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The main objective of this experiment is to determine the center of

pressure on a plane surface (rectangular surface) of the torroid by
comparing the normal force (exerted by the liquid) and the weights on
the balance bar.

When a liquid is in contact with a solid surface, then two
forces will be
1. Shear force: which is caused due to the viscosity of the
liquid, and it describes the resistance of flow (friction) and
depends on the type of the liquid.
= (du/dy)
: Shear stress (Pa).
: Viscosity (Pa.s).
du/dy : Velocity gradient (1/s).

2. Normal force: it is caused from the weight of liquid on a

plane around the surface, as dams and it acts on the

surface as a line (normal to the area) and the centroid

area of the surface.
Sometimes we call the normal force, the pressure force.
F = PA and in the case of a static fluid F = g hc A.
Where hc: centroid.
This relation is valid if the shape is rectangular and the
plane surface is horizontal.
For other shapes (rather than horizontal or rectangular)
to find the centroid, evaluate the integral:
dF = PdA.
Where the pressure is linearly distributed over the
In this experiment the non-horizontal surface is also
affected by the hydrostatic force due to the static liquid

Apparatus and Procedures :

(a) Locate the torroid on the dowel pins and fasten to the balance arm
by the central screw.
(b) Measure the dimensions a, b, and d, and the distance L from the
knife edge axis to the balance pan axis.
(c) Position the perspex tank on work surface and locate the balance
arm on the knife edges.

(d) Attach a length of hose to the drain cock and direct the other end of
hose to the sink. Attach a length of hose to tap V3 and place the free end
in the triangular aperture on the top of the perspex tank. Level the tank,
using the adjustable feet in conjunction with the spirit level.
(e) Adjust the counter - balance weigh until the balance arm is
horizontal. This is indicated on a gate adjacent to the balance arm.
(f)Fill water to the perspex tank until the water is level with the bottom
edge of the torroid.
(g) Place a mass on the balance pan and fill water to the tank until the
balance arm is horizontal. Note the water level on the scale. Fine
adjustment of the water level may be achieved by over filling and
slowly draining, using the drain cock.
(h) Repeat the procedure under section.
(g) for different masses : 5 masses for water levels y > d (complete
immersion) and 5 masses for y < d (partial immersion)
(i) Repeat readings for reducing masses on the balance pan.

Results and Discussion:

For the apparatus used, the formula:
F=PA= gya ( 1 )

y y =


May be applied to give expressions for the moment of the hydrostatic

force about the knife-edge axis, where:
F: the water force of the torroid area.
y: the centroid of the area.
P: the water pressure at the centroid of the area.
y: center of pressure.
I: the second moment of the area.

* For Partial Immersion: y<d :

y= y /2, A=by
F= gby .(3)

y y =by /12/by /2= y /6 .(4)

The moment M of F about Knife-edge axis is given by:

M = gby (a+ d y /2+ y /6)= gby (a+ d y /3).(5)

M =gml .(6)

M: the mass added to the balance pan.
L: the distance from the knife-edge axis to balance pan
suspension rod

ml= by (a+d y /3) .(7)

* For Complete Immersion: y>d (see fig.3)

F=gybd .(8)

y= y d / 2 .( 9)

y y=bd /12/bdy=d /12 y .(10)

The moment M of F about knife-edge axis for this case is given by:
M =gybd (a+ d /2+ d /12 y ) .(11)

ml=ybd (a+d /2+ d /12 y) .(12)

Mass (kg)


M/y (kg/m)


M/y (kg/m)

Mass (kg)




It can be noticed that as the applied mass increases, the distances y and
yc increase because the moment is needed for balance because the
hydrostatic force exerted on the torroid increases.
After finding the slope and intercept for both partial and
complete immersion there were some deviations between
experimental and theoretical values due to errors in

Conclusions and Recommendations:

* In the case of a static fluid, the pressure force for the horizontal face
can be calculated from the relationship: F=g hc A .
But for a non-horizontal shape the centeroid is found from the
integration and then the pressure force (hydrostatic force) is evaluated.
* The location at which the resultant pressure force acts gives a moment
balance static field and the location is located under the centeroid
because the force increases with depth.
* There are linearly distributions for the force over the surface (from the

* Errors: Un predictable fluctuations in the measured quantities,

personal errors, and inaccurate reading or scaling.

1)Abu-Jadayil, B.Laboratory Manual for Fluid Mechanics
ChE344, JUST, 2002, Irbid-Jordan.
2) I. Robbert,Fluid Mechanics with Engineering
Applications3rd edition, McGraw Hill, 1994.