Effect of Barrier Height on the Design of Stepped Spillway Using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Particle Image Velocimetry

Aqil Azman, Fei Chong Ng, Mohd Hafiz Zawawi, Aizat Abas, Mohd Remy Rozainy M. A. Z, Ismail Abustan, Mohd Nordin Adlan, Wei Loon Tam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Three-dimensional stepped spillway problems are simulated numerically using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) to visualize the flow of water along the steps and its flow dynamics. In particular, two distinct scaled-down stepped spillway models were studied with each having barrier heights of 10 mm and 25 mm, respectively. The impact of varying the height of the barrier in the design of the stepped spillway is studied in terms of it flow pattern, flow dynamics, aeration efficiency and oxygenation performances. State-of-the-art particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiment was carried out to affirm the validity of SPH findings and it turns out that both the water flow patterns attained in the SPH and PIV are quantitatively comparable. Further quantitative analysis revealed that the flow velocities in both methodologies are in great consensus. Conclusively, this has demonstrated that the capability and reliability of SPH to precisely approximate the water using finite set of particles to model the flow along the stepped spillway. Both stepped spillway configurations show nappe flow regime as the water descends down the steps. Nonetheless, vigorous hydraulic jump phenomena that is associates with the formation of turbulence and vortices is prominently observed in the configuration with larger barrier height. Decisive SPH data obtained concluded that as the barrier height increases from 10 mm to 25 mm, the water flows down the steps faster at lower pressure value and the overall aeration efficiency is improved from 1.1% to 1.2%. The usage of the higher barrier would promote the occurrence of substantial air entrainment during water swirling that will increase the power dissipation in flow. Subsequently, this while lower the power drawn to achieve the desired aeration effect. Ultimately, this study has justified the critical influence of barrier height dimension on the stepped spillway flow behavior and aeration performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-470
Number of pages20
JournalKSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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