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Dimensional Analysis
Page 1 of 12
5_001 A gas having a molecular weight of 86 is flowing at a rate of 1.38 kg/min through a tube having an actual i.d.
of 1.20 in. At a cross section where the absolute pressure is 330 atm and the temperature is 340 F, the true
density is 1.2 times that predicted by the perfectgas law, and the viscosity is 2.0 x 10
6
forcepound x
seconds per square foot. Calculate the numerical value of the dimensionless Reynolds number.
Solution:
Reynolds number:
N
Re
= DG/µ
µ
F
= 2.0 x 106 Forcepound x seconds per square foot
µ = µ
F
g
c
µ = (2.0 x 106)(32.2)
µ = 6.44 x 105 lb matter / secft
D = 1.2 in = 0.1 ft
G = 4w/πD
2
w = 1.38 kg/min = 0.050715 lb/sec
G = 4(0.050715)/[π(0.1)
2
] = 6.457234
N
Re
= (0.1)(6.457234)/6.44 x 105
N
Re
= 10,027 . . . Ans.
5_002 It is desired to investigate the drag force on geometrically similar solid objects placed in a free stream of
flowing fluid. In the general case, the force F exerted on the body is thought to depend on the characteristic
length of the object x, the approach velocity V, the acceleration due to gravity g, and the following properties
of the fluid: the density ρ, the viscosity µ, the surface tension σ, and the velocity V
a
at which sound waves
are propagated in the liquid.
a. What is the number n
π
of algebraically independent dimensionless groups which may be used to
correlate the variables?
b. Determine a set of these n
π
dimensionless groups, using the force F in only one group.
c. Calculate the numerical value of each of these groups except the one in which the force F appers,
for the condition in which x = 7 inches, g = 32.2 ft/(sec)(sec), V = 11 ft/sec, and the fluid is water at 68 F
(assume V
a
= 4900 ft/sec).
Solution:
Variables 
a
V σ, µ, ρ, g, V, x, F,
Then:
( ) 0 V σ, µ, ρ, g, V, x, F,
a
= φ
Dimension of Factors: MLθF
Dimensions Factors
F x V g ρ µ σ Va
M 1 1
L 1 1 1 3 1 1 1
θ 1 2 1 1
F 1 1
a. n
f
= no. of physical factors of importance
n
f
= 8
n
i
= nd = number of dimension
n
i
= 4
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 2 of 12
n
π
= no. of independent dimensionless group
n
π
= n
f
 n
i
= 8  4 = 4
b. Incompatible factors
( ) ( ) ( )
Lθ
M
& ,
T
1
,
L
M
, L x
3
= µ = β

¹

\

= ρ =
F F
µ
ρx
xµ
ρx
Lµ
M
θ
ρx ρL M
x L
2 3
3 3
=
= = =
= =
=
Remaining factors:
a
V σ, g, V,
µ
xV
;
ρx
µ
µ
ρx
x
θ
L
V
F
ρx
;
x
F
L
F
σ
µ
g x ρ
;
x ρ
µ
µ
ρx
x
θ
L
g
µ
xV
;
ρx
µ
µ
ρx
x
θ
L
V
a
4
2
a
3
2
3 2
2
3 2
2
2
2
2
1
2
ρ
= Π = = =
= Π = =
= Π =

¹

\

= =
ρ
= Π = = =
c. Values:
x = 7 inches = 0.583333 ft
g = 32.2 ft/(sec)(sec)
V = 11 ft/sec
V
a
= 4900 ft/sec
at 68 F
ρ = 62.282 lb/cu ft
µ = 6.75 x 104 lb/(sec)(ft)
σ = 72.7 Dynes/cm
2
= 0.67534 N/ft
2
( )( )( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( )( )( )
263,737
10 6.75
62.282 4900 0.583333
µ
ρ xV
36,730
10 6.75
32.2 0.583333 62.282
µ
g x ρ
592,063
10 6.75
62.282 11 0.583333
µ
xV
4
a
4
4
3 2
2
3 2
2
4
1
=
×
= = Π
=
×
= = Π
=
×
=
ρ
= Π
−
−
−
5_003 Below are some data from an early article on the performance of a packed regenerator. In heating runs, the
packed spheres were initially at an elevated uniform temperature, and air at room temperature entered at
constant mass rate. In cooling runs, the spheres were initially at room temperature, and air at approximately
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 3 of 12
200 F entered at constant mass rate. In the data given below the relation between the temperature of
entering air (t
1
), the temperature of exit air (t
2
), and initial uniform temperature (t
0
) of the bed of spheres is
given by the dimensionless term y = (t
2
 t
0
)/(t
1
 t
0
). The heat capacity of the vertical cylindrical column was
small compared with that of the spheres used for packing, and the column was well insulated.
Correlate all the values of y given below, plotted as ordinates against some suitable abscissa:
Material Steel Steel Steel Steel Lead Glass
Bed depth, inches ..... 5.125 10.25 5.125 2.56 9.55 9.71
Bed diam, in .............. 4 8 4 2 8 8
Particle diam, in ......... 0.125 0.25 0.125 0.0625 0.233 0.237
Sp ht .......................... 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.0347 0.168
Sp gr ......................... 7.83 7.83 7.83 7.83 11.34 2.6
k, Btu/(hr)(ft)(deg F) .. 26 26 26 26 19.5 0.4
Air superficial mass
vel., lb/(sec)(sq ft) ..... 0.15 0.15 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
y θ, θ, θ, θ, θ, θ,
sec sec sec sec sec sec
0.1 300 600 140 . . . 113 127
0.2 360 680 160 . . . 133 149
0.3 380 740 190 . . . 147 166
0.4 410 810 205 100 162 182
0.5 450 890 220 . . . 176 199
0.6 480 970 240 . . . 191 215
0.7 510 1050 250 . . . 206 232
0.8 570 1140 300 140 222 250
0.9 650 1300 330 170 248 280
The quantity θ is the elapsed time at which the indicated y was measured.
Solution:
L  ft
D
t
 ft
D
p
 ft
c
p
 Btu/lbft
ρ  lb/cu ft
k  Btu/secfrdeg F
G
o
 lb/secsq ft
θ  time, sec
MLθTFH System:
( )
H o p p t
K q, , G k, ρ, , c , D , D L, y φ =
p
H
n m
o
i f e
p
c
p
b
t
a
K θ G k ρ c D D αL y =
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
p
2
2
n
m
2
i f
3
e
c b a
Hθ
ML
θ
θL
M
θLT
H
L
M
MT
H
L L L 1


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\

=
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 4 of 12
(1) ΣL: a + b + c  3f  i  2m + 2p = 0
(2) ΣL: e + i  p = 0
(3) ΣM: e + f + m + p = 0
(4) ΣT: e  i = 0
(5) Σθ: i  m + n  2p = 0
(4) i = e
(5) e + i  p = 0
e  e  p = 0
p = 0
(3) e + f + m + p = 0
e + m + n = 0
e = m  n
Equating:
e = f + m = m  n
(1) a + b + c  3f  i  2m + 2p = 0
a + b + c  3f + e 2m = 0
a + b + c  3f + e  2(e  f) = 0
a + b + c  3f + e  2e + 2f = 0
a + b + c f e = 0
a + b + c = f + e
f = a + b + c e
Then:
p = 0
a = a
b = b
c = c
e = e
f = a + b + c e
i = e
m = e f = 2e  a  b c
n = f = e  a  b c
Then:
c b a e c b a 2e
o
e e c b a e
p
c
p
b
t
a
θ G k ρ c D D αL y
− − − − − − − − + +
=
e
2
o p
c
o
p
b
o
t
a
o
rk
θ G c
θ G
ρ D
θ G
ρ D
θ G
Lρ
α y


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
Note: Strouhal Numbers:
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
=
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
=
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
=
Ratio of Peclet Number to Strouhal Number:
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 5 of 12
ρk
θ G c
N
N
2
o p
Sl
Pe
=
Steel # 1:
L = 5.125 in = 0.4271 ft
D
t
= 4 in = 0.3333 ft
D
p
= 0.125 in = 0.01042 ft
c
p
= 0.111 Btu/lbF
ρ = 7.83 x 62.4 = 488.6 lb/cu ft
k = 26 Btu/hrftdeg F = 7.2222 x 10
3
Btu/secftdeg F
G
o
= 0.15 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
1391.2
0.15θ
488.6 0.4271
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
( )( )
θ
1085.7
0.15θ
488.6 0.3333
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
33.9414
0.15θ
488.6 0.01042
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
θ 10 7.07754
10 7.2222 488.6
θ 0.15 0.111
ρk
θ G c
N
N
4
3
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe −
−
× =
×
= =
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.1 300 4.637333 3.619000 0.113138 0.212326
0.2 360 3.864444 3.015833 0.094282 0.254791
0.3 380 3.661053 2.857105 0.089319 0.268947
0.4 410 3.393171 2.648049 0.082784 0.290179
0.5 450 3.091556 2.412667 0.075425 0.318489
0.6 480 2.898333 2.261875 0.070711 0.339722
0.7 510 2.727843 2.128824 0.066552 0.360955
0.8 570 2.440702 1.904737 0.059546 0.403420
0.9 650 2.140308 1.670308 0.052218 0.460040
Steel # 2:
L = 10.25 in = 0.8542 ft
D
t
= 8 in = 0.6667 ft
D
p
= 0.25 in = 0.02083 ft
c
p
= 0.111 Btu/lbF
ρ = 7.83 x 62.4 = 488.6 lb/cu ft
k = 26 Btu/hrftdeg F = 7.2222 x 10
3
Btu/secftdeg F
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 6 of 12
G
o
= 0.15 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
2782.4
0.15θ
488.6 0.8542
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
( )( )
θ
2171.7
0.15θ
488.6 0.6667
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
67.8503
0.15θ
488.6 0.02083
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
θ 10 7.07754
10 7.2222 488.6
θ 0.15 0.111
ρk
θ G c
N
N
4
3
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe −
−
× =
×
= =
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.1 600 4.637333 3.619500 0.113084 0.424652
0.2 680 4.091765 3.193676 0.099780 0.481273
0.3 740 3.760000 2.934730 0.091690 0.523738
0.4 810 3.435062 2.681111 0.083766 0.573281
0.5 890 3.126292 2.440112 0.076236 0.629901
0.6 970 2.868454 2.238866 0.069949 0.686521
0.7 1050 2.649905 2.068286 0.064619 0.743142
0.8 1140 2.440702 1.905000 0.059518 0.806840
0.9 1300 2.140308 1.670538 0.052193 0.920080
Steel # 3:
L = 5.125 in = 0.4271 ft
D
t
= 4 in = 0.3333 ft
D
p
= 0.125 in = 0.01042 ft
c
p
= 0.111 Btu/lbF
ρ = 7.83 x 62.4 = 488.6 lb/cu ft
k = 26 Btu/hrftdeg F = 7.2222 x 10
3
Btu/secftdeg F
G
o
= 0.30 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
695.6
0.30θ
488.6 0.4217
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
( )( )
θ
542.8
0.30θ
488.6 0.3333
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
16.97
0.30θ
488.6 0.01042
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
θ 10 2.83102
10 7.2222 488.6
θ 0.30 0.111
ρk
θ G c
N
N
3
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe 3 −
−
× =
×
= =
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 7 of 12
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.1 140 4.968571 3.877143 0.121214 0.396343
0.2 160 4.347500 3.392500 0.106063 0.452963
0.3 190 3.661053 2.856842 0.089316 0.537894
0.4 205 3.393171 2.647805 0.082780 0.580359
0.5 220 3.161818 2.467273 0.077136 0.622824
0.6 240 2.898333 2.261667 0.070708 0.679445
0.7 250 2.782400 2.171200 0.067880 0.707755
0.8 300 2.318667 1.809333 0.056567 0.849306
0.9 330 2.107879 1.644848 0.051424 0.934237
Steel # 4:
L = 2.56 in = 0.2134 ft
D
t
= 2 in = 0.1667 ft
D
p
= 0.0625 in = 0.00521 ft
c
p
= 0.111 Btu/lbF
ρ = 7.83 x 62.4 = 488.6 lb/cu ft
k = 26 Btu/hrftdeg F = 7.2222 x 10
3
Btu/secftdeg F
G
o
= 0.30 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
347.6
0.30θ
488.6 0.2134
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
( )( )
θ
271.5
0.30θ
488.6 0.1667
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
8.485
0.30θ
488.6 0.00521
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
θ 10 2.83102
10 7.2222 488.6
θ 0.30 0.111
ρk
θ G c
N
N
3
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe 3 −
−
× =
×
= =
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.4 100 3.476000 2.715000 0.084850 0.283102
0.8 140 2.482857 1.939286 0.060607 0.396343
0.9 170 2.044706 1.597059 0.049912 0.481273
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 8 of 12
Lead:
L = 9.55 in = 0.7958 ft
D
t
= 8 in = 0.6667 ft
D
p
= 0.233 in = 0.01942 ft
c
p
= 0.0347 Btu/lbF
ρ = 11.34 x 62.4 = 707.6 lb/cu ft
k = 19.5 Btu/hrftdeg F = 5.4167 x 10
3
Btu/secftdeg F
G
o
= 0.30 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
1877
0.30θ
707.6 0.7958
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
( )( )
θ
1572.5
0.30θ
707.6 0.6667
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
45.81
0.30θ
707.6 0.01942
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
θ 10 8.14797
10 5.4167 707.6
θ 0.30 0.0347
ρk
θ G c
N
N
3
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe 4 −
−
× =
×
= =
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.1 113 16.610619 13.915929 0.405398 0.092072
0.2 133 14.112782 11.823308 0.344436 0.108368
0.3 147 12.768707 10.697279 0.311633 0.119775
0.4 162 11.586420 9.706790 0.282778 0.131997
0.5 176 10.664773 8.934659 0.260284 0.143404
0.6 191 9.827225 8.232984 0.239843 0.155626
0.7 206 9.111650 7.633495 0.222379 0.167848
0.8 222 8.454955 7.083333 0.206351 0.180885
0.9 248 7.568548 6.340726 0.184718 0.202070
Glass:
L = 9.71 in = 0.8092 ft
D
t
= 8 in = 0.6667 ft
D
p
= 0.237 in = 0.01975 ft
c
p
= 0.168 Btu/lbF
ρ = 2.60 x 62.4 = 162.24 lb/cu ft
k = 0.4 Btu/hrftdeg F = 1.1111 x 10
4
Btu/secftdeg F
G
o
= 0.30 lb/secsq ft
( )( )
θ
437.6
0.30θ
162.24 0.8092
θ G
Lρ
N
o
L Sl,
= = =
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 9 of 12
( )( )
θ
360.6
0.30θ
162.24 0.6667
θ G
ρ D
N
o
t
D Sl,
t
= = =
( )( )
θ
10.68
0.30θ
162.24 0.01975
θ G
ρ D
N
o
p
D Sl,
p
= = =
( )( )
( )( )
0.838766θ
10 1.1111 162.24
θ 0.30 0.168
ρk
θ G c
N
N
4
2
2
o p
Sl
Pe
=
×
= =
−
Table No. 1
X1 N
L Sl,
=
X2 N
t
D Sl,
=
X3 N
p
D Sl,
=
X4
N
N
Sl
Pe
=
y θ X1 X2 X3 X4
0.1 127 3.445669 2.839370 0.084094 106.523282
0.2 149 2.936913 2.420134 0.071678 124.976134
0.3 166 2.636145 2.172289 0.064337 139.235156
0.4 182 2.404396 1.981319 0.058681 152.655412
0.5 199 2.198995 1.812060 0.053668 166.914434
0.6 215 2.035349 1.677209 0.049674 180.334690
0.7 232 1.886207 1.554310 0.046034 194.593712
0.8 250 1.750400 1.442400 0.042720 209.691500
0.9 280 1.562857 1.287857 0.038143 234.854480
By curve fitting:
e
2
o p
c
o
p
b
o
t
a
o
rk
θ G c
θ G
ρ D
θ G
ρ D
θ G
Lρ
α y


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
α = 0.003593
a = 29.130232
b = 30.947910
c = 3.944493
e = 0.394509
Therefore:
0.394509
2
o p
3.944493
o
p
30.947910
o
t
29.130232
o
rk
θ G c
θ G
ρ D
θ G
ρ D
θ G
Lρ
0.003593 y


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
5_004 Two metals, A and B, are being considered for use in constructing tuning forks which are to produce
vibrations of a given frequency. What would be the ratio of the costs of the metal required for the two tuning
forks, expressed as a function of the frequency, the physical properties of the metals, and the cost per unit
mass of each metal (assumed independent of the quantity purchased)? The tuning forks are to be
geometrically similar.
Solution:
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 10 of 12
Let R = ratio of the cost of the metals.
f = frequency, Hz
U
1
, U
2
= cost per unit mass.
Other properties:
ρ
1
, ρ
2
= densities of material
V
1
, V
2
= sound velocities
( )
2 1 2 1 2 1
U , U , V , V , ρ , ρ f, R φ =
h
2
g
1
e
2
d
1
c
2
b
1
a
U U V V ρ ρ αf R =
h g e d c
3
b
3
a
M
1
M
1
θ
L
θ
L
L
M
L
M
θ
1
1 
¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\

=
(1) Σθ: a  d  e = 0
(2) ΣM: b + c  g  h = 0
(3) ΣL: 3b  3c + d + e = 0
(1) d + e = a
(2) 3b  3c  a =
b + c = a / 3
(3) b + c  g  h = 0
g + h = a / 3
Then:
g a
2
g
1
d a
2
d
1
b a
2
b
1
a
3
1
3
1
U U V V ρ ρ αf R
− − − − − −
=
g
2
1
d
2
1
b
2
1
a
2 2 2
U
U
V
V
ρ
ρ
U V r
f
α R
3
1
3
1


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
g
2
1
d
2
1
b
2
1
3
a
2
3
2 2
3
U
U
V
V
ρ
ρ
U V r
f
α R


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
Therefore:
(
(
¸
(
¸


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

φ =
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
3
2 2
3
U
U
V
V
ρ
ρ
U V r
f
R , , ,
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 11 of 12
5_005 It is agreed to assume that the thermal conductivities of gases and vapors depend on the following factors:
c
p
, specific heat at constant pressure; c
v
, specific heat at constant volume; µ, viscosity; T, absolute
temperature; α = ðρ/ρ(ðp)
T
, coefficient of compressibility; b = ðρ/ρ(ðT)
p
, coefficient of thermal expansion.
List all conclusions which may be drawn from dimensional consideration. If one additional physical variable
were to be included, what should it be?
Solution:
units
c
p
 Btu/lbR
c
v
 Btu/lbR
α  sq ft / lb
β  1/R
additional variable is the viscosity
m  Btu/secftR
MLθTF system
( )
H v p
K µ, β, α, , c , c k φ =
f
H
e d c b
v
a
p 1
K µ β α c c α k =
f
2
e d
c
2
b a
Hθ
ML
Lθ
M
T
1
M
L
MT
H
MT
H
θLT
H


¹

\


¹

\


¹

\



¹

\


¹

\


¹

\

=
(1) ΣH: a + b  f = 1
(2) Σθ: e  f = 1
e + f = 1
(3) ΣL: 2c  e + 2f = 1
(4) ΣT: a  b  d = 1
a + b + d = 1
(5) ΣM: a  b  c + e + f = 0
(1) and (4)
f = d
f = d
(5) a  b  c + e + f = 0
a + b + c  e  f = 0
a + b + c 1 = 0
a + b + c = 1
(2) e = 1  f
e = 1 + d
e = 1 + c
but c = 1  a  b
Then:
a = a
b = b
c = 1  a  b
d = 1  a  b
e = 1 + c = 2  a  b
f = a + b 1
Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis
Page 12 of 12
1 b a
H
b  a  2 b  a  1 b  a  1 b
v
a
p 1
K µ β α c c α k
+
=


¹

\



¹

\



¹

\

=
H
b
H v
a
H p
1
K
αβµ
αβ
K c
αβ
K c
α k
K
H
= Jg
c
= (778)(32.2) = 25,000 (lb matter)(ft)
2
/ (Btu)(sec)
2
Final results.
(
(
¸
(
¸


¹

\



¹

\

φ


¹

\

=
αβ
K c
αβ
K c
K
αβµ
k
H v
H p
H
,
 end 
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