Experimental Study of Air Flow in a Vortex Structure Using Full Factorial Method

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Prof., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Vortex drop shaft (Vortex structure) is used in sewage and drainage systems to transfer fluid from surface conduit to deep underground tunnels. During the plunge, large volume of air is entrained into the water and then released of the drop shaft downstream. In the current research, an experimental model, made of Plexiglas segments, was set up to investigate hydraulic performance of vortex structure. Dimensional analysis results illustrated that ratio of sump depth to shaft diameter (Hs/D), ratio of drop total height to shaft diameter (L/D), and Froude number (Fr) were considered effective variables on relative air discharge (β=Qa/Q). The ability of the full factorial method (FFM), to describe this structure’s hydraulic characteristics, was validated using experimental data. The results indicated that the relative air discharge changed from 0.048 to 0.278 and increased with an increase in Fr, L/D and Hs/D factors. With respect to the maximum velocity of air outflow from the structure of the air vent pipes (with the same diameter Da), located between the 4Da and 9Da from the axis of the vertical shaft, this range is recommended for installation of air vent pipes. Furthermore, a regression-based-equation in the form of a quadratic polynomial as a function of Hs/D, L/D and Fr was proposed to estimate relative air discharge (β).


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