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Water Resources Engineering Facilities

The Applied Fluid Mechanics program has two off-campus research facilities and an on-campus fluid mechanics laboratory. The latter serves as both the undergraduate fluid mechanics teaching laboratory and a small research laboratory that includes a flume and a small wind tunnel.

The Clemson Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL)

Lowry FlumeThe Clemson Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) is an off campus research facility adjacent to Lake Hartwell and the University Walker golf course. It includes two buildings that are used for hydraulic physical model studies. An outdoor recirculating flume (100 ft by 4.5 ft by 4 ft) which has a 30 ft3/s flow capability, is used for larger-scale, two-dimensional studies. A variety of instrumentation is available including: electromagnetic and impeller-type current meters, surface-piercing wave gages, water samplers, and pressure transducers, ADVs, etc.

An indoor flume is being constructed. The new flume will be 60-ft long with a cross sectional area of 4 ft by 4 ft. This flume will have a recess in a section of the bed to allow for scour studies.

The Wind Load Test Facility (WLTF)

Wind TunnelThe Wind Load Test Facility is an off-campus research laboratory for wind engineering. This laboratory houses one of the nations largest boundary layer wind tunnels as well as component testing equipment which is unique in the United States. Funded after Hurricane Hugo devastated parts of South Carolina, the facility is used for studies focusing on storm damage to low-rise buildings, such as houses or commercial buildings of three stories or less.

The boundary layer wind tunnel at the Wind Load Test Facility is capable of simulating winds close to the ground at a range of model scales. The wind tunnel can be used to generate wind load time histories which can then be applied to full-scale test specimens. The wind tunnel facilities are complimented by a range of load testing machines and reaction frames which allow testing of structural components and systems.