Oil spill containment by a flexible boom system

Kau Fui Vincent Wong, Eryurt Barin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In this paper, a specific boom arrangement is quantitatively analyzed. The boom arrangement was led by a flexible ramp boom, which used the energy of the incoming flow to attain a desirable angle of inclination. It consisted of a number of flaps to adjust itself to non-uniform flow conditions. Vinyl sheets of varying bending stiffness were used to achieve necessary deflections. The ramp boom was setup with three conventional booms downstream. Open channel experiments were carried out for a large number of dimensionless parameters. Volume analysis was performed to determine the amount of the collected oil. The effects of Reynolds number, Froude number, depth ratio, oil relative viscosity, oil relative density, number of flaps and inclination angle on the collection efficiency of the boom system were investigated. The separation distances of the consecutive booms were also investigated. The variation of the scales of the geometric parameters with respect to the draft of the ramp boom and the variation of the above-mentioned dimensionless parameters aided in determining the optimum interval for the total span of the boom system. The critical limiting ratios of total span of the ramp boom system to the draft of the ramp boom were determined as 9.9 and 14.6. The optimum collection efficiency of 100% was obtained at a maximum flow speed of 0.305 m/s corresponding to a Froude number of 0.51. This value would correspond to a prototype flow speed of 1 m/s (about 2 knots) with Froude number scaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-520
Number of pages12
JournalSpill Science and Technology Bulletin
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Cascaded system
  • Collection efficiency
  • Flexible boom
  • Oil spill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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