CNR-INM | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche | Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare
+39 06 50299 222

Circulating water channel

Scope and purpose

The Large Cavitation Water Channel of INM is a large free-surface circulating water channel, among the largest infrastructures of this type worldwide.
The facility has a test section measuring 10 m × 3.6 m× 3 m (L×W ×D) and operates with a water depth of 2.25 m. Water flow speed is up to 5.3 m/s. In the test section, the highest free-stream turbulence intensity is less than 3-4% and the mean velocity uniformity is within 2% for the axial component and 4% for the cross-components. The test section can be depressurized down to 3 KPa for model tests in cavitation similitude with respect to full scale. The water flow is driven by dual 4-bladed axial impellers with delivered power of up to 435 kW (584 hp) each.

The facility is designed and equipped for hydrodynamics studies on naval and marine structures and vehicles. To this end, the test section is designed to provide flexibility of operation settings, specifically:
– Cavitation channel: test section closed to simulate depressurised free-surface flows;
– Water flume: test section roof open to simulate free-surface flows at ambient pressure;
– Water tunnel: test section closed and filled to maximise volume at ambient pressure.

The facility is equipped with a full range of measuring systems (dynamometers, torque meters, wave gauges, etc.), detailed flow measurement equipments (LDV, PIV, Stereo-PIV, Tomographic PIV), high-speed cameras and hydroacoustics sensoring.  

Main characteristics

Test section dimensions
10 m × 3.6 m× 3 m (L×W ×D) (free surface at 2.25 m)
Pressure range in the test sectionfrom 30 mbar to atm
Maximum water speed5.3 m/s
Turbulence levels in the test section3-4%
Mean velocity uniformity< 2% (axial component), < 4% (cross components)

Contact information

Scientific point of contact Dr. Mario Felli
Office +39 06 50299 240
Mobile +39 348 6958112


Rome HQVia di Vallerano 139, 00128, Rome, Italy