The Science of Water Screening

Ehrich Shaw
Johnson Screens
New Brighton, MN

Johnson Screens® are the manufacturers of steel screens that impede debris from lakes and rivers from entering pipes and valves that will utilize the water. Their task is to provide application-specific screens that must be customized to the environment they are operating in. Often this means taking into account the characteristics of the debris they are to remove, the depth at which the screen will be placed, as well as the well-being of passing wildlife.

Using COMSOL Multiphysics, Ehrich Shaw was able to simulate the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structural mechanics properties of any particular screen. This also allowed him to model the impact of cyclical surges of water on the screens called wave loading, as well as to model the cleaning of the screens, which is done by short bursts of air. Their analyses allow them to provide accurate models of initial designs and performance without having to create physical models or prototypes.

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