Experimental Study on Effect of Nanostructures to Control Local Scour of Bridge Piers for Unsteady FlowsExperimental Study on Effect of Nanostructures to Control Local Scour of Bridge Piers for Unsteady Flows

Document Type : Complete scientific research article


1 sabzevar

2 Faculty Member of Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources


Background and objectives: One of the major topics in river engineering, is design and construction of the bridges with sustainability considerations; estimating the maximum depth of scour in the vicinity of the pier also has a lot of importance. Scour is one of the most important reasons for instability and ultimately the defeat of the bridges. While most of previous researches on Bridge Piers scour are mainly focused on steady flows; in rivers and especially during flood, the flow is unsteady and the changes in flow rate based on the time, could be really fast and rapid. On the other hand and based on the author’s literature reviews, considering unsteady flow would cause more economic and realistic prediction about the maximum depth of scour around the piers. Many different methods have been used till now to protect piers of the bridges. In this research, a non-structural and environmental friendly solution has been used to reduce the depth of the scour of bridge piers in unsteady condition.
Materials and methods: Based on author’s knowledge, so far Nano materials just used to correct the behavior of concrete resistance and also used in dusty rural roads. For this reason, this experimental study attempts to test a new method to reduce the scouring around the bridge pier in river in unsteady flow condition. To achieve this, in flume bed around the piers, the combination of nanostructured materials, called Nano-clay had been used. Experiments for both steady and unsteady conditions, were conducted on cylindrical pier with a diameter of 35 mm, in a channel with a 9.5 m length and the equal height and width of 40 cm, and a slope of 0.001. In this study, experiments have been done in two different cases, with and without the existence of Nano clay materials in the bed of the channel. For simulating unsteady flow, stepped triangular hydrographs with a peak time of 7.5 minutes and flow peak of 8, 12, 16 and 20 liters per second were used in two different modes of Nanostructure mixture with and without materials.
Findings: The timing development of scour phenomenon at the piers of the bridge has been studied and compared in both cases, with and without presence of nano-materials. In the presence of nano-materials and at all maximum discharges, it has been seen that the scouring process at initial time steps is almost as same as the condition without nano-materials with sharper trend. The trend in later time steps has experienced lighter changes and finally has reached to a constant value.
Results: The results of experiments in unsteady flows indicated that with the presence of Nano materials in the bed sediment, the maximum scouring depth at the adjacent of the bridge piers has been deducted while discharge rate increased. It has also been shown that the maximum reduction of scour depth, 62.86%, happened at maximum discharge of 20 lit/sec. In this discharge, the maximum scour depth has been reduced from 47.4 millimeter to 18 millimeter. The minimum reduction of scour depth with 56.15% happened at the discrge of 8 lit/sec.


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