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    Volume 35, Issue 1 (January 2012)

    Climatic Chamber With Centrifuge to Simulate Different Weather Conditions

    (Received 22 November 2010; accepted 13 September 2011)

    Special Issue Paper

    Published Online: 2011


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    Increasing interest in thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) studies of soil responses to hydrological variations has heightened the need for improvements in the basic understanding of the heat and mass transport taking place at the soil-atmosphere interface. Numerous hydrological parameters affect this thermo-hydro-mechanical process including solar radiation, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind velocity, rain intensity and hygrometry. Since field tests of soil-atmosphere interaction require measurements over long periods of time, only a small number of these results are available for calibration of the numerical models that are based on atmospheric data as boundary condition. The number is even more limited for results which focus on cyclic wetting and drying. Centrifuge modeling is a powerful tool for studying these problems since it can accelerate the time needed for diffusion processes taking place at the soil-atmosphere interface. Nevertheless, modeling this interaction adequately with a centrifuge requires development of new types of equipment such as a climatic chamber that allows control of weather variables while respecting the centrifuge’s scaling laws. This paper describes the design of an apparatus for simulating tropical weather conditions which combines a climatic chamber with a centrifuge. The scaling laws are studied, and the feasibility of reproducing tropical weather conditions around a centrifuge is discussed. Finally, the paper presents some validation results that highlight the working principles of this new apparatus.

    Author Information:

    Tristancho, Julián
    Universidad de los Andes,

    Caicedo, Bernardo
    Universidad de los Andes,

    Thorel, Luc
    Physical Modelling in Geotechnics Group,

    Obregón, Nelson
    Universidad Javeriana,

    Stock #: GTJ103620

    ISSN: 0149-6115

    DOI: 10.1520/GTJ103620

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    Title Climatic Chamber With Centrifuge to Simulate Different Weather Conditions
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee D18