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223.

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Fluid Mechanics - Course 223


VISCOSITY

There are many factors which affect the manner in which a


fluid flows and, of all these factors, viscosity requires the
greatest consideration.
Viscosity may be defined as the fluid property which
causes the fluid to have resistance to shear. The shear
stress in a fluid is directly proportional to viscosity.
Let's consider lubricating oil for a moment. We all know
that in the mid winter the oil is reluctant to flow and in the
summer flows more freely. What causes this change? There is
no significant volume change and thus the density, ie, mass!
unit volume doesn't change.
This change in behaviour is due
to the change in viscosity, due to temperature.
VISCOSITY depends only upon TEMPERATURE
For liquids, viscosity decreases as temperature increases.
Viscosity is a property concerned with flow and has no effect
on fluids in a static situation.
In a lubrication application, where one body
relative to another, separated by an oil film, as
and bearing application, a shearing action of the
occurs.
The force required to shear the oil film
the viscosity and thus on the temperature.

is moving
in a shaft
oil film
depends upon

For interest, a definition of viscosity is,


the shear stress in a liquid
the rate of shear strain in a liquid
This ratio is 'dynamic viscosity' denoted by
mensionally has units of

(mu) and di-

There are two basic types of flow which may occur,


laminar and turbulent. The criterion for the change from one
type of flow to the other is a function of the dynamic viscosity divided by the density.
This ratio is called the
'kinematic viscosity' denoted by v {nu~.
Thus
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223.00-1

Kinematic viscosity is used in many ways when considering


fluid flow calculations.
Figures 1.1 and 1.2 show how the
dynamic viscosity varies with temperature for a variety of
fluids.
From Figure 1.2 we can see that the dynamic viscosity
of water is almost 100 times that for air. You can see that
gases do not change viscosity in the same manner as liquids

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223.00-1

ASSIGNMENT
1.

Describe 'viscosity' in your own words

2.

What are the units of dynamic viscosity?

3.

Why is 'kinematic viscosity' used in flow calculations?

4.

Which of the following oils will absorb the lowest energy


when lubricating a journal bearing?
(a)

(b)

SAE 40 at 200 0 P
SAE 20 at 130 0 P

5.

What factors affect viscosity?

6.

How would you expect a multigrade oil SAE 20/50 to


behave?

J. Irwin-Childs

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