway that allows one or more fish species to cross a specific obstacle. These structures are constructed near detour dams and other transverse structures that have prevented such migration by allowing fish to overcome obstacles [2]. The flow pattern in fish ladders influences safe and comfortable passage for ascending fish. The flow’s strong turbulence can reduce the fish’s speed, injure them, and delay or prevent them from exiting the fish ladder. In adult fish, spawning migrations are usually complex, and delays are critical to reproductive success [3].

Various fish ladders/fishways include vertical slots, denil, rock ramps, and pool weirs [1]. The choice of fish ladder usually depends on many factors, including water elevation, space available for construction, and fish species. Pool and weir structures are among the most important fish ladders that help fish overcome obstacles in streams or rivers and swim upstream [1]. Because they are easy to construct and maintain, this type of fish ladder has received considerable attention from researchers and practitioners. Such a fish ladder consists of a sloping-floor channel with series of pools directly separated by a series of weirs [4]. These fish ladders, with or without underwater openings, are generally well-suited for slopes of 10% or less [1, 2]. Within these pools, flow velocities are low and provide resting areas for fish after they enter the fish ladder. After resting in the pools, fish overcome these weirs by blasting or jumping over them [2]. There may also be an opening in the flooded portion of the weir through which the fish can swim instead of jumping over the weir. Design parameters such as the length of the pool, the height of the weir, the slope of the bottom, and the water discharge are the most important factors in determining the hydraulic structure of this type of fish ladder [3]. The flow over the weir depends on the flow depth at a given slope S0 and the pool length, either “plunging” or “streaming.” In plunging flow, the water column h over each weir creates a water jet that releases energy through turbulent mixing and diffusion mechanisms [5]. The dimensionless discharges for plunging (Q+) and streaming (Q*) flows are shown in Fig. 1, where Q is the total discharge, B is the width of the channel, w is the weir height, S_{0} is the slope of the bottom, h is the water depth above the weir, d is the flow depth, and g is the acceleration due to gravity. The maximum velocity occurs near the top of the weir for plunging flow. At the water’s surface, it drops to about half [6].

Extensive experimental studies have been conducted to investigate flow patterns for various physical geometries (i.e., bed slope, pool length, and weir height) [2]. Guiny et al. [7] modified the standard design by adding vertical slots, orifices, and weirs in fishways. The efficiency of the orifices and vertical slots was related to the velocities at their entrances. In the laboratory experiments of Yagci [8], the three-dimensional (3D) mean flow and turbulence structure of a pool weir fishway combined with an orifice and a slot is investigated. It is shown that the energy dissipation per unit volume and the discharge have a linear relationship.

Considering the beneficial characteristics reported in the limited studies of researchers on the labyrinth weir in the pool-weir-type fishway, and knowing that the characteristics of flow in pool-weir-type fishways are highly dependent on the geometry of the weir, an alternative design of the rectangular labyrinth weir instead of the straight weirs in the pool-weir-type fishway is investigated in this study [7, 9]. Kim [10] conducted experiments to compare the hydraulic characteristics of three different weir types in a pool-weir-type fishway. The results show that a straight, rectangular weir with a notch is preferable to a zigzag or trapezoidal weir. Studies on natural fish passes show that pass ability can be improved by lengthening the weir’s crest [7]. Zhong et al. [11] investigated the semi-rigid weir’s hydraulic performance in the fishway’s flow field with a pool weir. The results showed that this type of fishway performed better with a lower invert slope and a smaller radius ratio but with a larger pool spacing.

Considering that an alternative method to study the flow characteristics in a fishway with a pool weir is based on numerical methods and modeling from computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which can easily change the geometry of the fishway for different flow fields, this study uses the powerful package CFD and the software FLOW-3D to evaluate the proposed weir design and compare it with the conventional one to extend the application of the fishway. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the hydraulic performance of the rectangular labyrinth pool and the weir with submerged openings in different hydraulic configurations. The primary objective of creating a new weir configuration for suitable flow patterns is evaluated based on the swimming capabilities of different fish species. Specifically, the following questions will be answered: (a) How do the various hydraulic and geometric parameters relate to the effects of water velocity and turbulence, expressed as turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and turbulence intensity (TI) within the fishway, i.e., are conventional weirs more affected by hydraulics than rectangular labyrinth weirs? (b) Which weir configurations have the greatest effect on fish performance in the fishway? (c) In the presence of an orifice plate, does the performance of each weir configuration differ with different weir spacing, bed gradients, and flow regimes from that without an orifice plate?

2 Materials and Methods

2.1 Physical Model Configuration

This paper focuses on Ead et al. [6]’s laboratory experiments as a reference, testing ten pool weirs (Fig. 2). The experimental flume was 6 m long, 0.56 m wide, and 0.6 m high, with a bottom slope of 10%. Field measurements were made at steady flow with a maximum flow rate of 0.165 m^{3}/s. Discharge was measured with magnetic flow meters in the inlets and water level with point meters (see Ead et al. [6]. for more details). Table 1 summarizes the experimental conditions considered for model calibration in this study.

Table 1 Experimental conditions considered for calibration

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed using FLOW-3D® v11.2 to validate a series of experimental liner pool weirs by Ead et al. [6] and to investigate the effects of the rectangular labyrinth pool weir with an orifice. The dimensions of the channel and data collection areas in the numerical models are the same as those of the laboratory model. Two types of pool weirs were considered: conventional and labyrinth. The proposed rectangular labyrinth pool weirs have a symmetrical cross section and are sized to fit within the experimental channel. The conventional pool weir model had a pool length of l = 0.685 and 0.342 m, a weir height of w = 0.141 m, a weir width of B = 0.56 m, and a channel slope of S_{0} = 5 and 10%. The rectangular labyrinth weirs have the same front width as the offset, i.e., a = b = c = 0.186 m. A square underwater opening with a width of 0.05 m and a depth of 0.05 m was created in the middle of the weir. The weir configuration considered in the present study is shown in Fig. 3.

2.3 Governing Equations

FLOW-3D® software solves the Navier–Stokes–Reynolds equations for three-dimensional analysis of incompressible flows using the fluid-volume method on a gridded domain. FLOW -3D® uses an advanced free surface flow tracking algorithm (TruVOF) developed by Hirt and Nichols [12], where fluid configurations are defined in terms of a VOF function F (x, y, z, t). In this case, F (fluid fraction) represents the volume fraction occupied by the fluid: F = 1 in cells filled with fluid and F = 0 in cells without fluid (empty areas) [4, 13]. The free surface area is at an intermediate value of F. (Typically, F = 0.5, but the user can specify a different intermediate value.) The equations in Cartesian coordinates (x, y, z) applicable to the model are as follows:

�f∂�∂�+∂(���x)∂�+∂(���y)∂�+∂(���z)∂�=�SOR

(1)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�x+�x

(2)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�y+�y

(3)

∂�∂�+1�f(��x∂�∂�+��y∂�∂�+��z∂�∂�)=−1�∂�∂�+�z+�z

(4)

where (u, v, w) are the velocity components, (A_{x}, A_{y}, A_{z}) are the flow area components, (G_{x}, G_{y}, G_{z}) are the mass accelerations, and (f_{x}, f_{y}, f_{z}) are the viscous accelerations in the directions (x, y, z), ρ is the fluid density, R_{SOR} is the spring term, V_{f} is the volume fraction associated with the flow, and P is the pressure. The k–ε turbulence model (RNG) was used in this study to solve the turbulence of the flow field. This model is a modified version of the standard k–ε model that improves performance. The model is a two-equation model; the first equation (Eq. 5) expresses the turbulence’s energy, called turbulent kinetic energy (k) [14]. The second equation (Eq. 6) is the turbulent dissipation rate (ε), which determines the rate of dissipation of kinetic energy [15]. These equations are expressed as follows Dasineh et al. [4]:

In these equations, k is the turbulent kinetic energy, ε is the turbulent energy consumption rate, G_{k} is the generation of turbulent kinetic energy by the average velocity gradient, with empirical constants α_{ε} = α_{k} = 1.39, C_{1ε} = 1.42, and C_{2ε} = 1.68, eff is the effective viscosity, μ_{eff} = μ + μ_{t} [15]. Here, μ is the hydrodynamic density coefficient, and μ_{t} is the turbulent density of the fluid.

2.4 Meshing and the Boundary Conditions in the Model Setup

The numerical area is divided into three mesh blocks in the X-direction. The meshes are divided into different sizes, a containing mesh block for the entire spatial domain and a nested block with refined cells for the domain of interest. Three different sizes were selected for each of the grid blocks. By comparing the accuracy of their results based on the experimental data, the reasonable mesh for the solution domain was finally selected. The convergence index method (GCI) evaluated the mesh sensitivity analysis. Based on this method, many researchers, such as Ahmadi et al. [16] and Ahmadi et al. [15], have studied the independence of numerical results from mesh size. Three different mesh sizes with a refinement ratio (r) of 1.33 were used to perform the convergence index method. The refinement ratio is the ratio between the larger and smaller mesh sizes (r = G_{coarse}/G_{fine}). According to the recommendation of Celik et al. [17], the recommended number for the refinement ratio is 1.3, which gives acceptable results. Table 2 shows the characteristics of the three mesh sizes selected for mesh sensitivity analysis.Table 2 Characteristics of the meshes tested in the convergence analysis

The results of u_{1} = u_{max} (u_{1} = velocity component along the x_{1} axis and u_{max} = maximum velocity of u_{1} in a section perpendicular to the invert of the fishway) at Q = 0.035 m^{3}/s, × 1/l = 0.66, and Y_{1}/b = 0 in the pool of conventional weir No. 4, obtained from the output results of the software, were used to evaluate the accuracy of the calculation range. As shown in Fig. 4, x_{1} = the distance from a given weir in the x-direction, Y_{1} = the water depth measured in the y-direction, Y_{0} = the vertical distance in the Cartesian coordinate system, h = the water column at the crest, b = the distance between the two points of maximum velocity u_{max} and zero velocity, and l = the pool length.

The apparent index of convergence (p) in the GCI method is calculated as follows:

�=ln(�3−�2)(�2−�1)/ln(�)

(7)

f_{1}, f_{2}, and f_{3} are the hydraulic parameters obtained from the numerical simulation (f_{1} corresponds to the small mesh), and r is the refinement ratio. The following equation defines the convergence index of the fine mesh:

GCIfine=1.25|ε|��−1

(8)

Here, ε = (f_{2} − f_{1})/f_{1} is the relative error, and f_{2} and f_{3} are the values of hydraulic parameters considered for medium and small grids, respectively. GCI_{12} and GCI_{23} dimensionless indices can be calculated as:

GCI12=1.25|�2−�1�1|��−1

(9)

Then, the independence of the network is preserved. The convergence index of the network parameters obtained by Eqs. (7)–(9) for all three network variables is shown in Table 3. Since the GCI values for the smaller grid (GCI_{12}) are lower compared to coarse grid (GCI_{23}), it can be concluded that the independence of the grid is almost achieved. No further change in the grid size of the solution domain is required. The calculated values (GCI_{23}/r^{p}GCI_{12}) are close to 1, which shows that the numerical results obtained are within the convergence range. As a result, the meshing of the solution domain consisting of a block mesh with a mesh size of 0.012 m and a block mesh within a larger block mesh with a mesh size of 0.009 m was selected as the optimal mesh (Fig. 5).Table 3 GCI calculation

The boundary conditions applied to the area are shown in Fig. 6. The boundary condition of specific flow rate (volume flow rate-Q) was used for the inlet of the flow. For the downstream boundary, the flow output (outflow-O) condition did not affect the flow in the solution area. For the Z_{max} boundary, the specified pressure boundary condition was used along with the fluid fraction = 0 (P). This type of boundary condition considers free surface or atmospheric pressure conditions (Ghaderi et al. [19]). The wall boundary condition is defined for the bottom of the channel, which acts like a virtual wall without friction (W). The boundary between mesh blocks and walls were considered a symmetrical condition (S).

The convergence of the steady-state solutions was controlled during the simulations by monitoring the changes in discharge at the inlet boundary conditions. Figure 7 shows the time series plots of the discharge obtained from the Model A for the three main discharges from the numerical results. The 8 s to reach the flow equilibrium is suitable for the case of the fish ladder with pool and weir. Almost all discharge fluctuations in the models are insignificant in time, and the flow has reached relative stability. The computation time for the simulations was between 6 and 8 h using a personal computer with eight cores of a CPU (Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.20 GHz and 16 GB RAM).

3 Results

3.1 Verification of Numerical Results

Quantitative outcomes, including free surface and normalized velocity profiles obtained using FLOW-3D software, were reviewed and compared with the results of Ead et al. [6]. The fourth pool was selected to present the results and compare the experiment and simulation. For each quantity, the percentage of mean absolute error (MAPE (%)) and root-mean-square error (RMSE) are calculated. Equations (10) and (11) show the method used to calculate the errors.

MAPE(%)100×1�∑1�|�exp−�num�exp|

(10)

RMSE(−)1�∑1�(�exp−�num)2

(11)

Here, X_{exp} is the value of the laboratory data, X_{num} is the numerical data value, and n is the amount of data. As shown in Fig. 8, let x_{1} = distance from a given weir in the x-direction and Y_{1} = water depth in the y-direction from the bottom. The trend of the surface profiles for each of the numerical results is the same as that of the laboratory results. The surface profiles of the plunging flows drop after the flow enters and then rises to approach the next weir. The RMSE and MAPE error values for Model A are 0.014 m and 3.11%, respectively, indicating acceptable agreement between numerical and laboratory results. Figure 9 shows the velocity vectors and plunging flow from the numerical results, where x and y are horizontal and vertical to the flow direction, respectively. It can be seen that the jet in the fish ladder pool has a relatively high velocity. The two vortices, i.e., the enclosed vortex rotating clockwise behind the weir and the surface vortex rotating counterclockwise above the jet, are observed for the regime of incident flow. The point where the jet meets the fish passage bed is shown in the figure. The normalized velocity profiles upstream and downstream of the impact points are shown in Fig. 10. The figure shows that the numerical results agree well with the experimental data of Ead et al. [6].

3.2 Flow Regime and Discharge-Depth Relationship

Depending on the geometric shape of the fishway, including the distance of the weir, the slope of the bottom, the height of the weir, and the flow conditions, the flow regime in the fishway is divided into three categories: dipping, transitional, and flow regimes [4]. In the plunging flow regime, the flow enters the pool through the weir, impacts the bottom of the fishway, and forms a hydraulic jump causing two eddies [2, 20]. In the streamwise flow regime, the surface of the flow passing over the weir is almost parallel to the bottom of the channel. The transitional regime has intermediate flow characteristics between the submerged and flow regimes. To predict the flow regime created in the fishway, Ead et al. [6] proposed two dimensionless parameters, Q_{t}* and L/w, where Q_{t}* is the dimensionless discharge, L is the distance between weirs, and w is the height of the weir:

��∗=���0���

(12)

Q is the total discharge, B is the width of the channel, S_{0} is the slope of the bed, and g is the gravity acceleration. Figure 11 shows different ranges for each flow regime based on the slope of the bed and the distance between the pools in this study. The results of Baki et al. [21], Ead et al. [6] and Dizabadi et al. [22] were used for this comparison. The distance between the pools affects the changes in the regime of the fish ladder. So, if you decrease the distance between weirs, the flow regime more likely becomes. This study determined all three flow regimes in a fish ladder. When the corresponding range of Q_{t}* is less than 0.6, the flow regime can dip at values of L/B = 1.83. If the corresponding range of Q_{t}* is greater than 0.5, transitional flow may occur at L/B = 1.22. On the other hand, when Q_{t}* is greater than 1, streamwise flow can occur at values of L/B = 0.61. These observations agree well with the results of Baki et al. [21], Ead et al. [6] and Dizabadi et al. [22].

For plunging flows, another dimensionless discharge (Q+) versus h/w given by Ead et al. [6] was used for further evaluation:

�+=��ℎ�ℎ=23�d�

(13)

where h is the water depth above the weir, and C_{d} is the discharge coefficient. Figure 12a compares the numerical and experimental results of Ead et al. [6]. In this figure, Rehbock’s empirical equation is used to estimate the discharge coefficient of Ead et al. [6].

�d=0.57+0.075ℎ�

(14)

The numerical results for the conventional weir (Model A) and the rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B) of this study agree well with the laboratory results of Ead et al. [6]. When comparing models A and B, it is also found that a rectangular labyrinth weir has larger Q + values than the conventional weir as the length of the weir crest increases for a given channel width and fixed headwater elevation. In Fig. 12b, Models A and B’s flow depth plot shows the plunging flow regime. The power trend lines drawn through the data are the best-fit lines. The data shown in Fig. 12b are for different bed slopes and weir geometries. For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir at submerged flow, Q can be assumed to be proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively. In the results of Ead et al. [6], Q is proportional to 1.5h. If we assume that the flow through the orifice is Q_{o} and the total outflow is Q, the change in the ratio of Q_{o}/Q to total outflow for models A and B can be shown in Fig. 13. For both models, the flow through the orifice decreases as the total flow increases. A logarithmic trend line was also found between the total outflow and the dimensionless ratio Q_{o}/Q.

3.3 Depth-Averaged Velocity Distributions

To ensure that the target fish species can pass the fish ladder with maximum efficiency, the average velocity in the fish ladder should be low enough [4]. Therefore, the average velocity in depth should be as much as possible below the critical swimming velocities of the target fishes at a constant flow depth in the pool [20]. The contour plot of depth-averaged velocity was used instead of another direction, such as longitudinal velocity because fish are more sensitive to depth-averaged flow velocity than to its direction under different hydraulic conditions. Figure 14 shows the distribution of depth-averaged velocity in the pool for Models A and B in two cases with and without orifice plates. Model A’s velocity within the pool differs slightly in the spanwise direction. However, no significant variation in velocity was observed. The flow is gradually directed to the sides as it passes through the rectangular labyrinth weir. This increases the velocity at the sides of the channel. Therefore, the high-velocity zone is located at the sides. The low velocity is in the downstream apex of the weir. This area may be suitable for swimming target fish. The presence of an opening in the weir increases the flow velocity at the opening and in the pool’s center, especially in Model A. The flow velocity increase caused by the models’ opening varied from 7.7 to 12.48%. Figure 15 illustrates the effect of the inverted slope on the averaged depth velocity distribution in the pool at low and high discharge. At constant discharge, flow velocity increases with increasing bed slope. In general, high flow velocity was found in the weir toe sidewall and the weir and channel sidewalls.

On the other hand, for a constant bed slope, the high-velocity area of the pool increases due to the increase in runoff. For both bed slopes and different discharges, the most appropriate path for fish to travel from upstream to downstream is through the middle of the cross section and along the top of the rectangular labyrinth weirs. The maximum dominant velocities for Model B at S_{0} = 5% were 0.83 and 1.01 m/s; at S_{0} = 10%, they were 1.12 and 1.61 m/s at low and high flows, respectively. The low mean velocities for the same distance and S_{0} = 5 and 10% were 0.17 and 0.26 m/s, respectively.

Figure 16 shows the contour of the averaged depth velocity for various distances from the weir at low and high discharge. The contour plot shows a large variation in velocity within short distances from the weir. At L/B = 0.61, velocities are low upstream and downstream of the top of the weir. The high velocities occur in the side walls of the weir and the channel. At L/B = 1.22, the low-velocity zone displaces the higher velocity in most of the pool. Higher velocities were found only on the sides of the channel. As the discharge increases, the velocity zone in the pool becomes wider. At L/B = 1.83, there is an area of higher velocities only upstream of the crest and on the sides of the weir. At high discharge, the prevailing maximum velocities for L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 were 1.46, 1.65, and 1.84 m/s, respectively. As the distance between weirs increases, the range of maximum velocity increases.

On the other hand, the low mean velocity for these distances was 0.27, 0.44, and 0.72 m/s, respectively. Thus, the low-velocity zone decreases with increasing distance between weirs. Figure 17 shows the pattern distribution of streamlines along with the velocity contour at various distances from the weir for Q = 0.05 m^{3}/s. A stream-like flow is generally formed in the pool at a small distance between weirs (L/B = 0.61). The rotation cell under the jet forms clockwise between the two weirs. At the distances between the spillways (L/B = 1.22), the transition regime of the flow is formed. The transition regime occurs when or shortly after the weir is flooded. The rotation cell under the jet is clockwise smaller than the flow regime and larger than the submergence regime. At a distance L/B = 1.83, a plunging flow is formed so that the plunging jet dips into the pool and extends downstream to the center of the pool. The clockwise rotation of the cell is bounded by the dipping jet of the weir and is located between the bottom and the side walls of the weir and the channel.

Figure 18 shows the average depth velocity bar graph for each weir at different bed slopes and with and without orifice plates. As the distance between weirs increases, all models’ average depth velocity increases. As the slope of the bottom increases and an orifice plate is present, the average depth velocity in the pool increases. In addition, the average pool depth velocity increases as the discharge increases. Among the models, Model A’s average depth velocity is higher than Model B’s. The variation in velocity ranged from 8.11 to 12.24% for the models without an orifice plate and from 10.26 to 16.87% for the models with an orifice plate.

3.4 Turbulence Characteristics

The turbulent kinetic energy is one of the important parameters reflecting the turbulent properties of the flow field [23]. When the k value is high, more energy and a longer transit time are required to migrate the target species. The turbulent kinetic energy is defined as follows:

�=12(�x′2+�y′2+�z′2)

(15)

where u_{x}, u_{y}, and u_{z} are fluctuating velocities in the x, y, and z directions, respectively. An illustration of the TKE and the effects of the geometric arrangement of the weir and the presence of an opening in the weir is shown in Fig. 19. For a given bed slope, in Model A, the highest TKE values are uniformly distributed in the weir’s upstream portion in the channel’s cross section. In contrast, for the rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B), the highest TKE values are concentrated on the sides of the pool between the crest of the weir and the channel wall. The highest TKE value in Models A and B is 0.224 and 0.278 J/kg, respectively, at the highest bottom slope (S_{0} = 10%). In the downstream portion of the conventional weir and within the crest of the weir and the walls of the rectangular labyrinth, there was a much lower TKE value that provided the best conditions for fish to recover in the pool between the weirs. The average of the lowest TKE for bottom slopes of 5 and 10% in Model A is 0.041 and 0.056 J/kg, and for Model B, is 0.047 and 0.064 J/kg. The presence of an opening in the weirs reduces the area of the highest TKE within the pool. It also increases the resting areas for fish (lower TKE). The highest TKE at the highest bottom slope in Models A and B with an orifice is 0.208 and 0.191 J/kg, respectively.

Figure 20 shows the effect of slope on the longitudinal distribution of TKE in the pools. TKE values significantly increase for a given discharge with an increasing bottom slope. Thus, for a low bed slope (S_{0} = 5%), a large pool area has expanded with average values of 0.131 and 0.168 J/kg for low and high discharge, respectively. For a bed slope of S_{0} = 10%, the average TKE values are 0.176 and 0.234 J/kg. Furthermore, as the discharge increases, the area with high TKE values within the pool increases. Lower TKE values are observed at the apex of the labyrinth weir, at the corner of the wall downstream of the weir, and between the side walls of the weir and the channel wall for both bottom slopes. The effect of distance between weirs on TKE is shown in Fig. 21. Low TKE values were observed at low discharge and short distances between weirs. Low TKE values are located at the top of the rectangular labyrinth weir and the downstream corner of the weir wall. There is a maximum value of TKE at the large distances between weirs, L/B = 1.83, along the center line of the pool, where the dip jet meets the bottom of the bed. At high discharge, the maximum TKE value for the distance L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 was 0.246, 0.322, and 0.417 J/kg, respectively. In addition, the maximum TKE range increases with the distance between weirs.

For TKE size, the average value (TKE_{ave}) is plotted against q in Fig. 22. For all models, the TKE values increase with increasing q. For example, in models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and a slope of 10%, the TKE value increases by 41.66 and 86.95%, respectively, as q increases from 0.1 to 0.27 m^{2}/s. The TKE values in Model B are higher than Model A for a given discharge, bed slope, and weir distance. The TKE_{ave} in Model B is higher compared to Model A, ranging from 31.46 to 57.94%. The presence of an orifice in the weir reduces the TKE values in both weirs. The intensity of the reduction is greater in Model B. For example, in Models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and q = 0.1 m^{2}/s, an orifice reduces TKE_{ave} values by 60.35 and 19.04%, respectively. For each model, increasing the bed slope increases the TKE_{ave} values in the pool. For example, for Model B with q = 0.18 m^{2}/s, increasing the bed slope from 5 to 10% increases the TKE_{ave} value by 14.34%. Increasing the distance between weirs increases the TKE_{ave} values in the pool. For example, in Model B with S_{0} = 10% and q = 0.3 m^{2}/s, the TKE_{ave} in the pool increases by 34.22% if you increase the distance between weirs from L/B = 0.61 to L/B = 0.183.

Cotel et al. [24] suggested that turbulence intensity (TI) is a suitable parameter for studying fish swimming performance. Figure 23 shows the plot of TI and the effects of the geometric arrangement of the weir and the presence of an orifice. In Model A, the highest TI values are found upstream of the weirs and are evenly distributed across the cross section of the channel. The TI values increase as you move upstream to downstream in the pool. For the rectangular labyrinth weir, the highest TI values were concentrated on the sides of the pool, between the top of the weir and the side wall of the channel, and along the top of the weir. Downstream of the conventional weir, within the apex of the weir, and at the corners of the walls of the rectangular labyrinth weir, the percentage of TI was low. At the highest discharge, the average range of TI in Models A and B was 24–45% and 15–62%, respectively. The diversity of TI is greater in the rectangular labyrinth weir than the conventional weir. Fish swimming performance is reduced due to higher turbulence intensity. However, fish species may prefer different disturbance intensities depending on their swimming abilities; for example, Salmo trutta prefers a disturbance intensity of 18–53% [25]. Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26] found a higher range of TI for fishways, such as natural rock weirs, of 40–60%. The presence of an orifice in the weir increases TI values within the pool, especially along the middle portion of the cross section of the fishway. With an orifice in the weir, the average range of TI in Models A and B was 28–59% and 22–73%, respectively.

The effect of bed slope on TI variation is shown in Fig. 24. TI increases in different pool areas as the bed slope increases for a given discharge. For a low bed slope (S_{0} = 5%), a large pool area has increased from 38 to 63% and from 56 to 71% for low and high discharge, respectively. For a bed slope of S_{0} = 10%, the average values of TI are 45–67% and 61–73% for low and high discharge, respectively. Therefore, as runoff increases, the area with high TI values within the pool increases. A lower TI is observed for both bottom slopes in the corner of the wall, downstream of the crest walls, and between the side walls in the weir and channel. Figure 25 compares weir spacing with the distribution of TI values within the pool. The TI values are low at low flows and short distances between weirs. A maximum value of TI occurs at long spacing and where the plunging stream impinges on the bed and the area around the bed. TI ranges from 36 to 57%, 58–72%, and 47–76% for the highest flow in a wide pool area for L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83, respectively.

The average value of turbulence intensity (TI_{ave}) is plotted against q in Fig. 26. The increase in TI values with the increase in q values is seen in all models. For example, the average values of TI for Models A and B at L/B = 0.61 and slope of 10% increased from 23.9 to 33.5% and from 42 to 51.8%, respectively, with the increase in q from 0.1 to 0.27 m^{2}/s. For a given discharge, a given gradient, and a given spacing of weirs, the TI_{ave} is higher in Model B than Model A. The presence of an orifice in the weirs increases the TI values in both types. For example, in Models A and B with L/B = 0.61 and q = 0.1 m^{2}/s, the presence of an orifice increases TI_{ave} from 23.9 to 37.1% and from 42 to 48.8%, respectively. For each model, TI_{ave} in the pool increases with increasing bed slope. For Model B with q = 0.18 m^{2}/s, TI_{ave} increases from 37.5 to 45.8% when you increase the invert slope from 5 to 10%. Increasing the distance between weirs increases the TI_{ave} in the pool. In Model B with S_{0} = 10% and q = 0.3 m^{2}/s, the TI_{ave} in the pool increases from 51.8 to 63.7% as the distance between weirs increases from L/B = 0.61 to L/B = 0.183.

3.5 Energy Dissipation

To facilitate the passage of various target species through the pool of fishways, it is necessary to pay attention to the energy dissipation of the flow and to keep the flow velocity in the pool slow. The average volumetric energy dissipation (k) in the pool is calculated using the following basic formula:

�=����0��

(16)

where ρ is the water density, and H is the average water depth of the pool. The change in k versus Q for all models at two bottom slopes, S_{0} = 5%, and S_{0} = 10%, is shown in Fig. 27. Like the results of Yagci [8] and Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26], at a constant bottom slope, the energy dissipation in the pool increases with increasing discharge. The trend of change in k as a function of Q from the present study at a bottom gradient of S_{0} = 5% is also consistent with the results of Kupferschmidt and Zhu [26] for the fishway with rock weir. The only difference between the results is the geometry of the fishway and the combination of boulders instead of a solid wall. Comparison of the models shows that the conventional model has lower energy dissipation than the rectangular labyrinth for a given discharge. Also, increasing the distance between weirs decreases the volumetric energy dissipation for each model with the same bed slope. Increasing the slope of the bottom leads to an increase in volumetric energy dissipation, and an opening in the weir leads to a decrease in volumetric energy dissipation for both models. Therefore, as a guideline for volumetric energy dissipation, if the value within the pool is too high, the increased distance of the weir, the decreased slope of the bed, or the creation of an opening in the weir would decrease the volumetric dissipation rate.

To evaluate the energy dissipation inside the pool, the general method of energy difference in two sections can use:

ε=�1−�2�1

(17)

where ε is the energy dissipation rate, and E_{1} and E_{2} are the specific energies in Sects. 1 and 2, respectively. The distance between Sects. 1 and 2 is the same. (L is the distance between two upstream and downstream weirs.) Figure 28 shows the changes in ε relative to q (flow per unit width). The rectangular labyrinth weir (Model B) has a higher energy dissipation rate than the conventional weir (Model A) at a constant bottom gradient. For example, at S_{0} = 5%, L/B = 0.61, and q = 0.08 m^{3}/s.m, the energy dissipation rate in Model A (conventional weir) was 0.261. In Model B (rectangular labyrinth weir), however, it was 0.338 (22.75% increase). For each model, the energy dissipation rate within the pool increases as the slope of the bottom increases. For Model B with L/B = 1.83 and q = 0.178 m^{3}/s.m, the energy dissipation rate at S_{0} = 5% and 10% is 0.305 and 0.358, respectively (14.8% increase). Figure 29 shows an orifice’s effect on the pools’ energy dissipation rate. With an orifice in the weir, both models’ energy dissipation rates decreased. Thus, the reduction in energy dissipation rate varied from 7.32 to 9.48% for Model A and from 8.46 to 10.57 for Model B.

4 Discussion

This study consisted of entirely of numerical analysis. Although this study was limited to two weirs, the hydraulic performance and flow characteristics in a pooled fishway are highlighted by the rectangular labyrinth weir and its comparison with the conventional straight weir. The study compared the numerical simulations with laboratory experiments in terms of surface profiles, velocity vectors, and flow characteristics in a fish ladder pool. The results indicate agreement between the numerical and laboratory data, supporting the reliability of the numerical model in capturing the observed phenomena.

When the configuration of the weir changes to a rectangular labyrinth weir, the flow characteristics, the maximum and minimum area, and even the location of each hydraulic parameter change compared to a conventional weir. In the rectangular labyrinth weir, the flow is gradually directed to the sides as it passes the weir. This increases the velocity at the sides of the channel [21]. Therefore, the high-velocity area is located on the sides. In the downstream apex of the weir, the flow velocity is low, and this area may be suitable for swimming target fish. However, no significant change in velocity was observed at the conventional weir within the fish ladder. This resulted in an average increase in TKE of 32% and an average increase in TI of about 17% compared to conventional weirs.

In addition, there is a slight difference in the flow regime for both weir configurations. In addition, the rectangular labyrinth weir has a higher energy dissipation rate for a given discharge and constant bottom slope than the conventional weir. By reducing the distance between the weirs, this becomes even more intense. Finally, the presence of an orifice in both configurations of the weir increased the flow velocity at the orifice and in the middle of the pool, reducing the highest TKE value and increasing the values of TI within the pool of the fish ladder. This resulted in a reduction in volumetric energy dissipation for both weir configurations.

The results of this study will help the reader understand the direct effects of the governing geometric parameters on the hydraulic characteristics of a fishway with a pool and weir. However, due to the limited configurations of the study, further investigation is needed to evaluate the position of the weir’s crest on the flow direction and the difference in flow characteristics when combining boulders instead of a solid wall for this type of labyrinth weir [26]. In addition, hydraulic engineers and biologists must work together to design an effective fishway with rectangular labyrinth configurations. The migration habits of the target species should be considered when designing the most appropriate design [27]. Parametric studies and field observations are recommended to determine the perfect design criteria.

The current study focused on comparing a rectangular labyrinth weir with a conventional straight weir. Further research can explore other weir configurations, such as variations in crest position, different shapes of labyrinth weirs, or the use of boulders instead of solid walls. This would help understand the influence of different geometric parameters on hydraulic characteristics.

5 Conclusions

A new layout of the weir was evaluated, namely a rectangular labyrinth weir compared to a straight weir in a pool and weir system. The differences between the weirs were highlighted, particularly how variations in the geometry of the structures, such as the shape of the weir, the spacing of the weir, the presence of an opening at the weir, and the slope of the bottom, affect the hydraulics within the structures. The main findings of this study are as follows:

The calculated dimensionless discharge (Q_{t}*) confirmed three different flow regimes: when the corresponding range of Q_{t}* is smaller than 0.6, the regime of plunging flow occurs for values of L/B = 1.83. (L: distance of the weir; B: channel width). When the corresponding range of Q_{t}* is greater than 0.5, transitional flow occurs at L/B = 1.22. On the other hand, if Q_{t}* is greater than 1, the streaming flow is at values of L/B = 0.61.

For the conventional weir and the rectangular labyrinth weir with the plunging flow, it can be assumed that the discharge (Q) is proportional to 1.56 and 1.47h, respectively (h: water depth above the weir). This information is useful for estimating the discharge based on water depth in practical applications.

In the rectangular labyrinth weir, the high-velocity zone is located on the side walls between the top of the weir and the channel wall. A high-velocity variation within short distances of the weir. Low velocity occurs within the downstream apex of the weir. This area may be suitable for swimming target fish.

As the distance between weirs increased, the zone of maximum velocity increased. However, the zone of low speed decreased. The prevailing maximum velocity for a rectangular labyrinth weir at L/B = 0.61, 1.22, and 1.83 was 1.46, 1.65, and 1.84 m/s, respectively. The low mean velocities for these distances were 0.27, 0.44, and 0.72 m/s, respectively. This finding highlights the importance of weir spacing in determining the flow characteristics within the fishway.

The presence of an orifice in the weir increased the flow velocity at the orifice and in the middle of the pool, especially in a conventional weir. The increase ranged from 7.7 to 12.48%.

For a given bottom slope, in a conventional weir, the highest values of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) are uniformly distributed in the upstream part of the weir in the cross section of the channel. In contrast, for the rectangular labyrinth weir, the highest TKE values were concentrated on the sides of the pool between the crest of the weir and the channel wall. The highest TKE value for the conventional and the rectangular labyrinth weir was 0.224 and 0.278 J/kg, respectively, at the highest bottom slope (S_{0} = 10%).

For a given discharge, bottom slope, and weir spacing, the average values of TI are higher for the rectangular labyrinth weir than for the conventional weir. At the highest discharge, the average range of turbulence intensity (TI) for the conventional and rectangular labyrinth weirs was between 24 and 45% and 15% and 62%, respectively. This reveals that the rectangular labyrinth weir may generate more turbulent flow conditions within the fishway.

For a given discharge and constant bottom slope, the rectangular labyrinth weir has a higher energy dissipation rate than the conventional weir (22.75 and 34.86%).

Increasing the distance between weirs decreased volumetric energy dissipation. However, increasing the gradient increased volumetric energy dissipation. The presence of an opening in the weir resulted in a decrease in volumetric energy dissipation for both model types.

Availability of data and materials

Data is contained within the article.

References

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Assessing the interaction of waves and porous offshore structures such as rubble mound breakwaters plays a critical role in designing such structures optimally. This study focused on the effect of the geometric parameters of a sloped rubble mound breakwater, including the shape of the armour, method of its arrangement, and the breakwater slope. Thus, three main design criteria, including the wave reflection coefficient (K_{r}), transmission coefficient (K_{t}), and depreciation wave energy coefficient (K_{d}), are discussed. Based on the results, a decrease in wavelength reduced the K_{r} and increased the K_{t} and K_{d}. The rubble mound breakwater with the Coreloc armour layer could exhibit the lowest K_{r} compared to other armour geometries. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the K_{r} and K_{d} by 3.4 and 1.25%, respectively. In addition, a decrease in the breakwater slope from 33 to 25° increased the wave breaking height by 6.1% on average. Further, a decrease in the breakwater slope reduced the intensity of turbulence depreciation. Finally, the armour geometry and arrangement of armour layers on the breakwater with its different slopes affect the wave behaviour and interaction between the wave and breakwater. Thus, layering on the breakwater and the correct use of the geometric shapes of the armour should be considered when designing such structures.

파도와 잔해 더미 방파제와 같은 다공성 해양 구조물의 상호 작용을 평가하는 것은 이러한 구조물을 최적으로 설계하는 데 중요한 역할을 합니다. 본 연구는 경사진 잔해 둔덕 방파제의 기하학적 매개변수의 효과에 초점을 맞추었는데, 여기에는 갑옷의 형태, 배치 방법, 방파제 경사 등이 포함된다. 따라서 파동 반사 계수(K_{r}), 투과 계수(K_{t}) 및 감가상각파 에너지 계수(K_{d})에 대해 논의합니다. 결과에 따르면 파장이 감소하면 K가 감소합니다._{r}그리고 K를 증가시켰습니다_{t} 및 K_{d}. Coreloc 장갑 층이 있는 잔해 언덕 방파제는 가장 낮은 K를 나타낼 수 있습니다._{r} 다른 갑옷 형상과 비교했습니다. 또한 방파제 경사가 감소하여 K가 감소했습니다._{r} 및 K_{d} 각각 3.4%, 1.25% 증가했다. 또한 방파제 경사가 33°에서 25°로 감소하여 파도 파쇄 높이가 평균 6.1% 증가했습니다. 또한, 방파제 경사의 감소는 난류 감가상각의 강도를 감소시켰다. 마지막으로, 경사가 다른 방파제의 장갑 형상과 장갑 층의 배열은 파도 거동과 파도와 방파제 사이의 상호 작용에 영향을 미칩니다. 따라서 이러한 구조를 설계 할 때 방파제에 층을 쌓고 갑옷의 기하학적 모양을 올바르게 사용하는 것을 고려해야합니다.

Keywords

Rubble mound breakwater

Computational fluid dynamics

Armour layer

Wave reflection coefficient

Wave transmission coefficient

Wave energy dissipation coefficient

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A series of numerical simulation were conducted to study the local scour around umbrella suction anchor foundation (USAF) under random waves. In this study, the validation was carried out firstly to verify the accuracy of the present model. Furthermore, the scour evolution and scour mechanism were analyzed respectively. In addition, two revised models were proposed to predict the equilibrium scour depth S_{eq} around USAF. At last, a parametric study was carried out to study the effects of the Froude number F_{r} and Euler number E_{u} for the S_{eq.} The results indicate that the present numerical model is accurate and reasonable for depicting the scour morphology under random waves. The revised Raaijmakers’s model shows good agreement with the simulating results of the present study when KC_{s,p} < 8. The predicting results of the revised stochastic model are the most favorable for n = 10 when KC_{rms,a} < 4. The higher F_{r} and E_{u} both lead to the more intensive horseshoe vortex and larger S_{eq}.

The rapid expansion of cities tends to cause social and economic problems, such as environmental pollution and traffic jam. As a kind of clean energy, offshore wind power has developed rapidly in recent years. The foundation of offshore wind turbine (OWT) supports the upper tower, and suffers the cyclic loading induced by waves, tides and winds, which exerts a vital influence on the OWT system. The types of OWT foundation include the fixed and floating foundation, and the fixed foundation was used usually for nearshore wind turbine. After the construction of fixed foundation, the hydrodynamic field changes in the vicinity of the foundation, leading to the horseshoe vortex formation and streamline compression at the upside and sides of foundation respectively [1,2,3,4]. As a result, the neighboring soil would be carried away by the shear stress induced by vortex, and the scour hole would emerge in the vicinity of foundation. The scour holes increase the cantilever length, and weaken the lateral bearing capacity of foundation [5,6,7,8,9]. Moreover, the natural frequency of OWT system increases with the increase of cantilever length, causing the resonance occurs when the system natural frequency equals the wave or wind frequency [10,11,12]. Given that, an innovative foundation called umbrella suction anchor foundation (USAF) has been designed for nearshore wind power. The previous studies indicated the USAF was characterized by the favorable lateral bearing capacity with the low cost [6,13,14]. The close-up of USAF is shown in Figure 1, and it includes six parts: 1-interal buckets, 2-external skirt, 3-anchor ring, 4-anchor branch, 5-supporting rod, 6-telescopic hook. The detailed description and application method of USAF can be found in reference [13].

Figure 1. The close-up of umbrella suction anchor foundation (USAF).

Numerical and experimental investigations of scour around OWT foundation under steady currents and waves have been extensively studied by many researchers [1,2,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24]. The seabed scour can be classified as two types according to Shields parameter θ, i.e., clear bed scour (θ < θ_{cr}) or live bed scour (θ > θ_{cr}). Due to the set of foundation, the adverse hydraulic pressure gradient exists at upstream foundation edges, resulting in the streamline separation between boundary layer flow and seabed. The separating boundary layer ascended at upstream anchor edges and developed into the horseshoe vortex. Then, the horseshoe vortex moved downstream gradually along the periphery of the anchor, and the vortex shed off continually at the lee-side of the anchor, i.e., wake vortex. The core of wake vortex is a negative pressure center, liking a vacuum cleaner. Hence, the soil particles were swirled into the negative pressure core and carried away by wake vortexes. At the same time, the onset of scour at rear side occurred. Finally, the wake vortex became downflow when the turbulence energy could not support the survival of wake vortex. According to Tavouktsoglou et al. [25], the scale of pile wall boundary layer is proportional to 1/ln(R_{d}) (R_{d} is pile Reynolds), which means the turbulence intensity induced by the flow-structure interaction would decrease with R_{d} increases, but the effects of R_{d} can be neglected only if the flow around the foundation is fully turbulent [26]. According to previous studies [1,15,27,28,29,30,31,32], the scour development around pile foundation under waves was significantly influenced by Shields parameter θ and KC number simultaneously (calculated by Equation (1)). Sand ripples widely existed around pile under waves in the case of live bed scour, and the scour morphology is related with θ and KC. Compared with θ, KC has a greater influence on the scour morphology [21,27,28]. The influence mechanism of KC on the scour around the pile is reflected in two aspects: the horseshoe vortex at upstream and wake vortex shedding at downstream.

KC=UwmTD��=�wm��(1)

where, U_{wm} is the maximum velocity of the undisturbed wave-induced oscillatory flow at the sea bottom above the wave boundary layer, T is wave period, and D is pile diameter.

There are two prerequisites to satisfy the formation of horseshoe vortex at upstream pile edges: (1) the incoming flow boundary layer with sufficient thickness and (2) the magnitude of upstream adverse pressure gradient making the boundary layer separating [1,15,16,18,20]. The smaller KC results the lower adverse pressure gradient, and the boundary layer cannot separate, herein, there is almost no horseshoe vortex emerging at upside of pile. Sumer et al. [1,15] carried out several sets of wave flume experiments under regular and irregular waves respectively, and the experiment results show that there is no horseshoe vortex when KC is less than 6. While the scale and lifespan of horseshoe vortex increase evidently with the increase of KC when KC is larger than 6. Moreover, the wake vortex contributes to the scour at lee-side of pile. Similar with the case of horseshoe vortex, there is no wake vortex when KC is less than 6. The wake vortex is mainly responsible for scour around pile when KC is greater than 6 and less than O(100), while horseshoe vortex controls scour nearly when KC is greater than O(100).

Sumer et al. [1] found that the equilibrium scour depth was nil around pile when KC was less than 6 under regular waves for live bed scour, while the equilibrium scour depth increased with the increase of KC. Based on that, Sumer proposed an equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (2)). Carreiras et al. [33] revised Sumer’s equation with m = 0.06 for nonlinear waves. Different with the findings of Sumer et al. [1] and Carreiras et al. [33], Corvaro et al. [21] found the scour still occurred for KC ≈ 4, and proposed the revised equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (3)) for KC > 4.

Rudolph and Bos [2] conducted a series of wave flume experiments to investigate the scour depth around monopile under waves only, waves and currents combined respectively, indicting KC was one of key parameters in influencing equilibrium scour depth, and proposed the equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (4)) for low KC (1 < KC < 10). Through analyzing the extensive data from published literatures, Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34] developed the equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (5)) for low KC, which was suitable for waves only, waves and currents combined. Khalfin [35] carried out several sets of wave flume experiments to study scour development around monopile, and proposed the equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (6)) for low KC (0.1 < KC < 3.5). Different with above equations, the Khalfin’s equation considers the Shields parameter θ and KC number simultaneously in predicting equilibrium scour depth. The flow reversal occurred under through in one wave period, so sand particles would be carried away from lee-side of pile to upside, resulting in sand particles backfilled into the upstream scour hole [20,29]. Considering the backfilling effects, Zanke et al. [36] proposed the equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (7)) around pile by theoretical analysis, and the equation is suitable for the whole range of KC number under regular waves and currents combined.

where, γ is safety factor, depending on design process, typically γ = 1.5, K_{wave} is correction factor considering wave action, K_{hw} is correction factor considering water depth.

where, n is the 1/n’th highest wave for random waves

For predicting equilibrium scour depth under irregular waves, i.e., random waves, Sumer and Fredsøe [16] found it’s suitable to take Equation (2) to predict equilibrium scour depth around pile under random waves with the root-mean-square (RMS) value of near-bed orbital velocity amplitude U_{m} and peak wave period T_{P} to calculate KC. Khalfin [35] recommended the RMS wave height H_{rms} and peak wave period T_{P} were used to calculate KC for Equation (6). References [37,38,39,40] developed a series of stochastic theoretical models to predict equilibrium scour depth around pile under random waves, nonlinear random waves plus currents respectively. The stochastic approach thought the 1/n’th highest wave were responsible for scour in vicinity of pile under random waves, and the KC was calculated in Equation (8) with U_{m} and mean zero-crossing wave period T_{z}. The results calculated by Equation (8) agree well with experimental values of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] if the 1/10′th highest wave was used. To author’s knowledge, the stochastic approach proposed by Myrhaug and Rue [37] is the only theoretical model to predict equilibrium scour depth around pile under random waves for the whole range of KC number in published documents. Other methods of predicting scour depth under random waves are mainly originated from the equation for regular waves-only, waves and currents combined, which are limited to the large KC number, such as KC > 6 for Equation (2) and KC > 4 for Equation (3) respectively. However, situations with relatively low KC number (KC < 4) often occur in reality, for example, monopile or suction anchor for OWT foundations in ocean environment. Moreover, local scour around OWT foundations under random waves has not yet been investigated fully. Therefore, further study are still needed in the aspect of scour around OWT foundations with low KC number under random waves. Given that, this study presents the scour sediment model around umbrella suction anchor foundation (USAF) under random waves. In this study, a comparison of equilibrium scour depth around USAF between this present numerical models and the previous theoretical models and experimental results was presented firstly. Then, this study gave a comprehensive analysis for the scour mechanisms around USAF. After that, two revised models were proposed according to the model of Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34] and the stochastic model developed by Myrhaug and Rue [37] respectively to predict the equilibrium scour depth. Finally, a parametric study was conducted to study the effects of the Froude number (F_{r}) and Euler number (E_{u}) to equilibrium scour depth respectively.

2. Numerical Method

2.1. Governing Equations of Flow

The following equations adopted in present model are already available in Flow 3D software. The authors used these theoretical equations to simulate scour in random waves without modification. The incompressible viscous fluid motion satisfies the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation, so the present numerical model solves RANS equations:

where, V_{F} is the volume fraction; u, v, and w are the velocity components in x, y, z direction respectively with Cartesian coordinates; A_{i} is the area fraction; ρ_{f} is the fluid density, f_{i} is the viscous fluid acceleration, G_{i} is the fluid body acceleration (i = x, y, z).

2.2. Turbulent Model

The turbulence closure is available by the turbulent model, such as one-equation, the one-equation k-ε model, the standard k-ε model, RNG k-ε turbulent model and large eddy simulation (LES) model. The LES model requires very fine mesh grid, so the computational time is large, which hinders the LES model application in engineering. The RNG k-ε model can reduce computational time greatly with high accuracy in the near-wall region. Furthermore, the RNG k-ε model computes the maximum turbulent mixing length dynamically in simulating sediment scour model. Therefore, the RNG k-ε model was adopted to study the scour around anchor under random waves [41,42].

where, k_{T} is specific kinetic energy involved with turbulent velocity, G_{T} is the turbulent energy generated by buoyancy; ε_{T} is the turbulent energy dissipating rate, P_{T} is the turbulent energy, Diff_{ε} and Diff_{kT} are diffusion terms associated with V_{F}, A_{i}; CDIS1, CDIS2 and CDIS3 are dimensionless parameters, and CDIS1, CDIS3 have default values of 1.42, 0.2 respectively. CDIS2 can be obtained from P_{T} and k_{T}.

2.3. Sediment Scour Model

The sand particles may suffer four processes under waves, i.e., entrainment, bed load transport, suspended load transport, and deposition, so the sediment scour model should depict the above processes efficiently. In present numerical simulation, the sediment scour model includes the following aspects:

2.3.1. Entrainment and Deposition

The combination of entrainment and deposition determines the net scour rate of seabed in present sediment scour model. The entrainment lift velocity of sand particles was calculated as [43]:

where, α_{i} is the entrainment parameter, n_{s} is the outward point perpendicular to the seabed, d_{*} is the dimensionless diameter of sand particles, which was calculated by Equation (15), θ_{cr} is the critical Shields parameter, g is the gravity acceleration, d_{i} is the diameter of sand particles, ρ_{i} is the density of seabed species.

In Equation (14), the entrainment parameter α_{i} confirms the rate at which sediment erodes when the given shear stress is larger than the critical shear stress, and the recommended value 0.018 was adopted according to the experimental data of Mastbergen and Von den Berg [43]. n_{s} is the outward pointing normal to the seabed interface, and n_{s} = (0,0,1) according to the Cartesian coordinates used in present numerical model.

The shields parameter was obtained from the following equation:

θ=U2f,m(ρi/ρf−1)gd50�=�f,m2(��/�f−1)��50(16)

where, U_{f,m} is the maximum value of the near-bed friction velocity; d_{50} is the median diameter of sand particles. The detailed calculation procedure of θ was available in Soulsby [44].

The critical shields parameter θ_{cr} was obtained from the Equation (17) [44]

The sand particles begin to deposit on seabed when the turbulence energy weaken and cann’t support the particles suspending. The setting velocity of the particles was calculated from the following equation [44]:

This is called bed load transport when the sand particles roll or bounce over the seabed and always have contact with seabed. The bed load transport velocity was computed by [45]:

where, q_{b,i} is the bed load transport rate, which was obtained from Equation (20), δ_{i} is the bed load thickness, which was calculated by Equation (21), c_{b,i} is the volume fraction of sand i in the multiple species, f_{b} is the critical packing fraction of the seabed.

where, C_{s,i} is the suspended sand particles mass concentration of sand i in the multiple species, u_{s,i} is the sand particles velocity of sand i, D_{f} is the diffusivity.

The velocity of sand i in the multiple species could be obtained from the following equation:

where, u¯�¯ is the velocity of mixed fluid-particles, which can be calculated by the RANS equation with turbulence model, c_{s,i} is the suspended sand particles volume concentration, which was computed from Equation (24).

cs,i=Cs,iρi�s,�=�s,���(24)

3. Model Setup

The seabed-USAF-wave three-dimensional scour numerical model was built using Flow-3D software. As shown in Figure 2, the model includes sandy seabed, USAF model, sea water, two baffles and porous media. The dimensions of USAF are shown in Table 1. The sandy bed (210 m in length, 30 m in width and 11 m in height) is made up of uniform fine sand with median diameter d_{50} = 0.041 cm. The USAF model includes upper steel tube with the length of 20 m, which was installed in the middle of seabed. The location of USAF is positioned at 140 m from the upstream inflow boundary and 70 m from the downstream outflow boundary. Two baffles were installed at two ends of seabed. In order to eliminate the wave reflection basically, the porous media was set at the outflow side on the seabed.

Figure 2. (a) The sketch of seabed-USAF-wave three-dimensional model; (b) boundary condation:Wv-wave boundary, S-symmetric boundary, O-outflow boundary; (c) USAF model.

Table 1. Numerical simulating cases.

3.1. Mesh Geometric Dimensions

In the simulation of the scour under the random waves, the model includes the umbrella suction anchor foundation, seabed and fluid. As shown in Figure 3, the model mesh includes global mesh grid and nested mesh grid, and the total number of grids is 1,812,000. The basic procedure for building mesh grid consists of two steps. Step 1: Divide the global mesh using regular hexahedron with size of 0.6 × 0.6. The global mesh area is cubic box, embracing the seabed and whole fluid volume, and the dimensions are 210 m in length, 30 m in width and 32 m in height. The details of determining the grid size can see the following mesh sensitivity section. Step 2: Set nested fine mesh grid in vicinity of the USAF with size of 0.3 × 0.3 so as to shorten the computation cost and improve the calculation accuracy. The encryption range is −15 m to 15 m in x direction, −15 m to 15 m in y direction and 0 m to 32 m in z direction, respectively. In order to accurately capture the free-surface dynamics, such as the fluid-air interface, the volume of fluid (VOF) method was adopted for tracking the free water surface. One specific algorithm called FAVORTM (Fractional Area/Volume Obstacle Representation) was used to define the fractional face areas and fractional volumes of the cells which are open to fluid flow.

Figure 3. The sketch of mesh grid.

3.2. Boundary Conditions

As shown in Figure 2, the initial fluid length is 210 m as long as seabed. A wave boundary was specified at the upstream offshore end. The details of determining the random wave spectrum can see the following wave parameters section. The outflow boundary was set at the downstream onshore end. The symmetry boundary was used at the top and two sides of the model. The symmetric boundaries were the better strategy to improve the computation efficiency and save the calculation cost [46]. At the seabed bottom, the wall boundary was adopted, which means the u = v = w= 0. Besides, the upper steel tube of USAF was set as no-slip condition.

3.3. Wave Parameters

The random waves with JONSWAP wave spectrum were used for all simulations as realistic representation of offshore conditions. The unidirectional JONSWAP frequency spectrum was described as [47]:

where, α is wave energy scale parameter, which is calculated by Equation (26), ω is frequency, ω_{p} is wave spectrum peak frequency, which can be obtained from Equation (27). γ is wave spectrum peak enhancement factor, in this study γ = 3.3. σ is spectral width factor, σ equals 0.07 for ω ≤ ω_{p} and 0.09 for ω > ω_{p} respectively.

α=0.0076(gXU2)−0.22�=0.0076(���2)−0.22(26)

ωp=22(gU)(gXU2)−0.33�p=22(��)(���2)−0.33(27)

where, X is fetch length, U is average wind velocity at 10 m height from mean sea level.

In present numerical model, the input key parameters include X and U for wave boundary with JONSWAP wave spectrum. The objective wave height and period are available by different combinations of X and U. In this study, we designed 9 cases with different wave heights, periods and water depths for simulating scour around USAF under random waves (see Table 2). For random waves, the wave steepness ε and Ursell number U_{r} were acquired form Equations (28) and (29) respectively

ε=2πgHsT2a�=2���s�a2(28)

Ur=Hsk2h3w�r=�s�2ℎw3(29)

where, H_{s} is significant wave height, T_{a} is average wave period, k is wave number, h_{w} is water depth. The Shield parameter θ satisfies θ_{>}θ_{cr} for all simulations in current study, indicating the live bed scour prevails.

Table 2. Numerical simulating cases.

3.4. Mesh Sensitivity

In this section, a mesh sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the influence of mesh grid size to results and make sure the calculation is mesh size independent and converged. Three mesh grid size were chosen: Mesh 1—global mesh grid size of 0.75 × 0.75, nested fine mesh grid size of 0.4 × 0.4, and total number of grids 1,724,000, Mesh 2—global mesh grid size of 0.6 × 0.6, nested fine mesh grid size of 0.3 × 0.3, and total number of grids 1,812,000, Mesh 3—global mesh grid size of 0.4 × 0.4, nested fine mesh grid size of 0.2 × 0.2, and total number of grids 1,932,000. The near-bed shear velocity U_{*} is an important factor for influencing scour process [1,15], so U_{*} at the position of (4,0,11.12) was evaluated under three mesh sizes. As the Figure 4 shown, the maximum error of shear velocity ∆U_{*1,2} is about 39.8% between the mesh 1 and mesh 2, and 4.8% between the mesh 2 and mesh 3. According to the mesh sensitivity criterion adopted by Pang et al. [48], it’s reasonable to think the results are mesh size independent and converged with mesh 2. Additionally, the present model was built according to prototype size, and the mesh size used in present model is larger than the mesh size adopted by Higueira et al. [49] and Corvaro et al. [50]. If we choose the smallest cell size, it will take too much time. For example, the simulation with Mesh3 required about 260 h by using a computer with Intel Xeon Scalable Gold 4214 CPU @24 Cores, 2.2 GHz and 64.00 GB RAM. Therefore, in this case, considering calculation accuracy and computation efficiency, the mesh 2 was chosen for all the simulation in this study.

Figure 4. Comparison of near-bed shear velocity U_{*} with different mesh grid size.

The nested mesh block was adopted for seabed in vicinity of the USAF, which was overlapped with the global mesh block. When two mesh blocks overlap each other, the governing equations are by default solved on the mesh block with smaller average cell size (i.e., higher grid resolution). It is should be noted that the Flow 3D software used the moving mesh captures the scour evolution and automatically adjusts the time step size to be as large as possible without exceeding any of the stability limits, affecting accuracy, or unduly increasing the effort required to enforce the continuity condition [51].

3.5. Model Validation

In order to verify the reliability of the present model, the results of present study were compared with the experimental data of Khosronejad et al. [52]. The experiment was conducted in an open channel with a slender vertical pile under unidirectional currents. The comparison of scour development between the present results and the experimental results is shown in Figure 5. The Figure 5 reveals that the present results agree well with the experimental data of Khosronejad et al. [52]. In the first stage, the scour depth increases rapidly. After that, the scour depth achieves a maximum value gradually. The equilibrium scour depth calculated by the present model is basically corresponding with the experimental results of Khosronejad et al. [52], although scour depth in the present model is slightly larger than the experimental results at initial stage.

Figure 5. Comparison of time evolution of scour between the present study and Khosronejad et al. [52], Petersen et al. [17].

Secondly, another comparison was further conducted between the results of present study and the experimental data of Petersen et al. [17]. The experiment was carried out in a flume with a circular vertical pile in combined waves and current. Figure 4 shows a comparison of time evolution of scour depth between the simulating and the experimental results. As Figure 5 indicates, the scour depth in this study has good overall agreement with the experimental results proposed in Petersen et al. [17]. The equilibrium scour depth calculated by the present model is 0.399 m, which equals to the experimental value basically. Overall, the above verifications prove the present model is accurate and capable in dealing with sediment scour under waves.

In addition, in order to calibrate and validate the present model for hydrodynamic parameters, the comparison of water surface elevation was carried out with laboratory experiments conducted by Stahlmann [53] for wave gauge No. 3. The Figure 6 depicts the surface wave profiles between experiments and numerical model results. The comparison indicates that there is a good agreement between the model results and experimental values, especially the locations of wave crest and trough. Comparison of the surface elevation instructs the present model has an acceptable relative error, and the model is a calibrated in terms of the hydrodynamic parameters.

Figure 6. Comparison of surface elevation between the present study and Stahlmann [53].

Finally, another comparison was conducted for equilibrium scour depth or maximum scour depth under random waves with the experimental data of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Schendel et al. [22]. The Figure 7 shows the comparison between the numerical results and experimental data of Run01, Run05, Run21 and Run22 in Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and test A05 and A09 in Schendel et al. [22]. As shown in Figure 7, the equilibrium scour depth or maximum scour depth distributed within the ±30 error lines basically, meaning the reliability and accuracy of present model for predicting equilibrium scour depth around foundation in random waves. However, compared with the experimental values, the present model overestimated the equilibrium scour depth generally. Given that, a calibration for scour depth was carried out by multiplying the mean reduced coefficient 0.85 in following section.

Figure 7. Comparison of equilibrium (or maximum) scour depth between the present study and Sumer and Fredsøe [16], Schendel et al. [22].

Through the various examination for hydrodynamic and morphology parameters, it can be concluded that the present model is a validated and calibrated model for scour under random waves. Thus, the present numerical model would be utilized for scour simulation around foundation under random waves.

4. Numerical Results and Discussions

4.1. Scour Evolution

Figure 8 displays the scour evolution for case 1–9. As shown in Figure 8a, the scour depth increased rapidly at the initial stage, and then slowed down at the transition stage, which attributes to the backfilling occurred in scour holes under live bed scour condition, resulting in the net scour decreasing. Finally, the scour reached the equilibrium state when the amount of sediment backfilling equaled to that of scouring in the scour holes, i.e., the net scour transport rate was nil. Sumer and Fredsøe [16] proposed the following formula for the scour development under waves

St=Seq(1−exp(−t/Tc))�t=�eq(1−exp(−�/�c))(30)

where T_{c} is time scale of scour process.

Figure 8. Time evolution of scour for case 1–9: (a) Case 1–5; (b) Case 6–9.

The computing time is 3600 s and the scour development curves in Figure 8 kept fluctuating, meaning it’s still not in equilibrium scour stage in these cases. According to Sumer and Fredsøe [16], the equilibrium scour depth can be acquired by fitting the data with Equation (30). From Figure 8, it can be seen that the scour evolution obtained from Equation (30) is consistent with the present study basically at initial stage, but the scour depth predicted by Equation (30) developed slightly faster than the simulating results and the Equation (30) overestimated the scour depth to some extent. Overall, the whole tendency of the results calculated by Equation (30) agrees well with the simulating results of the present study, which means the Equation (30) is applicable to depict the scour evolution around USAF under random waves.

4.2. Scour Mechanism under Random Waves

The scour morphology and scour evolution around USAF are similar under random waves in case 1~9. Taking case 7 as an example, the scour morphology is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9. Scour morphology under different times for case 7.

From Figure 9, at the initial stage (t < 1200 s), the scour occurred at upstream foundation edges between neighboring anchor branches. The maximum scour depth appeared at the lee-side of the USAF. Correspondingly, the sediments deposited at the periphery of the USAF, and the location of the maximum accretion depth was positioned at an angle of about 45° symmetrically with respect to the wave propagating direction in the lee-side of the USAF. After that, when t > 2400 s, the location of the maximum scour depth shifted to the upside of the USAF at an angle of about 45° with respect to the wave propagating direction.

According to previous studies [1,15,16,19,30,31], the horseshoe vortex, streamline compression and wake vortex shedding were responsible for scour around foundation. The Figure 10 displays the distribution of flow velocity in vicinity of foundation, which reflects the evolving processes of horseshoe vertex.

Figure 10. Velocity profile around USAF: (a) Flow runup and down stream at upstream anchor edges; (b) Horseshoe vortex at upstream anchor edges; (c) Flow reversal during wave through stage at lee side.

As shown in Figure 10, the inflow tripped to the upstream edges of the USAF and it was blocked by the upper tube of USAF. Then, the downflow formed the horizontal axis clockwise vortex and rolled on the seabed bypassing the tube, that is, the horseshoe vortex (Figure 11). The Figure 12 displays the turbulence intensity around the tube on the seabed. From Figure 12, it can be seen that the turbulence intensity was high-intensity with respect to the region of horseshoe vortex. This phenomenon occurred because of drastic water flow momentum exchanging in the horseshoe vortex. As a result, it created the prominent shear stress on the seabed, causing the local scour at the upstream edges of USAF. Besides, the horseshoe vortex moved downstream gradually along the periphery of the tube and the wake vortex shed off continually at the lee-side of the USAF, i.e., wake vortex.

Figure 11. Sketch of scour mechanism around USAF under random waves.

Figure 12. Turbulence intensity: (a) Turbulence intensity of horseshoe vortex; (b) Turbulence intensity of wake vortex; (c) Turbulence intensity of accretion area.

The core of wake vortex is a negative pressure center, liking a vacuum cleaner [11,42]. Hence, the soil particles were swirled into the negative pressure core and carried away by wake vortex. At the same time, the onset of scour at rear side occurred. Finally, the wake vortex became downflow at the downside of USAF. As is shown in Figure 12, the turbulence intensity was low where the downflow occurred at lee-side, which means the turbulence energy may not be able to support the survival of wake vortex, leading to accretion happening. As mentioned in previous section, the formation of horseshoe vortex was dependent with adverse pressure gradient at upside of foundation. As shown in Figure 13, the evaluated range of pressure distribution is −15 m to 15 m in x direction. The t = 450 s and t = 1800 s indicate that the wave crest and trough arrived at the upside and lee-side of the foundation respectively, and the t = 350 s was neither the wave crest nor trough. The adverse gradient pressure reached the maximum value at t = 450 s corresponding to the wave crest phase. In this case, it’s helpful for the wave boundary separating fully from seabed, which leads to the formation of horseshoe vortex with high turbulence intensity. Therefore, the horseshoe vortex is responsible for the local scour between neighboring anchor branches at upside of USAF. What’s more, due to the combination of the horseshoe vortex and streamline compression, the maximum scour depth occurred at the upside of the USAF with an angle of about 45° corresponding to the wave propagating direction. This is consistent with the findings of Pang et al. [48] and Sumer et al. [1,15] in case of regular waves. At the wave trough phase (t = 1800 s), the pressure gradient became positive at upstream USAF edges, which hindered the separating of wave boundary from seabed. In the meantime, the flow reversal occurred (Figure 10) and the adverse gradient pressure appeared at downstream USAF edges, but the magnitude of adverse gradient pressure at lee-side was lower than the upstream gradient pressure under wave crest. In this way, the intensity of horseshoe vortex behind the USAF under wave trough was low, which explains the difference of scour depth at upstream and downstream, i.e., the scour asymmetry. In other words, the scour asymmetry at upside and downside of USAF was attributed to wave asymmetry for random waves, and the phenomenon became more evident for nonlinear waves [21]. Briefly speaking, the vortex system at wave crest phase was mainly related to the scour process around USAF under random waves.

Figure 13. Pressure distribution around USAF.

4.3. Equilibrium Scour Depth

The KC number is a key parameter for horseshoe vortex emerging and evolving under waves. According to Equation (1), when pile diameter D is fixed, the KC depends on the maximum near-bed velocity U_{wm} and wave period T. For random waves, the U_{wm} can be denoted by the root-mean-square (RMS) value of near-bed velocity amplitude U_{wm,rms} or the significant value of near-bed velocity amplitude U_{wm,s}. The U_{wm,rms} and U_{wm,s} for all simulating cases of the present study are listed in Table 3 and Table 4. The T can be denoted by the mean up zero-crossing wave period T_{a}, peak wave period T_{p}, significant wave period T_{s}, the maximum wave period T_{m}, 1/10′th highest wave period T_{n = 1/10} and 1/5′th highest wave period T_{n = 1/5} for random waves, so the different combinations of U_{wm} and T will acquire different KC. The Table 3 and Table 4 list 12 types of KC, for example, the KC_{rms,s} was calculated by U_{wm,rms} and T_{s}. Sumer and Fredsøe [16] conducted a series of wave flume experiments to investigate the scour depth around monopile under random waves, and found the equilibrium scour depth predicting equation (Equation (2)) for regular waves was applicable for random waves with KC_{rms,p}. It should be noted that the Equation (2) is only suitable for KC > 6 under regular waves or KC_{rms,p} > 6 under random waves.

Table 3.U_{wm,rms} and KC for case 1~9.

Table 4.U_{wm,s} and KC for case 1~9.

Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34] proposed the equilibrium scour depth predicting model (Equation (5)) around pile under waves, which is suitable for low KC. The format of Equation (5) is similar with the formula proposed by Breusers [54], which can predict the equilibrium scour depth around pile at different scour stages. In order to verify the applicability of Raaijmakers’s model for predicting the equilibrium scour depth around USAF under random waves, a validation of the equilibrium scour depth S_{eq} between the present study and Raaijmakers’s equation was conducted. The position where the scour depth S_{eq} was evaluated is the location of the maximum scour depth, and it was depicted in Figure 14. The Figure 15 displays the comparison of S_{eq} with different KC between the present study and Raaijmakers’s model.

Figure 14. Sketch of the position where the S_{eq} was evaluated.

Figure 15. Comparison of the equilibrium scour depth between the present model and the model of Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34]: (a) KC_{rms,s}, KC_{rms,a}; (b) KC_{rms,p}, KC_{rms,m}; (c) KC_{rms,n = 1/10}, KC_{rms,n = 1/5}; (d) KC_{s,s}, KC_{s,a}; (e) KC_{s,p}, KC_{s,m}; (f) KC_{s,n = 1/10}, KC_{s,n = 1/5}.

As shown in Figure 15, there is an error in predicting S_{eq} between the present study and Raaijmakers’s model, and Raaijmakers’s model underestimates the results generally. Although the error exists, the varying trend of S_{eq} with KC obtained from Raaijmakers’s model is consistent with the present study basically. What’s more, the error is minimum and the Raaijmakers’s model is of relatively high accuracy for predicting scour around USAF under random waves by using KC_{s,p}. Based on this, a further revision was made to eliminate the error as much as possible, i.e., add the deviation value ∆S/D in the Raaijmakers’s model. The revised equilibrium scour depth predicting equation based on Raaijmakers’s model can be written as

As the Figure 16 shown, through trial-calculation, when ∆S/D = 0.05, the results calculated by Equation (31) show good agreement with the simulating results of the present study. The maximum error is about 18.2% and the engineering requirements have been met basically. In order to further verify the accuracy of the revised model for large KC (KC_{s,p} > 4) under random waves, a validation between the revised model and the previous experimental results [21]. The experiment was conducted in a flume (50 m in length, 1.0 m in width and 1.3 m in height) with a slender vertical pile (D = 0.1 m) under random waves. The seabed is composed of 0.13 m deep layer of sand with d_{50} = 0.6 mm and the water depth is 0.5 m for all tests. The significant wave height is 0.12~0.21 m and the KC_{s,p} is 5.52~11.38. The comparison between the predicting results by Equation (31) and the experimental results of Corvaro et al. [21] is shown in Figure 17. From Figure 17, the experimental data evenly distributes around the predicted results and the prediction accuracy is favorable when KC_{s,p} < 8. However, the gap between the predicting results and experimental data becomes large and the Equation (31) overestimates the equilibrium scour depth to some extent when KC_{s,p} > 8.

Figure 16. Comparison of S_{eq} between the simulating results and the predicting values by Equation (31).

Figure 17. Comparison of S_{eq}/D between the Experimental results of Corvaro et al. [21] and the predicting values by Equation (31).

In ocean environment, the waves are composed of a train of sinusoidal waves with different frequencies and amplitudes. The energy of constituent waves with very large and very small frequencies is relatively low, and the energy of waves is mainly concentrated in a certain range of moderate frequencies. Myrhaug and Rue [37] thought the 1/n’th highest wave was responsible for scour and proposed the stochastic model to predict the equilibrium scour depth around pile under random waves for full range of KC. Noteworthy is that the KC was denoted by KC_{rms,a} in the stochastic model. To verify the application of the stochastic model for predicting scour depth around USAF, a validation between the simulating results of present study and predicting results by the stochastic model with n = 2,3,5,10,20,500 was carried out respectively.

As shown in Figure 18, compared with the simulating results, the stochastic model underestimates the equilibrium scour depth around USAF generally. Although the error exists, the varying trend of S_{eq} with KC_{rms,a} obtained from the stochastic model is consistent with the present study basically. What’s more, the gap between the predicting values by stochastic model and the simulating results decreases with the increase of n, but for large n, for example n = 500, the varying trend diverges between the predicting values and simulating results, meaning it’s not feasible only by increasing n in stochastic model to predict the equilibrium scour depth around USAF.

Figure 18. Comparison of S_{eq} between the simulating results and the predicting values by Equation (8).

The Figure 19 lists the deviation value ∆S_{eq}/D′ between the predicting values and simulating results with different KC_{rms,a} and n. Then, fitted the relationship between the ∆S′and n under different KC_{rms,a}, and the fitting curve can be written by Equation (32). The revised stochastic model (Equation (33)) can be acquired by adding ∆S_{eq}/D′ to Equation (8).

The comparison between the predicting results by Equation (33) and the simulating results of present study is shown in Figure 20. According to the Figure 20, the varying trend of S_{eq} with KC_{rms,a} obtained from the stochastic model is consistent with the present study basically. Compared with predicting results by the stochastic model, the results calculated by Equation (33) is favorable. Moreover, comparison with simulating results indicates that the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 10, which is consistent with the findings of Myrhaug and Rue [37] for equilibrium scour depth predicting around slender pile in case of random waves.

Figure 20. Comparison of S_{eq} between the simulating results and the predicting values by Equation (33).

In order to further verify the accuracy of the Equation (33) for large KC (KC_{rms,a} > 4) under random waves, a validation was conducted between the Equation (33) and the previous experimental results of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21]. The details of experiments conducted by Corvaro et al. [21] were described in above section. Sumer and Fredsøe [16] investigated the local scour around pile under random waves. The experiments were conducted in a wave basin with a slender vertical pile (D = 0.032, 0.055 m). The seabed is composed of 0.14 m deep layer of sand with d_{50} = 0.2 mm and the water depth was maintained at 0.5 m. The JONSWAP wave spectrum was used and the KC_{rms,a} was 5.29~16.95. The comparison between the predicting results by Equation (33) and the experimental results of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21] are shown in Figure 21. From Figure 21, contrary to the case of low KC_{rms,a} (KC_{rms,a} < 4), the error between the predicting values and experimental results increases with decreasing of n for KC_{rms,a} > 4. Therefore, the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 2 when KC_{rms,a} > 4.

Figure 21. Comparison of S_{eq} between the experimental results of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21] and the predicting values by Equation (33).

Noteworthy is that the present model was built according to prototype size, so the errors between the numerical results and experimental data of References [16,21] may be attribute to the scale effects. In laboratory experiments on scouring process, it is typically impossible to ensure a rigorous similarity of all physical parameters between the model and prototype structure, leading to the scale effects in the laboratory experiments. To avoid a cohesive behaviour, the bed material was not scaled geometrically according to model scale. As a consequence, the relatively large-scaled sediments sizes may result in the overestimation of bed load transport and underestimation of suspended load transport compared with field conditions. What’s more, the disproportional scaled sediment presumably lead to the difference of bed roughness between the model and prototype, and thus large influences for wave boundary layer on the seabed and scour process. Besides, according to Corvaro et al. [21] and Schendel et al. [55], the pile Reynolds numbers and Froude numbers both affect the scour depth for the condition of non fully developed turbulent flow in laboratory experiments.

4.4. Parametric Study

4.4.1. Influence of Froude Number

As described above, the set of foundation leads to the adverse pressure gradient appearing at upstream, leading to the wave boundary layer separating from seabed, then horseshoe vortex formatting and the horseshoe vortex are mainly responsible for scour around foundation (see Figure 22). The Froude number F_{r} is the key parameter to influence the scale and intensity of horseshoe vortex. The F_{r} under waves can be calculated by the following formula [42]

Fr=UwgD−−−√�r=�w��(34)

where U_{w} is the mean water particle velocity during 1/4 cycle of wave oscillation, obtained from the following formula. Noteworthy is that the root-mean-square (RMS) value of near-bed velocity amplitude U_{wm,rms} is used for calculating U_{wm}.

Figure 22. Sketch of flow field at upstream USAF edges.

Tavouktsoglou et al. [25] proposed the following formula between F_{r} and the vertical location of the stagnation y

yh∝Fer�ℎ∝�r�(36)

where e is constant.

The Figure 23 displays the relationship between S_{eq}/D and F_{r} of the present study. In order to compare with the simulating results, the experimental data of Corvaro et al. [21] was also depicted in Figure 23. As shown in Figure 23, the equilibrium scour depth appears a logarithmic increase as F_{r} increases and approaches the mathematical asymptotic value, which is also consistent with the experimental results of Corvaro et al. [21]. According to Figure 24, the adverse pressure gradient pressure at upstream USAF edges increases with the increase of F_{r}, which is benefit for the wave boundary layer separating from seabed, resulting in the high-intensity horseshoe vortex, hence, causing intensive scour around USAF. Based on the previous study of Tavouktsoglou et al. [25] for scour around pile under currents, the high F_{r} leads to the stagnation point is closer to the mean sea level for shallow water, causing the stronger downflow kinetic energy. As mentioned in previous section, the energy of downflow at upstream makes up the energy of the subsequent horseshoe vortex, so the stronger downflow kinetic energy results in the more intensive horseshoe vortex. Therefore, the higher F_{r} leads to the more intensive horseshoe vortex by influencing the position of stagnation point y presumably. Qi and Gao [19] carried out a series of flume tests to investigate the scour around pile under regular waves, and proposed the fitting formula between S_{eq}/D and F_{r} as following

lg(Seq/D)=Aexp(B/Fr)+Clg(�eq/�)=�exp(�/�r)+�(37)

where A, B and C are constant.

Figure 23. The fitting curve between S_{eq}/D and F_{r}.

Figure 24. Sketch of adverse pressure gradient at upstream USAF edges.

Took the Equation (37) to fit the simulating results with A = −0.002, B = 0.686 and C = −0.808, and the results are shown in Figure 23. From Figure 23, the simulating results evenly distribute around the Equation (37) and the varying trend of S_{eq}/D and F_{r} in present study is consistent with Equation (37) basically, meaning the Equation (37) is applicable to express the relationship of S_{eq}/D with F_{r} around USAF under random waves.

4.4.2. Influence of Euler Number

The Euler number E_{u} is the influencing factor for the hydrodynamic field around foundation. The E_{u} under waves can be calculated by the following formula. The E_{u} can be represented by the Equation (38) for uniform cylinders [25]. The root-mean-square (RMS) value of near-bed velocity amplitude U_{m,rms} is used for calculating U_{m}.

Eu=U2mgD�u=�m2��(38)

where U_{m} is depth-averaged flow velocity.

The Figure 25 displays the relationship between S_{eq}/D and E_{u} of the present study. In order to compare with the simulating results, the experimental data of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21] were also plotted in Figure 25. As shown in Figure 25, similar with the varying trend of S_{eq}/D and F_{r}, the equilibrium scour depth appears a logarithmic increase as E_{u} increases and approaches the mathematical asymptotic value, which is also consistent with the experimental results of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21]. According to Figure 24, the adverse pressure gradient pressure at upstream USAF edges increases with the increasing of E_{u}, which is benefit for the wave boundary layer separating from seabed, inducing the high-intensity horseshoe vortex, hence, causing intensive scour around USAF.

Figure 25. The fitting curve between S_{eq}/D and E_{u}.

Therefore, the variation of F_{r} and E_{u} reflect the magnitude of adverse pressure gradient pressure at upstream. Given that, the Equation (37) also was used to fit the simulating results with A = 8.875, B = 0.078 and C = −9.601, and the results are shown in Figure 25. From Figure 25, the simulating results evenly distribute around the Equation (37) and the varying trend of S_{eq}/D and E_{u} in present study is consistent with Equation (37) basically, meaning the Equation (37) is also applicable to express the relationship of S_{eq}/D with E_{u} around USAF under random waves. Additionally, according to the above description of F_{r}, it can be inferred that the higher F_{r} and E_{u} both lead to the more intensive horseshoe vortex by influencing the position of stagnation point y presumably.

5. Conclusions

A series of numerical models were established to investigate the local scour around umbrella suction anchor foundation (USAF) under random waves. The numerical model was validated for hydrodynamic and morphology parameters by comparing with the experimental data of Khosronejad et al. [52], Petersen et al. [17], Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Schendel et al. [22]. Based on the simulating results, the scour evolution and scour mechanisms around USAF under random waves were analyzed respectively. Two revised models were proposed according to the model of Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34] and the stochastic model developed by Myrhaug and Rue [37] to predict the equilibrium scour depth around USAF under random waves. Finally, a parametric study was carried out with the present model to study the effects of the Froude number F_{r} and Euler number E_{u} to the equilibrium scour depth around USAF under random waves. The main conclusions can be described as follows.(1)

The packed sediment scour model and the RNG k−ε turbulence model were used to simulate the sand particles transport processes and the flow field around UASF respectively. The scour evolution obtained by the present model agrees well with the experimental results of Khosronejad et al. [52], Petersen et al. [17], Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Schendel et al. [22], which indicates that the present model is accurate and reasonable for depicting the scour morphology around UASF under random waves.(2)

The vortex system at wave crest phase is mainly related to the scour process around USAF under random waves. The maximum scour depth appeared at the lee-side of the USAF at the initial stage (t < 1200 s). Subsequently, when t > 2400 s, the location of the maximum scour depth shifted to the upside of the USAF at an angle of about 45° with respect to the wave propagating direction.(3)

The error is negligible and the Raaijmakers’s model is of relatively high accuracy for predicting scour around USAF under random waves when KC is calculated by KC_{s,p}. Given that, a further revision model (Equation (31)) was proposed according to Raaijmakers’s model to predict the equilibrium scour depth around USAF under random waves and it shows good agreement with the simulating results of the present study when KC_{s,p} < 8.(4)

Another further revision model (Equation (33)) was proposed according to the stochastic model established by Myrhaug and Rue [37] to predict the equilibrium scour depth around USAF under random waves, and the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 10 when KC_{rms,a} < 4. However, contrary to the case of low KC_{rms,a}, the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 2 when KC_{rms,a} > 4 by the comparison with experimental results of Sumer and Fredsøe [16] and Corvaro et al. [21].(5)

The same formula (Equation (37)) is applicable to express the relationship of S_{eq}/D with E_{u} or F_{r}, and it can be inferred that the higher F_{r} and E_{u} both lead to the more intensive horseshoe vortex and larger S_{eq.}

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, H.L. (Hongjun Liu); Data curation, R.H. and P.Y.; Formal analysis, X.W. and H.L. (Hao Leng); Funding acquisition, X.W.; Writing—original draft, R.H. and P.Y.; Writing—review & editing, X.W. and H.L. (Hao Leng); The final manuscript has been approved by all the authors. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

This research was funded by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant number 202061027) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 41572247).

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Hu, R.; Liu, H.; Leng, H.; Yu, P.; Wang, X. Scour Characteristics and Equilibrium Scour Depth Prediction around Umbrella Suction Anchor Foundation under Random Waves. J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2021, 9, 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9080886

AMA Style

Hu R, Liu H, Leng H, Yu P, Wang X. Scour Characteristics and Equilibrium Scour Depth Prediction around Umbrella Suction Anchor Foundation under Random Waves. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(8):886. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9080886Chicago/Turabian Style

Hu, Ruigeng, Hongjun Liu, Hao Leng, Peng Yu, and Xiuhai Wang. 2021. “Scour Characteristics and Equilibrium Scour Depth Prediction around Umbrella Suction Anchor Foundation under Random Waves” Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 8: 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9080886

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As a highly efficient thick plate welding resolution, narrow gap gas tungsten arc welding (NG-GTAW) is in the face of a series of problems like inter-layer defects like pores, lack of fusion, inclusion of impurity, and the sensitivity to poor sidewall fusion, which is hard to be repaired after the welding process. This study employs numerical simulation to investigate the molten pool behavior in NG-GTAW root welding. A 3D numerical model was established, where a body-fitted coordinate system was applied to simulate the electromagnetic force, and a bridge transition model was developed to investigate the wire–feed root welding. The simulated results were validated experimentally. Results show that the molten pool behavior is dominated by electromagnetic force when the welding current is relatively high, and the dynamic change of the vortex actually determines the molten pool morphology. For self-fusion welding, there are two symmetric inward vortices in the cross-section and one clockwise vortex in the longitudinal section. With the increasing welding current, the vortices in the cross-section gradually move to the arc center with a decreasing range, while the vortex in the longitudinal section moves backward. With the increasing traveling speed, the vortices in the cross-section move toward the surface of the molten pool with a decreasing range, and the horizontal component of liquid metal velocity changes in the longitudinal section. For wire–feed welding, the filling metal strengthens the downward velocity component; as a result, the vortex formation is blocked in the cross-section and is strengthened in the longitudinal section.

The raw/processed data required cannot be shared at this time as the data also forms part of an ongoing study.

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Due to their high efficiency, low heat loss and associated sustainability advantages, impinging jets have been used extensively in marine engineering, geotechnical engineering and other engineering practices. In this paper, the flow structure and impact characteristics of impinging jets with different Reynolds numbers and impact distances are systematically studied by Flow-3D based on PIV experiments. In the study, the relevant state parameters of the jets are dimensionlessly treated, obtaining not only the linear relationship between the length of the potential nucleation zone and the impinging distance, but also the linear relationship between the axial velocity and the axial distance in the impinging zone. In addition, after the jet impinges on the flat plate, the vortex action range caused by the wall-attached flow of the jet gradually decreases inward with the increase of the impinging distance. By examining the effect of Reynolds number Re on the hydraulic characteristics of the submerged impact jet, it can be found that the structure of the continuous submerged impact jet is relatively independent of the Reynolds number. At the same time, the final simulation results demonstrate the applicability of the linear relationship between the length of the potential core region and the impact distance. This study provides methodological guidance and theoretical support for relevant engineering practice and subsequent research on impinging jets, which has strong theoretical and practical significance.

Figure 3. (a) Schematic diagram of the experimental setup; (b) PIV images of vertical impinging jets with velocity fields.

Figure 4. (a) Velocity distribution verification at the outlet of the jet pipe; (b) Distribution of flow angle in the mid-axis of the jet [39].

Figure 5. Along-range distribution of the dimensionless axial velocity of the jet at different impact distances.Figure 6 shows the variation of H

Figure 6. Relationship between the distribution of potential core region and the impact height H/D.

Figure 7. The relationship between the potential core length

Figure 8. Along-range distribution of the flow angle φ of the jet at different impact distances.

Figure 9. Velocity distribution along the axis of the jet at different impinging regions.

Figure 10. The absolute value distribution of slope under different impact distances.

Figure 11. Velocity distribution of impinging jet on wall under different impinging distances.

Figure 12. Along-range distribution of the dimensionless axial velocity of the jet at different Reynolds numbers.

Figure 13. Along-range distribution of the flow angle φ of the jet at different Reynolds numbers.

Figure 14. Velocity distribution along the jet axis at different Reynolds numbers.

Figure 15. Velocity distribution of impinging jet on a wall under different Reynolds numbers.

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Mi, H.; Wang, C.; Jia, X.; Hu, B.; Wang, H.; Wang, H.; Zhu, Y. Hydraulic Characteristics of Continuous Submerged Jet Impinging on a Wall by Using Numerical Simulation and PIV Experiment. Sustainability2023, 15, 5159. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065159

AMA Style

Mi H, Wang C, Jia X, Hu B, Wang H, Wang H, Zhu Y. Hydraulic Characteristics of Continuous Submerged Jet Impinging on a Wall by Using Numerical Simulation and PIV Experiment. Sustainability. 2023; 15(6):5159. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065159Chicago/Turabian Style

Mi, Hongbo, Chuan Wang, Xuanwen Jia, Bo Hu, Hongliang Wang, Hui Wang, and Yong Zhu. 2023. “Hydraulic Characteristics of Continuous Submerged Jet Impinging on a Wall by Using Numerical Simulation and PIV Experiment” Sustainability 15, no. 6: 5159. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065159

화성 미션 애플리케이션을 위한 NERVA 파생 원자로 냉각수 채널 모델은 1.3m NERVA 파생 원자로(NDR) 냉각수 채널의 전산유체역학(CFD) 연구 결과를 제시합니다. CFD 코드 FLOW-3D는 NDR 코어를 통과하는 기체 수소의 흐름을 모델링하는 데 사용되었습니다. 수소는 냉각제 채널을 통해 노심을 통과하여 원자로의 냉각제 및 로켓의 추진제 역할을 합니다. 수소는 고밀도/저온 상태로 채널에 들어가고 저밀도/고온 상태로 빠져나오므로 압축성 모델을 사용해야 합니다. 기술 문서의 설계 사양이 모델에 사용되었습니다. 채널 길이에 걸친 압력 강하가 이전에 추정한 것(0.9MPa)보다 높은 것으로 확인되었으며, 이는 더 강력한 냉각수 펌프가 필요하고 설계 사양을 재평가해야 함을 나타냅니다.

NERVA-Derived Reactor Coolant Channel Model for Mars Mission Applications presents the results of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study of a 1.3m NERVA-Derived Reactor (NDR) coolant channel; The CFD code FLOW-3D was used to model the flow of gaseous hydrogen through the core of a NDR. Hydrogen passes through the core by way of coolant channels, acting as the coolant for the reactor as well as the propellant for the rocket. Hydrogen enters the channel in a high density/low temperature state and exits in a low density/high temperature state necessitating the use of a compressible model. Design specifications from a technical paper were used for the model; It was determined that the pressure drop across the length of the channel was higher than previously estimated (0.9 MPa), indicating the possible need for more powerful coolant pumps and a re-evaluation of the design specifications.

Anderson, J. D., Jr., (1990) Modern Compressible Flow, 2d ed., McGraw-Hill, New York. Avallone E. A. and T. Baumeister III, eds., (1987) Mark’s Standard Handbookfor Mechanical Engineers, 9th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York. Bennett, G. L. and T. J. Miller (1992) “Nuclear Propulsion: A Key Transportation Technology for the Exploration of Mars,” Proceedings o f the 9th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems, CONF-920104, M. S. El-Genk and M. D. Hoover, eds., American Institute of Physics, New York, AIP Conference Proceedings No. 246, 2: 383-388. Black, D. L., and S. V. Gunn (1991) “A Technical Summary of Engine and Reactor Subsystem Design Performance during the NERVA Program,” AIAA-91-3450, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D. C. Borowski, S. K., et al. (1992) “Nuclear Thermal Rockets: Key to Moon-Mars Exploration,” Aerospace America, July 1992, pp. 34(5). Borowski, S. K., et al. (1993) “ Nuclear Thermal Rocket/Vehicle Design Options for Future NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars,” AIAA-93-4170, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D. C. Borowski, S. K., et al. (1994) “Nuclear Thermal Rocket/Stage Technology Options for NASA’s Future Human Exploration Missions to the Moon and Mars,” Proceedings o f the 11th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, CONF-940101, M. S. El-Genk and M. D. Hoover, eds., American Institute of Physics, New York, NY, AIP Conference Proceedings No. 301, 2: 745 – 758. Burmeister, L. C. (1993) Convective Heat Transfer, 2d ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York. Chi, J., R. Holman, and B. Pierce (1989) “Nerva Derivative Reactors for Thermal and Electrical Propulsion,” AIAA-89-2770, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D. C. FIDAP (1993) FIDAP 7.0 User’s Manual, Fluid Dynamics International, Inc. FL0W-3D (1994) FL0W-3D Version 6.0 Quick Reference Guide, Flow Science, Inc., Los Alamos, NM. Hill, P. G. and C. R. Peterson (1970) Mechanics and Thermodynamics o f Propulsion, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. Lamarsh, J. R. (1983) Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 2d ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. Nassersharif, B. (1991) Notes from a Nuclear Propulsion Short Course, 3-5 January 1991, American Institute of Physics. Nassersharif, B., E. Porta, and D. Hailes (1994) “A Proposal Entitled: Scenario Based Design of Nuclear Propulsion for Manned Mars Mission,” NSCEE, Las Vegas, NV. Shepard, K., et al. (1992) “A Split Sprint Mission to Mars,” Proceedings o f the 9th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems, CONF-920104, M. S. El-Genk and M. D. Hoover, eds., American Institute of Physics, New York, AIP Conference Proceedings No. 246, 1: 58 – 63. Sutton, G. P. (1986) Rocket Propulsion Elements: An Introduction to the Engineering o f Rockets, 5th ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York. U.S. President (1989) “Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing July 20, 1989,” Administration o f George Bush, Office of the Federal Register. National Archives and Records Service, 1989, Washington D. C., George Bush, 1989, p. 992. VSAERO (1994) VSAERO User’s Manual E.5, Analytical Methods, Inc., Redmond, WA. White, F. M. (1991) Viscous Fluid Flow, 2d ed., McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York. Zweig, H. R. and M. H. Cooper (1993) “NERVA-Derived Rocket Module for Solar System Exploration,” AIAA-93-2110, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D. C.

This paper presents the results of tests on the suitability of designed heads (impellers) for aluminum refining. The research was carried out on a physical model of the URO-200, followed by numerical simulations in the FLOW 3D program. Four design variants of impellers were used in the study. The degree of dispersion of the gas phase in the model liquid was used as a criterion for evaluating the performance of each solution using different process parameters, i.e., gas flow rate and impeller speed. Afterward, numerical simulations in Flow 3D software were conducted for the best solution. These simulations confirmed the results obtained with the water model and verified them.

Constantly increasing requirements concerning metallurgical purity in terms of hydrogen content and nonmetallic inclusions make casting manufacturers use effective refining techniques. The answer to this demand is the implementation of the aluminum refining technique making use of a rotor with an original design guaranteeing efficient refining [1,2,3,4]. The main task of the impeller (rotor) is to reduce the contamination of liquid metal (primary and recycled aluminum) with hydrogen and nonmetallic inclusions. An inert gas, mainly argon or a mixture of gases, is introduced through the rotor into the liquid metal to bring both hydrogen and nonmetallic inclusions to the metal surface through the flotation process. Appropriately and uniformly distributed gas bubbles in the liquid metal guarantee achieving the assumed level of contaminant removal economically. A very important factor in deciding about the obtained degassing effect is the optimal rotor design [5,6,7,8]. Thanks to the appropriate geometry of the rotor, gas bubbles introduced into the liquid metal are split into smaller ones, and the spinning movement of the rotor distributes them throughout the volume of the liquid metal bath. In this solution impurities in the liquid metal are removed both in the volume and from the upper surface of the metal. With a well-designed impeller, the costs of refining aluminum and its alloys can be lowered thanks to the reduced inert gas and energy consumption (optimal selection of rotor rotational speed). Shorter processing time and a high degree of dehydrogenation decrease the formation of dross on the metal surface (waste). A bigger produced dross leads to bigger process losses. Consequently, this means that the choice of rotor geometry has an indirect impact on the degree to which the generated waste is reduced [9,10].

Another equally important factor is the selection of process parameters such as gas flow rate and rotor speed [11,12]. A well-designed gas injection system for liquid metal meets two key requirements; it causes rapid mixing of the liquid metal to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the volume and during the entire process, to produce a chemically homogeneous metal composition. This solution ensures effective degassing of the metal bath. Therefore, the shape of the rotor, the arrangement of the nozzles, and their number are significant design parameters that guarantee the optimum course of the refining process. It is equally important to complete the mixing of the metal bath in a relatively short time, as this considerably shortens the refining process and, consequently, reduces the process costs. Another important criterion conditioning the implementation of the developed rotor is the generation of fine diffused gas bubbles which are distributed throughout the metal volume, and whose residence time will be sufficient for the bubbles to collide and adsorb the contaminants. The process of bubble formation by the spinning rotors differs from that in the nozzles or porous molders. In the case of a spinning rotor, the shear force generated by the rotor motion splits the bubbles into smaller ones. Here, the rotational speed, mixing force, surface tension, and fluid density have a key effect on the bubble size. The velocity of the bubbles, which depends mainly on their size and shape, determines their residence time in the reactor and is, therefore, very important for the refining process, especially since gas bubbles in liquid aluminum may remain steady only below a certain size [13,14,15].

The impeller designs presented in the article were developed to improve the efficiency of the process and reduce its costs. The impellers used so far have a complicated structure and are very pricey. The success of the conducted research will allow small companies to become independent of external supplies through the possibility of making simple and effective impellers on their own. The developed structures were tested on the water model. The results of this study can be considered as pilot.

Rotors were realized with the SolidWorks computer design technique and a 3D printer. The developed designs were tested on a water model. Afterward, the solution with the most advantageous refining parameters was selected and subjected to calculations with the Flow3D package. As a result, an impeller was designed for aluminum refining. Its principal lies in an even distribution of gas bubbles in the entire volume of liquid metal, with the largest possible participation of the bubble surface, without disturbing the metal surface. This procedure guarantees the removal of gaseous, as well as metallic and nonmetallic, impurities.

2.1. Rotor Designs

The developed impeller constructions, shown in Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3 and Figure 4, were printed on a 3D printer using the PLA (polylactide) material. The impeller design models differ in their shape and the number of holes through which the inert gas flows. Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the same impeller model but with a different number of gas outlets. The arrangement of four, eight, and 12 outlet holes was adopted in the developed design. A triangle-shaped structure equipped with three gas outlet holes is presented in Figure 4.

A schematic of the water model of reactor URO 200.

The URO 200 reactor can be classified as a cyclic reactor. The main element of the device is a rotor, which ends the impeller. The whole system is attached to a shaft via which the refining gas is supplied. Then, the shaft with the rotor is immersed in the liquid metal in the melting pot or the furnace chamber. In URO 200 reactors, the refining process lasts 600 s (10 min), the gas flow rate that can be obtained ranges from 5 to 20 dm^{3}·min^{−1}, and the speed at which the rotor can move is 0 to 400 rpm. The permissible quantity of liquid metal for barbotage refining is 300 kg or 700 kg [8,16,17]. The URO 200 has several design solutions which improve operation and can be adapted to the existing equipment in the foundry. These solutions include the following [8,16]:

URO-200XR—used for small crucible furnaces, the capacity of which does not exceed 250 kg, with no control system and no control of the refining process.

URO-200SA—used to service several crucible furnaces of capacity from 250 kg to 700 kg, fully automated and equipped with a mechanical rotor lift.

URO-200KA—used for refining processes in crucible furnaces and allows refining in a ladle. The process is fully automated, with a hydraulic rotor lift.

URO-200KX—a combination of the XR and KA models, designed for the ladle refining process. Additionally, refining in heated crucibles is possible. The unit is equipped with a manual hydraulic rotor lift.

URO-200PA—designed to cooperate with induction or crucible furnaces or intermediate chambers, the capacity of which does not exceed one ton. This unit is an integral part of the furnace. The rotor lift is equipped with a screw drive.

Studies making use of a physical model can be associated with the observation of the flow and circulation of gas bubbles. They require meeting several criteria regarding the similarity of the process and the object characteristics. The similarity conditions mainly include geometric, mechanical, chemical, thermal, and kinetic parameters. During simulation of aluminum refining with inert gas, it is necessary to maintain the geometric similarity between the model and the real object, as well as the similarity related to the flow of liquid metal and gas (hydrodynamic similarity). These quantities are characterized by the Reynolds, Weber, and Froude numbers. The Froude number is the most important parameter characterizing the process, its magnitude is the same for the physical model and the real object. Water was used as the medium in the physical modeling. The factors influencing the choice of water are its availability, relatively low cost, and kinematic viscosity at room temperature, which is very close to that of liquid aluminum.

The physical model studies focused on the flow of inert gas in the form of gas bubbles with varying degrees of dispersion, particularly with respect to some flow patterns such as flow in columns and geysers, as well as disturbance of the metal surface. The most important refining parameters are gas flow rate and rotor speed. The barbotage refining studies for the developed impeller (variants B4, B8, B12, and RT3) designs were conducted for the following process parameters:

Rotor speed: 200, 300, 400, and 500 rpm,

Ideal gas flow: 10, 20, and 30 dm^{3}·min^{−1},

Temperature: 293 K (20 °C).

These studies were aimed at determining the most favorable variants of impellers, which were then verified using the numerical modeling methods in the Flow-3D program.

2.3. Numerical Simulations with Flow-3D Program

Testing different rotor impellers using a physical model allows for observing the phenomena taking place while refining. This is a very important step when testing new design solutions without using expensive industrial trials. Another solution is modeling by means of commercial simulation programs such as ANSYS Fluent or Flow-3D [18,19]. Unlike studies on a physical model, in a computer program, the parameters of the refining process and the object itself, including the impeller design, can be easily modified. The simulations were performed with the Flow-3D program version 12.03.02. A three-dimensional system with the same dimensions as in the physical modeling was used in the calculations. The isothermal flow of liquid–gas bubbles was analyzed. As in the physical model, three speeds were adopted in the numerical tests: 200, 300, and 500 rpm. During the initial phase of the simulations, the velocity field around the rotor generated an appropriate direction of motion for the newly produced bubbles. When the required speed was reached, the generation of randomly distributed bubbles around the rotor was started at a rate of 2000 per second. Table 1 lists the most important simulation parameters.

In the case of the CFD analysis, the numerical solutions require great care when generating the computational mesh. Therefore, computational mesh tests were performed prior to the CFD calculations. The effect of mesh density was evaluated by taking into account the velocity of water in the tested object on the measurement line A (height of 0.065 m from the bottom) in a characteristic cross-section passing through the object axis (see Figure 6). The mesh contained 3,207,600, 6,311,981, 7,889,512, 11,569,230, and 14,115,049 cells.

The velocity of the water depending on the size of the computational grid.

The quality of the generated computational meshes was checked using the criterion skewness angle Q_{EAS} [18]. This criterion is described by the following relationship:

QEAS=max{βmax−βeq180−βeq,βeq−βminβeq},

(1)

where β_{max}, β_{min} are the maximal and minimal angles (in degrees) between the edges of the cell, and β_{eq} is the angle corresponding to an ideal cell, which for cubic cells is 90°.

Normalized in the interval [0;1], the value of Q_{EAS} should not exceed 0.75, which identifies the permissible skewness angle of the generated mesh. For the computed meshes, this value was equal to 0.55–0.65.

Moreover, when generating the computational grids in the studied facility, they were compacted in the areas of the highest gradients of the calculated values, where higher turbulence is to be expected (near the impeller). The obtained results of water velocity in the studied object at constant gas flow rate are shown in Figure 6.

The analysis of the obtained water velocity distributions (see Figure 6) along the line inside the object revealed that, with the density of the grid of nodal points, the velocity changed and its changes for the test cases of 7,889,512, 11,569,230, and 14,115,049 were insignificant. Therefore, it was assumed that a grid containing not less than 7,900,000 (7,889,512) cells would not affect the result of CFD calculations.

A single-block mesh of regular cells with a size of 0.0034 m was used in the numerical calculations. The total number of cells was approximately 7,900,000 (7,889,512). This grid resolution (see Figure 7) allowed the geometry of the system to be properly represented, maintaining acceptable computation time (about 3 days on a workstation with 2× CPU and 12 computing cores).

Structured equidistant mesh used in numerical calculations: (a) mesh with smoothed, surface cells (the so-called FAVOR method) used in Flow-3D; (b) visualization of the applied mesh resolution.

The calculations were conducted with an explicit scheme. The timestep was selected by the program automatically and controlled by stability and convergence. From the moment of the initial velocity field generation (start of particle generation), it was 0.0001 s.

When modeling the degassing process, three fluids are present in the system: water, gas supplied through the rotor head (impeller), and the surrounding air. Modeling such a multiphase flow is a numerically very complex issue. The necessity to overcome the liquid backpressure by the gas flowing out from the impeller leads to the formation of numerical instabilities in the volume of fluid (VOF)-based approach used by Flow-3D software. Therefore, a mixed description of the analyzed flow was used here. In this case, water was treated as a continuous medium, while, in the case of gas bubbles, the discrete phase model (DPM) model was applied. The way in which the air surrounding the system was taken into account is later described in detail.

The following additional assumptions were made in the modeling:

—The liquid phase was considered as an incompressible Newtonian fluid.

—The effect of chemical reactions during the refining process was neglected.

—The composition of each phase (gas and liquid) was considered homogeneous; therefore, the viscosity and surface tension were set as constants.

—Only full turbulence existed in the liquid, and the effect of molecular viscosity was neglected.

—The gas bubbles were shaped as perfect spheres.

—The mutual interaction between gas bubbles (particles) was neglected.

2.3.1. Modeling of Liquid Flow

The motion of the real fluid (continuous medium) is described by the Navier–Stokes Equation [20].

dudt=−1ρ∇p+ν∇2u+13ν∇(∇⋅ u)+F,

(2)

where du/dt is the time derivative, u is the velocity vector, t is the time, and F is the term accounting for external forces including gravity (unit components denoted by X, Y, Z).

In the simulations, the fluid flow was assumed to be incompressible, in which case the following equation is applicable:

∂u∂t+(u⋅∇)u=−1ρ∇p+ν∇2u+F.

(3)

Due to the large range of liquid velocities during flows, the turbulence formation process was included in the modeling. For this purpose, the k–ε model turbulence kinetic energy k and turbulence dissipation ε were the target parameters, as expressed by the following equations [21]:

where ρ is the gas density, σ_{κ} and σ_{ε} are the Prandtl turbulence numbers, k and ε are constants of 1.0 and 1.3, and G_{k} and G_{b} are the kinetic energy of turbulence generated by the average velocity and buoyancy, respectively.

As mentioned earlier, there are two gas phases in the considered problem. In addition to the gas bubbles, which are treated here as particles, there is also air, which surrounds the system. The boundary of phase separation is in this case the free surface of the water. The shape of the free surface can change as a result of the forming velocity field in the liquid. Therefore, it is necessary to use an appropriate approach to free surface tracking. The most commonly used concept in liquid–gas flow modeling is the volume of fluid (VOF) method [22,23], and Flow-3D uses a modified version of this method called TrueVOF. It introduces the concept of the volume fraction of the liquid phase f_{l}. This parameter can be used for classifying the cells of a discrete grid into areas filled with liquid phase (f_{l} = 1), gaseous phase, or empty cells (f_{l} = 0) and those through which the phase separation boundary (f_{l} ∈ (0, 1)) passes (free surface). To determine the local variations of the liquid phase fraction, it is necessary to solve the following continuity equation:

dfldt=0.

(6)

Then, the fluid parameters in the region of coexistence of the two phases (the so-called interface) depend on the volume fraction of each phase.

ρ=flρl+(1−fl)ρg,

(7)

ν=flνl+(1−fl)νg,

(8)

where indices l and g refer to the liquid and gaseous phases, respectively.

The parameter of fluid velocity in cells containing both phases is also determined in the same way.

u=flul+(1−fl)ug.

(9)

Since the processes taking place in the surrounding air can be omitted, to speed up the calculations, a single-phase, free-surface model was used. This means that no calculations were performed in the gas cells (they were treated as empty cells). The liquid could fill them freely, and the air surrounding the system was considered by the atmospheric pressure exerted on the free surface. This approach is often used in modeling foundry and metallurgical processes [24].

2.3.2. Modeling of Gas Bubble Flow

As stated, a particle model was used to model bubble flow. Spherical particles (gas bubbles) of a given size were randomly generated in the area marked with green in Figure 7b. In the simulations, the gas bubbles were assumed to have diameters of 0.016 and 0.02 m corresponding to the gas flow rates of 10 and 30 dm^{3}·min^{−1}, respectively.

Experimental studies have shown that, as a result of turbulent fluid motion, some of the bubbles may burst, leading to the formation of smaller bubbles, although merging of bubbles into larger groupings may also occur. Therefore, to be able to observe the behavior of bubbles of different sizes (diameter), the calculations generated two additional particle types with diameters twice smaller and twice larger, respectively. The proportion of each species in the system was set to 33.33% (Table 2).

The velocity of the particle results from the generated velocity field (calculated from Equation (3) in the liquid ul around it and its velocity resulting from the buoyancy force ub. The effect of particle radius r on the terminal velocity associated with buoyancy force can be determined according to Stokes’ law.

ub=29 (ρg−ρl)μlgr2,

(10)

where g is the acceleration (9.81).

The DPM model was used for modeling the two-phase (water–air) flow. In this model, the fluid (water) is treated as a continuous phase and described by the Navier–Stokes equation, while gas bubbles are particles flowing in the model fluid (discrete phase). The trajectories of each bubble in the DPM system are calculated at each timestep taking into account the mass forces acting on it. Table 3 characterizes the DPM model used in our own research [18].

Table 3

Characteristic of the DPM model.

Method

Equations

Euler–Lagrange

Balance equation: dugdt=FD(u−ug)+g(ϱg−ϱ)ϱg+F. F_{D} (u − u_{p}) denotes the drag forces per mass unit of a bubble, and the expression for the drag coefficient F_{D} is of the form FD=18μCDReϱ⋅gd2g24. The relative Reynolds number has the form Re≡ρdg|ug−u|μ. On the other hand, the force resulting from the additional acceleration of the model fluid has the form F=12dρdtρg(u−ug), where u_{g} is the gas bubble velocity, u is the liquid velocity, d_{g} is the bubble diameter, and C_{D} is the drag coefficient.

3.1. Calculations of Power and Mixing Time by the Flowing Gas Bubbles

One of the most important parameters of refining with a rotor is the mixing power induced by the spinning rotor and the outflowing gas bubbles (via impeller). The mixing power of liquid metal in a ladle of height (h) by gas injection can be determined from the following relation [15]:

pgVm=ρ⋅g⋅uB,

(11)

where p_{g} is the mixing power, V_{m} is the volume of liquid metal in the reactor, ρ is the density of liquid aluminum, and u_{B} is the average speed of bubbles, given below.

uB=n⋅R⋅TAc⋅Pm⋅t,

(12)

where n is the number of gas moles, R is the gas constant (8.314), A_{c} is the cross-sectional area of the reactor vessel, T is the temperature of liquid aluminum in the reactor, and P_{m} is the pressure at the middle tank level. The pressure at the middle level of the tank is calculated by a function of the mean logarithmic difference.

Pm=(Pa+ρ⋅g⋅h)−Paln(Pa+ρ⋅g⋅h)Pa,

(13)

where P_{a} is the atmospheric pressure, and h is the the height of metal in the reactor.

Themelis and Goyal [25] developed a model for calculating mixing power delivered by gas injection.

pg=2Q⋅R⋅T⋅ln(1+m⋅ρ⋅g⋅hP),

(14)

where Q is the gas flow, and m is the mass of liquid metal.

Zhang [26] proposed a model taking into account the temperature difference between gas and alloy (metal).

pg=QRTgVm[ln(1+ρ⋅g⋅hPa)+(1−TTg)],

(15)

where T_{g} is the gas temperature at the entry point.

Data for calculating the mixing power resulting from inert gas injection into liquid aluminum are given below in Table 4. The design parameters were adopted for the model, the parameters of which are shown in Figure 5.

Table 4

Data for calculating mixing power introduced by an inert gas.

Table 5 presents the results of mixing power calculations according to the models of Themelis and Goyal and of Zhang for inert gas flows of 10, 20, and 30 dm^{3}·min^{−1}. The obtained calculation results significantly differed from each other. The difference was an order of magnitude, which indicates that the model is highly inaccurate without considering the temperature of the injected gas. Moreover, the calculations apply to the case when the mixing was performed only by the flowing gas bubbles, without using a rotor, which is a great simplification of the phenomenon.

Table 5

Mixing power calculated from mathematical models.

Mathematical Model

Mixing Power (W·t^{−1}) for a Given Inert Gas Flow (dm^{3}·min^{−1})

The mixing time is defined as the time required to achieve 95% complete mixing of liquid metal in the ladle [27,28,29,30]. Table 6 groups together equations for the mixing time according to the models.

Figure 8 and Figure 9 show the mixing time as a function of gas flow rate for various heights of the liquid column in the ladle and mixing power values.

Mixing time as a function of mixing power (Szekly model).

3.2. Determining the Bubble Size

The mechanisms controlling bubble size and mass transfer in an alloy undergoing refining are complex. Strong mixing conditions in the reactor promote impurity mass transfer. In the case of a spinning rotor, the shear force generated by the rotor motion separates the bubbles into smaller bubbles. Rotational speed, mixing force, surface tension, and liquid density have a strong influence on the bubble size. To characterize the kinetic state of the refining process, parameters k and A were introduced. Parameters k, A, and u_{B} can be calculated using the below equations [33].

k=2D⋅uBdB⋅π−−−−−−√,

(16)

A=6Q⋅hdB⋅uB,

(17)

uB=1.02g⋅dB,−−−−−√

(18)

where D is the diffusion coefficient, and d_{B} is the bubble diameter.

After substituting appropriate values, we get

dB=3.03×104(πD)−2/5g−1/5h4/5Q0.344N−1.48.

(19)

According to the last equation, the size of the gas bubble decreases with the increasing rotational speed (see Figure 10).

Effect of rotational speed on the bubble diameter.

In a flow of given turbulence intensity, the diameter of the bubble does not exceed the maximum size d_{max}, which is inversely proportional to the rate of kinetic energy dissipation in a viscous flow ε. The size of the gas bubble diameter as a function of the mixing energy, also considering the Weber number and the mixing energy in the negative power, can be determined from the following equations [31,34]:

The first stage of experiments (using the URO-200 water model) included conducting experiments with impellers equipped with four, eight, and 12 gas outlets (variants B4, B8, B12). The tests were carried out for different process parameters. Selected results for these experiments are presented in Figure 11, Figure 12, Figure 13 and Figure 14.

Impeller variant B4—gas bubbles dispersion registered for a gas flow rate of 10 dm^{3}·min^{−1} and rotor speed of (a) 200, (b) 300, (c) 400, and (d) 500 rpm.

Impeller variant B8—gas bubbles dispersion registered for a gas flow rate of 10 dm^{3}·min^{−1} and rotor speed of (a) 200, (b) 300, (c) 400, and (d) 500 rpm.

Gas bubble dispersion registered for different processing parameters (impeller variant RT3).

The analysis of the refining variants presented in Figure 11, Figure 12, Figure 13 and Figure 14 reveals that the proposed impellers design model is not useful for the aluminum refining process. The number of gas outlet orifices, rotational speed, and flow did not affect the refining efficiency. In all the variants shown in the figures, very poor dispersion of gas bubbles was observed in the object. The gas bubble flow had a columnar character, and so-called dead zones, i.e., areas where no inert gas bubbles are present, were visible in the analyzed object. Such dead zones were located in the bottom and side zones of the ladle, while the flow of bubbles occurred near the turning rotor. Another negative phenomenon observed was a significant agitation of the water surface due to excessive (rotational) rotor speed and gas flow (see Figure 13, cases 20; 400, 30; 300, 30; 400, and 30; 500).

Research results for a ‘red triangle’ impeller equipped with three gas supply orifices (variant RT3) are presented in Figure 14.

In this impeller design, a uniform degree of bubble dispersion in the entire volume of the modeling fluid was achieved for most cases presented (see Figure 14). In all tested variants, single bubbles were observed in the area of the water surface in the vessel. For variants 20; 200, 30; 200, and 20; 300 shown in Figure 14, the bubble dispersion results were the worst as the so-called dead zones were identified in the area near the bottom and sidewalls of the vessel, which disqualifies these work parameters for further applications. Interestingly, areas where swirls and gas bubble chains formed were identified only for the inert gas flows of 20 and 30 dm^{3}·min^{−1} and 200 rpm in the analyzed model. This means that the presented model had the best performance in terms of dispersion of gas bubbles in the model liquid. Its design with sharp edges also differed from previously analyzed models, which is beneficial for gas bubble dispersion, but may interfere with its suitability in industrial conditions due to possible premature wear.

3.4. Qualitative Comparison of Research Results (CFD and Physical Model)

The analysis (physical modeling) revealed that the best mixing efficiency results were obtained with the RT3 impeller variant. Therefore, numerical calculations were carried out for the impeller model with three outlet orifices (variant RT3). The CFD results are presented in Figure 15 and Figure 16.

Simulation results of the impeller RT3, for given flows and rotational speeds after a time of 1 s: simulation variants (a) A, (b) B, (c) C, (d) D, (e) E, and (f) F.

Simulation results of the impeller RT3, for given flows and rotational speeds after a time of 5.4 s.: simulation variants (a) A, (b) B, (c) C, (d) D, (e) E, and (f) F.

CFD results are presented for all analyzed variants (impeller RT3) at two selected calculation timesteps of 1 and 5.40 s. They show the velocity field of the medium (water) and the dispersion of gas bubbles.

Figure 15 shows the initial refining phase after 1 s of the process. In this case, the gas bubble formation and flow were observed in an area close to contact with the rotor. Figure 16 shows the phase when the dispersion and flow of gas bubbles were advanced in the reactor area of the URO-200 model.

The quantitative evaluation of the obtained results of physical and numerical model tests was based on the comparison of the degree of gas dispersion in the model liquid. The degree of gas bubble dispersion in the volume of the model liquid and the areas of strong turbulent zones formation were evaluated during the analysis of the results of visualization and numerical simulations. These two effects sufficiently characterize the required course of the process from the physical point of view. The known scheme of the below description was adopted as a basic criterion for the evaluation of the degree of dispersion of gas bubbles in the model liquid.

Minimal dispersion—single bubbles ascending in the region of their formation along the ladle axis; lack of mixing in the whole bath volume.

Accurate dispersion—single and well-mixed bubbles ascending toward the bath mirror in the region of the ladle axis; no dispersion near the walls and in the lower part of the ladle.

Uniform dispersion—most desirable; very good mixing of fine bubbles with model liquid.

Excessive dispersion—bubbles join together to form chains; large turbulence zones; uneven flow of gas.

The numerical simulation results give a good agreement with the experiments performed with the physical model. For all studied variants (used process parameters), the single bubbles were observed in the area of water surface in the vessel. For variants presented in Figure 13 (200 rpm, gas flow 20 and dm^{3}·min^{−1}) and relevant examples in numerical simulation Figure 16, the worst bubble dispersion results were obtained because the dead zones were identified in the area near the bottom and sidewalls of the vessel, which disqualifies these work parameters for further use. The areas where swirls and gas bubble chains formed were identified only for the inert gas flows of 20 and 30 dm^{3}·min^{−1} and 200 rpm in the analyzed model (physical model). This means that the presented impeller model had the best performance in terms of dispersion of gas bubbles in the model liquid. The worst bubble dispersion results were obtained because the dead zones were identified in the area near the bottom and side walls of the vessel, which disqualifies these work parameters for further use.

Figure 17 presents exemplary results of model tests (CFD and physical model) with marked gas bubble dispersion zones. All variants of tests were analogously compared, and this comparison allowed validating the numerical model.

Compilations of model research results (CFD and physical): A—single gas bubbles formed on the surface of the modeling liquid, B—excessive formation of gas chains and swirls, C—uniform distribution of gas bubbles in the entire volume of the tank, and D—dead zones without gas bubbles, no dispersion. (a) Variant B; (b) variant F.

It should be mentioned here that, in numerical simulations, it is necessary to make certain assumptions and simplifications. The calculations assumed three particle size classes (Table 2), which represent the different gas bubbles that form due to different gas flow rates. The maximum number of particles/bubbles (Table 1) generated was assumed in advance and related to the computational capabilities of the computer. Too many particles can also make it difficult to visualize and analyze the results. The size of the particles, of course, affects their behavior during simulation, while, in the figures provided in the article, the bubbles are represented by spheres (visualization of the results) of the same size. Please note that, due to the adopted Lagrangian–Eulerian approach, the simulation did not take into account phenomena such as bubble collapse or fusion. However, the obtained results allow a comprehensive analysis of the behavior of gas bubbles in the system under consideration.

The comparative analysis of the visualization (quantitative) results obtained with the water model and CFD simulations (see&nbs