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Fluid Mechanics I (MDB2013


Chapter 5
Dimensional Analysis, Similitude, and Modeling
Lecturer: Dr Shiferaw R. Jufar
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610 Tronoh,
Perak, Malaysia | Tel: +605 368 7045 | Fax: +605 365 5670
e-mail :

Course Objectives
1. Understand concepts and behavior of fluids in static
and flowing condition.
2. Understand the concept and applications of control
3. Apply the knowledge of dimensional analysis.
4. Apply the concepts to the design of simple system
involving fluid.

Learning objectives
o Apply the knowledge of dimensional analysis in
solving complex engineering problems.
o After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
 apply the Buckingham pi theorem.
 develop a set of dimensionless variables for a given
flow situation.
 discuss the use of dimensionless variables in data
 apply the concepts of modeling and similitude to
develop prediction equations.

Contents o Dimensional Analysis o Units and Dimensions o Synthesis of Experimental Data o Buckingham Pi Theorem o Determination of Pi Terms o Correlation of Experimental Data .

. o Rare exceptions to this are. the ordering. the performance and the analysis of experiment and also the synthesis of the resulting data. o Measurement is used as a basis of science and engineering and hence of dimensional analysis. for example. o The great majority of experiment requires methods of measurement that use numerical scales from both defined units and dimensions. botany and anatomy where classification can be in terms of graphical descriptions of shape and colour though even here some measure of size is commonly used.Dimensional Analysis o Dimensional analysis is a powerful means in the design.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about. 1883 . in your thought. whatever the matter may be. and methods for practicably measuring. your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge. but when you cannot measure it.Units and Dimensions. when you cannot express it in numbers. but you have scarcely. and express it in numbers. cont’d “In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject. is to find principles of numerical reckoning. you know something about it. advanced to the stage of science. some quality connected with it.” Kelvin.

is the foundation of the development of dimensional analysis. though simple. equally.Units and Dimensions. o It follows that an equality is under the same restrictions. There is no useful meaning in adding a length to a force. . o It is the first stage in the logic of this subject: it is the primary statement as being an acceptable affirmation from it being self evident. Thus it forms the basic premiss for the present work. This principle. cont’d o Addition of physical quantities is only meaningful when both the dimensions and the units are identical. nor is there in adding acres directly to hectares.

Dimensional System Table 1: Symbols of Dimensions .

cont’d Table 2: Dimensions of physical quantities .Dimensional System.

Dimensional System. cont’d Table 3: Dimensions in the calculus Where the symbol means “dimensionally equal to” .

. where r is the minimum number of reference dimensions required to describe the variables. it can be reduced to a relationship among k – r independent dimensionless products.Buckingham Pi Theorem o If an equation involving k variables is dimensionally homogeneous.

l) • Fluid (material) properties (μ. ρ) • External effects that influence the system (∆Pl) .Determination of the Pi Terms o Step 1: o List all variables that are involved in the problem  Expermienter’s knowledge of the problem  The physical laws that govern the phenomenon  Typically the variables will include those that are necessary to describe the: • Geometry of the system (D.

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 2: o Express each of the variables in terms of basic dimensions .

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 3: o Determine the required number of pi terms  Buckingham Pi Theorem  Determine number of pi terms is equal to k – r where k=5 is the number of variables in the problem and r=3 is the number of basic dimensions required to describe these variables then according to the pi theorem (5 – 3 = 2) there will be or two pi terms required .

 Thus do not choose the dependent variable as one of the repeating variables. since the repeating variables will generally appear in more than one pi term. where the number required is equal to the number of reference dimensions  Select from the original list of variables several of which can be combined with each of the remaining variables to form a Pi term  The dependent variable should appear in only one Pi term. .Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 4: o Select a number of repeating variables.

u2.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 5: o Form a pi term by multiplying one of the nonrepeating variables by the product of the repeating variables. each raised to an exponent that will make the combination dimensionless  The Pi term will be of the form: (ui )(u1)a(u2)b(u3)c Where: ui is one of the nonrepeating variables u1. and u3 are the repeating variables .

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 6: o Repeat Step 5 for each of the remaining nonrepeating variables o Step 7: o Check all the resulting pi terms to make sure they are dimensionless. o Step 7: o Express the final form as a relationship among the pi terms. and think about what it means .

. Determine a suitable set of Pi terms to study this problem experimentally. Δpl along the pipe as illustrated in the figure. smooth-walled. The pressure drop per unit length.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Example 1:  The steady flow of an incompressible Newtonian fluid through a long. horizontal circular pipe.

and T or M. L. and T as basic dimensions . L.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 1:  List all of the variables Δpl= pressure drop per unit length D= pipe diameter ρ = fluid density µ = viscosity V =velocity o Step 2:  Express all the variables in terms of basic dimensions Using F.

. • V involves both length and time. o Step 4  Select a number of repeating variables. Those are D. V. and time L L and T L. V. µ.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 3:  Determine the number of Pi terms required which are equal to k – r where k = 5 is the number of variables in the problem and r = 3 is the number of basic dimensions required to describe these variables then according to the pi theorem (5 – 3 = 2) there will be or two Pi terms required. ρ. and • ρ involves force. ρ. because these are dimensionally independent • D is a length. length. equal to the number of basic dimensions  repeating variables need to be selected from the list Δpl. T and F. D.

it follows that:  Since the resulting combination is dimensionless. we can write: .  Since this combination is dimensionless.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 5:  Form the Pi terms by combining the dependent variable with the repeating variables.

c = -1  and. In this example there is only one additional variable (μ) so that: . a = 1.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d  The solution to the above system of algebraic equations gives the desired values of a. b and c. therefore: o Step 6:  The process is now repeated for the remaining nonrepeating variables. b = -2.

b = -1. .Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d  and. therefore:  Solving these equations simultaneously it follows that: a = -1. c = -1  So that.

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 7:  Check to make sure the Pi terms are actually dimensionless FLT  or alternatively. MLT .

This can only be obtained from a suitable set of experiments. that is. reciprocal of μ/DVρ could be used and. Thus.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Note that dimensional analysis will not provide the form of the functional relation between the Pi terms. the order in which we write the variables can be changed. the Pi terms can be rearranged. for example. o If desired. π2 could be expressed as: . of course.

e. i. π1 and π2 as: o The dimensionless product DVρ/ μ is a very famous one in fluid mechanics – the Reynolds number.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Step 8:  Express the relationship between the Pi terms. .

D. Determine a suitable set of pi terms to study this problem experimentally . that the fluid exerts on the plate is a function of w and h.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d o Example 2  Flow past a flat plate.1 pp354 A thin rectangular plate having a width w and a height h is located so that it is normal to a moving stream of fluid as shown in Fig. Assume the drag. and . See Example 7. and the velocity V of the fluid approaching the plate. the fluid viscosity and density. respectively.

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d .

The 1st pi term can be formed by combining D with the repeating variables such that . V. and ρ it would be incorrect to use both w and h as repeating variables since they have the same dimensions.Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d Number of Pi terms 6-3=3 Three repeating variables selected are w.

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d .

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d .

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d .

Determination of the Pi Terms cont’d .

However. o There is not a unique set of Pi terms which arises from a dimensional analysis. the required number of pi terms is fixed. o Typically. the required number of reference dimensions is three. . but in some problems only one or two are required.Some comments about Dimensional Analysis o There are also other methods in dimensional analysis but the method of repeating variables is the easiest. in fluid mechanics.

Common Dimensionless Groups in Fluid Mechanics .

and very small hydraulic models.Common Dimensionless Groups in Fluid Mechanics o Re no. is important only if it is of order of unity or less. e. jets. o Fr no. in droplets. o Eu no. ripple waves. e. can only be neglected in flow regions away from high-velocity gradients. which typically occurs when the surface curvature is comparable in size to the liquid depth.g.g. is totally unimportant if there is no free surface. away from the solid surface. is only important when the pressure drops low enough to cause vapor formation (cavitation) in a liquid. or wakes. o We no. . capillary flows.

o To determine this relationship. a dimensional analysis cannot provide a complete answer to any given problem. . o As the number of required pi terms increases. and not the specific relationship among the groups. it becomes more difficult to display the results in a convenient graphical form and to determine a specific empirical equation that describes the phenomenon. since the analysis only provides the dimensionless groups describing the phenomenon.Correlation of Experimental Data o As noted previously. suitable experimental data must be obtained.

Correlation of Experimental Data o Make use of the data given below to obtain a general relationship between the pressure drop per unit length and the other variables. .

Correlation of Experimental Data

Correlation of Experimental Data
o For problems involving more than two or three Pi
terms, it is often necessary to use a model to predict
specific characteristics

The graphical presentation of data for problems involving
three pi terms.

Correlation of Experimental Data
o It may also be possible to determine a suitable empirical
equation relating the three pi terms.
o However, as the number of pi terms continues to
increase, corresponding to an increase in the general
complexity of the problem of interest, both the graphical
presentation and the determination of a suitable empirical
equation become intractable.
o For these more complicated problems, it is often more
feasible to use models to predict specific characteristics
of the system rather than to try to develop general

Modeling and Similitude o A model is a representation of a physical system that may be used to predict the behavior of the system in some desired respect. o The physical system for which the predictions are to be made is called the prototype. .

 3m .Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) o Model Design Conditions (Similarity Requirements or Modeling Law)  To achieve similarity between model and prototype behavior.  2m   2p  3m   3p  Geometric Similarity Dynamic Similarity Kinematic Similarity . all the corresponding pi terms must be equated between model and prototype  1m    2m .

Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) o Example: .

.Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) Geometric Similarity A model and prototype are geometrically similar if an only if all body dimensions in all three coordinates have the same linear-scale ratio. All flow directions are preserved. All angles are preserved in geometric similarity. The orientations of model and prototype with respect to the surroundings must be identical.

. They also have the same directions as in the full scale.Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) Kinematic Similarity Velocities are related to the full scale by a constant scale factor.

Also requires geometric and kinematic similarity.Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) Dynamic Similarity Forces are related to full scale by a constant factor. .

3 m. Since these vortices can create harmful periodic forces acting on the structure. it is important to determine the shedding frequency.and the velocity at which the test should be performed.9 Hz. Hm. For the specific structure of interest. D= 0. H = 0. If the shedding frequency for the model is found to be 49. what is the corresponding frequency for the prototype? . The shedding frequency is to be determined through the use of a small-scale model that is to be tested in a water tunnel.1 m. It is known that when a steady wind blows past this type of bluff body. and a representative wind velocity is 50 km/hr. Standard air can be assumed. Determine the model dimension.Modeling and Similitude (Cont’d) A long structural component of a bridge has an elliptical cross section shown in figure. For the model and the water temperature is Dm = 20 mm and the water temperature is 20 °C. vortices may develop on the downwind side that are shed in a regular fashion at some definite frequency.

Strouhal number = f (geometric parameter D/H and Reynolds number) .

First Similarity Requirement To maintain similarity between model and prototype From the first similarity requirement .

Second Similarity Requirement .

it follows that the Strouhal numbers for prototype and model will be the same so that .This is a reasonable velocity that could be readily achieved in a water tunnel. With the two similarity requirements satisfied.

and V= 0. explain why not. estimate the drag on a sphere located in a 0. If it is not possible. D.8 m/s. V.6m diameter pipe through which water is flowing with a velocity of 1. D.5cm.6m/s. the pipe diameter. Assume that the drag is a function of the sphere diameter. and the fluid density. .0067N. d. the drag 0. The sphere diameter is such that geometric similarity is maintained.ρ (a) What dimensionless parameters would you use for this problem? (b) Some experiments using water indicate that for d=0. on a sphere located in a pipe through which a fluid is flowing is to be determined experimentally. If possible. the fluid velocity. D=1.3 cm.Example 5 The drag.

ρ . D. V. V. ρ) In terms of F L T D=F d=L D=L V = LT-1 ρ = F T2L-4 Number of Pi (π) terms 5-3=2 pi terms Number of repeating variables d.Solution in the class room D = f (d.

4c = 0 a + (-2) – 4(-1) = 0 a = -2 .4c = 0 For (T) -b + 2c = 0 c = -1 -b + 2 (-1) = 0 b = -2 a + b .1st Pi term π1= D da Vb ρc (F) (L)a (LT-1)b (FT2L-4)c = Fo LoTo For (F) For (L) 1+c = 0 a + b .

Substitute a b c values in 1st pi term There for π1= d-2V-2ρ-1 Similarly for 2nd pi term π2=DdaVbρc (L) (L)a (LT-1)b (FT2L-4)c = FoLoTo For (F) For (L) For (T) c=0 1 + a + b .4c = 0 -b + 2c = 0 .

c=0 -b + 2 (0) = 0 b=0 1 + a + b .4c = 0 1 + a + (0) -4(0) = 0 a = -1 π2=Dd-1V0ρ0 π1 = f (π2) .

Continued in the class .


i.Modeling and Similitude (cont. o Distorted models are rather commonplace. perhaps a suitable fluid cannot be found for the model o Distorted models can be successfully used but the interpretation of the results obtained with this type of model is obviously more difficult than the interpretation of results obtained with true models for which all the requirements are met.e.) Distorted Models o Models for which one or more of the similarity requirements are not satisfied are called distorted models. and they can arise for a variety of reasons. o Models involving high-speed flows are often distorted w.r. .t Re number similarity but Ma number similarity is maintained.

End of Chapter 5 Thank you! Q and A .