Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Michael C. Johnson


Computational Fluid Dynamics is a very effective tool for understanding fluid flow and predicting how flow will respond to different boundary conditions. With this knowledge, the focus of this research is applying computational fluid dynamics to problems dealing with flow measurement in closed conduits using differential producing flow meters like Venturis. After discussion with many meter manufactures and a thorough literature review, specific areas of research were determined which will contribute to better understanding of differential producers and will add to the limited literature available on such meters. This research will present the findings of computational fluid dynamics coupled with laboratory data in the following areas:

1. Determine the effects of sudden pipe wall offsets on Venturi flow meters. This research includes both the effects of the pipe wall offset on the meter discharge coefficient as well as determining the minimum distance between the offset and the Venturi so that there is no longer any effect on meter performance. It also shows how well computational fluid dynamics can predict Venturi discharge coefficients via comparison to laboratory data.

2. Investigate the design of pressure recovery cones on different Venturi flow meter designs including determining the optimal angle of recover cone required to minimize permanent pressure loss.

3. Investigate truncated recovery cones such that a meter can be manufactured using a shorter length. This research also includes determining the best way to truncate the meter to minimize head loss while not changing the flow metering capability of the flow meter.

This research will be CFD based with laboratory data used to calibrate and validate the CFD results.