Composite Modeling of Hydraulic Structures

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Physical modeling and numerical modeling are two efficient analysis approaches in hydraulic engineering. The interactive application of both methods is obviously the more effective response to most flow problems analyses. Indeed, it enables combining the inherent advantages of both approaches, which are complementary, while being beneficial to the delays as well as the quality of the analysis. The paper presents the way composite modeling is applied for years at the HECE-Laboratory of Engineering Hydraulics (University of Liege) to enhance hydraulic structures studies. Besides numerical model validation for which experimental benchmarks constitute the first reliable data source, simultaneous application of both modeling approaches may be envisaged in three different ways. Composite modeling may be used to increase the scale factor of physical models by reducing the layout of the real structure to be modeled, to provide a better answer to specific problems than a single approach study or to maximize the efficiency of experimental tests by reducing the range of variation of the unknown parameters to be tested. For each of these three issues depicted in the paper, several examples show how the combined use of efficient numerical solvers together with physical scale models enables to increase the overall quality and scope of the analyses while decreasing the delays and possibly the costs.

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