ON THE IMPACT BETWEEN A WATER FREE SURFACE AND A RIGID STRUCTURE
Duncan, James H
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In this thesis, the impact between a water surface and a structure is addressed in two related experiments. In the first experiment, the impact of a plunging breaking wave on a partially submerged 2D structure is studied. The evolution of the water surface profiles are measured with with a cinematic laser-induced flourescence technique, while the pressure distribution on the wall is measured simultaneously with an array of fast-response pressure sensors. When the structure is placed at a particular streamwise location in the wave tank and the bottom surface of the structure is located 13.3~cm below the mean water level, a ``flip-through'' impact occurs. In this case, the water surface profile between the crest and the front face of the structure is found to shrink to a point as the wave approaches the structure without breaking. High acceleration of the contact point motion is observed in this case. When the bottom of the structure is located at the mean water level, high-frequency pressure oscillations are observed. These pressure oscillations are believed to be caused by air that is entrapped near the wave crest during the impact process. When the bottom of the structure is sufficiently far above the mean water level, the first contact with the structure is the impact between the wave crest and the bottom corner of the structure. This latter condition, produces the largest impact pressures on the structure. In the second experiment, the slamming of a flat plate on a quiescent water surface is studied. A two-axis high-speed carriage is used to slam a flat plate on the water surface with high horizontal and vertical velocity. The above-mentioned LIF system is used to measure the evolution of the free surface adjacent to the plate. Measurements are performed with the horizontal and vertical carriage speeds ranging from zero to 6 m/s and 0.6 to 1.2 m/s, respectively, and the plate oriented obliquely to horizontal. Two types of splash are found, a spray of droplets and ligaments that is ejected horizontally from under the plate in the beginning of the impact process and a highly sloped spray sheet that is ejected later when the high edge of the plate moves below the water surface. Detailed measurements of these features are presented and simple models are used to interpret the data.