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ME211

Lab 1

2-16-14

Ken Vogt & Kevin Huxhold

Abstract

This experiment is an exercise in comparing theoretical values and experimental values as

concerns the motion of water as it is swirled around within a container of fixed volume. Through

the use of an Armfield F1-23 Free and Forced Vortex Apparatus, experimental values for the

dimensions of the surface profile of the resulting vortex were recorded for three progressively

faster fluid flow rates.

These values were then compared to theoretical values derived from applying the equation for

the centripetal force of the fluid:

z=

2 r 2

+ constant

2g

Where z is the height of the vortex at a distance r from the center, is the angular velocity of the

water and g is the gravitational acceleration on Earth at sea level.

In this way, it was found that the experimental and theoretical values correlate very closely, thus

validating the centripetal force equation.

Introduction

The motion of a constrained fluid that is spun around a center creates a forced vortex. In such a

vortex, all particles of the fluid are assumed to have the same angular velocity, . As a

consequence of this, the linear velocity of the flow is a function of this angular velocity and the

distance the fluid is from the center:

q=r

Where q is the linear velocity, or velocity of the flow and r is the radius of the vortex.

p

q2 r

+z=

g

r g

Leading to:

2 2

p

r

+ z=

+ constant

g

2g

Since the pressure at the free surface is constant in an open container, we can solve for the height

of the surface of the fluid at a certain radius as:

2 2

z=

r

+ constant

2g

Given that z=z0 at an initial position of r=0, and that z0 represents the lowest point of the vortex,

we can replace the constant with this initial boundary condition and arrive at:

2 2

r

z=

+ z0

2g

Procedure:

F1-23 Free and Forced Vortex Apparatus

with input flow split via a y-connector

between the two angled 9mm inlets along the

bottom of the apparatus. The water jets from

these inlets impacts a paddle that is attached

to an axle at the bottom of the device. Water

then exits the apparatus via tubes that run out

of the 12 mm holes at the base.

Figure 1

the apparatus, a vortex of steady level is then

formed. Using adjustable pins suspended

from a bar across the top of the container,

readings of the water level at set radial

distances can then be taken. The angular

velocity ( ) was then determined by

recording the time it took for the paddle to make fifty full rotations and converting that resulting

frequency to angular velocity..

This procedure was repeated three times at progressively faster angular velocities and the results

tabulated in Table 1.

Results

TABLE 1 - EXPERIMENTAL VALUES

PIN

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

2

3

4

5

6

REVOLUTIONS

TIME(s)

FREQUENCY

(hertz)

RADUIS

(cm)

= 6.49

1.03

11

1.03

9

1.03

7

1.03

5

1.03

3

1.03

0

50

50

50

50

50

50

48.4

48.4

48.4

48.4

48.4

48.4

50

50

50

50

50

50

= 8.82

35.6

1.40

11

35.6

1.40

9

35.6

1.40

7

35.6

1.40

5

35.6

1.40

3

35.6

1.40

0

50

50

50

50

50

50

30.4

30.4

30.4

30.4

30.4

30.4

= 10.33

1.64

11

1.64

9

1.64

7

1.64

5

1.64

3

1.64

0

PIN LENGTH

(cm)

HEIGHT (cm)

(length pin 6pin n)

17

16.5

15.9

15.5

15.3

15

2

1.5

0.9

0.5

0.3

0

17.9

16.3

14.9

14.2

13.5

13.1

4.8

3.2

1.8

1.1

0.4

0

17.2

14.9

13

12

11.3

10.6

6.6

4.3

2.4

1.4

0.7

0

Discussion:

Given that

z=

2 r 2

+ z0

2g

We can further simplify the equation by setting z0 to zero for all our data points and referencing

our heights from that point. This allow us to calculate the height of the pins at various distances

from the center using the following equation:

2 2

z=

r

2g

Using the data from the tree trials, we can then arrive the following calculated values for the

vortex profiles in Table 2.

TABLE 2 - THEORETICAL VALUES

CALM VORTEX

CALCULATED

PIN HEIGHT (cm)

6.49

2.60

6.49

1.74

6.49

1.05

6.49

0.54

6.49

0.19

6.49

0.00

MODERATE VORTEX

CALCULATED

(cm)

8.82

4.80

8.82

3.21

8.82

1.94

8.82

0.99

8.82

0.36

8.82

0.00

FAST VORTEX

CALCULATED

(cm)

10.33

6.58

10.33

4.41

10.33

2.67

10.33

1.36

10.33

0.49

PIN

RADIUS (cm)

1

2

3

4

5

6

11

9

7

5

3

0

PIN

1

2

3

4

5

6

PIN

1

2

3

4

5

RADIUS

11

9

7

5

3

0

RADIUS

11

9

7

5

3

6

0

10.33

0.00

As seen in Graphs 1, 2 and 3, the measured profile for the vortex surface and the calculated

profile for the vortex surface in all three trials are very similar. Variances between the two can be

explained by several causes.

Among such causes, finding a stable level for the vortex proved to be problematic. Often, once

the vortex looked stable and we began taking measurements, levels would change slightly up or

down. Also, the interior of the container is not perfectly smooth, thus adding uncalculated drag

along the outer edge of the fluid and skewing results slightly from calculated values. Thirdly,

measuring the angular velocity of the fluid was rather imprecise as it relied on visually watching

and counting the rotations of a mono-colored paddle wheel at the bottom of the tank while

tracking time on a stopwatch app on a cell phone. Better results could be obtained by either using

a paddle of contrasting colors or, better yet, using optical sensors connected to an electronic

timer to count the revolutions of the paddle in a set period of time.

CALM VORTEX

3

2.5

2

1

0.5

0

PIN NUMBER

HEIGHT (cm)

CALCULATED

HEIGHT (cm)

CALM VORTEX

MODERATE VORTEX

6

5

4

HEIGHT (cm) 3

2

1

0

PIN NUMBER

HEIGHT (cm)

CALCULATED

HEIGHT (cm)

MODERATE VORTEX

FAST VORTEX

7

6

5

4

HEIGHT (cm) 3

2

1

0

PIN NUMBER

ACTUAL HEIGHT (cm)

CALCULATED

HEIGHT (cm)

FAST VORTEX

Conclusions:

In summary, this experiment allowed us to verify the validity of the centripetal force equation for

forced vortices by using the Armfield apparatus to record surface profiles of actual vortices.

Considering that the centripetal force equation governing the surface profile of a vortex is well

established, it is not surprising that our experimental results validate the theory. Nonetheless, it is

still gratifying to see, despite the difficulties mentioned, such a strong correlation and makes it

easy to qualify the experiment a success.

Such validation confirms the real-life application of this equation to industries such as small

appliances where the size of a blenders walls would have to accommodate the surface profile

caused by the spinning blades, or of the design of a beer-brewery vat where paddles rotate to mix

the grain, yeast and liquids together.

Appendix

List of variables:

angular velocity (rad/s)

f frequency (hertz)

z vortex surface height at distance r from center (cm)

zo vortex surface height at center pin (cm)

g acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

Main equations:

Centripetal force:

2 2

z=

r

+ z 0 ; with boundary conditions of r=0 ; zo=0.

2g

=2f

With these equations, it is assumed that there are no friction forces acting upon the fluid,

and that the only velocity component of the fluid is the angular velocity.

Sample calculation:

Angular velocity:

=2f;

=2

=6.49 rad/s

50 revolutions

48.4 s

2 2

r

+ z0

2g

z=

rad 2

) (11 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

(6.49

z = 2.60 cm

2 2

r

z=

+ z0

2g

rad 2

) ( 9 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

(6.49

z = 1.74 cm

2 r 2

+ z0

2g

z=

rad

(6.49

) ( 7 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

z = 1.05 cm

2 r 2

z=

+ z0

2g

rad 2

) (5 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

(6.49

z = 0.54 cm

2 r 2

+ z0

2g

z=

rad

) ( 3 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

(6.49

z = 0.19 cm

2 2

r

+ z0

2g

z=

rad 2

) ( 0 cm)2

s

z=

+0

m 1000 cm

2(9.81 2 )(

)

1m

s

(6.49

z = 0 cm

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