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Froude numbers and hydraulic jumps of open channel slurry flows

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2013, Vol. 334, No. 1, pp. 535-543

Abulnaga, B.E.; Rushdi, K.


The conventional Froude number is blind to the presence of solids, their density and their concentration in a stream of slurry mixture such as tailings flowing in an open channel. This often leads to rough approximations of subcritical, critical and supercritical regimes, based on one phase flow Froude number, limiting subcritical to a value smaller than 0.8 and supercritical to values above 1.4, as proposed in the past by Green, Abulnaga and other authors. While acceptable for small flows, such approximations can be uneconomical for the larger flows encountered in some modern plants that treat up to half a million t/day. A review of concepts of a densimetric Froude number sheds some light on the effect of solids on stratification prior and subsequent to a hydraulic jump. While the approach is heavily borrowed from modern sedimentology, it provides a useful tool to designers of large launders or open channel tailings systems. These concepts are reviewed with some practical examples.