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Application: CFD Helps Develop Faster Oil Containment Boom
Posted Tue May 22, 2001 @10:51AM
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Application Researchers have used CFD to improve the speed at which an oil containment boom may be towed. Boom velocity is the determining factor in oil spill cleanup time because the boom can fail under hydrodynamic load. Using software from Fluent Inc., the CFD analysis focused on effects such as relative oil-water velocity, physical properties of oil and water, water depth, and boom draft.
Using software to simulate the interaction between oil, water, and boom offers a less expensive alternative to channel testing, thereby reducing the cost of designing improved oil booms. Once they have a validated CFD model, researchers can quickly change the boom geometry and evaluate design alternatives. Using CFD, researchers have now identified a type of boom that has the potential to increase critical velocity by more than a factor of four. When implemented, the new net-boom structure will decrease the time needed for oil spill cleanup, protecting the environment from the effects of the oil.

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