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principle in hydroulic engineering
principle in hydroulic engineering

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03/30/2014

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Physical model experiments require some form of similarity between the prototype and the
model:

- Geometric similarity: The model must have physical dimensions which are uni-
formly proportional to those of the prototype; it must have the same shape.

- Kinematic similarity: Velocities in the model must be proportional to those in the

prototype.

- Dynamic similarity: Forces and accelerations in the model must be proportional
to those in the prototype.

These three similarities require that all location vectors, velocity vectors and force vectors
in the coincident coordinates of the scaled model andthe prototype have the samedirection
(argument) and that the magnitude of these vectors (modulus) must relate to each other
in a constant proportion.
If ® - a number larger than 1 - is used to denote the ratio between the prototype (subscript
p) quantity and the model (subscript m) quantity, then:

4.3. DIMENSIONLESS RATIOSAND SCALING LAWS

4-5

Item

Scale Factor Relationship

Length

®L

Lp = ®L¢Lm

Velocity

®V

Vp = ®V ¢Vm

Acceleration of gravity ®g

gp = ®g¢gm

Density of ‡uid

®½

½p = ®½¢½m

Fluid viscosity

®´

´p = ®´¢´m

With these, the scale factors for the areas S, the volumesr, the masses M and the mass
moments of inertia I, are respectively:

®S = ®2

L ®r = ®3

L ®I = ®½¢®5
L

®M = ®½¢®r = ®½¢®3
L

(4.4)

The velocity of a body or a water particle is de…ned as a displacement per unit of time, so
the scale factor for the time becomes:

®T = ®L
®V

(4.5)

The acceleration of a body or a water particle is de…ned as an increase of the velocity per
unit of time, so the scale factor for the acceleration becomes:

®A = ®V

®T = ®2

V
®L

(4.6)

According to Newton’s law, the inertia forces are de…ned as a product of mass and accel-
eration, so the scale factor for the inertia forces (and the resulting pressure forces) works
out to be:

®F = ®M¢®A =¡®½¢®L3¢¢

µ®2

V
®L

=

= ®½¢®2

V ¢®2
L

(4.7)

Then, the relation between the forces Fp on the prototype and the forces Fm on the model
is:

Fp = ®F ¢Fm
= ®½¢®2

V ¢®2

L¢Fm

(4.8)

or:

®F = Fp

Fm = ½p¢V 2

p ¢L2
p

½m¢V2

m¢L2
m

(4.9)

From this, it is obvious that one can write for these forces:

Fp =1

2½pV 2

p ¢L2

p and Fm =1

2½mV 2

m¢L2
m

(4.10)

4-6

CHAPTER 4. CONSTANT REAL FLOW PHENOMENA

in which the constant coe¢cient, C, does not depend on the scale of the model nor on the
stagnation pressure term 1

2½V 2

.
Viscous forces can be expressed using Newton’s friction model as being proportional to:

Fv ® ´V

LL2

(4.11)

while the inertia forces (from above) are proportional to:

Fi ® ½L3V2

L = ½L2

V 2

(4.12)

The ratio of these two forces is then - after cancelling out some terms:

Fi
Fv
= ½

´V ¢L = V ¢L

º = Rn

(4.13)

The Reynolds number is thus a measure of the ratio of these forces. Viscous forces are
predominant when the Reynolds number is small.
Gravity forces are simply proportional to the material density, the acceleration of gravity
and the volume:

Fg ® ½gL3

(4.14)
The above information can be used to help design physical models. One can deduce that
various forces are represented to di¤erent scales. It is therefore impossible to represent all
model forces with the same relative importance as in the prototype. A choice is therefore
often made, instead, to maintain the ratio between the two most important forces in the
prototype when a physical model is built. This can result in several scalinglaws as outlined
in appendix B. Two of the more important forms are discussed here, however.

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