Benefits of Trapezoidal Flumes

trapezoidal flume

Flumes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with no style offering universal advantages over others in all situations. Each has something special to offer, but the trapezoidal is especially unique. Take a look at the impressive benefits of trapezoidal flumes, and discover whether they’re the right fit for your flow channel conditions.

Fits in Natural Channels

The shape of a trapezoidal flume is especially convenient when you’re trying to integrate it into an earthen or natural channel. This is largely because natural channels will inevitably take on a trapezoidal cross-section shape without interference from people. Erosive water forces naturally create this shape, so trapezoidal flumes fit right in. In fact, this natural shape was the inspiration for this flume design in the first place. Because of this, installation costs are generally less compared with installing rectangular or U-shaped flumes in similar channels.

Wide Range

All flumes have a range of accuracy determining what kind of flows they can accurately measure. Trapezoidal flumes can cover an impressive range of conditions that includes both low flows and high-surge flows. Depth and head have an inverse relationship, yet a trapezoidal flume can still offer accuracy of +/- 3%-5% over its tested suitable range.


Maintenance of a trapezoidal flume is easy because it’s largely self-cleaning. The bottom of the flume is flat, so you don’t have to worry about much buildup on the floor, unlike what you’d see in flumes that have ramped floors. Additionally, the V-shape of the flume makes it easy for large solids to pass through. Anything that gets lodged too low is typically automatically pushed upward and outward as the flow builds behind the obstruction.

Diversity in Style

Trapezoidal flumes have a unique style, but even within this category, you’ll find quite a bit of variation. With several sizes and styles that all have the signature sloping walls, flat bottoms, and converging throats, a trapezoidal flume is generally an option no matter what kind of seepage, irrigation, and industrial discharge channel you’re dealing with, even when considering the variety of anticipated flows.

No Serious Head Loss

Head loss can be a problem with a lot of different flume styles, but the trapezoidal’s design prevents this from becoming a problem in the vast majority of cases. It has a flat bottom, so it sits directly on the floor of the channel. Plus, its outward-opening sloped sidewalls make it easy for large flows to pass through.

Submergence Resistance

Submergence can be a serious problem for a lot of flumes that completely throws off measurements, but you don’t have to worry about this as much with a trapezoidal flume. No matter what kind of trapezoidal flume you opt for, you can enjoy a submergence transition of 80%, which is one of the highest among all flume styles.

Trapezoidal Flumes From Tracom

With the benefits of trapezoidal flumes in mind, you’re ready to get your hands on one of your own. Tracom offers a wide variety of trapezoidal flumes, or you can work with our team to create a custom design if you prefer. Contact us today to get started!