Construction Finishes and High-Velocity Flow

by James W. Ball,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 2, Pg. 91-110

Document Type: Journal Paper


Laboratory research and field experience shows that finish tolerances are essential and important for construction surfaces that are to support high-velocity water flows. Surface irregularities must be prevented, minimized, or treated to prevent cavitation damage to these surfaces. Irregularities frequently encountered during the construction of hydraulic structures are illustrated and their cavitation potential examined. How these irregularities affect pressure conditions on the flow surface and cause cavitation damage is explained. The results of a limited number of research programs that give the critical sizes of various types of surface irregularities for numerous combinations of flow velocity and pressure are presented. Charts for sharp cornered, round cornered, and chamfered cornered offsets-into-the-flow are presented. Similar offsets receding from the flow are reviewed. The effects of orientation of the irregularities with the direction of flow on cavitation potential are mentioned. Treatment by grinding the irregularities to non-critical proportions and shapes is suggested. Field experience and test results that support specification limitations practiced by the USBR are included.

Subject Headings: Cavitation | Overland flow | Construction management | Fluid velocity | Field tests | Hydraulic structures | Pressurized flow | Water flow

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