Development of Self-Cleaning Box Culvert Designs, TR-545, 2009

(2009) Development of Self-Cleaning Box Culvert Designs, TR-545, 2009. Transportation, Department of


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TR-545 Tech Brief.pdf

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The main function of a roadway culvert is to effectively convey drainage flow during normal and extreme hydrologic conditions. This function is often impaired due to the sedimentation blockage of the culvert. This research sought to understand the mechanics of sedimentation process at multi-box culverts, and develop self-cleaning systems that flush out sediment deposits using the power of drainage flows. The research entailed field observations, laboratory experiments, and numerical simulations. The specific role of each of these investigative tools is summarized below: a) The field observations were aimed at understanding typical sedimentation patterns and their dependence on culvert geometry and hydrodynamic conditions during normal and extreme hydrologic events. b) The laboratory experiments were used for modeling sedimentation process observed insitu and for testing alternative self-cleaning concepts applied to culverts. The major tasks for the initial laboratory model study were to accurately replicate the culvert performance curves and the dynamics of sedimentation process, and to provide benchmark data for numerical simulation validation. c) The numerical simulations enhanced the understanding of the sedimentation processes and aided in testing flow cases complementary to those conducted in the model reducing the number of (more expensive) tests to be conducted in the laboratory. Using the findings acquired from the laboratory and simulation works, self-cleaning culvert concepts were developed and tested for a range of flow conditions. The screening of the alternative concepts was made through experimental studies in a 1:20 scale model guided by numerical simulations. To ensure the designs are effective, performance studies were finally conducted in a 1:20 hydraulic model using the most promising design alternatives to make sure that the proposed systems operate satisfactory under closer to natural scale conditions.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Box culverts, Design, Field studies, Flushing, Laboratory tests, Scale models, Sedimentation, Simulation
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Bridges and tunnels
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Design and Construction
Transportation > Environment > Water
ID Code: 20056
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 07 Jul 2015 12:15
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 18:03