The design and qualification of the UGA water tunnel
Oyeyemi, Michael Ademola
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The Dynamic Devices and Solutions Lab at the University of Georgia (UGA) recently installed a high-speed water tunnel to conduct fluid-structure interaction (FSI) experiments. The tunnel is custom-designed to deliver uniform flow up to 10 m/s through a square test section. This work presents an overview of water tunnels, their primary components, and their functions. It details the design and fabrication of key components of the UGA water tunnel and provides justification for design decisions. It discusses instruments for measuring velocity and turbulence and for flow visualization. The qualification procedure and results are also described. Tunnel flow parameters were identified using a laser doppler anemometry system, and results show that the water tunnel generates uniform, laminar flow within the test section for flow speeds between 1 and 10 m/s, while also maintaining boundary layer thicknesses below 35 mm. Turbulence intensity values averaged 0.50% for flow outside the boundary layer.