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Hydraulics Laboratory Tour:


In January 1990 the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) contracted with the University of New Mexico (UNM) for the construction of the Civil Engineering/AMAFCA Open Channel Hydraulics Laboratory. Civil Engineering students designed the lab, managed the construction and did the assembly, building the facility for roughly half the cost if done externally. The lab enhances the design of AMAFCA’s flood control facilities. The lab enhances the capacity of UNM’s research and graduate teaching in applied hydraulics.


The 1,200 square-foot lab is in Room B119, Centennial Engineering Center.


Facility Equipments

The lab’s centerpiece is a steel 8-foot by 50-foot tilting table with an articulated center 2.5 foot above the floor. The 8-foot width allows model channel curvature and junctions. Slope from the 0 to 10 percent is adjustable by hydraulic jacks. The table has a finform top face. The tilting table site above a 2 x 2-foot recirculation channel and 360 cubic-foot sump. A 6-inch, 10-HP air-cooled pump provides primary model flow. A 4-inch flexible pipe from a 5-HP submersible pump and a 2-inch flexible line from a ¼-HP submersible pump supply auxiliary flow. A 5-inch adjustable overhead pipe allows elevated delivery. Submersible structures are modeled in a 35 cubic-foot portable Plexiglas tank.

The lab makes extensive use of material salvaged from Sandia, Los Alamos and other UNM labs. Model components constructed of a sheet metal, wood and Plexiglas are assembled on the tilting table. Component recycling makes subsequent constructions less capital-intensive.

Discharge is measured with the following meters: