그림 12: 시간 경과에 따른 속도 카운터: 30초 그림 13: 시간 경과에 따른 속도 카운터: 20초

Gemelo digital del puente de Kalix: cargas estructurales de futuros eventos climáticos extremos

Kalix Bridge 디지털 트윈: 미래 극한 기후 현상으로 인한 구조적 부하

Este documento está relacionado con un proyecto en curso para el cual se está desarrollando e implementando un gemelo digital estructural del puente de Kalix en Suecia.
이 문서는 스웨덴 Kalix 교량의 구조적 디지털 트윈이 개발 및 구현되고 있는 진행 중인 프로젝트와 관련이 있습니다.

Autores: Mahyar Kazemian1, Sajad Nikdel2, Mehrnaz MohammadEsmaeili3, Vahid Nik4, Kamyab Zandi*5

RESUMEN Las cargas ambientales, como el viento y el caudal de los ríos, juegan un papel esencial en el diseño y evaluación estructural de puentes de grandes luces. El cambio climático y los eventos climáticos extremos son amenazas para la confiabilidad y seguridad de la red de transporte.

Esto ha llevado a una creciente demanda de modelos de gemelos digitales para investigar la resistencia de los puentes en condiciones climáticas extremas. El puente de Kalix, construido sobre el río Kalix en Suecia en 1956, se utiliza como banco de pruebas en este contexto.

La estructura del puente, realizada en hormigón postensado, consta de cinco vanos, siendo el más largo de 94 m. En este estudio, las características aerodinámicas y los valores extremos de la simulación numérica del viento, como la presión en la superficie, se obtienen utilizando la simulación de remolinos desprendidos retardados (DDES) de Spalart-Allmaras como un enfoque de turbulencia RANS-LES híbrido que es práctico y computacionalmente eficiente para cerca de la pared densidad de malla impuesta por el método LES.

La presión del viento en la superficie se obtiene para tres escenarios climáticos extremos, que incluyen un clima con mucho viento, un clima extremadamente frío y el valor de cálculo para un período de retorno de 3000 años. El resultado indica diferencias significativas en la presión del viento en la superficie debido a las capas de tiempo que provienen de la simulación del flujo de viento transitorio. Para evaluar el comportamiento estructural en el escenario de viento crítico, se considera el valor más alto de presión en la superficie para cada escenario.

Además, se realiza un estudio hidrodinámico en los pilares del puente, en el que se simula el flujo del río por el método VOF, y se examina el proceso de movimiento del agua alrededor de los pilares de forma transitoria y en diferentes momentos. En cada una de las superficies del pilar se calcula la presión superficial aplicada por el caudal del río con el caudal volumétrico más alto registrado.

Para simular el flujo del río, se ha utilizado la información y las condiciones meteorológicas registradas en períodos anteriores. Los resultados muestran que la presión en la superficie en el momento en que el flujo del río golpea los pilares es mucho mayor que en los momentos posteriores. Esta cantidad de presión se puede usar como carga crítica en los cálculos de interacción fluido-estructura (FSI).

Finalmente, para ambas secciones, la presión en la superficie del viento, el campo de velocidades con respecto a las líneas de sondas auxiliares, los contornos del movimiento circunferencial del agua alrededor de los pilares y el diagrama de presión en ellos se informan en diferentes intervalos de tiempo.

요약 바람, 강의 흐름과 같은 환경 하중은 장대 교량의 설계 및 구조 평가에 필수적인 역할을 합니다. 기후 변화와 기상 이변은 교통 네트워크의 신뢰성과 보안에 위협이 됩니다.

이로 인해 극한 기상 조건에서 교량의 복원력을 조사하기 위한 디지털 트윈 모델에 대한 수요가 증가했습니다. 1956년 스웨덴 칼릭스 강 위에 건설된 칼릭스 다리는 이러한 맥락에서 테스트베드로 사용됩니다.

포스트텐션 콘크리트로 만들어진 교량 구조는 5개 경간으로 구성되며 가장 긴 길이는 94m입니다. 본 연구에서는 하이브리드 RANS-LES 난류 접근 방식인 Spalart-Allmaras 지연 분리 와류 시뮬레이션(DDES)을 사용하여 수치적 바람 시뮬레이션의 공기역학적 특성과 표면압 등 극한값을 얻습니다. LES 방법으로 부과된 벽 근처 메쉬 밀도.

바람이 많이 부는 기후, 극도로 추운 기후, 그리고 3000년의 반환 기간에 대해 계산된 값을 포함한 세 가지 극한 기후 시나리오에 대해 표면 풍압을 얻습니다. 결과는 과도 풍류 시뮬레이션에서 나오는 시간 레이어로 인해 표면 풍압에 상당한 차이가 있음을 나타냅니다. 임계 바람 시나리오에서 구조적 거동을 평가하기 위해 각 시나리오에 대해 가장 높은 표면 압력 값이 고려됩니다.

또한 교량 기둥에 대한 유체 역학 연구를 수행하여 하천의 흐름을 VOF 방법으로 시뮬레이션하고 기둥 주변의 물 이동 과정을 일시적이고 다른 시간에 조사합니다. 각 기둥 표면에서 기록된 체적 유량이 가장 높은 강의 흐름에 의해 적용되는 표면 압력이 계산됩니다.

강의 흐름을 시뮬레이션하기 위해 이전 기간에 기록된 정보와 기상 조건이 사용되었습니다. 결과는 강의 흐름이 기둥에 닿는 순간의 표면 압력이 나중에 순간보다 훨씬 높다는 것을 보여줍니다. 이 압력의 양은 유체-구조 상호작용(FSI) 계산에서 임계 하중으로 사용될 수 있습니다.

마지막으로 두 섹션 모두 바람 표면의 압력, 보조 프로브 라인에 대한 속도장, 기둥 주위 물의 원주 운동 윤곽 및 압력 다이어그램이 서로 다른 시간 간격으로 보고됩니다.

키워드: 디지털 트윈 , 풍력 공학, 콘크리트 교량, 유체역학, CFD 시뮬레이션, DDES 난류 모델, Kalix 교량

Palabras clave: Gemelo digital , Ingeniería eólica, Puente de hormigón, Hidrodinámica, Simulación CFD, Modelo de turbulencia DDES, Puente Kalix

1. Introducción

Las infraestructuras de transporte son la columna vertebral de nuestra sociedad y los puentes son el cuello de botella de la red de transporte [1]. Además, el cambio climático que da como resultado tasas de deterioro más altas y los eventos climáticos extremos son amenazas importantes para la confiabilidad y seguridad de las redes de transporte. Durante la última década, muchos puentes se han dañado o fallado por condiciones climáticas extremas como tifones e inundaciones.

Wang et al. analizó los impactos del cambio climático y mostró que se espera que el deterioro de los puentes de hormigón sea aún peor que en la actualidad, y se prevé que los eventos climáticos extremos sean más frecuentes y con mayor gravedad [2].

Además, la demanda de capacidad de carga a menudo aumenta con el tiempo, por ejemplo, debido al uso de camiones más pesados para el transporte de madera en el norte de Europa y América del Norte. Por lo tanto, existe una necesidad creciente de métodos confiables para evaluar la resistencia estructural de la red de transporte en condiciones climáticas extremas que tengan en cuenta los escenarios futuros de cambio climático.

Los activos de transporte por carretera se diseñan, construyen y explotan basándose en numerosas fuentes de datos y varios modelos. Por lo tanto, los ingenieros de diseño usan modelos establecidos proporcionados por las normas; ingenieros de construccion
documentar los datos en el material real y proporcionar planos según lo construido; los operadores recopilan datos sobre el tráfico, realizan inspecciones y planifican el mantenimiento; los científicos del clima combinan datos y modelos climáticos para
predecir eventos climáticos futuros, y los ingenieros de evaluación calculan el impacto de la carga climática extrema en la estructura.

Dadas las fuentes abrumadoras y la complejidad de los datos y modelos, es posible que la información y los cálculos actualizados no estén disponibles para decisiones cruciales, por ejemplo, con respecto a la seguridad estructural y la operabilidad de la infraestructura durante episodios de eventos extremos. La falta de una integración perfecta entre los datos de la infraestructura, los modelos estructurales y la toma de decisiones a nivel del sistema es una limitación importante de las soluciones actuales, lo que conduce a la inadaptación e incertidumbre y crea costos e ineficiencias.

El gemelo digital estructural de la infraestructura es una simulación estructural viva que reúne todos los datos y modelos y se actualiza desde múltiples fuentes para representar su contraparte física. El Digital Twin estructural, mantenido durante todo el ciclo de vida de un activo y fácilmente accesible en cualquier momento, proporciona al propietario/usuarios de la infraestructura una idea temprana de los riesgos potenciales para la movilidad inducidos por eventos climáticos, cargas de vehículos pesados e incluso el envejecimiento de un infraestructura de transporte.

En un proyecto en curso, estamos desarrollando e implementando un gemelo digital estructural para el puente de Kalix en Suecia. El objetivo general del presente artículo es presentar un método y estudiar los resultados de la cuantificación de las cargas estructurales resultantes de eventos climáticos extremos basados en escenarios climáticos futuros para el puente de Kalix. El puente de Kalix, construido sobre el río Kalix en Suecia en 1956, está hecho de una viga cajón de hormigón postensado. El puente se utiliza como banco de pruebas para la demostración de métodos de evaluación y control de la salud estructural (SHM) de última generación.

El objetivo específico de la investigación actual es dar cuenta de parámetros climáticos como el viento y el flujo de agua, que imponen cargas estáticas y dinámicas en las estructuras. Nuestro método, en el primer paso, consiste en simulaciones de flujo de viento y simulaciones de flujo de agua utilizando un modelado CFD transitorio basado en el modelo de turbulencia LES/DES para cuantificar las cargas de viento e hidráulicas; esto constituye el punto focal principal de este artículo.

En el siguiente paso, se estudiará la respuesta estructural del puente mediante la transformación de los perfiles de carga eólica e hidráulica en cargas estructurales en el análisis de EF estructural no lineal. Por último, el modelo estructural se actualizará incorporando sin problemas los datos del SHM y, por lo tanto, creando un gemelo digital estructural que refleje la verdadera respuesta de la estructura. Los dos primeros enfoques de investigación permanecen fuera del alcance inmediato del presente artículo.

2. Descripción del puente de Kalix

El puente de Kalix consta de 5 vanos largos de los cuales el más largo tiene unos 94 metros y el más corto 43,85 m. El puente es de hormigón postensado, el cual se cuela in situ de forma segmentaria y una viga cajón no prismática como se muestra en la Fig. 1. El puente es simétrico en geometría y hay una bisagra en el punto medio. El ancho del tablero del puente en la losa superior e inferior es de aproximadamente 13 my 7,5 m, respectivamente. El espesor del muro es de 45 cm y el espesor de la losa inferior varía de 20 cm a
50 cm.

Fig. 1. Geometría y secciones del puente

Fig. 1. Geometría y secciones del puente

3. Simulación de viento

Las pruebas en túnel de viento solían ser la única forma de examinar la reacción de los puentes a las cargas de viento Consulte [3]; sin embargo, estos experimentos requieren mucho tiempo y son costosos. Se requieren cerca de 6 a 8 semanas para realizar una prueba típica en un túnel de viento Consulte [4]. Los últimos logros en la capacidad computacional de las computadoras brindan oportunidades para la simulación práctica del viento alrededor de puentes utilizando la dinámica de fluidos computacional (CFD).

Es beneficioso investigar la presión del viento en los componentes del puente utilizando una simulación por computadora. Es necesario determinar los parámetros de simulación del puente y el campo de viento a su alrededor; por lo tanto, se pueden evaluar con precisión sus impactos en las fuerzas aplicadas en el puente.

Las demandas de diseño de las estructuras de puentes requieren una investigación rigurosa de la acción del viento, especialmente en condiciones climáticas extremas. Garantizar la estabilidad de los puentes de grandes luces, ya que sus características y formaciones son más propensas a la carga de viento, se encuentra entre las principales consideraciones de diseño [3].

3.1. Parámetros de simulación

La velocidad básica del viento se elige 22 m/s según el mapa de viento de Suecia y la ubicación del puente de Kalix según EN 1991-1-4 [5] y el código sueco BFS 2019: 1 EKS 11; ver figura 1. La superficie libre sobre el agua se considera un área expuesta a la carga de viento. La dirección del ataque del viento dominante se considera perpendicular al tablero del puente.

Las simulaciones actuales se basan en tres escenarios que incluyen: viento extremo, frío extremo y valor de diseño para un período de retorno de 3000 años. Cada condición tiene diferentes valores de temperatura, viento básico
velocidad, viscosidad cinemática y densidad del aire, como se muestra en la Tabla 1. Los conjuntos de datos meteorológicos se sintetizaron para dos semanas meteorológicas extremas durante el período de 30 años de 2040-2069, considerando 13 escenarios climáticos futuros diferentes con diferentes modelos climáticos globales (GCM) y rutas de concentración representativas (RCP).

Se seleccionaron una semana de frío extremo y una semana de viento extremo utilizando el enfoque desarrollado
de Nik [7]. El planteamiento se adaptó a las necesidades de este trabajo, considerando el horario semanal en lugar de mensual. Se ha verificado la aplicación del enfoque para simulaciones complejas, incluidos los sistemas de energía Consulte [7] Consulte [8], hidrotermal Consulte [ 9] y simulaciones de microclimas Consulte [10].

Para considerar las condiciones climáticas extremas de una infraestructura muy importante, el valor de la velocidad básica del viento debe transferirse del período de retorno de 50 años a 3000 años como se indica en la ecuación 1 [6]. El perfil de velocidad y turbulencia se crea en base a EN 1991-1-4 [5] para la categoría de terreno 0 (Z0 = 0,003 my Zmín = 1 m), donde Z0 y Zmín son la longitud de rugosidad y la altura mínima, respectivamente. La variación de la velocidad del viento con la altura se define en la ecuación 2, donde co (z) es el factor de orografía tomado como 1, vm (z) es la velocidad media del viento a la altura z, kr es el factor del terreno que depende de la longitud de la rugosidad , e Iv (z) es la intensidad de la turbulencia; ver ecuación 3.���50=[0.36+0.1ln12�]     1�����=��·ln��0·���  [2]���=�����=�1�0�·ln�/�0  ��� ����≤�≤����  [3]���=������                                ��� �<����                   [4]

Velocidad del viento, variación de la velocidad del viento con la altura, intensidad de la turbulencia

Se calcula que el valor de la velocidad del viento para T = período de retorno de 3000 años es de 31 m/s; por lo tanto, los diagramas de velocidad del viento e intensidad de turbulencia se obtienen como se muestra en la figura 2.

Tabla. 1. Información meteorológica para tres escenarios

Tabla. 1. Información meteorológica para tres escenarios

Fig.  2. Valor de cálculo para la información del periodo de retorno de 3000 años: (a) Velocidad del viento y (b) Perfil de intensidad de turbulencia, y (c) Especificaciones del modelo

Fig. 2. Valor de cálculo para la información del periodo de retorno de 3000 años: (a) Velocidad del viento y (b) Intensidad de la turbulencia perfil, y (c) Especificaciones del modelo

3.2. Modelo de turbulencia

Para que las investigaciones sean precisas en el flujo alrededor de estructuras importantes como puentes, se aplica un enfoque híbrido que incluye simulaciones de remolinos desprendidos retardados (DDES) y es computacionalmente eficiente [11] [12]. Este modelo de turbulencia usa un método RANS cerca de las capas límite y el método LES lejos de las capas límite y en el área del flujo de la región separada ‘.

En el primer paso, el enfoque de simulación de remolinos separados se ha ampliado para adquirir predicciones de fuerza fiables en los modelos con un gran impacto del flujo separado. Hay varios ejemplos en la parte de revisión de Spalart Consulte [11] para varios casos que usan la aplicación del modelo de turbulencia de simulación de remolino separado (DES).

La formulación DES inicial [13] se desarrolla utilizando el enfoque de Spalart-Allmaras. Con respecto a la transición del enfoque RANS al LES, se revisa el término de destrucción en la ecuación de transporte de viscosidad modificada: la distancia entre un punto en el dominio y la superficie sólida más cercana (d) se sustituye por el factor introducido por:�~=���(�.����·∆)

Factor que sustituye la distancia entre el punto en el dominio y la superficie sólida más cercana (d)

donde CDES es un coeficiente, se considera como 0,65 y Δ es una escala de longitud asociada con el espaciado de la rejilla local:�=���(��.��.��)

Escala de longitud asociada con el espaciado de rejilla local

Se ha empleado un enfoque modificado de DES, conocido como simulación de remolinos desprendidos retardados (DDES), para dominar el probable problema de la “separación inducida por la rejilla” (GIS) que está relacionado con la geometría de la rejilla. El objetivo de este nuevo enfoque es confirmar que el modelado de turbulencia se mantiene en modo RANS en todas las capas de contorno [14]. Por lo tanto, la definición del parámetro se modifica como se define:�~=�-�����(0. �-����·�)   6

Modificación del parámetro d

donde fd es una función de filtro que considera un valor de 0 en las capas límite cercanas al muro (zona RANS) y un valor de 1 en las áreas donde se realizó la separación del flujo (zona LES).

3.3. Rejilla computacional y resultados

RWIND 2.01 Pro se emplea para la simulación de viento CFD, que usa el código CFD externo OpenFOAM® versión 17.10. La simulación CFD tridimensional se realiza como una simulación de viento transitorio para flujo turbulento incompresible utilizando el algoritmo SIMPLE (Método semi-implícito para ecuaciones vinculadas a presión).

En la simulación actual, el solucionador de estado estacionario se considera como la condición inicial, lo que significa que cuando se está calculando el flujo transitorio, el cálculo del estado estacionario de la condición inicial comienza en la primera parte de la simulación y tan pronto como se calcula. completado, el cálculo de transitorios se iniciará automáticamente.

Fig.  3. Dominio del túnel de viento y rejilla computacional de referencia (8.057.279 celdas)

Fig. 3. Dominio del túnel de viento y rejilla computacional de referencia (8.057.279 celdas)

La cuadrícula computacional se realiza mediante 8.057.279 celdas tridimensionales y 8.820.901 nudos, también se consideran las dimensiones del dominio del túnel de viento 2000 m * 1000 m * 100 m (largo, ancho, alto) como se muestra en la figura 3. El volumen mínimo de la celda es de 6,34 * 10-5 m3, el volumen máximo es de 812,30 m3 y la desviación máxima es de 1,80.

La presión residual final se considera 5 * 10-5. El proceso de generación de mallas e independencia de la rejilla se ha realizado utilizando los cuatro tamaños de malla que se muestran en la figura 4 para la malla de referencia, y finalmente se ha conseguido la independencia de la rejilla.

Fig.  4. Estudio de rejilla de cuatro tamaños de malla computacional a través de la línea de sondeo.

Fig. 4. Estudio de rejilla de cuatro tamaños de malla computacional a través de la línea de sondeo.

Se han realizado tres simulaciones para obtener el valor de la presión del viento para condiciones climáticas extremas y el valor de cálculo del viento que se muestra en la Fig. 5. Para cada escenario, el resultado de la presión del viento se obtiene utilizando el modelo de turbulencia transitoria DDES con respecto a 30 (s) de duración que incluye 60 capas de tiempo (Δt = 0,5 s).

Se puede observar que el área frontal del puente está expuesta a la presión del viento positiva y la cantidad de presión aumenta en la altura cerca del borde del tablero para todos los escenarios. Además, la Fig. 5. ilustra los valores negativos de la presión del viento en su totalidad en la superficie de la cubierta. El valor de pertenencia para el período de 3000 años es mucho más alto que los otros escenarios.

Es importante tener en cuenta que el intervalo de la velocidad del viento de entrada tiene un gran impacto en el valor de la presión en la superficie más que en los otros parámetros. Además, para cada escenario, el intervalo más alto de presión del viento y succión durante el tiempo total debe considerarse como una carga de viento crítica impuesta a la estructura. El valor más bajo de la presión en la superficie se obtiene en el escenario de condiciones de frío extremo, mientras que en condiciones de mucho viento, el valor de la presión se vuelve un orden de magnitud más alto.

Fig.  5. Contorno de presión superficial y diagrama para 60 capas de tiempo (Δt = 0.5 s) a través de una línea de sondeo para tres escenarios.

Fig. 5. Contorno de presión superficial y diagrama para 60 capas de tiempo (Δt = 0.5 s) a través de una línea de sondeo para tres escenarios.

Además, es importante tener en cuenta que el comportamiento del puente sería completamente diferente debido a las diferentes temperaturas del aire, y puede ocurrir un posible caso crítico en el escenario que experimente una presión menor. Con respecto al valor de entrada de cada escenario, el rango más alto de presión del viento pertenece al nivel de diseño debido al período de retorno de 3000 años, que ha recibido la velocidad del viento más alta como velocidad de entrada.

4. Simulación hidráulica

Los pilares de los puentes a través del río pueden bloquear el flujo al reducir la sección transversal del río, crear corrientes parásitas locales y cambiar la velocidad del flujo, lo que puede ejercer presión en las superficies de los pilares. Cuando el río fluye hacia los pilares del puente, el proceso del flujo de agua alrededor de la base se puede dividir en dos partes: aplicando presión en el momento en que el agua golpea el pilar del puente y después de la presión inicial cuando el agua fluye alrededor de los pilares [15].

Cuando el agua alcanza los pilares del puente a una cierta velocidad, el efecto de la presión sobre los pilares es mucho mayor que la presión del fluido que queda a su alrededor. Debido a los desarrollos de la ciencia de la computación, así como al desarrollo cada vez mayor de los códigos dinámicos de fluidos computacionales, se han utilizado ampliamente varias simulaciones numéricas y se ha demostrado que los resultados de muchas simulaciones son consistentes con los resultados experimentales [16].

Por ello, en esta investigación se ha utilizado el método de la dinámica de fluidos computacional para simular los fenómenos que gobiernan el comportamiento del flujo de los ríos. Para este estudio se ha seleccionado una solución tridimensional basada en cálculos numéricos utilizando el modelo de turbulencia LES. La simulación tridimensional del flujo del río en diferentes direcciones y velocidades nos permite calcular y analizar todas las presiones en la superficie de los pilares del puente en diferentes intervalos de tiempo.

4.1. Parámetros de simulación

El flujo del río se puede definir como un flujo de dos fases, que incluye agua y aire, en un canal abierto. El flujo de canal abierto es un flujo de fluido con una superficie libre en la que la presión atmosférica se distribuye uniformemente y se crea por el peso del fluido. Para simular este tipo de flujo se utiliza el método multifase VOF.

El programa Flow3D, disponible en el mercado, utiliza los métodos de fracciones volumétricas VOF y FAVOF. En el método VOF, el dominio de modelado se divide primero en celdas de elementos o volúmenes de controles más pequeños. Para los elementos que contienen fluidos, se mantienen valores numéricos para cada una de las variables de flujo dentro de ellos.

Estos valores representan la media volumétrica de los valores en cada elemento. En las corrientes superficiales libres, no todas las celdas están llenas de líquido; algunas celdas en la superficie de flujo están medio llenas. En este caso, se define una cantidad llamada volumen de fluido, F, que representa la parte de la celda que se llena con el fluido.

Después de determinar la posición y el ángulo de la superficie del flujo, será posible aplicar las condiciones de contorno apropiadas en la superficie del flujo para calcular el movimiento del fluido. A medida que se mueve el fluido, el valor de F también cambia con él. Las superficies libres son monitoreadas automáticamente por el movimiento de fluido dentro de una red fija. El método FAVOR se usa para determinar la geometría.

También se puede usar otra cantidad de fracción volumétrica para determinar el nivel de un cuerpo rígido desocupado ( Vf ). Cuando se conoce el volumen que ocupa el cuerpo rígido en cada celda, el límite del fluido dentro de la red fija se puede determinar como VOF. Este límite se usa para determinar las condiciones de contorno del muro que sigue el arroyo. En general, la ecuación de continuidad de masa es la siguiente:��𝜕�𝜕�+𝜕𝜕�(����)+�𝜕𝜕�(����)+𝜕𝜕�(����)+������=����   10

Ecuación de continuidad de masa

Las ecuaciones de movimiento para los componentes de la velocidad de un fluido en coordenadas 3D, o en otras palabras, las ecuaciones de Navier-Stokes, son las siguientes:𝜕�𝜕�+1�����𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�+��2�����=-1�𝜕�𝜕�+��+��-��-��������-��-���    11𝜕�𝜕�+1�����𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�+��������=-�1�𝜕�𝜕�+��+��-��-��������-��-���  12𝜕�𝜕�+1�����𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�+���𝜕�𝜕�=-1�𝜕�𝜕�+��+��-��-��������-��-���              13

Ecuaciones de Navier-Stokes

Donde VF es la relación del volumen abierto al flujo, ρ es la densidad del fluido, (u, v, w) son las componentes de la velocidad en las direcciones x, y y z, respectivamente, R SOR es la función de la fuente, (Ax, Ay, Az ) son las áreas fraccionales, (Gx, Gy, Gz ) son las fuerzas gravitacionales, (fx, fy, fz ) son las aceleraciones de la viscosidad y (bx, by, bz ) son las pérdidas de flujo en medios porosos en las direcciones x, y, z, respectivamente [17].

La zona de captación del río Kalix es grande y amplia, por lo que tiene un clima subpolar con inviernos fríos y largos y veranos suaves y cortos. Aproximadamente el 50% de las precipitaciones en esta zona es nieve. En mayo, por lo general, el deshielo provoca un aumento significativo en el caudal del río. Las condiciones climáticas del río se resumen en la Tabla 2, [18].

Contrariamente a la tendencia general de este estudio, la previsión de las condiciones meteorológicas mencionadas está utilizando la información meteorológica registrada en los períodos pasados. En función de la información meteorológica disponible, definimos las condiciones de contorno al realizar los cálculos.

Tabla 2: Parámetros del modelo y tabla 3:Condiciones de contorno del modelo

Tabla 2: Parámetros del modelo y tabla 3:Condiciones de contorno del modelo

4.2 Cuadrícula computacional y resultados

Primero, según las dimensiones de los pilares en tres direcciones X, Y, Z, y según la dimensión longitudinal de los pilares (D = 8,5 m; véase la figura 7), el dominio se extiende 10D aguas arriba y 20D aguas abajo. Se ha utilizado el método de mallado estructurado (cartesiano) y el software Flow3D para resolver este problema. Para una cuadrícula correcta, el dominio se debe dividir en diferentes secciones.

Esta división se basa en lugares con fuertes pendientes. Usando la creación de una nueva superficie, el dominio se puede dividir en varias secciones para crear una malla regular con las dimensiones correctas y apropiadas, se puede especificar el número de celdas en cada superficie.

Fig. 6: Estudio de rejilla para el dominio hídrico

Fig. 6: Estudio de rejilla para el dominio hídrico

Esto aumenta el volumen final de las células. Por esta razón, hemos dividido este dominio en tres niveles: Grueso, medio y fino. Los resultados de los estudios de independencia de la red se muestran en la figura 6. Para comprobar los resultados calculados, primero debemos asegurarnos de que la corriente de entrada sea la correcta. Para hacer esto, el caudal de entrada se mide en el dominio de la solución y se compara con el valor base. Las dimensiones del dominio de la solución se especifican en la figura 7. Esta figura también contribuye al reconocimiento de los pilares del puente y su denominación de superficies.

Como se muestra en la Fig. 8, el caudal del río se encuentra dentro del intervalo admisible durante el 90% del tiempo de simulación y el caudal de entrada se ha simulado correctamente. Además, en la Fig. 9, la velocidad media del río se calcula en función del caudal y del área de la sección transversal del río.

Para extraer la cantidad de presión aplicada a los diferentes lados de las columnas, hemos seleccionado el intervalo de tiempo de simulación de 10 a 25 segundos (tiempo de estabilización de descarga en la cantidad de 1800 metros cúbicos por segundo). Los resultados calculados para cada lado se muestran en la Fig. 10 y 11. Los contornos de velocidad también se muestran en las Figuras 12 y 13. Estos contornos se ajustan en función de la velocidad del fluido en un momento dado.

Debido a las dimensiones del dominio de la solución y al caudal del río, el flujo de agua llega a los pilares del puente en el décimo segundo y la presión inicial del flujo del río afecta las superficies de los pilares del puente. Esta presión inicial decrece con el tiempo y se estabiliza en un rango determinado para cada lado según el área y el porcentaje de interacción con el flujo. Para los cálculos de interacción fluido-estructura (FSI), se puede usar la presión crítica calculada en el momento en que la corriente golpea los pilares.

Fig. 7: Dibujo del dominio hidrostático

Fig. 7: Dibujo del dominio hidrostático

Fig. 8: caudal del río; La figura 9: Caudal de la velocidad del río; La figura 10: Presión en la pila del puente - I; La figura 11: Presión en la pila del puente – II

Fig. 8: caudal del río; La figura 9: Caudal de la velocidad del río; La figura 10: Presión en la pila del puente – I; La figura 11: Presión en la pila del puente – II

Fig. 12: Contador de velocidad en el tiempo: 30s Fig. 13: Contador de velocidad en el tiempo: 20 s

Fig. 12: Contador de velocidad en el tiempo: 30s Fig. 13: Contador de velocidad en el tiempo: 20 s

5. Conclusión

Los efectos de las condiciones meteorológicas extremas, incluido el viento dinámico y el flujo de agua, se investigaron numéricamente para el puente de Kalix. Se definieron tres escenarios para las simulaciones dinámicas de viento, incluido el clima con mucho viento, el clima extremadamente frío y el valor de diseño para un período de retorno de 3.000 años. Aprovechando las simulaciones CFD, se determinaron las presiones del viento en pasos de 60 tiempos (30 segundos) utilizando el modelo de turbulencia transitoria DDES.

Los resultados indican diferencias significativas entre los escenarios, lo que implica la importancia de los datos de entrada, especialmente el diagrama de velocidades del viento. Se observó que el valor de diseño para el período de devolución de 3000 años tiene un impacto mucho mayor que los otros escenarios. Además, se mostró la importancia de considerar el rango más alto de presión del viento en la superficie a través de los pasos de tiempo para evaluar el comportamiento estructural del puente en la condición más crítica.

Además, se consideró el caudal máximo del río para una simulación transitoria según las condiciones meteorológicas registradas, y los pilares del puente se sometieron al caudal máximo del río durante 30 segundos. Por lo tanto, además de las condiciones físicas del flujo del río y cómo cambia la dirección del flujo aguas abajo, se cuantificaron las presiones máximas del agua en el momento en que el flujo golpea los pilares.

En el trabajo futuro, el rendimiento estructural del puente de Kalix será evaluado por
imposición de la carga del viento, la presión del agua y la carga del tráfico, creando así un gemelo digital estructural que refleja la verdadera respuesta de la estructura.

6. Reconocimiento

Los autores agradecen enormemente el apoyo de Dlubal Software por proporcionar la licencia de RWIND Simulation, así como de Flow Sciences Inc. por proporcionar la licencia de FLOW-3D.

Autores: Mahyar Kazemian1, Sajad Nikdel2, Mehrnaz MohammadEsmaeili3, Vahid Nik4, Kamyab Zandi*5

Candidato a doctorado, becario en el Departamento de Ingeniería de Timezyx Inc., Canadá.

M.Sc. estudiante, pasante en el Departamento de Ingeniería, Timezyx Inc., Canadá.

Estudiante de licenciatura, pasante en el Departamento de Ingeniería, Timezyx Inc., Canadá.

4 Profesor adjunto en la división de Física de la construcción de la Universidad de Lund y la Universidad Tecnológica de Chalmers, Suecia.

* 5 Director, Timezyx Inc., Vancouver, BC V6N 2R2, Canadá. E-mail: kamyab.zandi@timezyx.com


Referencias

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  3. Kemayou, BTM (2016). Análisis de secciones de tableros de puentes por el método de la pseudocompresibilidad basado en FDM y LES: Mejora del rendimiento mediante la implementación de la computación en paralelo (tesis). Universidad de Arkansas.
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  5. Eurocódigo 1: Acciones en estructuras. (2006). Instituto Británico de Normas.
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  9. Nik, VM (2017). Aplicación de conjuntos de datos meteorológicos típicos y extremos en la simulación higrotérmica de componentes de construcción para el clima futuro: un estudio de caso para un muro de entramado de madera. Energy and Buildings, 154 , 30–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.08.042
  10. Hosseini, M., Javanroodi, K. y Nik, VM (2022). Evaluación de impacto de alta resolución del cambio climático en el rendimiento energético de los edificios considerando los eventos meteorológicos extremos y el microclima – Investigando las variaciones en el confort térmico interior y los grados-día. Ciudades sostenibles y sociedad, 78 , 103634. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2021.103634
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  14. Boudreau, M., Dumas, G. y Veilleux, J.-C. (2017). Evaluación de la capacidad del enfoque de modelado de turbulencia DDES para simular la estela de un cuerpo de farol. Aeroespacial, 4 (3), 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace4030041
  15. Wang, Y., Zou, Y., Xu, L. y Luo, Z. (2015). Análisis de la presión del flujo de agua en pilas de puentes considerando el efecto del impacto. Problemas matemáticos en ingeniería, 2015 , 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/687535
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Lab-on-a-Chip 시스템의 혈류 역학에 대한 검토: 엔지니어링 관점

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.

KEYWORDS: 

1. Introduction

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. 

(6)

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.

2. Blood Flow Phenomena

ARTICLE SECTIONS

Jump To


2.1. Physiological Blood Flow Behavior

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.

Figure 1. Images of varying deformation of RBCs and different dynamic blood flow behaviors. (a) The deforming shape behavior of RBCs at four different initiating positions under the same experimental conditions of a flow from left to right, (10) (b) RBC aggregation, (13) (c) CFL region. (18) Reproduced with permission from ref (10). Copyright 2011 Elsevier. Reproduced with permission from ref (13). Copyright 2022 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Reproduced with permission from ref (18). Copyright 2019 Elsevier.

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, 

(20) thickness of the CFL, 

(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 

(24−26)

ModelNon-Newtonian ViscosityParameters
Power Law(2)n = 0.61, k = 0.42
Carreau(3)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 3.1736 s, m = 2.406, a = 0.254
Walburn–Schneck(4)C1 = 0.000797 Pa·s, C2 = 0.0608 Pa·s, C3 = 0.00499, C4 = 14.585 g–1, TPMA = 25 g/L
Carreau–Yasuda(5)μ0 = 0.056 Pa·s, μ = 0.00345 Pa·s, λ = 1.902 s, n = 0.22, a = 1.25
Quemada(6)μp = 0.0012 Pa·s, k = 2.07, k0 = 4.33, γ̇c = 1.88 s–1

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. 

(27) The study from Apostolidis et al. 

(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 

(29) and the Oldroyd-B 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 

(31) and thixotropy 

(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. 

(36)

2.2.2. Numerical Methods (FDM, FEM, FVM)

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. 

(42)

2.2.3. Modeling Methods of Blood Flow Dynamics

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. 

(46) The study by Xu et al. 

(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 

(61,62) and capillaries, 

(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. 

(64−70) Ye at al. 

(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. 

(66) Literature by Li et al. 

(68) and Beris 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

ReferenceNumerical methods
Li et al. (2013) (68)Continuum-based modeling (BIM), particle-based modeling (LBM, LB-FE, SPH, DPD)
Freund (2014) (64)RBC dynamic modeling (continuum-based modeling, complementary discrete microstructure modeling), blood flow dynamic modeling (FDM, IBM, LBM, particle-mesh methods, coupled boundary integral and mesh-based methods, DPD)
Ye et al. (2016) (65)DPD, SPH, LBM, coupled IBM-Smoothed DPD
Arciero et al. (2017) (70)LBM, IBM, DPD, conventional CFD Methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Arabghahestani et al. (2019) (66)Particle-based methods (LBM, DPD, direct simulation Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics), SPH, conventional CFD methods (FDM, FVM, FEM)
Beris et al. (2021) (69)DPD, smoothed DPD, IBM, LBM, BIM
Rathnayaka (2022) (67)SPH, CG, LBM

3. Capillary Driven Blood Flow in LOC Systems

ARTICLE SECTIONS

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3.1. Capillary Driven Flow Phenomena

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. 

(74) is as follows:

𝑃=−𝜎(cos𝜃b+cos𝜃tℎ+cos𝜃l+cos𝜃r𝑤)�=−�(cos⁡�b+cos⁡�tℎ+cos⁡�l+cos⁡�r�)

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

bθ

tθ

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.

Figure 2. Numerical simulation of filling rate of capillary driven blood flow under various contact angle conditions at a specific timestamp. (74) Reproduced with permission from ref (74). Copyright 2010 Elsevier.

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 

(75) can be shown below:

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑡2𝜇⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√�(�)=��⁡cos(�)�2�

(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

ij. The updated L–W equation by Cito 

(76) is expressed as

𝐿(𝑡)=𝑅[(𝑛+13𝑛+1)(𝜎cos(𝜃)𝑅𝑘)1/𝑛𝑡]𝑛/𝑛+1�(�)=�[(�+13�+1)(�⁡cos(�)��)1/��]�/�+1

(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.

Figure 3. (a) Sketch of the cross-section of Berthier’s V-groove microchannel, (b) experimental view of blood in the V-groove microchannel, (78) (c) illustration of the dynamic change of the extension of filament from FLOW 3D under capillary flow at three increasing time intervals. (78) Reproduced with permission from ref (78). Copyright 2014 Elsevier.

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:

𝜃<𝜋2−𝛼sin𝛼1+2(ℎ2/𝑤)sin𝛼<cos𝜃{�<�2−�sin⁡�1+2(ℎ2/�)⁡sin⁡�<cos⁡�

(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. 

(78) through Casson’s law, 

(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).

4. Electro-osmotic Flow (EOF) in LOC Systems

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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.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of an electro-osmotic flow in a microchannel with negative surface charge. (82) Reproduced with permission from ref (82). Copyright 2012 Woodhead Publishing.

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.

∇·[𝐷𝑖∇𝑛𝑖−𝑢⇀𝑛𝑖+𝑛𝑖𝐷𝑖𝑧𝑖𝑒𝑘𝑏𝑇∇(𝜙+𝜓)]=0∇·[��∇��−�⇀��+����������∇(�+�)]=0

(17)where D

in

i, and z

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

∇2𝜓=(2𝑒𝑧𝑛0𝜀𝜀0)sinh(𝑧𝑒𝜓𝑘b𝑇)∇2�=(2���0��0)⁡sinh(����b�)

(18)where n

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.

Figure 5. Schematic diagram of a negatively charged constriction microchannel connected to two reservoirs at both ends. An electro-osmotic flow is induced in the system by the induced potential difference between the anode and cathode. (90) Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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

∂𝚯∂𝑡+𝐮·∇𝚯=𝛀Θ−ΘΩ+2𝐁+1𝜆(eΘ−𝐈)∂�∂�+�·∇�=�Θ−ΘΩ+2�+1�(eΘ−�)

(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. 

(91)

Figure 6. Schematic diagram of vortex formation and streamlines of EOF depicting flow instability at (a) 1.71 s and (b) 1.75 s. Spatial distribution of the elastic normal stress at (c) high Eapp condition. Streamline of an electro-osmotic flow under Eapp of 600 V/cm (90) for (d) non-Newtonian and (e) Newtonian fluid through a constriction geometry. Reproduced with permission from ref (90). Copyright 2021 The Authors, under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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, 

(1) as described below:

𝑅𝑎𝑣=𝑢ev𝑢eo=(𝛾−1𝛾+1)2𝑊𝛿2𝐸el2𝐻2𝜁𝛿Ra�=�ev�eo=(�−1�+1)2��2�el2�2��

(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:

𝜎sd=∫10(𝐶∗(𝑦∗)−𝐶m)2d𝑦∗∫10d𝑦∗⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯�sd=∫01(�*(�*)−�m)2d�*∫01d�*

(24)where C*(y*) and C

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 

(97) can then be calculated as below:

𝜀𝑥=1−𝜎sd𝜎sd,0��=1−�sd�sd,0

(25)where σ

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.

5. Summary

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5.1. Conclusion

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.

Figure 7. Schematic representations of clogging at a microchannel pore following the sequence of RBC migration, cell attachment to channel walls, and aggregation. (105) Reproduced with permission from ref (105). Copyright 2018 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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

+.

Figure 8. Schematic representations of (a) the Exclusion Zone region and (b) the Self Induced Flow through visualization of microsphere movement within a microchannel. (106) Reproduced with permission from ref (106). Copyright 2020 The Authors under the terms of the Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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.

Author Information

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  • Corresponding Authors
    • 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;  Orcidhttps://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;  Orcidhttps://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;  Orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6514-8864
  • NotesThe authors declare no competing financial interest.

Acknowledgments

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

Vocabulary

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Microfluidicsthe field of technological and scientific study that investigates fluid flow in channels with dimensions between 1 and 1000 μm
Lab-on-a-Chip Technologythe 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 Ratethe rate of change in velocity where one layer of fluid moves past the adjacent layer
Viscoelasticitythe property holding both elasticity and viscosity characteristics relying on the magnitude of applied shear stress and time-dependent strain
Electro-osmosisthe flow of fluid under an applied electric field when charged solid surface is in contact with the bulk fluid
Vortexthe rotating motion of a fluid revolving an axis line

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Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

Predicting solid-state phase transformations during metal additive manufacturing: A case study on electron-beam powder bed fusion of Inconel-738

금속 적층 제조 중 고체 상 변형 예측: Inconel-738의 전자빔 분말층 융합에 대한 사례 연구

Nana Kwabena Adomako a, Nima Haghdadi a, James F.L. Dingle bc, Ernst Kozeschnik d, Xiaozhou Liao bc, Simon P. Ringer bc, Sophie Primig a

Abstract

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has now become the perhaps most desirable technique for producing complex shaped engineering parts. However, to truly take advantage of its capabilities, advanced control of AM microstructures and properties is required, and this is often enabled via modeling. The current work presents a computational modeling approach to studying the solid-state phase transformation kinetics and the microstructural evolution during AM. Our approach combines thermal and thermo-kinetic modelling. A semi-analytical heat transfer model is employed to simulate the thermal history throughout AM builds. Thermal profiles of individual layers are then used as input for the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The microstructural evolution (e.g., fractions, morphology, and composition of individual phases) for any region of interest throughout the build is predicted by MatCalc. The simulation is applied to an IN738 part produced by electron beam powder bed fusion to provide insights into how γ′ precipitates evolve during thermal cycling. Our simulations show qualitative agreement with our experimental results in predicting the size distribution of γ′ along the build height, its multimodal size character, as well as the volume fraction of MC carbides. Our findings indicate that our method is suitable for a range of AM processes and alloys, to predict and engineer their microstructures and properties.

Graphical Abstract

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Keywords

Additive manufacturing, Simulation, Thermal cycles, γ′ phase, IN738

1. Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) is an advanced manufacturing method that enables engineering parts with intricate shapes to be fabricated with high efficiency and minimal materials waste. AM involves building up 3D components layer-by-layer from feedstocks such as powder [1]. Various alloys, including steel, Ti, Al, and Ni-based superalloys, have been produced using different AM techniques. These techniques include directed energy deposition (DED), electron- and laser powder bed fusion (E-PBF and L-PBF), and have found applications in a variety of industries such as aerospace and power generation [2][3][4]. Despite the growing interest, certain challenges limit broader applications of AM fabricated components in these industries and others. One of such limitations is obtaining a suitable and reproducible microstructure that offers the desired mechanical properties consistently. In fact, the AM as-built microstructure is highly complex and considerably distinctive from its conventionally processed counterparts owing to the complicated thermal cycles arising from the deposition of several layers upon each other [5][6].

Several studies have reported that the solid-state phases and solidification microstructure of AM processed alloys such as CMSX-4, CoCr [7][8], Ti-6Al-4V [9][10][11]IN738 [6]304L stainless steel [12], and IN718 [13][14] exhibit considerable variations along the build direction. For instance, references [9][10] have reported that there is a variation in the distribution of α and β phases along the build direction in Ti-alloys. Similarly, the microstructure of an L-PBF fabricated martensitic steel exhibits variations in the fraction of martensite [15]. Furthermore, some of the present authors and others [6][16][17][18][19][20] have recently reviewed and reported that there is a difference in the morphology and fraction of nanoscale precipitates as a function of build height in Ni-based superalloys. These non-uniformities in the as-built microstructure result in an undesired heterogeneity in mechanical and other important properties such as corrosion and oxidation [19][21][22][23]. To obtain the desired microstructure and properties, additional processing treatments are utilized, but this incurs extra costs and may lead to precipitation of detrimental phases and grain coarsening. Therefore, a through-process understanding of the microstructure evolution under repeated heating and cooling is now needed to further advance 3D printed microstructure and property control.

It is now commonly understood that the microstructure evolution during printing is complex, and most AM studies concentrate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the final build only. Post-printing studies of microstructure characteristics at room temperature miss crucial information on how they evolve. In-situ measurements and modelling approaches are required to better understand the complex microstructural evolution under repeated heating and cooling. Most in-situ measurements in AM focus on monitoring the microstructural changes, such as phase transformations and melt pool dynamics during fabrication using X-ray scattering and high-speed X-ray imaging [24][25][26][27]. For example, Zhao et al. [25] measured the rate of solidification and described the α/β phase transformation during L-PBF of Ti-6Al-4V in-situ. Also, Wahlmann et al. [21] recently used an L-PBF machine coupled with X-ray scattering to investigate the changes in CMSX-4 phase during successive melting processes. Although these techniques provide significant understanding of the basic principles of AM, they are not widely accessible. This is due to the great cost of the instrument, competitive application process, and complexities in terms of the experimental set-up, data collection, and analysis [26][28].

Computational modeling techniques are promising and more widely accessible tools that enable advanced understanding, prediction, and engineering of microstructures and properties during AM. So far, the majority of computational studies have concentrated on physics based process models for metal AM, with the goal of predicting the temperature profile, heat transfer, powder dynamics, and defect formation (e.g., porosity) [29][30]. In recent times, there have been efforts in modeling of the AM microstructure evolution using approaches such as phase-field [31], Monte Carlo (MC) [32], and cellular automata (CA) [33], coupled with finite element simulations for temperature profiles. However, these techniques are often restricted to simulating the evolution of solidification microstructures (e.g., grain and dendrite structure) and defects (e.g., porosity). For example, Zinovieva et al. [33] predicted the grain structure of L-PBF Ti-6Al-4V using finite difference and cellular automata methods. However, studies on the computational modelling of the solid-state phase transformations, which largely determine the resulting properties, remain limited. This can be attributed to the multi-component and multi-phase nature of most engineering alloys in AM, along with the complex transformation kinetics during thermal cycling. This kind of research involves predictions of the thermal cycle in AM builds, and connecting it to essential thermodynamic and kinetic data as inputs for the model. Based on the information provided, the thermokinetic model predicts the history of solid-state phase microstructure evolution during deposition as output. For example, a multi-phase, multi-component mean-field model has been developed to simulate the intermetallic precipitation kinetics in IN718 [34] and IN625 [35] during AM. Also, Basoalto et al. [36] employed a computational framework to examine the contrasting distributions of process-induced microvoids and precipitates in two Ni-based superalloys, namely IN718 and CM247LC. Furthermore, McNamara et al. [37] established a computational model based on the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami model for non-isothermal conditions to predict solid-state phase transformation kinetics in L-PBF IN718 and DED Ti-6Al-4V. These models successfully predicted the size and volume fraction of individual phases and captured the repeated nucleation and dissolution of precipitates that occur during AM.

In the current study, we propose a modeling approach with appreciably short computational time to investigate the detailed microstructural evolution during metal AM. This may include obtaining more detailed information on the morphologies of phases, such as size distribution, phase fraction, dissolution and nucleation kinetics, as well as chemistry during thermal cycling and final cooling to room temperature. We utilize the combination of the MatCalc thermo-kinetic simulator and a semi-analytical heat conduction model. MatCalc is a software suite for simulation of phase transformations, microstructure evolution and certain mechanical properties in engineering alloys. It has successfully been employed to simulate solid-state phase transformations in Ni-based superalloys [38][39], steels [40], and Al alloys [41] during complex thermo-mechanical processes. MatCalc uses the classical nucleation theory as well as the so-called Svoboda-Fischer-Fratzl-Kozeschnik (SFFK) growth model as the basis for simulating precipitation kinetics [42]. Although MatCalc was originally developed for conventional thermo-mechanical processes, we will show that it is also applicable for AM if the detailed time-temperature profile of the AM build is known. The semi-analytical heat transfer code developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43] is used to simulate these profile throughout the AM build.

1.1. Application to IN738

Inconel-738 (IN738) is a precipitation hardening Ni-based superalloy mainly employed in high-temperature components, e.g. in gas turbines and aero-engines owing to its exceptional mechanical properties at temperatures up to 980 °C, coupled with high resistance to oxidation and corrosion [44]. Its superior high-temperature strength (∼1090 MPa tensile strength) is provided by the L12 ordered Ni3(Al,Ti) γ′ phase that precipitates in a face-centered cubic (FCC) γ matrix [45][46]. Despite offering great properties, IN738, like most superalloys with high γ′ fractions, is challenging to process owing to its propensity to hot cracking [47][48]. Further, machining of such alloys is challenging because of their high strength and work-hardening rates. It is therefore difficult to fabricate complex INC738 parts using traditional manufacturing techniques like casting, welding, and forging.

The emergence of AM has now made it possible to fabricate such parts from IN738 and other superalloys. Some of the current authors’ recent research successfully applied E-PBF to fabricate defect-free IN738 containing γ′ throughout the build [16][17]. The precipitated γ′ were heterogeneously distributed. In particular, Haghdadi et al. [16] studied the origin of the multimodal size distribution of γ′, while Lim et al. [17] investigated the gradient in γ′ character with build height and its correlation to mechanical properties. Based on these results, the present study aims to extend the understanding of the complex and site-specific microstructural evolution in E-PBF IN738 by using a computational modelling approach. New experimental evidence (e.g., micrographs not published previously) is presented here to support the computational results.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Materials preparation

IN738 Ni-based superalloy (59.61Ni-8.48Co-7.00Al-17.47Cr-3.96Ti-1.01Mo-0.81W-0.56Ta-0.49Nb-0.47C-0.09Zr-0.05B, at%) gas-atomized powder was used as feedstock. The powders, with average size of 60 ± 7 µm, were manufactured by Praxair and distributed by Astro Alloys Inc. An Arcam Q10 machine by GE Additive with an acceleration voltage of 60 kV was used to fabricate a 15 × 15 × 25 mm3 block (XYZ, Z: build direction) on a 316 stainless steel substrate. The block was 3D-printed using a ‘random’ spot melt pattern. The random spot melt pattern involves randomly selecting points in any given layer, with an equal chance of each point being melted. Each spot melt experienced a dwell time of 0.3 ms, and the layer thickness was 50 µm. Some of the current authors have previously characterized the microstructure of the very same and similar builds in more detail [16][17]. A preheat temperature of ∼1000 °C was set and kept during printing to reduce temperature gradients and, in turn, thermal stresses [49][50][51]. Following printing, the build was separated from the substrate through electrical discharge machining. It should be noted that this sample was simultaneously printed with the one used in [17] during the same build process and on the same build plate, under identical conditions.

2.2. Microstructural characterization

The printed sample was longitudinally cut in the direction of the build using a Struers Accutom-50, ground, and then polished to 0.25 µm suspension via standard techniques. The polished x-z surface was electropolished and etched using Struers A2 solution (perchloric acid in ethanol). Specimens for image analysis were polished using a 0.06 µm colloidal silica. Microstructure analyses were carried out across the height of the build using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with focus on the microstructure evolution (γ′ precipitates) in individual layers. The position of each layer being analyzed was determined by multiplying the layer number by the layer thickness (50 µm). It should be noted that the position of the first layer starts where the thermal profile is tracked (in this case, 2 mm from the bottom). SEM images were acquired using a JEOL 7001 field emission microscope. The brightness and contrast settings, acceleration voltage of 15 kV, working distance of 10 mm, and other SEM imaging parameters were all held constant for analysis of the entire build. The ImageJ software was used for automated image analysis to determine the phase fraction and size of γ′ precipitates and carbides. A 2-pixel radius Gaussian blur, following a greyscale thresholding and watershed segmentation was used [52]. Primary γ′ sizes (>50 nm), were measured using equivalent spherical diameters. The phase fractions were considered equal to the measured area fraction. Secondary γ′ particles (<50 nm) were not considered here. The γ′ size in the following refers to the diameter of a precipitate.

2.3. Hardness testing

A Struers DuraScan tester was utilized for Vickers hardness mapping on a polished x-z surface, from top to bottom under a maximum load of 100 mN and 10 s dwell time. 30 micro-indentations were performed per row. According to the ASTM standard [53], the indentations were sufficiently distant (∼500 µm) to assure that strain-hardened areas did not interfere with one another.

2.4. Computational simulation of E-PBF IN738 build

2.4.1. Thermal profile modeling

The thermal history was generated using the semi-analytical heat transfer code (also known as the 3DThesis code) developed by Stump and Plotkowski [43]. This code is an open-source C++ program which provides a way to quickly simulate the conductive heat transfer found in welding and AM. The key use case for the code is the simulation of larger domains than is practicable with Computational Fluid Dynamics/Finite Element Analysis programs like FLOW-3D AM. Although simulating conductive heat transfer will not be an appropriate simplification for some investigations (for example the modelling of keyholding or pore formation), the 3DThesis code does provide fast estimates of temperature, thermal gradient, and solidification rate which can be useful for elucidating microstructure formation across entire layers of an AM build. The mathematics involved in the code is as follows:

In transient thermal conduction during welding and AM, with uniform and constant thermophysical properties and without considering fluid convection and latent heat effects, energy conservation can be expressed as:(1)��∂�∂�=�∇2�+�̇where � is density, � specific heat, � temperature, � time, � thermal conductivity, and �̇ a volumetric heat source. By assuming a semi-infinite domain, Eq. 1 can be analytically solved. The solution for temperature at a given time (t) using a volumetric Gaussian heat source is presented as:(2)��,�,�,�−�0=33�����32∫0�1������exp−3�′�′2��+�′�′2��+�′�′2����′(3)and��=12��−�′+��2for�=�,�,�(4)and�′�′=�−���′Where � is the vector �,�,� and �� is the location of the heat source.

The numerical integration scheme used is an adaptive Gaussian quadrature method based on the following nondimensionalization:(5)�=��xy2�,�′=��xy2�′,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=��xy,�=���xy

A more detailed explanation of the mathematics can be found in reference [43].

The main source of the thermal cycling present within a powder-bed fusion process is the fusion of subsequent layers. Therefore, regions near the top of a build are expected to undergo fewer thermal cycles than those closer to the bottom. For this purpose, data from the single scan’s thermal influence on multiple layers was spliced to represent the thermal cycles experienced at a single location caused by multiple subsequent layers being fused.

The cross-sectional area simulated by this model was kept constant at 1 × 1 mm2, and the depth was dependent on the build location modelled with MatCalc. For a build location 2 mm from the bottom, the maximum number of layers to simulate is 460. Fig. 1a shows a stitched overview OM image of the entire build indicating the region where this thermal cycle is simulated and tracked. To increase similarity with the conditions of the physical build, each thermal history was constructed from the results of two simulations generated with different versions of a random scan path. The parameters used for these thermal simulations can be found in Table 1. It should be noted that the main purpose of the thermal profile modelling was to demonstrate how the conditions at different locations of the build change relative to each other. Accurately predicting the absolute temperature during the build would require validation via a temperature sensor measurement during the build process which is beyond the scope of the study. Nonetheless, to establish the viability of the heat source as a suitable approximation for this study, an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted. This analysis focused on the influence of energy input on γ′ precipitation behavior, the central aim of this paper. This was achieved by employing varying beam absorption energies (0.76, 0.82 – the values utilized in the simulation, and 0.9). The direct impact of beam absorption efficiency on energy input into the material was investigated. Specifically, the initial 20 layers of the build were simulated and subsequently compared to experimental data derived from SEM. While phase fractions were found to be consistent across all conditions, disparities emerged in the mean size of γ′ precipitates. An absorption efficiency of 0.76 yielded a mean size of approximately 70 nm. Conversely, absorption efficiencies of 0.82 and 0.9 exhibited remarkably similar mean sizes of around 130 nm, aligning closely with the outcomes of the experiments.

Fig. 1

Table 1. A list of parameters used in thermal simulation of E-PBF.

ParameterValue
Spatial resolution5 µm
Time step0.5 s
Beam diameter200 µm
Beam penetration depth1 µm
Beam power1200 W
Beam absorption efficiency0.82
Thermal conductivity25.37 W/(m⋅K)
Chamber temperature1000 °C
Specific heat711.756 J/(kg⋅K)
Density8110 kg/m3

2.4.2. Thermo-kinetic simulation

The numerical analyses of the evolution of precipitates was performed using MatCalc version 6.04 (rel 0.011). The thermodynamic (‘mc_ni.tdb’, version 2.034) and diffusion (‘mc_ni.ddb’, version 2.007) databases were used. MatCalc’s basic principles are elaborated as follows:

The nucleation kinetics of precipitates are computed using a computational technique based on a classical nucleation theory [54] that has been modified for systems with multiple components [42][55]. Accordingly, the transient nucleation rate (�), which expresses the rate at which nuclei are formed per unit volume and time, is calculated as:(6)�=�0��*∙�xp−�*�∙�∙exp−��where �0 denotes the number of active nucleation sites, �* the rate of atomic attachment, � the Boltzmann constant, � the temperature, �* the critical energy for nucleus formation, τ the incubation time, and t the time. � (Zeldovich factor) takes into consideration that thermal excitation destabilizes the nucleus as opposed to its inactive state [54]. Z is defined as follows:(7)�=−12�kT∂2∆�∂�2�*12where ∆� is the overall change in free energy due to the formation of a nucleus and n is the nucleus’ number of atoms. ∆�’s derivative is evaluated at n* (critical nucleus size). �* accounts for the long-range diffusion of atoms required for nucleation, provided that the matrix’ and precipitates’ composition differ. Svoboda et al. [42] developed an appropriate multi-component equation for �*, which is given by:(8)�*=4��*2�4�∑�=1��ki−�0�2�0��0�−1where �* denotes the critical radius for nucleation, � represents atomic distance, and � is the molar volume. �ki and �0� represent the concentration of elements in the precipitate and matrix, respectively. The parameter �0� denotes the rate of diffusion of the ith element within the matrix. The expression for the incubation time � is expressed as [54]:(9)�=12�*�2

and �*, which represents the critical energy for nucleation:(10)�*=16�3�3∆�vol2where � is the interfacial energy, and ∆Gvol the change in the volume free energy. The critical nucleus’ composition is similar to the γ′ phase’s equilibrium composition at the same temperature. � is computed based on the precipitate and matrix compositions, using a generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model, with the assumption of interfaces being planar, sharp, and coherent [56][57][58].

In Eq. 7, it is worth noting that �* represents the fundamental variable in the nucleation theory. It contains �3/∆�vol2 and is in the exponent of the nucleation rate. Therefore, even small variations in γ and/or ∆�vol can result in notable changes in �, especially if �* is in the order of �∙�. This is demonstrated in [38] for UDIMET 720 Li during continuous cooling, where these quantities change steadily during precipitation due to their dependence on matrix’ and precipitate’s temperature and composition. In the current work, these changes will be even more significant as the system is exposed to multiple cycles of rapid cooling and heating.

Once nucleated, the growth of a precipitate is assessed using the radius and composition evolution equations developed by Svoboda et al. [42] with a mean-field method that employs the thermodynamic extremal principle. The expression for the total Gibbs free energy of a thermodynamic system G, which consists of n components and m precipitates, is given as follows:(11)�=∑���0��0�+∑�=1�4���33��+∑�=1��ki�ki+∑�=1�4���2��.

The chemical potential of component � in the matrix is denoted as �0�(�=1,…,�), while the chemical potential of component � in the precipitate is represented by �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). These chemical potentials are defined as functions of the concentrations �ki(�=1,…,�,�=1,…,�). The interface energy density is denoted as �, and �� incorporates the effects of elastic energy and plastic work resulting from the volume change of each precipitate.

Eq. (12) establishes that the total free energy of the system in its current state relies on the independent state variables: the sizes (radii) of the precipitates �� and the concentrations of each component �ki. The remaining variables can be determined by applying the law of mass conservation to each component �. This can be represented by the equation:(12)��=�0�+∑�=1�4���33�ki,

Furthermore, the global mass conservation can be expressed by equation:(13)�=∑�=1���When a thermodynamic system transitions to a more stable state, the energy difference between the initial and final stages is dissipated. This model considers three distinct forms of dissipation effects [42]. These include dissipations caused by the movement of interfaces, diffusion within the precipitate and diffusion within the matrix.

Consequently, �̇� (growth rate) and �̇ki (chemical composition’s rate of change) of the precipitate with index � are derived from the linear system of equation system:(14)�ij��=��where �� symbolizes the rates �̇� and �̇ki [42]. Index i contains variables for precipitate radius, chemical composition, and stoichiometric boundary conditions suggested by the precipitate’s crystal structure. Eq. (10) is computed separately for every precipitate �. For a more detailed description of the formulae for the coefficients �ij and �� employed in this work please refer to [59].

The MatCalc software was used to perform the numerical time integration of �̇� and �̇ki of precipitates based on the classical numerical method by Kampmann and Wagner [60]. Detailed information on this method can be found in [61]. Using this computational method, calculations for E-PBF thermal cycles (cyclic heating and cooling) were computed and compared to experimental data. The simulation took approximately 2–4 hrs to complete on a standard laptop.

3. Results

3.1. Microstructure

Fig. 1 displays a stitched overview image and selected SEM micrographs of various γ′ morphologies and carbides after observations of the X-Z surface of the build from the top to 2 mm above the bottom. Fig. 2 depicts a graph that charts the average size and phase fraction of the primary γ′, as it changes with distance from the top to the bottom of the build. The SEM micrographs show widespread primary γ′ precipitation throughout the entire build, with the size increasing in the top to bottom direction. Particularly, at the topmost height, representing the 460th layer (Z = 22.95 mm), as seen in Fig. 1b, the average size of γ′ is 110 ± 4 nm, exhibiting spherical shapes. This is representative of the microstructure after it solidifies and cools to room temperature, without experiencing additional thermal cycles. The γ′ size slightly increases to 147 ± 6 nm below this layer and remains constant until 0.4 mm (∼453rd layer) from the top. At this position, the microstructure still closely resembles that of the 460th layer. After the 453rd layer, the γ′ size grows rapidly to ∼503 ± 19 nm until reaching the 437th layer (1.2 mm from top). The γ′ particles here have a cuboidal shape, and a small fraction is coarser than 600 nm. γ′ continue to grow steadily from this position to the bottom (23 mm from the top). A small fraction of γ′ is > 800 nm.

Fig. 2

Besides primary γ′, secondary γ′ with sizes ranging from 5 to 50 nm were also found. These secondary γ′ precipitates, as seen in Fig. 1f, were present only in the bottom and middle regions. A detailed analysis of the multimodal size distribution of γ′ can be found in [16]. There is no significant variation in the phase fraction of the γ′ along the build. The phase fraction is ∼ 52%, as displayed in Fig. 2. It is worth mentioning that the total phase fraction of γ′ was estimated based on the primary γ′ phase fraction because of the small size of secondary γ′. Spherical MC carbides with sizes ranging from 50 to 400 nm and a phase fraction of 0.8% were also observed throughout the build. The carbides are the light grey precipitates in Fig. 1g. The light grey shade of carbides in the SEM images is due to their composition and crystal structure [52]. These carbides are not visible in Fig. 1b-e because they were dissolved during electro-etching carried out after electropolishing. In Fig. 1g, however, the sample was examined directly after electropolishing, without electro-etching.

Table 2 shows the nominal and measured composition of γ′ precipitates throughout the build by atom probe microscopy as determined in our previous study [17]. No build height-dependent composition difference was observed in either of the γ′ precipitate populations. However, there was a slight disparity between the composition of primary and secondary γ′. Among the main γ′ forming elements, the primary γ′ has a high Ti concentration while secondary γ′ has a high Al concentration. A detailed description of the atom distribution maps and the proxigrams of the constituent elements of γ′ throughout the build can be found in [17].

Table 2. Bulk IN738 composition determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Compositions of γ, primary γ′, and secondary γ′ at various locations in the build measured by APT. This information is reproduced from data in Ref. [17] with permission.

at%NiCrCoAlMoWTiNbCBZrTaOthers
Bulk59.1217.478.487.001.010.813.960.490.470.050.090.560.46
γ matrix
Top50.4832.9111.591.941.390.820.440.80.030.030.020.24
Mid50.3732.6111.931.791.540.890.440.10.030.020.020.010.23
Bot48.1034.5712.082.141.430.880.480.080.040.030.010.12
Primary γ′
Top72.172.513.4412.710.250.397.780.560.030.020.050.08
Mid71.602.573.2813.550.420.687.040.730.010.030.040.04
Bot72.342.473.8612.500.260.447.460.500.050.020.020.030.04
Secondary γ′
Mid70.424.203.2314.190.631.035.340.790.030.040.040.05
Bot69.914.063.6814.320.811.045.220.650.050.100.020.11

3.2. Hardness

Fig. 3a shows the Vickers hardness mapping performed along the entire X-Z surface, while Fig. 3b shows the plot of average hardness at different build heights. This hardness distribution is consistent with the γ′ precipitate size gradient across the build direction in Fig. 1Fig. 2. The maximum hardness of ∼530 HV1 is found at ∼0.5 mm away from the top surface (Z = 22.5), where γ′ particles exhibit the smallest observed size in Fig. 2b. Further down the build (∼ 2 mm from the top), the hardness drops to the 440–490 HV1 range. This represents the region where γ′ begins to coarsen. The hardness drops further to 380–430 HV1 at the bottom of the build.

Fig. 3

3.3. Modeling of the microstructural evolution during E-PBF

3.3.1. Thermal profile modeling

Fig. 4 shows the simulated thermal profile of the E-PBF build at a location of 23 mm from the top of the build, using a semi-analytical heat conduction model. This profile consists of the time taken to deposit 460 layers until final cooling, as shown in Fig. 4a. Fig. 4b-d show the magnified regions of Fig. 4a and reveal the first 20 layers from the top, a single layer (first layer from the top), and the time taken for the build to cool after the last layer deposition, respectively.

Fig. 4

The peak temperatures experienced by previous layers decrease progressively as the number of layers increases but never fall below the build preheat temperature (1000 °C). Our simulated thermal cycle may not completely capture the complexity of the actual thermal cycle utilized in the E-PBF build. For instance, the top layer (Fig. 4c), also representing the first deposit’s thermal profile without additional cycles (from powder heating, melting, to solidification), recorded the highest peak temperature of 1390 °C. Although this temperature is above the melting range of the alloy (1230–1360 °C) [62], we believe a much higher temperature was produced by the electron beam to melt the powder. Nevertheless, the solidification temperature and dynamics are outside the scope of this study as our focus is on the solid-state phase transformations during deposition. It takes ∼25 s for each layer to be deposited and cooled to the build temperature. The interlayer dwell time is 125 s. The time taken for the build to cool to room temperature (RT) after final layer deposition is ∼4.7 hrs (17,000 s).

3.3.2. MatCalc simulation

During the MatCalc simulation, the matrix phase is defined as γ. γ′, and MC carbide are included as possible precipitates. The domain of these precipitates is set to be the matrix (γ), and nucleation is assumed to be homogenous. In homogeneous nucleation, all atoms of the unit volume are assumed to be potential nucleation sitesTable 3 shows the computational parameters used in the simulation. All other parameters were set at default values as recommended in the version 6.04.0011 of MatCalc. The values for the interfacial energies are automatically calculated according to the generalized nearest neighbor broken bond model and is one of the most outstanding features in MatCalc [56][57][58]. It should be noted that the elastic misfit strain was not included in the calculation. The output of MatCalc includes phase fraction, size, nucleation rate, and composition of the precipitates. The phase fraction in MatCalc is the volume fraction. Although the experimental phase fraction is the measured area fraction, it is relatively similar to the volume fraction. This is because of the generally larger precipitate size and similar morphology at the various locations along the build [63]. A reliable phase fraction comparison between experiment and simulation can therefore be made.

Table 3. Computational parameters used in the simulation.

Precipitation domainγ
Nucleation site γ′Bulk (homogenous)
Nucleation site MC carbideBulk (Homogenous)
Precipitates class size250
Regular solution critical temperature γ′2500 K[64]
Calculated interfacial energyγ′ = 0.080–0.140 J/m2 and MC carbide = 0.410–0.430 J/m2
3.3.2.1. Precipitate phase fraction

Fig. 5a shows the simulated phase fraction of γ′ and MC carbide during thermal cycling. Fig. 5b is a magnified view of 5a showing the simulated phase fraction at the center points of the top 70 layers, whereas Fig. 5c corresponds to the first two layers from the top. As mentioned earlier, the top layer (460th layer) represents the microstructure after solidification. The microstructure of the layers below is determined by the number of thermal cycles, which increases with distance to the top. For example, layers 459, 458, 457, up to layer 1 (region of interest) experience 1, 2, 3 and 459 thermal cycles, respectively. In the top layer in Fig. 5c, the volume fraction of γ′ and carbides increases with temperature. For γ′, it decreases to zero when the temperature is above the solvus temperature after a few seconds. Carbides, however, remain constant in their volume fraction reaching equilibrium (phase fraction ∼ 0.9%) in a short time. The topmost layer can be compared to the first deposit, and the peak in temperature symbolizes the stage where the electron beam heats the powder until melting. This means γ′ and carbide precipitation might have started in the powder particles during heating from the build temperature and electron beam until the onset of melting, where γ′ dissolves, but carbides remain stable [28].

Fig. 5

During cooling after deposition, γ′ reprecipitates at a temperature of 1085 °C, which is below its solvus temperature. As cooling progresses, the phase fraction increases steadily to ∼27% and remains constant at 1000 °C (elevated build temperature). The calculated equilibrium fraction of phases by MatCalc is used to show the complex precipitation characteristics in this alloy. Fig. 6 shows that MC carbides form during solidification at 1320 °C, followed by γ′, which precipitate when the solidified layer cools to 1140 °C. This indicates that all deposited layers might contain a negligible amount of these precipitates before subsequent layer deposition, while being at the 1000 °C build temperature or during cooling to RT. The phase diagram also shows that the equilibrium fraction of the γ′ increases as temperature decreases. For instance, at 1000, 900, and 800 °C, the phase fractions are ∼30%, 38%, and 42%, respectively.

Fig. 6

Deposition of subsequent layers causes previous layers to undergo phase transformations as they are exposed to several thermal cycles with different peak temperatures. In Fig. 5c, as the subsequent layer is being deposited, γ′ in the previous layer (459th layer) begins to dissolve as the temperature crosses the solvus temperature. This is witnessed by the reduction of the γ′ phase fraction. This graph also shows how this phase dissolves during heating. However, the phase fraction of MC carbide remains stable at high temperatures and no dissolution is seen during thermal cycling. Upon cooling, the γ′ that was dissolved during heating reprecipitates with a surge in the phase fraction until 1000 °C, after which it remains constant. This microstructure is similar to the solidification microstructure (layer 460), with a similar γ′ phase fraction (∼27%).

The complete dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ continue for several cycles until the 50th layer from the top (layer 411), where the phase fraction does not reach zero during heating to the peak temperature (see Fig. 5d). This indicates the ‘partial’ dissolution of γ′, which continues progressively with additional layers. It should be noted that the peak temperatures for layers that underwent complete dissolution were much higher (1170–1300 °C) than the γ′ solvus.

The dissolution and reprecipitation of γ′ during thermal cycling are further confirmed in Fig. 7, which summarizes the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and concentration of major elements that form γ′ in the matrix. Fig. 7b magnifies a single layer (3rd layer from top) within the full dissolution region in Fig. 7a to help identify the nucleation and growth mechanisms. From Fig. 7b, γ′ nucleation begins during cooling whereby the nucleation rate increases to reach a maximum value of approximately 1 × 1020 m−3s−1. This fast kinetics implies that some rearrangement of atoms is required for γ′ precipitates to form in the matrix [65][66]. The matrix at this stage is in a non-equilibrium condition. Its composition is similar to the nominal composition and remains unchanged. The phase fraction remains insignificant at this stage although nucleation has started. The nucleation rate starts declining upon reaching the peak value. Simultaneously, diffusion-controlled growth of existing nuclei occurs, depleting the matrix of γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti). Thus, from (7)(11), ∆�vol continuously decreases until nucleation ceases. The growth of nuclei is witnessed by the increase in phase fraction until a constant level is reached at 27% upon cooling to and holding at build temperature. This nucleation event is repeated several times.

Fig. 7

At the onset of partial dissolution, the nucleation rate jumps to 1 × 1021 m−3s−1, and then reduces sharply at the middle stage of partial dissolution. The nucleation rate reaches 0 at a later stage. Supplementary Fig. S1 shows a magnified view of the nucleation rate, phase fraction, and thermal profile, underpinning this trend. The jump in nucleation rate at the onset is followed by a progressive reduction in the solute content of the matrix. The peak temperatures (∼1130–1160 °C) are lower than those in complete dissolution regions but still above or close to the γ′ solvus. The maximum phase fraction (∼27%) is similar to that of the complete dissolution regions. At the middle stage, the reduction in nucleation rate is accompanied by a sharp drop in the matrix composition. The γ′ fraction drops to ∼24%, where the peak temperatures of the layers are just below or at γ′ solvus. The phase fraction then increases progressively through the later stage of partial dissolution to ∼30% towards the end of thermal cycling. The matrix solute content continues to drop although no nucleation event is seen. The peak temperatures are then far below the γ′ solvus. It should be noted that the matrix concentration after complete dissolution remains constant. Upon cooling to RT after final layer deposition, the nucleation rate increases again, indicating new nucleation events. The phase fraction reaches ∼40%, with a further depletion of the matrix in major γ′ forming elements.

3.3.2.2. γ′ size distribution

Fig. 8 shows histograms of the γ′ precipitate size distributions (PSD) along the build height during deposition. These PSDs are predicted at the end of each layer of interest just before final cooling to room temperature, to separate the role of thermal cycles from final cooling on the evolution of γ′. The PSD for the top layer (layer 460) is shown in Fig. 8a (last solidified region with solidification microstructure). The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 230 nm and is similar to the 44 layers below (2.2 mm from the top).

Fig. 8

Further down the build, γ′ begins to coarsen after layer 417 (44th layer from top). Fig. 8c shows the PSD after the 44th layer, where the γ′ size exhibits two peaks at ∼120–230 and ∼300 nm, with most of the population being in the former range. This is the onset of partial dissolution where simultaneously with the reprecipitation and growth of fresh γ′, the undissolved γ′ grows rapidly through diffusive transport of atoms to the precipitates. This is shown in Fig. 8c, where the precipitate class sizes between 250 and 350 represent the growth of undissolved γ′. Although this continues in the 416th layer, the phase fractions plot indicates that the onset of partial dissolution begins after the 411th layer. This implies that partial dissolution started early, but the fraction of undissolved γ′ was too low to impact the phase fraction. The reprecipitated γ′ are mostly in the 100–220 nm class range and similar to those observed during full dissolution.

As the number of layers increases, coarsening intensifies with continued growth of more undissolved γ′, and reprecipitation and growth of partially dissolved ones. Fig. 8d, e, and f show this sequence. Further down the build, coarsening progresses rapidly, as shown in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f. The γ′ size ranges from 120 to 1100 nm, with the peaks at 160, 180, and 220 nm in Figs. 8d, 8e, and 8f, respectively. Coarsening continues until nucleation ends during dissolution, where only the already formed γ′ precipitates continue to grow during further thermal cycling. The γ′ size at this point is much larger, as observed in layers 361 and 261, and continues to increase steadily towards the bottom (layer 1). Two populations in the ranges of ∼380–700 and ∼750–1100 nm, respectively, can be seen. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom is confirmed by the gradual decrease in the concentration of solute elements in the matrix (Fig. 7a). It should be noted that for each layer, the γ′ class with the largest size originates from continuous growth of the earliest set of the undissolved precipitates.

Fig. 9Fig. 10 and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3 show the γ′ size evolution during heating and cooling of a single layer in the full dissolution region, and early, middle stages, and later stages of partial dissolution, respectively. In all, the size of γ′ reduces during layer heating. Depending on the peak temperature of the layer which varies with build height, γ′ are either fully or partially dissolved as mentioned earlier. Upon cooling, the dissolved γ′ reprecipitate.

Fig. 9
Fig. 10

In Fig. 9, those layers that underwent complete dissolution (top layers) were held above γ′ solvus temperature for longer. In Fig. 10, layers at the early stage of partial dissolution spend less time in the γ′ solvus temperature region during heating, leading to incomplete dissolution. In such conditions, smaller precipitates are fully dissolved while larger ones shrink [67]. Layers in the middle stages of partial dissolution have peak temperatures just below or at γ′ solvus, not sufficient to achieve significant γ′ dissolution. As seen in supplementary Fig. S2, only a few smaller γ′ are dissolved back into the matrix during heating, i.e., growth of precipitates is more significant than dissolution. This explains the sharp decrease in concentration of Al and Ti in the matrix in this layer.

The previous sections indicate various phenomena such as an increase in phase fraction, further depletion of matrix composition, and new nucleation bursts during cooling. Analysis of the PSD after the final cooling of the build to room temperature allows a direct comparison to post-printing microstructural characterization. Fig. 11 shows the γ′ size distribution of layer 1 (460th layer from the top) after final cooling to room temperature. Precipitation of secondary γ′ is observed, leading to the multimodal size distribution of secondary and primary γ′. The secondary γ′ size falls within the 10–80 nm range. As expected, a further growth of the existing primary γ′ is also observed during cooling.

Fig. 11
3.3.2.3. γ′ chemistry after deposition

Fig. 12 shows the concentration of the major elements that form γ′ (Al, Ti, and Ni) in the primary and secondary γ′ at the bottom of the build, as calculated by MatCalc. The secondary γ′ has a higher Al content (13.5–14.5 at% Al), compared to 13 at% Al in the primary γ′. Additionally, within the secondary γ′, the smallest particles (∼10 nm) have higher Al contents than larger ones (∼70 nm). In contrast, for the primary γ′, there is no significant variation in the Al content as a function of their size. The Ni concentration in secondary γ′ (71.1–72 at%) is also higher in comparison to the primary γ′ (70 at%). The smallest secondary γ′ (∼10 nm) have higher Ni contents than larger ones (∼70 nm), whereas there is no substantial change in the Ni content of primary γ′, based on their size. As expected, Ti shows an opposite size-dependent variation. It ranges from ∼ 7.7–8.7 at% Ti in secondary γ′ to ∼9.2 at% in primary γ′. Similarly, within the secondary γ′, the smallest (∼10 nm) have lower Al contents than the larger ones (∼70 nm). No significant variation is observed for Ti content in primary γ′.

Fig. 12

4. Discussion

A combined modelling method is utilized to study the microstructural evolution during E-PBF of IN738. The presented results are discussed by examining the precipitation and dissolution mechanism of γ′ during thermal cycling. This is followed by a discussion on the phase fraction and size evolution of γ′ during thermal cycling and after final cooling. A brief discussion on carbide morphology is also made. Finally, a comparison is made between the simulation and experimental results to assess their agreement.

4.1. γ′ morphology as a function of build height

4.1.1. Nucleation of γ′

The fast precipitation kinetics of the γ′ phase enables formation of γ′ upon quenching from higher temperatures (above solvus) during thermal cycling [66]. In Fig. 7b, for a single layer in the full dissolution region, during cooling, the initial increase in nucleation rate signifies the first formation of nuclei. The slight increase in nucleation rate during partial dissolution, despite a decrease in the concentration of γ′ forming elements, may be explained by the nucleation kinetics. During partial dissolution and as the precipitates shrink, it is assumed that the regions at the vicinity of partially dissolved precipitates are enriched in γ′ forming elements [68][69]. This differs from the full dissolution region, in which case the chemical composition is evenly distributed in the matrix. Several authors have attributed the solute supersaturation of the matrix around primary γ′ to partial dissolution during isothermal ageing [69][70][71][72]. The enhanced supersaturation in the regions close to the precipitates results in a much higher driving force for nucleation, leading to a higher nucleation rate upon cooling. This phenomenon can be closely related to the several nucleation bursts upon continuous cooling of Ni-based superalloys, where second nucleation bursts exhibit higher nucleation rates [38][68][73][74].

At middle stages of partial dissolution, the reduction in the nucleation rate indicates that the existing composition and low supersaturation did not trigger nucleation as the matrix was closer to the equilibrium state. The end of a nucleation burst means that the supersaturation of Al and Ti has reached a low level, incapable of providing sufficient driving force during cooling to or holding at 1000 °C for further nucleation [73]. Earlier studies on Ni-based superalloys have reported the same phenomenon during ageing or continuous cooling from the solvus temperature to RT [38][73][74].

4.1.2. Dissolution of γ′ during thermal cycling

γ′ dissolution kinetics during heating are fast when compared to nucleation due to exponential increase in phase transformation and diffusion activities with temperature [65]. As shown in Fig. 9Fig. 10, and supplementary Figs. S2 and S3, the reduction in γ′ phase fraction and size during heating indicates γ′ dissolution. This is also revealed in Fig. 5 where phase fraction decreases upon heating. The extent of γ′ dissolution mostly depends on the temperature, time spent above γ′ solvus, and precipitate size [75][76][77]. Smaller γ′ precipitates are first to be dissolved [67][77][78]. This is mainly because more solute elements need to be transported away from large γ′ precipitates than from smaller ones [79]. Also, a high temperature above γ′ solvus temperature leads to a faster dissolution rate [80]. The equilibrium solvus temperature of γ′ in IN738 in our MatCalc simulation (Fig. 6) and as reported by Ojo et al. [47] is 1140 °C and 1130–1180 °C, respectively. This means the peak temperature experienced by previous layers decreases progressively from γ′ supersolvus to subsolvus, near-solvus, and far from solvus as the number of subsequent layers increases. Based on the above, it can be inferred that the degree of dissolution of γ′ contributes to the gradient in precipitate distribution.

Although the peak temperatures during later stages of partial dissolution are much lower than the equilibrium γ′ solvus, γ′ dissolution still occurs but at a significantly lower rate (supplementary Fig. S3). Wahlmann et al. [28] also reported a similar case where they observed the rapid dissolution of γ′ in CMSX-4 during fast heating and cooling cycles at temperatures below the γ′ solvus. They attributed this to the γ′ phase transformation process taking place in conditions far from the equilibrium. While the same reasoning may be valid for our study, we further believe that the greater surface area to volume ratio of the small γ′ precipitates contributed to this. This ratio means a larger area is available for solute atoms to diffuse into the matrix even at temperatures much below the solvus [81].

4.2. γ′ phase fraction and size evolution

4.2.1. During thermal cycling

In the first layer, the steep increase in γ′ phase fraction during heating (Fig. 5), which also represents γ′ precipitation in the powder before melting, has qualitatively been validated in [28]. The maximum phase fraction of 27% during the first few layers of thermal cycling indicates that IN738 theoretically could reach the equilibrium state (∼30%), but the short interlayer time at the build temperature counteracts this. The drop in phase fraction at middle stages of partial dissolution is due to the low number of γ′ nucleation sites [73]. It has been reported that a reduction of γ′ nucleation sites leads to a delay in obtaining the final volume fraction as more time is required for γ′ precipitates to grow and reach equilibrium [82]. This explains why even upon holding for 150 s before subsequent layer deposition, the phase fraction does not increase to those values that were observed in the previous full γ′ dissolution regions. Towards the end of deposition, the increase in phase fraction to the equilibrium value of 30% is as a result of the longer holding at build temperature or close to it [83].

During thermal cycling, γ′ particles begin to grow immediately after they first precipitate upon cooling. This is reflected in the rapid increase in phase fraction and size during cooling in Fig. 5 and supplementary Fig. S2, respectively. The rapid growth is due to the fast diffusion of solute elements at high temperatures [84]. The similar size of γ′ for the first 44 layers from the top can be attributed to the fact that all layers underwent complete dissolution and hence, experienced the same nucleation event and growth during deposition. This corresponds with the findings by Balikci et al. [85], who reported that the degree of γ′ precipitation in IN738LC does not change when a solution heat treatment is conducted above a certain critical temperature.

The increase in coarsening rate (Fig. 8) during thermal cycling can first be ascribed to the high peak temperature of the layers [86]. The coarsening rate of γ′ is known to increase rapidly with temperature due to the exponential growth of diffusion activity. Also, the simultaneous dissolution with coarsening could be another reason for the high coarsening rate, as γ′ coarsening is a diffusion-driven process where large particles grow by consuming smaller ones [78][84][86][87]. The steady growth of γ′ towards the bottom of the build is due to the much lower layer peak temperature, which is almost close to the build temperature, and reduced dissolution activity, as is seen in the much lower solute concentration in γ′ compared to those in the full and partial dissolution regions.

4.2.2. During cooling

The much higher phase fraction of ∼40% upon cooling signifies the tendency of γ′ to reach equilibrium at lower temperatures (Fig. 4). This is due to the precipitation of secondary γ′ and a further increase in the size of existing primary γ′, which leads to a multimodal size distribution of γ′ after cooling [38][73][88][89][90]. The reason for secondary γ′ formation during cooling is as follows: As cooling progresses, it becomes increasingly challenging to redistribute solute elements in the matrix owing to their lower mobility [38][73]. A higher supersaturation level in regions away from or free of the existing γ′ precipitates is achieved, making them suitable sites for additional nucleation bursts. More cooling leads to the growth of these secondary γ′ precipitates, but as the temperature and in turn, the solute diffusivity is low, growth remains slow.

4.3. Carbides

MC carbides in IN738 are known to have a significant impact on the high-temperature strength. They can also act as effective hardening particles and improve the creep resistance [91]. Precipitation of MC carbides in IN738 and several other superalloys is known to occur during solidification or thermal treatments (e.g., hot isostatic pressing) [92]. In our case, this means that the MC carbides within the E-PBF build formed because of the thermal exposure from the E-PBF thermal cycle in addition to initial solidification. Our simulation confirms this as MC carbides appear during layer heating (Fig. 5). The constant and stable phase fraction of MC carbides during thermal cycling can be attributed to their high melting point (∼1360 °C) and the short holding time at peak temperatures [75][93][94]. The solvus temperature for most MC carbides exceeds most of the peak temperatures observed in our simulation, and carbide dissolution kinetics at temperatures above the solvus are known to be comparably slow [95]. The stable phase fraction and random distribution of MC carbides signifies the slight influence on the gradient in hardness.

4.4. Comparison of simulations and experiments

4.4.1. Precipitate phase fraction and morphology as a function of build height

A qualitative agreement is observed for the phase fraction of carbides, i.e. ∼0.8% in the experiment and ∼0.9% in the simulation. The phase fraction of γ′ differs, with the experiment reporting a value of ∼51% and the simulation, 40%. Despite this, the size distribution of primary γ′ along the build shows remarkable consistency between experimental and computational analyses. It is worth noting that the primary γ′ morphology in the experimental analysis is observed in the as-fabricated state, whereas the simulation (Fig. 8) captures it during deposition process. The primary γ′ size in the experiment is expected to experience additional growth during the cooling phase. Regardless, both show similar trends in primary γ′ size increments from the top to the bottom of the build. The larger primary γ’ size in the simulation versus the experiment can be attributed to the fact that experimental and simulation results are based on 2D and 3D data, respectively. The absence of stereological considerations [96] in our analysis could have led to an underestimation of the precipitate sizes from SEM measurements. The early starts of coarsening (8th layer) in the experiment compared to the simulation (45th layer) can be attributed to a higher actual γ′ solvus temperature than considered in our simulation [47]. The solvus temperature of γ′ in a Ni-based superalloy is mainly determined by the detailed composition. A high amount of Cr and Co are known to reduce the solvus temperature, whereas Ta and Mo will increase it [97][98][99]. The elemental composition from our experimental work was used for the simulation except for Ta. It should be noted that Ta is not included in the thermodynamic database in MatCalc used, and this may have reduced the solvus temperature. This could also explain the relatively higher γ′ phase fraction in the experiment than in simulation, as a higher γ′ solvus temperature will cause more γ′ to precipitate and grow early during cooling [99][100].

Another possible cause of this deviation can be attributed to the extent of γ′ dissolution, which is mainly determined by the peak temperature. It can be speculated that individual peak temperatures at different layers in the simulation may have been over-predicted. However, one needs to consider that the true thermal profile is likely more complicated in the actual E-PBF process [101]. For example, the current model assumes that the thermophysical properties of the material are temperature-independent, which is not realistic. Many materials, including IN738, exhibit temperature-dependent properties such as thermal conductivityspecific heat capacity, and density [102]. This means that heat transfer simulations may underestimate or overestimate the temperature gradients and cooling rates within the powder bed and the solidified part. Additionally, the model does not account for the reduced thermal diffusivity through unmelted powder, where gas separating the powder acts as insulation, impeding the heat flow [1]. In E-PBF, the unmelted powder regions with trapped gas have lower thermal diffusivity compared to the fully melted regions, leading to localized temperature variations, and altered solidification behavior. These limitations can impact the predictions, particularly in relation to the carbide dissolution, as the peak temperatures may be underestimated.

While acknowledging these limitations, it is worth emphasizing that achieving a detailed and accurate representation of each layer’s heat source would impose tough computational challenges. Given the substantial layer count in E-PBF, our decision to employ a semi-analytical approximation strikes a balance between computational feasibility and the capture of essential trends in thermal profiles across diverse build layers. In future work, a dual-calibration strategy is proposed to further reduce simulation-experiment disparities. By refining temperature-independent thermophysical property approximations and absorptivity in the heat source model, and by optimizing interfacial energy descriptions in the kinetic model, the predictive precision could be enhanced. Further refining the simulation controls, such as adjusting the precipitate class size may enhance quantitative comparisons between modeling outcomes and experimental data in future work.

4.4.2. Multimodal size distribution of γ′ and concentration

Another interesting feature that sees qualitative agreement between the simulation and the experiment is the multimodal size distribution of γ′. The formation of secondary γ′ particles in the experiment and most E-PBF Ni-based superalloys is suggested to occur at low temperatures, during final cooling to RT [16][73][90]. However, so far, this conclusion has been based on findings from various continuous cooling experiments, as the study of the evolution during AM would require an in-situ approach. Our simulation unambiguously confirms this in an AM context by providing evidence for secondary γ′ precipitation during slow cooling to RT. Additionally, it is possible to speculate that the chemical segregation occurring during solidification, due to the preferential partitioning of certain elements between the solid and liquid phases, can contribute to the multimodal size distribution during deposition [51]. This is because chemical segregation can result in variations in the local composition of superalloys, which subsequently affects the nucleation and growth of γ′. Regions with higher concentrations of alloying elements will encourage the formation of larger γ′ particles, while regions with lower concentrations may favor the nucleation of smaller precipitates. However, it is important to acknowledge that the elevated temperature during the E-PBF process will largely homogenize these compositional differences [103][104].

A good correlation is also shown in the composition of major γ′ forming elements (Al and Ti) in primary and secondary γ′. Both experiment and simulation show an increasing trend for Al content and a decreasing trend for Ti content from primary to secondary γ′. The slight composition differences between primary and secondary γ′ particles are due to the different diffusivity of γ′ stabilizers at different thermal conditions [105][106]. As the formation of multimodal γ′ particles with different sizes occurs over a broad temperature range, the phase chemistry of γ′ will be highly size dependent. The changes in the chemistry of various γ′ (primary, secondary, and tertiary) have received significant attention since they have a direct influence on the performance [68][105][107][108][109]. Chen et al. [108][109], reported a high Al content in the smallest γ′ precipitates compared to the largest, while Ti showed an opposite trend during continuous cooling in a RR1000 Ni-based superalloy. This was attributed to the temperature and cooling rate at which the γ′ precipitates were formed. The smallest precipitates formed last, at the lowest temperature and cooling rate. A comparable observation is evident in the present investigation, where the secondary γ′ forms at a low temperature and cooling rate in comparison to the primary. The temperature dependence of γ′ chemical composition is further evidenced in supplementary Fig. S4, which shows the equilibrium chemical composition of γ′ as a function of temperature.

5. Conclusions

A correlative modelling approach capable of predicting solid-state phase transformations kinetics in metal AM was developed. This approach involves computational simulations with a semi-analytical heat transfer model and the MatCalc thermo-kinetic software. The method was used to predict the phase transformation kinetics and detailed morphology and chemistry of γ′ and MC during E-PBF of IN738 Ni-based superalloy. The main conclusions are:

  • 1.The computational simulations are in qualitative agreement with the experimental observations. This is particularly true for the γ′ size distribution along the build height, the multimodal size distribution of particles, and the phase fraction of MC carbides.
  • 2.The deviations between simulation and experiment in terms of γ′ phase fraction and location in the build are most likely attributed to a higher γ′ solvus temperature during the experiment than in the simulation, which is argued to be related to the absence of Ta in the MatCalc database.
  • 3.The dissolution and precipitation of γ′ occur fast and under non-equilibrium conditions. The level of γ′ dissolution determines the gradient in γ′ size distribution along the build. After thermal cycling, the final cooling to room temperature has further significant impacts on the final γ′ size, morphology, and distribution.
  • 4.A negligible amount of γ′ forms in the first deposited layer before subsequent layer deposition, and a small amount of γ′ may also form in the powder induced by the 1000 °C elevated build temperature before melting.

Our findings confirm the suitability of MatCalc to predict the microstructural evolution at various positions throughout a build in a Ni-based superalloy during E-PBF. It also showcases the suitability of a tool which was originally developed for traditional thermo-mechanical processing of alloys to the new additive manufacturing context. Our simulation capabilities are likely extendable to other alloy systems that undergo solid-state phase transformations implemented in MatCalc (various steels, Ni-based superalloys, and Al-alloys amongst others) as well as other AM processes such as L-DED and L-PBF which have different thermal cycle characteristics. New tools to predict the microstructural evolution and properties during metal AM are important as they provide new insights into the complexities of AM. This will enable control and design of AM microstructures towards advanced materials properties and performances.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Primig Sophie: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Resources, Project administration, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization. Adomako Nana Kwabena: Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Software, Investigation, Formal analysis, Conceptualization. Haghdadi Nima: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Conceptualization. Dingle James F.L.: Methodology, Conceptualization, Software, Writing – review & editing, Visualization. Kozeschnik Ernst: Writing – review & editing, Software, Methodology. Liao Xiaozhou: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition. Ringer Simon P: Writing – review & editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition.

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.

Acknowledgements

This research was sponsored by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science under the auspices of the AUSMURI program – which is a part of the Commonwealth’s Next Generation Technologies Fund. The authors acknowledge the facilities and the scientific and technical assistance at the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU) within the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) at UNSW Sydney and Microscopy Australia. Nana Adomako is supported by a UNSW Scientia PhD scholarship. Michael Haines’ (UNSW Sydney) contribution to the revised version of the original manuscript is thankfully acknowledged.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

Download : Download Word document (462KB)

Supplementary material.

Data Availability

Data will be made available on request.

References

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

Scour Characteristics and Equilibrium Scour Depth Prediction around Umbrella Suction Anchor Foundation under Random Waves

by Ruigeng Hu 1,Hongjun Liu 2,Hao Leng 1,Peng Yu 3 andXiuhai Wang 1,2,*

1College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266000, China

2Key Lab of Marine Environment and Ecology (Ocean University of China), Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266000, China

3Qingdao Geo-Engineering Survering Institute, Qingdao 266100, China

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 20219(8), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9080886

Received: 6 July 2021 / Revised: 8 August 2021 / Accepted: 13 August 2021 / Published: 17 August 2021

(This article belongs to the Section Ocean Engineering)

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Abstract

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 Seq around USAF. At last, a parametric study was carried out to study the effects of the Froude number Fr and Euler number Eu for the Seq. 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 KCs,p < 8. The predicting results of the revised stochastic model are the most favorable for n = 10 when KCrms,a < 4. The higher Fr and Eu both lead to the more intensive horseshoe vortex and larger Seq.

Keywords: 

scournumerical investigationrandom wavesequilibrium scour depthKC number

1. Introduction

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].

Jmse 09 00886 g001 550

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 < θcr) or live bed scour (θ > θcr). 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(Rd) (Rd is pile Reynolds), which means the turbulence intensity induced by the flow-structure interaction would decrease with Rd increases, but the effects of Rd 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 θKC 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, Uwm 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.

S/D=1.3(1−exp([−m(KC−6)])�/�=1.3(1−exp(−�(��−6))(2)

where, m = 0.03 for linear waves.

S/D=1.3(1−exp([−0.02(KC−4)])�/�=1.3(1−exp(−0.02(��−4))(3)

S/D=1.3γKwaveKhw�/�=1.3��wave�ℎw(4)

where, γ is safety factor, depending on design process, typically γ = 1.5, Kwave is correction factor considering wave action, Khw is correction factor considering water depth.

S/D=1.5[tanh(hwD)]KwaveKhw�/�=1.5tanh(ℎw�)�wave�ℎw(5)

where, hw is water depth.

S/D=0.0753(θθcr−−−√−0.5)0.69KC0.68�/�=0.0753(��cr−0.5)0.69��0.68(6)

where, θ is shields parameter, θcr is critical shields parameter.

S/D=2.5(1−0.5u/uc)xrelxrel=xeff/(1+xeff)xeff=0.03(1−0.35ucr/u)(KC−6)⎫⎭⎬⎪⎪�/�=2.5(1−0.5�/��)��������=����/(1+����)����=0.03(1−0.35�cr/�)(��−6)(7)

where, u is near-bed orbital velocity amplitude, uc is critical velocity corresponding the onset of sediment motion.

S/D=1.3{1−exp[−0.03(KC2lnn+36)1/2−6]}�/�=1.31−exp−0.03(��2ln�+36)1/2−6(8)

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 Um and peak wave period TP to calculate KC. Khalfin [35] recommended the RMS wave height Hrms and peak wave period TP 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 Um and mean zero-crossing wave period Tz. 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 (Fr) and Euler number (Eu) 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:

∂u∂t+1VF(uAx∂u∂x+vAy∂u∂y+wAz∂u∂z)=−1ρf∂p∂x+Gx+fx∂�∂�+1��(���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�)=−1�f∂�∂�+��+��(9)

∂v∂t+1VF(uAx∂v∂x+vAy∂v∂y+wAz∂v∂z)=−1ρf∂p∂y+Gy+fy∂�∂�+1��(���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�)=−1�f∂�∂�+��+��(10)

∂w∂t+1VF(uAx∂w∂x+vAy∂w∂y+wAz∂w∂z)=−1ρf∂p∂z+Gz+fz∂�∂�+1��(���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�+���∂�∂�)=−1�f∂�∂�+��+��(11)

where, VF is the volume fraction; uv, and w are the velocity components in xyz direction respectively with Cartesian coordinates; Ai is the area fraction; ρf is the fluid density, fi is the viscous fluid acceleration, Gi is the fluid body acceleration (i = xyz).

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].

∂kT∂T+1VF(uAx∂kT∂x+vAy∂kT∂y+wAz∂kT∂z)=PT+GT+DiffkT−εkT∂��∂�+1��(���∂��∂�+���∂��∂�+���∂��∂�)=��+��+������−���(12)

∂εT∂T+1VF(uAx∂εT∂x+vAy∂εT∂y+wAz∂εT∂z)=CDIS1εTkT(PT+CDIS3GT)+Diffε−CDIS2ε2TkT∂��∂�+1��(���∂��∂�+���∂��∂�+���∂��∂�)=����1����(��+����3��)+�����−����2��2��(13)

where, kT is specific kinetic energy involved with turbulent velocity, GT is the turbulent energy generated by buoyancy; εT is the turbulent energy dissipating rate, PT is the turbulent energy, Diffε and DiffkT are diffusion terms associated with VFAiCDIS1CDIS2 and CDIS3 are dimensionless parameters, and CDIS1CDIS3 have default values of 1.42, 0.2 respectively. CDIS2 can be obtained from PT and kT.

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]:

ulift,i=αinsd0.3∗(θ−θcr)1.5∥g∥di(ρi−ρf)ρf−−−−−−−−−−−−√�lift,i=�����*0.3(�−�cr)1.5���(��−�f)�f(14)

where, αi is the entrainment parameter, ns is the outward point perpendicular to the seabed, d* is the dimensionless diameter of sand particles, which was calculated by Equation (15), θcr is the critical Shields parameter, g is the gravity acceleration, di is the diameter of sand particles, ρi is the density of seabed species.

d∗=di(∥g∥ρf(ρi−ρf)μ2f)1/3�*=��(��f(��−�f)�f2)1/3(15)

where μf is the fluid dynamic viscosity.

In Equation (14), the entrainment parameter αi 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]. ns is the outward pointing normal to the seabed interface, and ns = (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, Uf,m is the maximum value of the near-bed friction velocity; d50 is the median diameter of sand particles. The detailed calculation procedure of θ was available in Soulsby [44].

The critical shields parameter θcr was obtained from the Equation (17) [44]

θcr=0.31+1.2d∗+0.055[1−exp(−0.02d∗)]�cr=0.31+1.2�*+0.0551−exp(−0.02�*)(17)

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]:

usettling,i=νfdi[(10.362+1.049d3∗)0.5−10.36]�settling,�=�f��(10.362+1.049�*3)0.5−10.36(18)

where νf is the fluid kinematic viscosity.

2.3.2. Bed Load Transport

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]:

ubedload,i=qb,iδicb,ifb�bedload,�=�b,����b,��b(19)

where, qb,i is the bed load transport rate, which was obtained from Equation (20), δi is the bed load thickness, which was calculated by Equation (21), cb,i is the volume fraction of sand i in the multiple species, fb is the critical packing fraction of the seabed.

qb,i=8[∥g∥(ρi−ρfρf)d3i]1/2�b,�=8�(��−�f�f)��31/2(20)

δi=0.3d0.7∗(θθcr−1)0.5di��=0.3�*0.7(��cr−1)0.5��(21)

2.3.3. Suspended Load Transport

Through the following transport equation, the suspended sediment concentration could be acquired.

∂Cs,i∂t+∇(us,iCs,i)=∇∇(DfCs,i)∂�s,�∂�+∇(�s,��s,�)=∇∇(�f�s,�)(22)

where, Cs,i is the suspended sand particles mass concentration of sand i in the multiple species, us,i is the sand particles velocity of sand iDf is the diffusivity.

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

us,i=u¯¯+usettling,ics,i�s,�=�¯+�settling,��s,�(23)

where, u¯�¯ is the velocity of mixed fluid-particles, which can be calculated by the RANS equation with turbulence model, cs,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 d50 = 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.

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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.

Table

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.

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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]:

S(ω)=αg2ω5exp[−54(ωpω)4]γexp[−(ω−ωp)22σ2ω2p]�(�)=��2�5exp−54(�p�)4�exp−(�−�p)22�2�p2(25)

where, α is wave energy scale parameter, which is calculated by Equation (26), ω is frequency, ωp 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 ≤ ωp and 0.09 for ω > ωp 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 Ur were acquired form Equations (28) and (29) respectively

ε=2πgHsT2a�=2���s�a2(28)

Ur=Hsk2h3w�r=�s�2ℎw3(29)

where, Hs is significant wave height, Ta is average wave period, k is wave number, hw is water depth. The Shield parameter θ satisfies θ > θcr for all simulations in current study, indicating the live bed scour prevails.

Table 2. Numerical simulating cases.

Table

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Tc is time scale of scour process.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 Uwm and wave period T. For random waves, the Uwm can be denoted by the root-mean-square (RMS) value of near-bed velocity amplitude Uwm,rms or the significant value of near-bed velocity amplitude Uwm,s. The Uwm,rms and Uwm,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 Ta, peak wave period Tp, significant wave period Ts, the maximum wave period Tm, 1/10′th highest wave period Tn = 1/10 and 1/5′th highest wave period Tn = 1/5 for random waves, so the different combinations of Uwm and T will acquire different KC. The Table 3 and Table 4 list 12 types of KC, for example, the KCrms,s was calculated by Uwm,rms and Ts. 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 KCrms,p. It should be noted that the Equation (2) is only suitable for KC > 6 under regular waves or KCrms,p > 6 under random waves.

Table 3. Uwm,rms and KC for case 1~9.

Table

Table 4. Uwm,s and KC for case 1~9.

Table

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 Seq between the present study and Raaijmakers’s equation was conducted. The position where the scour depth Seq was evaluated is the location of the maximum scour depth, and it was depicted in Figure 14. The Figure 15 displays the comparison of Seq with different KC between the present study and Raaijmakers’s model.

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Figure 14. Sketch of the position where the Seq was evaluated.

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Figure 15. Comparison of the equilibrium scour depth between the present model and the model of Raaijmakers and Rudolph [34]: (aKCrms,sKCrms,a; (bKCrms,pKCrms,m; (cKCrms,n = 1/10KCrms,n = 1/5; (dKCs,sKCs,a; (eKCs,pKCs,m; (fKCs,n = 1/10KCs,n = 1/5.

As shown in Figure 15, there is an error in predicting Seq between the present study and Raaijmakers’s model, and Raaijmakers’s model underestimates the results generally. Although the error exists, the varying trend of Seq 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 KCs,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

S′eq/D=1.95[tanh(hD)](1−exp(−0.012KCs,p))+ΔS/D�eq′/�=1.95tanh(ℎ�)(1−exp(−0.012��s,p))+∆�/�(31)

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 (KCs,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 d50 = 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 KCs,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 KCs,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 KCs,p > 8.

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Figure 16. Comparison of Seq between the simulating results and the predicting values by Equation (31).

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Figure 17. Comparison of Seq/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 KCrms,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 Seq with KCrms,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.

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Figure 18. Comparison of Seq between the simulating results and the predicting values by Equation (8).

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

ΔSeq/D=0.052*exp(−n/6.566)+0.068∆�eq/�=0.052*exp(−�/6.566)+0.068(32)

S′eq¯/D=S′eq/D+0.052*exp(−n/6.566)+0.068�eq′¯/�=�eq′/�+0.052*exp(−�/6.566)+0.068(33)

Jmse 09 00886 g019 550

Figure 19. The fitting line between ∆S′and n.

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 Seq with KCrms,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.

Jmse 09 00886 g020 550

Figure 20. Comparison of Seq 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 (KCrms,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 d50 = 0.2 mm and the water depth was maintained at 0.5 m. The JONSWAP wave spectrum was used and the KCrms,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 KCrms,a (KCrms,a < 4), the error between the predicting values and experimental results increases with decreasing of n for KCrms,a > 4. Therefore, the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 2 when KCrms,a > 4.

Jmse 09 00886 g021 550

Figure 21. Comparison of Seq 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 Fr is the key parameter to influence the scale and intensity of horseshoe vortex. The Fr under waves can be calculated by the following formula [42]

Fr=UwgD−−−√�r=�w��(34)

where Uw 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 Uwm,rms is used for calculating Uwm.

Uw=1T/4∫0T/4Uwmsin(t/T)dt=2πUwm�w=1�/4∫0�/4�wmsin(�/�)��=2��wm(35)

Jmse 09 00886 g022 550

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

Tavouktsoglou et al. [25] proposed the following formula between Fr and the vertical location of the stagnation y

yh∝Fer�ℎ∝�r�(36)

where e is constant.

The Figure 23 displays the relationship between Seq/D and Fr 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 Fr 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 Fr, 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 Fr 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 Fr 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 Seq/D and Fr as following

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

where AB and C are constant.

Jmse 09 00886 g023 550

Figure 23. The fitting curve between Seq/D and Fr.

Jmse 09 00886 g024 550

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 Seq/D and Fr in present study is consistent with Equation (37) basically, meaning the Equation (37) is applicable to express the relationship of Seq/D with Fr around USAF under random waves.

4.4.2. Influence of Euler Number

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

Eu=U2mgD�u=�m2��(38)

where Um is depth-averaged flow velocity.

The Figure 25 displays the relationship between Seq/D and Eu 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 Seq/D and Fr, the equilibrium scour depth appears a logarithmic increase as Eu 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 Eu, which is benefit for the wave boundary layer separating from seabed, inducing the high-intensity horseshoe vortex, hence, causing intensive scour around USAF.

Jmse 09 00886 g025 550

Figure 25. The fitting curve between Seq/D and Eu.

Therefore, the variation of Fr and Eu 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 Seq/D and Eu in present study is consistent with Equation (37) basically, meaning the Equation (37) is also applicable to express the relationship of Seq/D with Eu around USAF under random waves. Additionally, according to the above description of Fr, it can be inferred that the higher Fr and Eu 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 Fr and Euler number Eu 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 KCs,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 KCs,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 KCrms,a < 4. However, contrary to the case of low KCrms,a, the predicting results are the most favorable for n = 2 when KCrms,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 Seq/D with Eu or Fr, and it can be inferred that the higher Fr and Eu both lead to the more intensive horseshoe vortex and larger Seq.

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. 20219, 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9080886

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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. 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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Influence of crest geometric on discharge coefficient efficiency of labyrinth weirs

Influence of crest geometric on discharge coefficient efficiency of labyrinth weirs

Erick Mattos-Villarroel a, Jorge Flores-Velázquez b, Waldo Ojeda-Bustamante c, Carlos Díaz-Delgado d, Humberto Salinas-Tapia dShow moreAdd to MendeleyShareCite

aMexican Institute of Water Technology, Mexico
bPostgraduate College, Hydrosciences, Carr. Mex-Tex Km 36.5, Texcoco, Mexico State, 56230, Mexico
cAgricultural Engineering Graduate Program, University of Chapingo, Mexicod
Inter-American Institute of Water Science and Technology, Mexico

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.flowmeasinst.2021.102031Get rights and content

Highlights

  • •Optimizing the geometric design of weirs can improve hydraulic performance.
  • •Labyrinth type weirs allow the discharge capacity to be increased compared to linear weirs.
  • •Hydraulic heads with ratio HT/P > 0.5 generated sub-atmospheric pressures on the side walls of the weir.
  • •Numerical simulation it is a strong tool to analyze and get optimized the weir function.

Abstract

Labyrinth type weirs are structures that, due to their geometry, allow the discharge capacity to be increased compared to linear weirs. They are a favorable option for dam rehabilitation and upstream level control. There are various geometries of labyrinth type weirs such as trapezoidal, triangular or piano key as well as different types of crest profiles. Geometric changes are directly related to hydraulic efficiency. The objective of this work was to analyze the hydraulic performance of a labyrinth type weir, by simulating several geometries of the apex and of the crest using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). For model validation, experimental studies reported in the literature were used. Tests were carried out with trapezoidal and circular apexes and four types of crest profiles: sharp-crest, half-round, quarter-round and Waterways Experiment Station (WES). The results revealed a determination coefficient of R2 = 0.984 between experimental and simulated data with CFD, which provides statistical agreement. Simulations showed that circular-apex weirs are more efficient than those with trapezoidal apex, because they have a higher discharge coefficient (4.7% higher). Of the four types of crest profiles analyzed, the half-round and the WES crest profiles had similar discharge coefficients and were generally greater than those of the sharp-crest and the quarter-round (5.26% y 8.5% higher) profiles. Nevertheless, to facilitate a practical construction process, it is recommended to use a half-round profile. For hydraulic heads with HT/P > 0.5 ratio, all profiles generated sub-atmospheric pressures on the side walls of the weir. However, when HT/P ≈ 0.8 ratio the half-round crest generated a higher negative pressure (−1500 Pa), while the sharp-crest profile managed to increase the pressure by 76% (−350 Pa), but with a greater area of negative pressure. On the other hand, the WES profile reduced the negative-pressure area by 50%.

Keywords

Labyrinth weir

Computational fluids dynamics (CFD)

Discharge coefficient

Apex shape

Crest profile

Figures (12)

  1. Fig. 1. Geometric parameters of a labyrinth weir
  2. Fig. 2. Crest profiles: (A) sharp-crest, (B) half-round, (C) quarter-round, (D) WES
  3. Fig. 3. Apex shapes
  4. Fig. 4. Weir and boundary conditions
  5. Fig. 5. Hydraulic head approach an asymptotic zero-grid spacing value
  6. Fig. 6. Percentage relative error of the discharge coefficient as a function of HT/P
  7. Fig. 7. Comparison of the discharge coefficients obtained numerically against the…
  8. Fig. 8. Pressure distribution in the downstream side walls of the labyrinth weir
  9. Fig. 9. Comparison of the discharge coefficient in trapezoidal apex labyrinth weirs
  10. Fig. 10. Comparison of the discharge coefficient in circular apex labyrinth weirs
  11. Fig. 11. Local drowning at the upstream apex
  12. Fig. 12. Ratio of the discharge coefficient of the circular apex weir with the…
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Figure 2 Modeling the plant with cylindrical tubes at the bottom of the canal.

Optimized Vegetation Density to Dissipate Energy of Flood Flow in Open Canals

열린 운하에서 홍수 흐름의 에너지를 분산시키기 위해 최적화된 식생 밀도

Mahdi Feizbahr,1Navid Tonekaboni,2Guang-Jun Jiang,3,4and Hong-Xia Chen3,4
Academic Editor: Mohammad Yazdi

Abstract

강을 따라 식생은 조도를 증가시키고 평균 유속을 감소시키며, 유동 에너지를 감소시키고 강 횡단면의 유속 프로파일을 변경합니다. 자연의 많은 운하와 강은 홍수 동안 초목으로 덮여 있습니다. 운하의 조도는 식물의 영향을 많이 받기 때문에 홍수시 유동저항에 큰 영향을 미친다. 식물로 인한 흐름에 대한 거칠기 저항은 흐름 조건과 식물에 따라 달라지므로 모델은 유속, 유속 깊이 및 수로를 따라 식생 유형의 영향을 고려하여 유속을 시뮬레이션해야 합니다. 총 48개의 모델을 시뮬레이션하여 근관의 거칠기 효과를 조사했습니다. 결과는 속도를 높임으로써 베드 속도를 감소시키는 식생의 영향이 무시할만하다는 것을 나타냅니다.

Abstract

Vegetation along the river increases the roughness and reduces the average flow velocity, reduces flow energy, and changes the flow velocity profile in the cross section of the river. Many canals and rivers in nature are covered with vegetation during the floods. Canal’s roughness is strongly affected by plants and therefore it has a great effect on flow resistance during flood. Roughness resistance against the flow due to the plants depends on the flow conditions and plant, so the model should simulate the current velocity by considering the effects of velocity, depth of flow, and type of vegetation along the canal. Total of 48 models have been simulated to investigate the effect of roughness in the canal. The results indicated that, by enhancing the velocity, the effect of vegetation in decreasing the bed velocity is negligible, while when the current has lower speed, the effect of vegetation on decreasing the bed velocity is obviously considerable.

1. Introduction

Considering the impact of each variable is a very popular field within the analytical and statistical methods and intelligent systems [114]. This can help research for better modeling considering the relation of variables or interaction of them toward reaching a better condition for the objective function in control and engineering [1527]. Consequently, it is necessary to study the effects of the passive factors on the active domain [2836]. Because of the effect of vegetation on reducing the discharge capacity of rivers [37], pruning plants was necessary to improve the condition of rivers. One of the important effects of vegetation in river protection is the action of roots, which cause soil consolidation and soil structure improvement and, by enhancing the shear strength of soil, increase the resistance of canal walls against the erosive force of water. The outer limbs of the plant increase the roughness of the canal walls and reduce the flow velocity and deplete the flow energy in vicinity of the walls. Vegetation by reducing the shear stress of the canal bed reduces flood discharge and sedimentation in the intervals between vegetation and increases the stability of the walls [3841].

One of the main factors influencing the speed, depth, and extent of flood in this method is Manning’s roughness coefficient. On the other hand, soil cover [42], especially vegetation, is one of the most determining factors in Manning’s roughness coefficient. Therefore, it is expected that those seasonal changes in the vegetation of the region will play an important role in the calculated value of Manning’s roughness coefficient and ultimately in predicting the flood wave behavior [4345]. The roughness caused by plants’ resistance to flood current depends on the flow and plant conditions. Flow conditions include depth and velocity of the plant, and plant conditions include plant type, hardness or flexibility, dimensions, density, and shape of the plant [46]. In general, the issue discussed in this research is the optimization of flood-induced flow in canals by considering the effect of vegetation-induced roughness. Therefore, the effect of plants on the roughness coefficient and canal transmission coefficient and in consequence the flow depth should be evaluated [4748].

Current resistance is generally known by its roughness coefficient. The equation that is mainly used in this field is Manning equation. The ratio of shear velocity to average current velocity  is another form of current resistance. The reason for using the  ratio is that it is dimensionless and has a strong theoretical basis. The reason for using Manning roughness coefficient is its pervasiveness. According to Freeman et al. [49], the Manning roughness coefficient for plants was calculated according to the Kouwen and Unny [50] method for incremental resistance. This method involves increasing the roughness for various surface and plant irregularities. Manning’s roughness coefficient has all the factors affecting the resistance of the canal. Therefore, the appropriate way to more accurately estimate this coefficient is to know the factors affecting this coefficient [51].

To calculate the flow rate, velocity, and depth of flow in canals as well as flood and sediment estimation, it is important to evaluate the flow resistance. To determine the flow resistance in open ducts, Manning, Chézy, and Darcy–Weisbach relations are used [52]. In these relations, there are parameters such as Manning’s roughness coefficient (n), Chézy roughness coefficient (C), and Darcy–Weisbach coefficient (f). All three of these coefficients are a kind of flow resistance coefficient that is widely used in the equations governing flow in rivers [53].

The three relations that express the relationship between the average flow velocity (V) and the resistance and geometric and hydraulic coefficients of the canal are as follows:where nf, and c are Manning, Darcy–Weisbach, and Chézy coefficients, respectively. V = average flow velocity, R = hydraulic radius, Sf = slope of energy line, which in uniform flow is equal to the slope of the canal bed,  = gravitational acceleration, and Kn is a coefficient whose value is equal to 1 in the SI system and 1.486 in the English system. The coefficients of resistance in equations (1) to (3) are related as follows:

Based on the boundary layer theory, the flow resistance for rough substrates is determined from the following general relation:where f = Darcy–Weisbach coefficient of friction, y = flow depth, Ks = bed roughness size, and A = constant coefficient.

On the other hand, the relationship between the Darcy–Weisbach coefficient of friction and the shear velocity of the flow is as follows:

By using equation (6), equation (5) is converted as follows:

Investigation on the effect of vegetation arrangement on shear velocity of flow in laboratory conditions showed that, with increasing the shear Reynolds number (), the numerical value of the  ratio also increases; in other words the amount of roughness coefficient increases with a slight difference in the cases without vegetation, checkered arrangement, and cross arrangement, respectively [54].

Roughness in river vegetation is simulated in mathematical models with a variable floor slope flume by different densities and discharges. The vegetation considered submerged in the bed of the flume. Results showed that, with increasing vegetation density, canal roughness and flow shear speed increase and with increasing flow rate and depth, Manning’s roughness coefficient decreases. Factors affecting the roughness caused by vegetation include the effect of plant density and arrangement on flow resistance, the effect of flow velocity on flow resistance, and the effect of depth [4555].

One of the works that has been done on the effect of vegetation on the roughness coefficient is Darby [56] study, which investigates a flood wave model that considers all the effects of vegetation on the roughness coefficient. There are currently two methods for estimating vegetation roughness. One method is to add the thrust force effect to Manning’s equation [475758] and the other method is to increase the canal bed roughness (Manning-Strickler coefficient) [455961]. These two methods provide acceptable results in models designed to simulate floodplain flow. Wang et al. [62] simulate the floodplain with submerged vegetation using these two methods and to increase the accuracy of the results, they suggested using the effective height of the plant under running water instead of using the actual height of the plant. Freeman et al. [49] provided equations for determining the coefficient of vegetation roughness under different conditions. Lee et al. [63] proposed a method for calculating the Manning coefficient using the flow velocity ratio at different depths. Much research has been done on the Manning roughness coefficient in rivers, and researchers [496366] sought to obtain a specific number for n to use in river engineering. However, since the depth and geometric conditions of rivers are completely variable in different places, the values of Manning roughness coefficient have changed subsequently, and it has not been possible to choose a fixed number. In river engineering software, the Manning roughness coefficient is determined only for specific and constant conditions or normal flow. Lee et al. [63] stated that seasonal conditions, density, and type of vegetation should also be considered. Hydraulic roughness and Manning roughness coefficient n of the plant were obtained by estimating the total Manning roughness coefficient from the matching of the measured water surface curve and water surface height. The following equation is used for the flow surface curve:where  is the depth of water change, S0 is the slope of the canal floor, Sf is the slope of the energy line, and Fr is the Froude number which is obtained from the following equation:where D is the characteristic length of the canal. Flood flow velocity is one of the important parameters of flood waves, which is very important in calculating the water level profile and energy consumption. In the cases where there are many limitations for researchers due to the wide range of experimental dimensions and the variety of design parameters, the use of numerical methods that are able to estimate the rest of the unknown results with acceptable accuracy is economically justified.

FLOW-3D software uses Finite Difference Method (FDM) for numerical solution of two-dimensional and three-dimensional flow. This software is dedicated to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and is provided by Flow Science [67]. The flow is divided into networks with tubular cells. For each cell there are values of dependent variables and all variables are calculated in the center of the cell, except for the velocity, which is calculated at the center of the cell. In this software, two numerical techniques have been used for geometric simulation, FAVOR™ (Fractional-Area-Volume-Obstacle-Representation) and the VOF (Volume-of-Fluid) method. The equations used at this model for this research include the principle of mass survival and the magnitude of motion as follows. The fluid motion equations in three dimensions, including the Navier–Stokes equations with some additional terms, are as follows:where  are mass accelerations in the directions xyz and  are viscosity accelerations in the directions xyz and are obtained from the following equations:

Shear stresses  in equation (11) are obtained from the following equations:

The standard model is used for high Reynolds currents, but in this model, RNG theory allows the analytical differential formula to be used for the effective viscosity that occurs at low Reynolds numbers. Therefore, the RNG model can be used for low and high Reynolds currents.

Weather changes are high and this affects many factors continuously. The presence of vegetation in any area reduces the velocity of surface flows and prevents soil erosion, so vegetation will have a significant impact on reducing destructive floods. One of the methods of erosion protection in floodplain watersheds is the use of biological methods. The presence of vegetation in watersheds reduces the flow rate during floods and prevents soil erosion. The external organs of plants increase the roughness and decrease the velocity of water flow and thus reduce its shear stress energy. One of the important factors with which the hydraulic resistance of plants is expressed is the roughness coefficient. Measuring the roughness coefficient of plants and investigating their effect on reducing velocity and shear stress of flow is of special importance.

Roughness coefficients in canals are affected by two main factors, namely, flow conditions and vegetation characteristics [68]. So far, much research has been done on the effect of the roughness factor created by vegetation, but the issue of plant density has received less attention. For this purpose, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of vegetation density on flow velocity changes.

In a study conducted using a software model on three density modes in the submerged state effect on flow velocity changes in 48 different modes was investigated (Table 1).

Table 1 

The studied models.

The number of cells used in this simulation is equal to 1955888 cells. The boundary conditions were introduced to the model as a constant speed and depth (Figure 1). At the output boundary, due to the presence of supercritical current, no parameter for the current is considered. Absolute roughness for floors and walls was introduced to the model (Figure 1). In this case, the flow was assumed to be nonviscous and air entry into the flow was not considered. After  seconds, this model reached a convergence accuracy of .

Figure 1 

The simulated model and its boundary conditions.

Due to the fact that it is not possible to model the vegetation in FLOW-3D software, in this research, the vegetation of small soft plants was studied so that Manning’s coefficients can be entered into the canal bed in the form of roughness coefficients obtained from the studies of Chow [69] in similar conditions. In practice, in such modeling, the effect of plant height is eliminated due to the small height of herbaceous plants, and modeling can provide relatively acceptable results in these conditions.

48 models with input velocities proportional to the height of the regular semihexagonal canal were considered to create supercritical conditions. Manning coefficients were applied based on Chow [69] studies in order to control the canal bed. Speed profiles were drawn and discussed.

Any control and simulation system has some inputs that we should determine to test any technology [7077]. Determination and true implementation of such parameters is one of the key steps of any simulation [237881] and computing procedure [8286]. The input current is created by applying the flow rate through the VFR (Volume Flow Rate) option and the output flow is considered Output and for other borders the Symmetry option is considered.

Simulation of the models and checking their action and responses and observing how a process behaves is one of the accepted methods in engineering and science [8788]. For verification of FLOW-3D software, the results of computer simulations are compared with laboratory measurements and according to the values of computational error, convergence error, and the time required for convergence, the most appropriate option for real-time simulation is selected (Figures 2 and 3 ).

Figure 2 

Modeling the plant with cylindrical tubes at the bottom of the canal.

Figure 3 

Velocity profiles in positions 2 and 5.

The canal is 7 meters long, 0.5 meters wide, and 0.8 meters deep. This test was used to validate the application of the software to predict the flow rate parameters. In this experiment, instead of using the plant, cylindrical pipes were used in the bottom of the canal.

The conditions of this modeling are similar to the laboratory conditions and the boundary conditions used in the laboratory were used for numerical modeling. The critical flow enters the simulation model from the upstream boundary, so in the upstream boundary conditions, critical velocity and depth are considered. The flow at the downstream boundary is supercritical, so no parameters are applied to the downstream boundary.

The software well predicts the process of changing the speed profile in the open canal along with the considered obstacles. The error in the calculated speed values can be due to the complexity of the flow and the interaction of the turbulence caused by the roughness of the floor with the turbulence caused by the three-dimensional cycles in the hydraulic jump. As a result, the software is able to predict the speed distribution in open canals.

2. Modeling Results

After analyzing the models, the results were shown in graphs (Figures 414 ). The total number of experiments in this study was 48 due to the limitations of modeling.


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Figure 4 

Flow velocity profiles for canals with a depth of 1 m and flow velocities of 3–3.3 m/s. Canal with a depth of 1 meter and a flow velocity of (a) 3 meters per second, (b) 3.1 meters per second, (c) 3.2 meters per second, and (d) 3.3 meters per second.

Figure 5 

Canal diagram with a depth of 1 meter and a flow rate of 3 meters per second.

Figure 6 

Canal diagram with a depth of 1 meter and a flow rate of 3.1 meters per second.

Figure 7 

Canal diagram with a depth of 1 meter and a flow rate of 3.2 meters per second.

Figure 8 

Canal diagram with a depth of 1 meter and a flow rate of 3.3 meters per second.


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Figure 9 

Flow velocity profiles for canals with a depth of 2 m and flow velocities of 4–4.3 m/s. Canal with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of (a) 4 meters per second, (b) 4.1 meters per second, (c) 4.2 meters per second, and (d) 4.3 meters per second.

Figure 10 

Canal diagram with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of 4 meters per second.

Figure 11 

Canal diagram with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of 4.1 meters per second.

Figure 12 

Canal diagram with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of 4.2 meters per second.

Figure 13 

Canal diagram with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of 4.3 meters per second.


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Figure 14 

Flow velocity profiles for canals with a depth of 3 m and flow velocities of 5–5.3 m/s. Canal with a depth of 2 meters and a flow rate of (a) 4 meters per second, (b) 4.1 meters per second, (c) 4.2 meters per second, and (d) 4.3 meters per second.

To investigate the effects of roughness with flow velocity, the trend of flow velocity changes at different depths and with supercritical flow to a Froude number proportional to the depth of the section has been obtained.

According to the velocity profiles of Figure 5, it can be seen that, with the increasing of Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases.

According to Figures 5 to 8, it can be found that, with increasing the Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of the models 1 to 12, which can be justified by increasing the speed and of course increasing the Froude number.

According to Figure 10, we see that, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases.

According to Figure 11, we see that, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of Figures 510, which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

With increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases (Figure 12). But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of the higher models (Figures 58 and 1011), which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

According to Figure 13, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of Figures 5 to 12, which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

According to Figure 15, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases.

Figure 15 

Canal diagram with a depth of 3 meters and a flow rate of 5 meters per second.

According to Figure 16, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of the higher model, which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

Figure 16 

Canal diagram with a depth of 3 meters and a flow rate of 5.1 meters per second.

According to Figure 17, it is clear that, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of the higher models, which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

Figure 17 

Canal diagram with a depth of 3 meters and a flow rate of 5.2 meters per second.

According to Figure 18, with increasing Manning’s coefficient, the canal bed speed decreases. But this deceleration is more noticeable than the deceleration of the higher models, which can be justified by increasing the speed and, of course, increasing the Froude number.

Figure 18 

Canal diagram with a depth of 3 meters and a flow rate of 5.3 meters per second.

According to Figure 19, it can be seen that the vegetation placed in front of the flow input velocity has negligible effect on the reduction of velocity, which of course can be justified due to the flexibility of the vegetation. The only unusual thing is the unexpected decrease in floor speed of 3 m/s compared to higher speeds.


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Figure 19 

Comparison of velocity profiles with the same plant densities (depth 1 m). Comparison of velocity profiles with (a) plant densities of 25%, depth 1 m; (b) plant densities of 50%, depth 1 m; and (c) plant densities of 75%, depth 1 m.

According to Figure 20, by increasing the speed of vegetation, the effect of vegetation on reducing the flow rate becomes more noticeable. And the role of input current does not have much effect in reducing speed.


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Figure 20 

Comparison of velocity profiles with the same plant densities (depth 2 m). Comparison of velocity profiles with (a) plant densities of 25%, depth 2 m; (b) plant densities of 50%, depth 2 m; and (c) plant densities of 75%, depth 2 m.

According to Figure 21, it can be seen that, with increasing speed, the effect of vegetation on reducing the bed flow rate becomes more noticeable and the role of the input current does not have much effect. In general, it can be seen that, by increasing the speed of the input current, the slope of the profiles increases from the bed to the water surface and due to the fact that, in software, the roughness coefficient applies to the channel floor only in the boundary conditions, this can be perfectly justified. Of course, it can be noted that, due to the flexible conditions of the vegetation of the bed, this modeling can show acceptable results for such grasses in the canal floor. In the next directions, we may try application of swarm-based optimization methods for modeling and finding the most effective factors in this research [27815188994]. In future, we can also apply the simulation logic and software of this research for other domains such as power engineering [9599].


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Figure 21 

Comparison of velocity profiles with the same plant densities (depth 3 m). Comparison of velocity profiles with (a) plant densities of 25%, depth 3 m; (b) plant densities of 50%, depth 3 m; and (c) plant densities of 75%, depth 3 m.

3. Conclusion

The effects of vegetation on the flood canal were investigated by numerical modeling with FLOW-3D software. After analyzing the results, the following conclusions were reached:(i)Increasing the density of vegetation reduces the velocity of the canal floor but has no effect on the velocity of the canal surface.(ii)Increasing the Froude number is directly related to increasing the speed of the canal floor.(iii)In the canal with a depth of one meter, a sudden increase in speed can be observed from the lowest speed and higher speed, which is justified by the sudden increase in Froude number.(iv)As the inlet flow rate increases, the slope of the profiles from the bed to the water surface increases.(v)By reducing the Froude number, the effect of vegetation on reducing the flow bed rate becomes more noticeable. And the input velocity in reducing the velocity of the canal floor does not have much effect.(vi)At a flow rate between 3 and 3.3 meters per second due to the shallow depth of the canal and the higher landing number a more critical area is observed in which the flow bed velocity in this area is between 2.86 and 3.1 m/s.(vii)Due to the critical flow velocity and the slight effect of the roughness of the horseshoe vortex floor, it is not visible and is only partially observed in models 1-2-3 and 21.(viii)As the flow rate increases, the effect of vegetation on the rate of bed reduction decreases.(ix)In conditions where less current intensity is passing, vegetation has a greater effect on reducing current intensity and energy consumption increases.(x)In the case of using the flow rate of 0.8 cubic meters per second, the velocity distribution and flow regime show about 20% more energy consumption than in the case of using the flow rate of 1.3 cubic meters per second.

Nomenclature

n:Manning’s roughness coefficient
C:Chézy roughness coefficient
f:Darcy–Weisbach coefficient
V:Flow velocity
R:Hydraulic radius
g:Gravitational acceleration
y:Flow depth
Ks:Bed roughness
A:Constant coefficient
:Reynolds number
y/∂x:Depth of water change
S0:Slope of the canal floor
Sf:Slope of energy line
Fr:Froude number
D:Characteristic length of the canal
G:Mass acceleration
:Shear stresses.

Data Availability

All data are included within the paper.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Contract no. 71761030 and Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia under Contract no. 2019LH07003.

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What’s New – FLOW-3D 2023R2

FLOW-3D 소프트웨어 제품군의 모든 제품은 2023R1에서 IT 관련 개선 사항을 받았습니다. FLOW-3D 2023R1은 이제 Windows 11 및 RHEL 8을 지원합니다. 누락된 종속성을 보고하도록 Linux 설치 프로그램이 개선되었으며 더 이상 루트 수준 권한이 필요하지 않으므로 설치가 더 쉽고 안전해집니다. 또한 워크플로를 자동화한 사용자를 위해 입력 파일 변환기에 명령줄 인터페이스를 추가하여 스크립트 환경에서도 워크플로가 업데이트된 입력 파일로 작동하는지 확인할 수 있습니다.

확장된 PQ 2 분석

제조에 사용되는 유압 시스템은 PQ 2 곡선을 사용하여 모델링할 수 있습니다. 장치의 세부 사항을 건너뛰고 흐름에 미치는 영향을 포함하기 위해 질량-운동량 소스 또는 속도 경계 조건을 사용하여 유압 시스템을 근사화하는 것이 편리한 단순화인 경우가 많습니다. 기존 PQ 2 분석 모델을 확장하여 이러한 유형의 기하학적 단순화를 허용하면서도 여전히 현실적인 결과를 제공합니다. 이것은 시뮬레이션 시간과 모델 복잡성의 감소로 해석됩니다.

FLOW-3D 2022R2 의 새로운 기능

FLOW-3D 2022R2 제품군 의 출시와 함께 Flow Science는 워크스테이션과 FLOW-3D 의 HPC 버전 을 통합하여 단일 노드 CPU 구성에서 다중 구성에 이르기까지 모든 유형의 하드웨어 아키텍처를 활용할 수 있는 단일 솔버 엔진을 제공합니다. 노드 병렬 고성능 컴퓨팅 실행. 추가 개발에는 점탄성 흐름을 위한 새로운 로그 구조 텐서 방법, 지속적인 솔버 속도 성능 개선, 고급 냉각 채널 및 팬텀 구성 요소 제어, 향상된 연행 공기 기능이 포함됩니다.

통합 솔버

FLOW-3D 제품을 단일 통합 솔버로 마이그레이션하여  로컬 워크스테이션 또는 고성능 컴퓨팅 하드웨어 환경에서 원활하게 실행했습니다.

많은 사용자가 노트북이나 로컬 워크스테이션에서 모델을 실행하지만 고성능 컴퓨팅 클러스터에서 더 큰 모델을 실행합니다. 2022R2 릴리스에서는 통합 솔버를 통해 사용자가 HPC 솔루션에서 OpenMP/MPI 하이브리드 병렬화의 동일한 이점을 활용하여 워크스테이션 및 노트북에서 실행할 수 있습니다.

성능 확장의 예
점점 더 많은 수의 CPU 코어를 사용하는 성능 확장의 예
메쉬 분해의 예
OpenMP/MPI 하이브리드 병렬화를 위한 메시 분해의 예

솔버 성능 개선

멀티 소켓 워크스테이션

멀티 소켓 워크스테이션은 이제 매우 일반적이며 대규모 시뮬레이션을 실행할 수 있습니다. 새로운 통합 솔버를 통해 이러한 유형의 하드웨어를 사용하는 사용자는 일반적으로 HPC 클러스터 구성에서만 사용할 수 있었던 OpenMP/MPI 하이브리드 병렬화를 활용하여 모델을 실행할 수 있는 성능 이점을 볼 수 있습니다.

낮은 수준의 루틴으로 벡터화 및 메모리 액세스 개선

대부분의 테스트 사례에서 10%에서 20% 정도의 성능 향상이 관찰되었으며 일부 사례에서는 20%를 초과하는 런타임 이점이 있었습니다.

정제된 체적 대류 안정성 한계

시간 단계 안정성 한계는 모델 런타임의 주요 동인입니다. 2022R2에서는 새로운 시간 단계 안정성 한계인 3D 대류 안정성 한계를 숫자 위젯에서 사용할 수 있습니다. 실행 중이고 대류가 제한된(cx, cy 또는 cz 제한) 모델의 경우 새 옵션은 30% 정도의 일반적인 속도 향상을 보여주었습니다.

압력 솔버 프리 컨디셔너

경우에 따라 까다로운 흐름 구성의 경우 과도한 압력 솔버 반복으로 인해 실행 시간이 길어질 수 있습니다. 어려운 경우 2022R2에서는 모델이 너무 많이 반복될 때 FLOW-3D가 자동으로 새로운 프리 컨디셔너를 활성화하여 압력 수렴을 돕습니다. 테스트의 런타임이 1.9배에서 335배까지 빨라졌습니다!

점탄성 유체에 대한 로그 형태 텐서 방법

점탄성 유체에 대한 새로운 솔버 옵션을 사용자가 사용할 수 있으며 특히 높은 Weissenberg 수치에 효과적입니다.

점탄성 흐름을 위한 개선된 솔루션
로그 구조 텐서 솔루션을 사용하여 점탄성 흐름에 대한 높은 Weissenberg 수에서 개선된 솔루션의 예. Courtesy MF Tome, et al., J. Non-Newton. 체액. 기계 175-176 (2012) 44–54

활성 시뮬레이션 제어 확장

능동 시뮬레이션 제어 기능은 연속 주조 및 적층 제조 응용 프로그램과 주조 및 기타 여러 열 관리 응용 프로그램에 사용되는 냉각 채널에 일반적으로 사용되는 팬텀 개체를 포함하도록 확장되었습니다.

동적 열 제어의 예
융합 증착 모델링 애플리케이션을 위한 동적 열 제어의 예
가상 물체 속도 제어의 예
산업용 탱크 적용을 위한 동적 냉각 채널 제어의 예
동적 열 제어의 예
연속 주조 애플리케이션을 위한 팬텀 물체 속도 제어의 예

연행 공기 기능 개선

디퓨저 및 유사한 산업용 기포 흐름 응용 분야의 경우 이제 대량 공급원을 사용하여 물 기둥에 공기를 도입할 수 있습니다. 또한 혼입 공기 및 용존 산소의 난류 확산에 대한 기본값이 업데이트되었으며 매우 낮은 공기 농도에 대한 모델 정확도가 향상되었습니다.

디퓨저 모델의 예
디퓨저 모델의 예: 질량원을 사용하여 물기둥에 공기를 도입할 수 있습니다.
Figure 5 A schematic of the water model of reactor URO 200.

Physical and Numerical Modeling of the Impeller Construction Impact on the Aluminum Degassing Process

알루미늄 탈기 공정에 미치는 임펠러 구성의 물리적 및 수치적 모델링

Kamil Kuglin,1 Michał Szucki,2 Jacek Pieprzyca,3 Simon Genthe,2 Tomasz Merder,3 and Dorota Kalisz1,*

Mikael Ersson, Academic Editor

Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer

Associated Data

Data Availability Statement

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Abstract

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.

Keywords: aluminum, impeller construction, degassing process, numerical modeling, physical modeling

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1. Introduction

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.

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2. Materials and Methods

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 1Figure 2Figure 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 1Figure 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.

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Figure 1

A 3D model—impeller with four holes—variant B4.

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Figure 2

A 3D model—impeller with eight holes—variant B8.

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Figure 3

A 3D model—impeller with twelve holes—variant B12.

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Figure 4

A 3D model—‘red triangle’ impeller with three holes—variant RT3.

2.2. Physical Models

Investigations were carried out on a water model of the URO 200 reactor of the barbotage refining process (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5

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 dm3·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 dm3·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.

Table 1

Values of parameters used in the calculations.

ParameterValueUnit
Maximum number of gas particles1,000,000
Rate of particle generation20001·s−1
Specific gas constant287.058J·kg−1·K−1
Atmospheric pressure1.013 × 105Pa
Water density1000kg·m−3
Water viscosity0.001kg·m−1·s−1
Boundary condition on the wallsNo-slip
Size of computational cell0.0034m

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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.

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Figure 6

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 QEAS [18]. This criterion is described by the following relationship:

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

(1)

where βmaxβmin are the maximal and minimal angles (in degrees) between the edges of the cell, and βeq is the angle corresponding to an ideal cell, which for cubic cells is 90°.

Normalized in the interval [0;1], the value of QEAS 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).

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Figure 7

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 XYZ).

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]:

∂(ρk)∂t+∂(ρkvi)∂xi=∂∂xj[(μ+μtσk)⋅∂k∂xi]+Gk+Gb−ρε−Ym+Sk,

(4)

∂(ρε)∂t+∂(ρεui)∂xi=∂∂xj[(μ+μtσε)⋅∂k∂xi]+C1εεk(Gk+G3εGb)+C2ερε2k+Sε,

(5)

where ρ is the gas density, σκ and σε are the Prandtl turbulence numbers, k and ε are constants of 1.0 and 1.3, and Gk and Gb 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 fl. This parameter can be used for classifying the cells of a discrete grid into areas filled with liquid phase (fl = 1), gaseous phase, or empty cells (fl = 0) and those through which the phase separation boundary (fl ∈ (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 dm3·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).

Table 2

Data assumed for calculations.

NoRotor Speed (Rotational Speed)
rpm
Bubbles Diameter
m
Corresponding Gas Flow Rate
dm3·min−1
NoRotor Speed (Rotational Speed)
rpm
Bubbles Diameter
m
Corresponding Gas Flow Rate
dm3·min−1
A2000.01610D2000.0230
0.0080.01
0.0320.04
B3000.01610E3000.0230
0.0080.01
0.0320.04
C5000.01610F5000.0230
0.0080.01
0.0320.04

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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.

MethodEquations
Euler–LagrangeBalance equation:
dugdt=FD(u−ug)+g(ϱg−ϱ)ϱg+F.
FD (u − up) denotes the drag forces per mass unit of a bubble, and the expression for the drag coefficient FD 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 ug is the gas bubble velocity, u is the liquid velocity, dg is the bubble diameter, and CD is the drag coefficient.

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3. Results and Discussion

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 pg is the mixing power, Vm is the volume of liquid metal in the reactor, ρ is the density of liquid aluminum, and uB 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), Ac is the cross-sectional area of the reactor vessel, T is the temperature of liquid aluminum in the reactor, and Pm 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 Pa 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 Tg 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.

ParameterValueUnit
Height of metal column0.7m
Density of aluminum2375kg·m−3
Process duration20s
Gas temperature at the injection site940K
Cross-sectional area of ladle0.448m2
Mass of liquid aluminum546.25kg
Volume of ladle0.23M3
Temperature of liquid aluminum941.15K

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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 dm3·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 ModelMixing Power (W·t−1)
for a Given Inert Gas Flow (dm3·min−1)
102030
Themelis and Goyal11.4923.3335.03
Zhang0.821.662.49

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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.

Table 6

Models for calculating mixing time.

AuthorsModelRemarks
Szekely [31]τ=800ε−0.4ε—W·t−1
Chiti and Paglianti [27]τ=CVQlV—volume of reactor, m3
Ql—flow intensity, m3·s−1
Iguchi and Nakamura [32]τ=1200⋅Q−0.4D1.97h−1.0υ0.47υ—kinematic viscosity, m2·s−1
D—diameter of ladle, m
h—height of metal column, m
Q—liquid flow intensity, m3·s−1

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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.

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Figure 8

Mixing time as a function of gas flow rate for various heights of the metal column (Iguchi and Nakamura model).

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Figure 9

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 kA, and uB 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 dB 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).

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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 dmax, 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]:

  • —Sevik and Park:

dBmax=We0.6kr⋅(σ⋅103ρ⋅10−3)0.6⋅(10⋅ε)−0.4⋅10−2.

(20)

  • —Evans:

dBmax=⎡⎣Wekr⋅σ⋅1032⋅(ρ⋅10−3)13⎤⎦35 ⋅(10⋅ε)−25⋅10−2.

(21)

The results of calculating the maximum diameter of the bubble dBmax determined from Equation (21) are given in Table 7.

Table 7

The results of calculating the maximum diameter of the bubble using Equation (21).

ModelMixing Energy
ĺ (m2·s−3)
Weber Number (Wekr)
0.591.01.2
Zhang and Taniguchi
dmax
0.10.01670.02300.026
0.50.00880.01210.013
1.00.00670.00910.010
1.50.00570.00780.009
Sevik and Park
dBmax
0.10.2650.360.41
0.50.1390.190.21
1.00.1060.140.16
1.50.0900.120.14
Evans
dBmax
0.10.2470.3400.38
0.50.1300.1780.20
1.00.0980.1350.15
1.50.0840.1150.13

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3.3. Physical Modeling

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 11Figure 12Figure 13 and Figure 14.

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Figure 11

Impeller variant B4—gas bubbles dispersion registered for a gas flow rate of 10 dm3·min−1 and rotor speed of (a) 200, (b) 300, (c) 400, and (d) 500 rpm.

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Figure 12

Impeller variant B8—gas bubbles dispersion registered for a gas flow rate of 10 dm3·min−1 and rotor speed of (a) 200, (b) 300, (c) 400, and (d) 500 rpm.

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Figure 13

Gas bubble dispersion registered for different processing parameters (impeller variant B12).

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Figure 14

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

The analysis of the refining variants presented in Figure 11Figure 12Figure 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 dm3·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.

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Figure 15

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.

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Figure 16

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 dm3·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 dm3·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.

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Figure 17

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 Figure 17) generated a sufficient agreement from the point of view of the trends. A precise quantitative evaluation is difficult to perform because of the lack of a refraction compensating system in the water model. Furthermore, in numerical simulations, it is not possible to determine the geometry of the forming gas bubbles and their interaction with each other as opposed to the visualization in the water model. The use of both research methods is complementary. Thus, a direct comparison of images obtained by the two methods requires appropriate interpretation. However, such an assessment gives the possibility to qualitatively determine the types of the present gas bubble dispersion, thus ultimately validating the CFD results with the water model.

A summary of the visualization results for impellers RT3, i.e., analysis of the occurring gas bubble dispersion types, is presented in Table 8.

Table 8

Summary of visualization results (impeller RT3)—different types of gas bubble dispersion.

No Exp.ABCDEF
Gas flow rate, dm3·min−11030
Impeller speed, rpm200300500200300500
Type of dispersionAccurateUniformUniform/excessiveMinimalExcessiveExcessive

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Tests carried out for impeller RT3 confirmed the high efficiency of gas bubble distribution in the volume of the tested object at a low inert gas flow rate of 10 dm3·min−1. The most optimal variant was variant B (300 rpm, 10 dm3·min−1). However, the other variants A and C (gas flow rate 10 dm3·min−1) seemed to be favorable for this type of impeller and are recommended for further testing. The above process parameters will be analyzed in detail in a quantitative analysis to be performed on the basis of the obtained efficiency curves of the degassing process (oxygen removal). This analysis will give an unambiguous answer as to which process parameters are the most optimal for this type of impeller; the results are planned for publication in the next article.

It should also be noted here that the high agreement between the results of numerical calculations and physical modelling prompts a conclusion that the proposed approach to the simulation of a degassing process which consists of a single-phase flow model with a free surface and a particle flow model is appropriate. The simulation results enable us to understand how the velocity field in the fluid is formed and to analyze the distribution of gas bubbles in the system. The simulations in Flow-3D software can, therefore, be useful for both the design of the impeller geometry and the selection of process parameters.

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4. Conclusions

The results of experiments carried out on the physical model of the device for the simulation of barbotage refining of aluminum revealed that the worst results in terms of distribution and dispersion of gas bubbles in the studied object were obtained for the black impellers variants B4, B8, and B12 (multi-orifice impellers—four, eight, and 12 outlet holes, respectively).

In this case, the control of flow, speed, and number of gas exit orifices did not improve the process efficiency, and the developed design did not meet the criteria for industrial tests. In the case of the ‘red triangle’ impeller (variant RT3), uniform gas bubble dispersion was achieved throughout the volume of the modeling fluid for most of the tested variants. The worst bubble dispersion results due to the occurrence of the so-called dead zones in the area near the bottom and sidewalls of the vessel were obtained for the flow variants of 20 dm3·min−1 and 200 rpm and 30 dm3·min−1 and 200 rpm. For the analyzed model, areas where swirls and gas bubble chains were formed were found only for the inert gas flow of 20 and 30 dm3·min−1 and 200 rpm. The model impeller (variant RT3) had the best performance compared to the previously presented impellers in terms of dispersion of gas bubbles in the model liquid. Moreover, its design differed from previously presented models because of its sharp edges. This can be advantageous for gas bubble dispersion, but may negatively affect its suitability in industrial conditions due to premature wearing.

The CFD simulation results confirmed the results obtained from the experiments performed on the physical model. The numerical simulation of the operation of the ‘red triangle’ impeller model (using Flow-3D software) gave good agreement with the experiments performed on the physical model. This means that the presented model impeller, as compared to other (analyzed) designs, had the best performance in terms of gas bubble dispersion in the model liquid.

In further work, the developed numerical model is planned to be used for CFD simulations of the gas bubble distribution process taking into account physicochemical parameters of liquid aluminum based on industrial tests. Consequently, the obtained results may be implemented in production practice.

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Funding Statement

This paper was created with the financial support grants from the AGH-UST, Faculty of Foundry Engineering, Poland (16.16.170.654 and 11/990/BK_22/0083) for the Faculty of Materials Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, Poland.

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Author Contributions

Conceptualization, K.K. and D.K.; methodology, J.P. and T.M.; validation, M.S. and S.G.; formal analysis, D.K. and T.M.; investigation, J.P., K.K. and S.G.; resources, M.S., J.P. and K.K.; writing—original draft preparation, D.K. and T.M.; writing—review and editing, D.K. and T.M.; visualization, J.P., K.K. and S.G.; supervision, D.K.; funding acquisition, D.K. and T.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

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Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

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Data Availability Statement

Data are contained within the article.

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Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Footnotes

Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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Development of macro-defect-free PBF-EB-processed Ti–6Al–4V alloys with superior plasticity using PREP-synthesized powder and machine learning-assisted process optimization

Development of macro-defect-free PBF-EB-processed Ti–6Al–4V alloys with superior plasticity using PREP-synthesized powder and machine learning-assisted process optimization

Yunwei GuiabKenta Aoyagib Akihiko Chibab
aDepartment of Materials Processing, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, 6-6 Aramaki Aza Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8579, Japan
bInstitute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8577, Japan

Received 14 October 2022, Revised 23 December 2022, Accepted 3 January 2023, Available online 5 January 2023.Show lessAdd to MendeleyShareCite

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2023.144595Get rights and content

Abstract

The elimination of internal macro-defects is a key issue in Ti–6Al–4V alloys fabricated via powder bed fusion using electron beams (PBF-EB), wherein internal macro-defects mainly originate from the virgin powder and inappropriate printing parameters. This study compares different types powders by combining support vector machine techniques to determine the most suitable powder for PBF-EB and to predict the processing window for the printing parameters without internal macro-defects. The results show that powders fabricated via plasma rotating electrode process have the best sphericity, flowability, and minimal porosity and are most suitable for printing. Surface roughness criterion was also applied to determine the quality of the even surfaces, and support vector machine was used to construct processing maps capable of predicting a wide range of four-dimensional printing parameters to obtain macro-defect-free samples, offering the possibility of subsequent development of Ti–6Al–4V alloys with excellent properties. The macro-defect-free samples exhibited good elongation, with the best overall mechanical properties being the ultimate tensile strength and elongation of 934.7 MPa and 24.3%, respectively. The elongation of the three macro-defect-free samples was much higher than that previously reported for additively manufactured Ti–6Al–4V alloys. The high elongation of the samples in this work is mainly attributed to the elimination of internal macro-defects.

Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies can rapidly manufacture complex or custom parts, reducing process steps and saving manufacturing time [[1], [2], [3], [4]], and are widely used in the aerospace, automotive, and other precision industries [5,6]. Powder bed fusion using an electron beam (PBF-EB) is an additive manufacturing method that uses a high-energy electron beam to melt metal powders layer by layer to produce parts. In contrast to selective laser melting, PBF-EB involves the preparation of samples in a high vacuum environment, which effectively prevents the introduction of impurities such as O and N. It also involves a preheating process for the print substrate and powder, which reduces residual thermal stress on the sample and subsequent heat treatment processes [[2], [3], [4],7]. Due to these features and advantages, PBF-EB technology is a very important AM technology with great potential in metallic materials. Moreover, PBF-EB is the ideal AM technology for the manufacture of complex components made of many alloys, such as titanium alloys, nickel-based superalloys, aluminum alloys and stainless steels [[2], [3], [4],8].

Ti–6Al–4V alloy is one of the prevalent commercial titanium alloys possessing high specific strength, excellent mechanical properties, excellent corrosion resistance, and good biocompatibility [9,10]. It is widely used in applications requiring low density and excellent corrosion resistance, such as the aerospace industry and biomechanical applications [11,12]. The mechanical properties of PBF-EB-processed Ti–6Al–4V alloys are superior to those fabricated by casting or forging, because the rapid cooling rate in PBF-EB results in finer grains [[12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18]]. However, the PBF-EB-fabricated parts often include internal macro-defects, which compromises their mechanical properties [[19], [20], [21], [22]]. This study focused on the elimination of macro-defects, such as porosity, lack of fusion, incomplete penetration and unmelted powders, which distinguishes them from micro-defects such as vacancies, dislocations, grain boundaries and secondary phases, etc. Large-sized fusion defects cause a severe reduction in mechanical strength. Smaller defects, such as pores and cracks, lead to the initiation of fatigue cracking and rapidly accelerate the cracking process [23]. The issue of internal macro-defects must be addressed to expand the application of the PBF-EB technology. The main studies for controlling internal macro-defects are online monitoring of defects, remelting and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). The literatures [24,25] report the use of infrared imaging or other imaging techniques to identify defects, but the monitoring of smaller sized defects is still not adequate. And in some cases remelting does not reduce the internal macro-defects of the part, but instead causes coarsening of the macrostructure and volatilization of some metal elements [23]. The HIP treatment does not completely eliminate the internal macro-defects, the original defect location may still act as a point of origin of the crack, and the subsequent treatment will consume more time and economic costs [23]. Therefore, optimizing suitable printing parameters to avoid internal macro-defects in printed parts at source is of great industrial value and research significance, and is an urgent issue in PBF-EB related technology.

There are two causes of internal macro-defects in the AM process: gas pores trapped in the virgin powder and the inappropriate printing parameters [7,23]. Gui et al. [26] classify internal macro-defects during PBF-EB process according to their shape, such as spherical defects, elongated shape defects, flat shape defects and other irregular shape defects. Of these, spherical defects mainly originate from raw material powders. Other shape defects mainly originate from lack of fusion or unmelted powders caused by unsuitable printing parameters, etc. The PBF-EB process requires powders with good flowability, and spherical powders are typically chosen as raw materials. The prevalent techniques for the fabrication of pre-alloyed powders are gas atomization (GA), plasma atomization (PA), and the plasma rotating electrode process (PREP) [27,28]. These methods yield powders with different characteristics that affect the subsequent fabrication. The selection of a suitable powder for PBF-EB is particularly important to produce Ti–6Al–4V alloys without internal macro-defects. The need to optimize several printing parameters such as beam current, scan speed, line offset, and focus offset make it difficult to eliminate internal macro-defects that occur during printing [23]. Most of the studies [11,12,22,[29], [30], [31], [32], [33]] on the optimization of AM processes for Ti–6Al–4V alloys have focused on samples with a limited set of parameters (e.g., power–scan speed) and do not allow for the guidance and development of unknown process windows for macro-defect-free samples. In addition, process optimization remains a time-consuming problem, with the traditional ‘trial and error’ method demanding considerable time and economic costs. The development of a simple and efficient method to predict the processing window for alloys without internal macro-defects is a key issue. In recent years, machine learning techniques have increasingly been used in the field of additive manufacturing and materials development [[34], [35], [36], [37]]. Aoyagi et al. [38] recently proposed a novel and efficient method based on a support vector machine (SVM) to optimize the two-dimensional process parameters (current and scan speed) and obtain PBF-EB-processed CoCr alloys without internal macro-defects. The method is one of the potential approaches toward effective optimization of more than two process parameters and makes it possible for the machine learning techniques to accelerate the development of alloys without internal macro-defects.

Herein, we focus on the elimination of internal macro-defects, such as pores, lack of fusion, etc., caused by raw powders and printing parameters. The Ti–6Al–4V powders produced by three different methods were compared, and the powder with the best sphericity, flowability, and minimal porosity was selected as the feedstock for subsequent printing. The relationship between the surface roughness and internal macro-defects in the Ti–6Al–4V components was also investigated. The combination of SVM and surface roughness indices (Sdr) predicted a wider four-dimensional processing window for obtaining Ti–6Al–4V alloys without internal macro-defects. Finally, we investigated the tensile properties of Ti–6Al–4V alloys at room temperature with different printing parameters, as well as the corresponding microstructures and fracture types.

Section snippets

Starting materials

Three types of Ti–6Al–4V alloy powders, produced by GA, PA, and PREP, were compared. The particle size distribution of the powders was determined using a laser particle size analyzer (LS230, Beckman Coulter, USA), and the flowability was measured using a Hall flowmeter (JIS-Z2502, Tsutsui Scientific Instruments Co., Ltd., Japan), according to the ASTM B213 standard. The powder morphology and internal macro-defects were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM, JEOL JCM-6000) and X-ray 

Comparison of the characteristics of GA, PA, and PREP Ti–6Al–4V powders

The particle size distributions (PSDs) and flowability of the three types of Ti–6Al–4V alloy powders produced by GA, PA, and PREP are shown in Fig. 2. Although the average particle sizes are similar (89.4 μm for GA, 82.5 μm for PA, and 86.1μm for PREP), the particle size range is different for the three types of powder (6.2–174.8 μm for GA, 27.3–139.2 μm for PA, and 39.4–133.9 μm for PREP). The flowability of the GA, PA, and PREP powders was 30.25 ± 0.98, 26.54 ± 0.37, and 25.03 ± 0.22 (s/50

Conclusions

The characteristics of the three types of Ti–6Al–4V alloy powders produced via GA, PA, and PREP were compared. The PREP powder with the best sphericity, flowability, and low porosity was found to be the most favorable powder for subsequent printing of Ti–6Al–4V alloys without internal macro-defects. The quantitative criterion of Sdr <0.015 for even surfaces was also found to be applicable to Ti–6Al–4V alloys. The process maps of Ti–6Al–4V alloys include two regions, high beam current/scan speed 

Uncited references

[55]; [56]; [57]; [58]; [59]; [60]; [61]; [62]; [63]; [64]; [65].

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Yunwei Gui: Writing – original draft, Visualization, Validation, Investigation. Kenta Aoyagi: Writing – review & editing, Supervision, Resources, Methodology, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization. Akihiko Chiba: Supervision, Funding acquisition.

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.

Acknowledgments

This study was based on the results obtained from project JPNP19007, commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). This work was also supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Proposal No. 21K03801) and the Inter-University Cooperative Research Program (Proposal nos. 18G0418, 19G0411, and 20G0418) of the Cooperative Research and Development Center for Advanced Materials, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University. It was also supported by the Council for

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Abstract

2014년 2월 영국 해협(영국)과 특히 Dawlish에 영향을 미친 온대 저기압 폭풍 사슬은 남서부 지역과 영국의 나머지 지역을 연결하는 주요 철도에 심각한 피해를 입혔습니다.

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Introduction

The progress of climate change and increasing sea levels has started to have wide ranging effects on critical engineering infrastructure (Shakou et al. 2019). The meteorological effects of increased atmospheric instability linked to warming seas mean we may be experiencing more frequent extreme storm events and more frequent series or chains of events, as well as an increase in the force of these events, a phenomenon called storminess (Mölter et al. 2016; Feser et al. 2014). Features of more extreme weather events in extratropical latitudes (30°–60°, north and south of the equator) include increased gusting winds, more frequent storm squalls, increased prolonged precipitation and rapid changes in atmospheric pressure and more frequent and significant storm surges (Dacre and Pinto 2020). A recent example of these events impacting the UK with simultaneous significant damage to coastal infrastructure was the extratropical cyclonic storm chain of winter 2013/2014 (Masselink et al. 2016; Adams and Heidarzadeh 2021). The cluster of storms had a profound effect on both coastal and inland infrastructure, bringing widespread flooding events and large insurance claims (RMS 2014).

The extreme storms of February 2014, which had a catastrophic effect on the seawall of the south Devon stretch of the UK’s south-west mainline, caused a two-month closure of the line and significant disruption to the local and regional economy (Fig. 1b) (Network Rail 2014; Dawson et al.