A Computational Fluid Dynamics Investigation of using Large-Scale Geometric Roughness Elements in Open Channels

  • Iman A. Alwan College of Engineering - University of Baghdad
  • Riyadh Z. Azzubaidi College of Engineering - University of Baghdad
Keywords: APDL, CFD, Configurations, Roughness Elements, Velocity Distributions


The hydraulic behavior of the flow can be changed by using large-scale geometric roughness elements in open channels. This change can help in controlling erosions and sedimentations along the mainstream of the channel. Roughness elements can be large stone or concrete blocks placed at the channel's bed to impose more resistance in the bed. The geometry of the roughness elements, numbers used, and configuration are parameters that can affect the flow's hydraulic characteristics. In this paper, velocity distribution along the flume was theoretically investigated using a series of tests of T-shape roughness elements, fixed height, arranged in three different configurations, differ in the number of lines of roughness element. These elements were used to find the best configuration of roughness elements that can be applied to change the flow's hydraulic characteristics. ANSYS Parametric Design Language, APDL, and Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD, was used to simulate the flow in an open channel with roughness elements. CFD can be used to study the hydrodynamics of open channels under different conditions with inclusive details rather than relying on the costly field and time-consuming. Runs were implemented with different conditions, the discharge, and water depth in upstream and downstream of the flume. T-shape roughness elements with height equal to 3cm placed in three different configurations, two lines, four lines, and fully rough configurations were tested. The results show that the effect of roughness elements increasing with increasing the number of lines of roughness elements. Cases of four lines and fully rough configurations have almost the same hydraulic performance by having the same results of the velocity decrease percentage, which is decreased by approximately about 66% and 61% of the control case's velocity in the zone near the roughness elements consequently. But the difference is that four lines configuration is affected in a part of the test section. This behavior increases the velocity values by about 11% in the other side and by about 10% near the free surface in the case of four lines configuration and increased by about 32% above the roughness elements in a fully rough configuration.


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How to Cite
Alwan, I. and Azzubaidi, R. (2021) “A Computational Fluid Dynamics Investigation of using Large-Scale Geometric Roughness Elements in Open Channels”, Journal of Engineering, 27(1), pp. 35-44. doi: 10.31026/j.eng.2021.01.03.