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AER134 UNIT-1 1. ONE DIMENSIONAL COMPRESSIBLE FLOW 9 Energy, momentum, continuity and state equations, Velocity of sound, Adiabatic steady state flow equations, Flow through converging, diverging passages, Performance under various back pressures. 3 0 0 100

Possible Classifications of Continuum Fluid Mechanics

Inviscid ( = 0) Laminar Turbulent


Internal External



A fluid problem is called compressible if changes in the density of the fluid have significant effects on the solution. If the density changes have negligible effects on the solution, the fluid is called incompressible and the changes in density are ignored. In order to determine whether to use compressible or incompressible fluid dynamics, the Mach number of the problem is evaluated. As a rough guide, compressible effects can be ignored at Mach numbers below approximately 0.3. Nearly all problems involving liquids are in this regime and modeled as incompressible. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equations are simplifications of the NavierStokes equations in which the density has been assumed to be constant. These can be used to solve incompressible problems. Liquids such as water, by their very nature, are incompressible. It will require enormous forces to squeeze a gallon of water to fit into a volume that is 0.9999 gallons. While computing fluid dynamics of liquids, it is therefore customary to assume that the density of the liquid is constant, and the flow is "incompressible. Other fluids such as air are clearly compressible. It is easy to change the density of air inside a small volume by squeezing it with relatively small amounts of force. Thus, flows involving air or gases are usually compressible. At small velocities compared to the speed of sound, however, the density of the fluid does not change from point to point, even when other properties such as pressure or velocity are changing. Newton was right in assuming that air is made of molecules, which collide with each other, and obey particle physics. The average distance air molecules (Nitrogen, Oxygen, etc.) can travel before collision with a neighbour molecule is called the mean free path. Normally this mean free path is very small (of the order of 10-8 m) compared to the dimensions of the wing. Thus, billions of collisions will occur by the time a molecule travels from the leading edge of a wing to the trailing edge. When this many molecules and collisions are involved, it is reasonable to assume that air is a continuous medium, not discrete particles. Properties such as density, pressure and temperature become continuously definable quantities, which are averages of molecule properties taken over millions of molecules. This assumption that the fluid is a continuous medium with continuously varying properties is called the concept of continuum. The concept of continuum fails in the outer edges of rarefied atmosphere where satellites operate, and during the early phases of reentry.

The following laws are frequently used in dealing with a variety of compressible flow problems: (i) Law of conservation of mass (Continuity equation) (ii) Newtons second law of motion (Momentum equation) (iii) First law of thermodynamics (Energy equation). (iv) Second law of thermodynamics (Entropy relation)

The aerodynamic forces and moments on, the body are due to only two basic sources: Pressure distribution over the body surface Shear stress distribution over the body surface

No matter how complex the body shape may be, the aerodynamic forces and moments on the body are due entirely to the above two basic sources. The only mechanisms nature has for communicating a force to a body moving through a fluid are pressure and shear stress distributions on the body surface. Both pressure p and shear stress have dimensions of force per unit area (pounds per square foot or Newton per square meter).

As sketched in Figure 1 p acts normal to the surface, and (toe) acts tangential to the surface. Shear stress is due to the "tugging action" on the surface, which is caused by friction between the body and the air. The net effect of the p and distributions integrated over the complete body surface is a resultant aerodynamic force R and moment M on the body, as sketched in Figure 2.

Temperature Variation in the Atmosphere

The analysis of compressible flow is based on three fundamental physical principles; in turn, these principles are expressed in terms of the basic flow equations. They are:

2. Principle: Time rate of change of momentum of a body equals the net force exerted on it. (Newton's second law.)

3. Principle: Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it can only change in form.

To summarize and reinforce the physical significance of the force on a moving fluid element, let us display Newton's second law in diagrammatic form as follows:

The following equations are general they apply no matter what type of gas is being considered. Also, in general they must be solved numerically for the properties behind the shock wave.

For a calorically perfect gas, we can immediately add the thermodynamic relations such as equation of state and enthalpy.


The above five equations with five unknowns, 2, u2, p2, h2, and T2 can be solved algebraically.


Consider the flow through a one-dimensional region, as represented by the shaded area in Fig 3.5. This region may be a normal shock wave, or it may be a region with heat addition, in either case, the flow properties change as a function of x as the gas flows through the region. To the left of this region, the flow field velocity, pressure, temperature, density, and internal energy are u1, p1, T1, 1, and e1, respectively. To the right of this region, the properties have changed, and are given by u2, p2, T2, 2, and e2. Assume that the left- and right-hand sides each have an area equal to A perpendicular to the flow. Also, assume that the flow is steady, such that all derivatives with respect to time are zero, and assume that body forces are not present.

Fig. 3.5 Rectangular control volume for one-dimensional flow

Flow through Converging-Diverging passages

Flow Through Nozzle

Assumptions for the analysis are: the flow is one dimensional and steady the fluid is an ideal gas with constant thermodynamics properties, and the flow is isentropic (i.e., adiabatic and frictionless)

The Governing conservation relations are Mass: u A = constant Or

du dA + + = 0 u A




du dP = dx dx

u du + dP = 0


u2 uc2 h + = cons tan t = hc + 2 2

when uc ~ 0 Energy conservation relation becomes,

u2 h + = hc 2
Equation of state :


p= RT

Isentropic Relation:

T P = = Pc c T c

/ 1


which is valid for a single component, ideal gas. Equations 1 to 5 constitute the basic set of equations from which all the downstream parameters can be derived.

Velocity variation with Area

The nozzle is specified by the area term.

d du dA = + A u
We have to relate to u to get the desired result. For this, we make use of the concept of velocity of sound, i.e., the speed of propagation of pressure waves in a fluid medium under isentropic conditions.

P a = s =cons tan t
From Eq.(2)

u du = dP
and using the above equation we can rewrite the momentum equation as,

u du = a d
d u 2 du du = 2 = M2 a u u

Where M is the Mach number at the local station.

We have,

d du dA = + A u
Subtitute the value of d/ in the above continuity equation, we get,

du dA / A = u M21


The task of the nozzle is to accelerate the flow, i.e., to make du positive. This can be achieved by making dA negative (decreasing area, converging) when M < 1 as it happens at chamber conditions, and by dA positive (increasing area, diverging) when M > 1 i.e., supersonic conditions. Evidently, the transition from subsonic to supersonic occurs at the minimum cross sectional station ( M=1 and du to be finite require dA to be zero in Eq.6). A convergent - divergent nozzle or a De-lavel nozzle is essential to accelerate a stagnant or subsonic gaseous medium to supersonic velocities. The driving pressure gradient for the flow comes from the difference between Pc and Pa. But the downstream pressure Pa will be sensed by the flow only when M < 1 every where in the nozzle. Once M = 1 is attained at the throat supersonic flow prevails in the divergent part of the nozzle and the flow does not sense Pa, i.e., the mass flow rate becomes independent of Pa. Suh a condition is termed as choked flow. However, all upstream conditions get reflected at all stations, i.e., one can continue to increase the mass flow rate by suitably changing the chamber conditions.

Critical Ratio for choking to occur

Applying the energy conservation equation to the throat.

u ht + t = hc 2
Since no compositional changes are assumed to take place; i.e., by virtue of the assumption made, h can be set equal to the sensible enthalpy, i.e CpT

ut2 C pTt + = C p Tc 2


ut = at =
C pTt +

R Tt
2 = C p Tc

As choking holds good.

on simplification

Tc +1 = Tt 2
and by the isentropic relation

(7 )

Pc +1 = Pt 2
When = 1.2

/ 1


Tc = 1.1 and Tt Pc = 1 .7 Pt
Note: If in any situation a pressure ratio of 1.7 is measured across an orifice or nozzle (i.e at sea level condition if a Pc of about 1.7 atm or 25 psi is recorded) one can be certain that choking will have been occurred.

Discussion on Area-velocity relation