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Lecture # 11: Pressure & fluid velocity measurements

First, lets do a quick review of Lab # 2

HW # 4 is due Friday 3/6 at 12:20 (see Scholar for HW)

Lab # 2 report due next week in lab
Lab # 3 next week
Pre-lab quiz for Lab # 3 due Mon 11:59 pm

We put large resistors in __________ with the strain gauge

R/ R
to create an effective strain for the P3500.

Did your predicted strain calculations match the GF

measured effective strain on the P3500? _____________
We also recorded the _____________ from the P3500

Sorry for the delay in grading the

tests. The ME department scanner
broke, and Im working on Plan B.

ME 4005
February 27, 2015

We often use jargon terms

to describe pressures

There are many units for pressure

Pressure = Force / Area



psi(g or a) pounds/in2
N/m2 1 N/m2 = 1 pascal
mm Hg column of Hg
inches H2O column of H2O
1 bar = 105 pascal
1 microbar = 1 dyne/cm2
1 dyne = 10-5 N
1 Torr = 1 mm Hg


1 atmosphere:

Pressure = force/area


14.696 psia = 0 psig

________ Pressure = lowest possible is 0 (true vacuum)

1.013x105 pascal
760 mm Hg (Torr)

________ Pressure = absolute pressure local atmospheric


29.92 in. Hg
406.7 in. H2O

________ = amount by which the local atmospheric pressure

exceeds the absolute pressure

33.89 ft H2O

Examples of absolute, gauge,

and vacuum pressures
Atmospheric pressure at sea level is
14.7 _______

Pressures span many orders of magnitude


Bicycle tire inflate to 65 psi max

Interstellar space

1x10-14 Pa

Low Earth Orbit

1x10-7 Pa


Ultra-High Vacuum System

1x10-7 Pa


Mt. Everest

3x104 Pa

Sea Level

1x105 Pa

100 meters below sea level

1x106 Pa

Turbine in Power Plant

1x107 Pa

Bottom of Pacific Ocean (10.9 km)

1x108 Pa

Center of the Earth

3x1011 Pa

Center of the Sun

3x1016 Pa


The gauge measures _______ pressure.

So the max pressure of the tire at sea level is 65+14.7=79.7 psi

absolute (psia), or 65 psi gauge (psig).
A pressure of -10 psi or 10 psi vacuum is 4.7 psia or -10
Most measurements of pressure in vacuum conditions are
given as absolute pressures.

Pressure increases with depth in a fluid

The deeper the point, the higher
the pressure
=specific weight, =g
=fluid density
g=standard acceleration of gravity
Pgauge(h)= h

We have a column of air on top of us that creates atmospheric

pressurethe density of air is not constant, though

*accurate up to ~11km

U-tube manometers are reference devices since the

pressure is measured as a column of fluid
Constant diameter, U-shaped tube
Here the pressure is carried by one fluid,
2; the manometer is filled with another
fluid, 1

p2 +

Pabs(h)=P0 + h

P = P0 1


P0=standard atmospheric pressure

at sea level
B=0.0065 K/m
Z=distance above sea level (m)
T=288.16 K

= p1 + 2 h;

p1 p2 = h( 1 2 ) ~ h 1 = p
Fluid densities are chosen to provide reasonable
deflection for the pressures being measured
The u-tube can have transient dynamic behavior;
fluid wall friction damps the oscillation

Inclined manometers can measure low pressures

Barometers measure atmospheric pressure

Manometers are used to

measure low p:
the lower the angle, the
higher the sensitivity
H = L sin

These can also be fluid filled; e.g. a high

density fluid like mercury

Manometers usually have

an instrument to level the
gauge: a bubble level

They have thermometers for adjusting the

reading for differential expansion between
the Hg and glass

The good ones have vernier scales for

reading the meniscus

Some also have provisions to adjust the

well height to account for small volume
changes in well

This instrument from an ME

4006 lab has a least count of
0.1 inches of water.

Weather values are corrected for sea-level elevation

Particular fluid specific

gravity needed for this

Even though mercury has a low vapor pressure, it does vaporize

and can be inhaled (mercury spills are dangerous. Contact
Environmental Health & Safety Services (EHSS) for help)


Ion Gauges measure ultra low


Bourdon tubes measure pressure by

transducing pressure to motion

10-9 Pa 0.1 Pa

Bourdon transduces pressure to motion through a spring element

Elliptical cross-section moves as
the differential pressure changes:
usually gauge pressure

Heated cathode emits electrons

Electrons are attracted to positively
charged grid
Electrons collide with gas molecules
and ionize these molecules
Positive ions are attracted to a
negatively charged collector wire

Mechanism converts linear motion to

rotary motionlow dynamic response

Current in the collector wire depends

on number of gas molecules present,
i.e. pressure

Used from 104 109 Pa

S=sensitivity, S~2670 Pa-1 for N2



Diaphragms deflect under pressure

differentials, another spring element

Pressure measurements in moving fluids are

important, but complicated

The diaphragm deflects if there is a

pressure difference between the two

Flow along streamline A

has velocity U1 at point 1,
but must stop at point 2

Motion can be transduced by center

post, or by strain gauges,
or by another fixed flat plate which
transduces x to C (farads)

U3 = U1 (uniform flow), but

U4 > U3 from conservation
of mass
________________ equation along the two streamlines

Frequency response is relatively high

because of high natural frequency of
diaphragm (thin, small mass)
We will use a diaphragm gauge in Lab 3
(cost ~$300)

p1 + U12 / 2 = p2 + U 22 / 2
p3 + U 32 / 2 = p4 + U 42 / 2
Since U2 = 0

In moving fluids we use static, dynamic, and

stagnation pressures

p2 = p1 + U12 / 2

Also, since U4 > U3 p4 < p3


In flowing fluids, the orientation of pressure

probes determines what is measured
If the probe is oriented parallel to a
streamline, the _________ pressure
is measured

p2 = p1 + U12 / 2
So p2 is greater than p1 by

If perpendicular to a streamline the

________ pressure is measured

p1 = ________pressure


A pressure probe oriented as ! will

record ____________ pressure

U12/2 = _______ pressure

p2 = static + dynamic pressure

A pressure probe oriented as " will

record __________ pressure

p2 = _________ (or _____) pressure (pt)

The ________ pressure is the pressure sensed by a fluid particle
as it moves with the same velocity as the local flow

After spring break, we will measure pressures at various locations

on an airfoil in the wind tunnel (Lab 5)



______________ pressures are measured using

impact probes

__________ pressures are measured perpendicular

to flow streamlines

Impact probe
a small hole is aligned with the flow

________ pressure measurements Wall taps should be _____________ to the wall

the flow comes to rest

No burrs to disrupt the flow

pressure is measured within the probe

Probes inserted within the flow must not disturb

the flow




Pitot-static tubes measure both static and

stagnation pressures

Pitot-static tubes measure both static and

stagnation pressures

You will use one in the fan problem in ME

4006 next fall (unless they change the lab)

Local flow velocities can be determined by measuring

the total pressure and the static pressure
This device is termed a pitotstatic tube

pt = ps +

2( pt ps )
U 2 U =

Many applications: aircraft speed indication,

local velocity determination, total flow


Aircraft instrumentation measures pressures to

indicate flight variables

Pitot-static tubes are used to transduce aircraft

These tubes use the pitot-static principle to find
the velocity from the difference between static
and stagnation pressures (must have a heater)

Vertical velocity


Ram Air


air line

Instrument Commercial Manual, Sanderson Training Products

Total pressure is sometimes called ram air


Bellows is the transducer: p transduced to x


Static pressure can also be used to indicate rate

of change of altitude (vertical airspeed indicator)

_______ pressure can indicate altitude

________ pressure changes with altitude



Direct static

Operates based on a calibrated leak

Static pressure applied directly to bellows and to a
precision orifice in case
Convention is to calibrate based on local
barometric pressure adjusted to sea level


Case pressure follows static pressure as a first

order system,


Lab 3: Computer fan instrumentation

Pitot-static system configuration to measure

airspeed, vertical speed and altitude

Scenario: You work for computer company and you

are in charge of cooling the next generation
desktop computer.

Static port used for all three instruments

Impact port only used for airspeed (static port
needed also)

There are several issues that need to be addressed

How is the fan controlled?
What is the flowrate from the fan?
What influence does the heat sink have on fan
What are the thermal limits on the processor & can the
fan cool the processor effectively?
What are the noise and vibration restrictions on the fan &
can the fan meet these restrictions and cool the chip?



The fan is controlled with Pulse Width

Modulation (PWM)

Lab 3: Computer Fan Characteristics

1. Questions to answer
How is the fan controlled?
Relationship between power, fan speed, & air flow
Effect of the heat sink on fan performance

PWM: The duty cycle of a square wave is

modulated resulting in the variation of the
average value of the waveform.

2. & 3. Characteristics of variables & appropriate sensors

Pressure, fan speed, and flowrate ranges, time response
of pressure sensor, cost, sampling rate, etc.
4. Design experiment to minimize external influences
How to measure flowrate to properly account for heat
sink obstruction?
How can we measure the fanspeed accurately?
6. Are the data realistic?
Compare data with specs from manufacturer
Does the fan obey classical fan laws?

Duty Cycle: D=/T, the fraction of each period where

the signal is active or high. The duty cycle
here is ~33%.
Note that the period, T, remains the same for
changes in duty cycle (only changes).


We will use a new VI to control the fan

There are four wires connected to the fan

Ground wire: common ground
Power: +12 V from computer (power supply in lab)
PWM: Control wire for PWM. Input from computer
(myDAQ in our lab).
Output: Speed sensor wire that gives feedback to
the computer (myDAQ in our lab).
We need to examine the output from the fan.
What type of signal does the fan output?
How can we use this signal to determine
fan rotation speed?
Note that the wire colors are,
unfortunately, not identical for all fans
in the lab. See the wiring diagram on
your lab bench.

We need to wire the fan properly in

order to control it



The maximum air pressure from the fan is 0.124

inches of water (according to the manufacturer)

We can estimate the flowrate by measuring the

static pressure after the fan
We can use the specification sheet from the manufacturer to
find the flowrate after measuring the static pressure.
Its always good practice to have a secondary measurement
to verify expected performance.
Can you think of an
easy, albeit crude,
method to estimate
flowrate from the
fan? .

Be careful working with the units for

pressure in the lab (and HW)



We will use a diaphragm gauge to measure the

small pressure

In summary, we have HW # 4 and Lab # 2 due next week

There are a variety of pressure measurement schemes
available to examine a wide range of pressures.
Pressure measurements are useful in numerous

The pressure transducer outputs a voltage (measured with the

myDAQ) that corresponds to the pressure. The pressure range
of the gauge is 0 to 0.3 inches of water (0 to 7.62 mm), and
the corresponding voltage output range is 1 10 volts. (Note
that 0 pressure gives 1 V, not 0 V)

HW # 4, due Friday 3/6 by 12:20 (see Scholar for HW

Lab # 2 report due next week (hardcopy due at start of lab)
Lab # 2 electronic copy due by end of next week (as .docx)
Pre-lab quiz for Lab # 3 due by 11:59 pm on Monday 3/2
Lab # 3 next week