• Free surface air entrainment and single-bubble movement in supercritical open-channel flow

      Wei, W.; Xu, W.; Deng, J.; Guo, Yakun (2020-07)
      There has been little study on the microscopic bubble entrainment and diffusion process on the high-speed self-aerated flows although the problem under investigation is theoretically important and has important engineering application. This study presents an experimental investigation on visual processes of free surface air entrainment and single bubble diffusion in supercritical open channel flows. The typical surface deformation, single air bubble rising and penetration are recorded using a high-speed camera system. Results show that for a single bubble formation process, surface entrapment development and bubble entrainment through a deformation evolution underneath the free surface are the two main features. The shape variation of local surface deformation with time follows an identical power law for different bubble size generations. The entrained bubble size depends on both size scale and shape of entrapped free surface. As the single bubble moves downstream, its longitudinal velocity is approximately the same as that of water flow surrounded it, while its vertical velocity for rising and penetration increases with the increase of the water flow velocity. An empirical-linear relationship for the bubble rising and penetration velocity with water flow velocity is obtained. This study demonstrates that the microscopic bubble movement can improve the self-aeration prediction in the open channel flow and advance the knowledge of our understanding of the macroscopic and microscopic air–water properties in hydraulic engineering.