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Abstract

An ancient forging device in Spain has been studied, namely the forge with a waterwheel and air-blowing tube or hydraulic trompe, found near the village of Santa Eulalia de Oscos (province of Asturias, Spain). Three procedures using ad hoc methods were applied: 3D modelling, finite element analysis (FEA), and computational-fluid dynamics (CFD). The CFD results indicated the proper functioning of the trompe, which is a peculiar device based on the Venturi effect to take in air. The maximum air volume flow rate supplied to the forge by the trompe was shown to be 0.091 m3/s, and certain parameters of relevance in the trompe design presented optimal values, i.e. offering maximum air-flow supply. Furthermore, the distribution of stress over the motion-transmission system revealed that the stress was concentrated most intensely in the cogs of the transmission shaft (a kind of camshaft), registering values of up to 7.50 MPa, although this value remained below half of the maximum admissible work stress. Therefore, it was confirmed that the oak wood from which the motion system and the trompe were made functioned properly, as these systems never exceeded the maximum admissible working stress, demonstrating the effectiveness of the materials used in that period.
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