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Fluid Mechanics Lab, Experiment #1


Properties of Fluids
Background: The term "fluid" relates to both gases and liquids (e.g. air and water) and, although
there are differences between them, they both have the same essential property that when acted
upon by any unbalanced external force an infinite change of shape will occur if the force acts for a
long enough time. Alternatively, one may say that if acted on by a force, a fluid will move
continuously while a solid will distort only a fixed amount. If a shear force is applied to one
surface of a volume of fluid, the layers of fluid will move over one another thus producing a
velocity gradient in the fluid. For a given shear stress, a property called the viscosity determines
the velocity gradient and hence the velocity of the fluid in the plane of the applied stress. The
viscosity is a measure of the fluid's resistance to motion. Viscosity if a very important property in
fluid mechanics since it determines the behavior of fluids whenever they move relative to solid
Liquids and gases both share the property of "fluidity" described above, but they differ in
other respects. A quantity of liquid has a definite volume and if in contact with a gas it has a
definite boundary or "free surface." Gases, on the other hand, expand to fill the space available
and cannot be considered as having a definite volume unless constrained on all sides by fixed
boundaries (e.g. a totally enclosed vessel). The volume of a liquid changes slightly with pressure
and temperature, but for a gas these changes can be very large. For most engineering purposes
liquids can be regarded as incompressible, meaning volume and density do not change significantly
with pressure, whereas gases usually have to be treated as compressible. Similarly, the effects of
varying temperature can often be ignored for liquids (except in certain special cases), but must be
taken into account with gases.
The engineer is often concerned with determining the forces produced by static or moving
fluids and when doing this the above differences between liquids and gases can be very important.
Generally it is much easier to deal with liquids because, for most purposes, it can be assumed that
their volume and density do not change with pressure and temperature. In the study of hydrostatics
we are primarily concerned with the forces due to static liquids. The forces result from the
pressure acting in the liquid and at a given point this depends on the depth below the free surface.
Density, or mass per unit volume, is a basic property which must be known before any calculations
of forces can be made.
When considering the interfaces between liquids, solids, and gases, there is a further
property which can produce forces and this is called the surface tension. When a liquid/gas
interface is in contact with a solid boundary, the edge of the liquid will be distorted upward or
downward depending on whether the solid attracts or repels the liquid. If the liquid is attracted to,
or "wets" the solid, it will move upward at the edge and the surface tension will cause a small
upward force on the body of the liquid. If the liquid is in a tube the force will act all around the
periphery and the liquid may be drawn up the tube by a small amount. This is sometimes called the
capillarity effect or capilliary action. The forces involved are small and the effect need only be
considered in a limited number of special cases.
Statement of Work: To determine the density of a liquid it is necessary to measure the mass of a
known volume of liquid.

(kg/ m3)
volume(ml) 103


The density of pure water at 20 oC is 998.2 kg/m3 and this is sometimes rounded up to 1000 kg/m3
for engineering purposes. The experimental result should be within 1% of this value. The
measurement of volume is not very precise and depends on the accuracy of the graduations on the
beaker and this cannot be checked.
Density Bottle: The problem of accurately measuring a volume of liquid can be overcome by using
 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Florida Institute of Technology

Specific gravity can be determined directly from the density of a liquid as measured. and 13. or relative density as it is sometimes called. for example. SGT = densityoffl uidatagiventemperature T  densityof reference fluid(water for liquidsandair for gases)at60o F  15. system) it has the same numerical values.  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . When the liquid is level with the top of the stopper. PRECAUTION: The temperature of the hydrometer is the same as the temperature of the liquid. the volume of liquid is 50 cm3 (ml).8 for paraffin.  Re-weigh the bottle plus liquid and determine the mass of liquid and hence the density. Typical values are 0.6 for carbon tetrachloride. Specific Gravity: Specific gravity. The sensitivity of the hydrometer depends on the diameter of the stem.  Fill the bottle with liquid and replace the stopper. Specific gravity should not be confused with density even though in some units (e. The depth to which the stem links in the liquid is a measure of the density of the liquid and a scale is provided which is calibrated to read specific gravity.g. NOTE: Density changes with temperature. Procedure for determination of density  Dry and weigh the bottle and stopper.Fluid Mechanics Lab. A convenient alternative method is to use a specially calibrated instrument called a hydrometer. A very sensitive hydrometer would have a large bulb and a thin stem (see Figure 1). the cm/gram/sec.  Carefully dry the outside of the bottle with a cloth or tissue paper and remove any excess liquid from the stopper such that the liquid in the hole is level with the top of the stopper. This method should give an accurate result and is limited more by the accuracy of the balance than by the volume of liquid. 1. This is accurately made and has a glass stopper with a hole in it through which excess liquid is expelled. Experiment #1 2 a special vessel with a known volume such as a density bottle. measure the temperature of the liquid. by using a density bottle. is the ratio of the density of a fluid to the density of water. The value is simply divided by the density of water to obtain the specific gravity. therefore.6oC  (2) where T is in degrees Fahrenheit. This takes the form of a hollow glass float which is weighted to float upright in liquids of various densities.6 for mercury.

fill with a liquid. Types of hydrometer Baume scale hydrometers (nonlinear) are used with liquids heavier than water.  Carefully insert the hydrometer and allow it to settle in the center of the cylinder.131.145  (3) SG60 o F / 60 F Degrees API =  SG60 SG 60 = SG t + 141. and American Petroleum Indrustries (API) hydrometers feature a linear scale for improved accuracy. and allow air to rise to the top.  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .Fluid Mechanics Lab.5 / 60 F . 145 Degrees Baume = 145 .60 3600 (5) where T is in degrees Fahrenheit. Procedure for determination of SG  Place one of the tall glass cylinders on the measuring surface.5 (4) T . Experiment #1 3 Figure 1.

and S = 110. this is an oversimplification as viscosity does not have the units of seconds. In fact. The viscosity is responsible for drag on aerospace vehicles. read the scale at the level of the free water surface (i. friction in pipes.458 x 10-6 (7) kg ms K (8) where µ is the coefficient of absolute viscosity. In the presence of a velocity gradient normal to the mean flow. at the bottom of the meniscus. Viscosity is a fluid property subject to changes in temperature and pressure. viscosity may be a function of strain rate itself. which occurs at the macroscopic level. Water drains out of a sink much faster than an equivalent volume of molasses. However. 1994] A Newtonian fluid is defined as a substance in which the shear stress in linearly proportional to  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . However. There is not an a priori reason to suppose a linear relationship.fluid friction. Effects of temperature Gases: Viscosity increases with increasing temperature as seen in Sutherland's formula: = b T 1+ S T b = 1. This phenomenon occurs at the microscopic level and should not be confused with momentum transfer in turbulence. It is usually beyond the scope of an undergraduate fluid mechanics course to develop a general relation between stress and strain since this requires the use of tensor analysis. and the destabilization/stabilization of some laminar flows. In fact. students should recognize that a linear relation between stress and strain is a special case in fluid mechanics. A = -1. PART II – VISCOSITY.80 [F. T is in K(elvin). White.  When the hydrometer has settled. Popular science characterizes the viscosity of a fluid by the degree of "thickness" or "resistance" to flow. this observation has been exploited by the petroleum industry as a means to quantify viscosity. SAE 30 motor oil means that it took 30 seconds for a given quantity of the oil at a specified temperature to drain from a container (the container in this case is more appropriately a "Saybolt viscometer"). see Figure 1 insert). the relation between stress and strain in a fluid is written as   f   (6) where  is the shear stress and  is the strain rate. For example.P) The most familiar property of a fluid is the viscosity. It is sufficient to recognize that viscous effects originate at the molecular level.94 (9) B = -4.4K. In general. The viscosity of a liquid decreases with increasing temperature while the viscosity of a gas increases with increasing temperature. Viscosity is better defined as that property which relates an applied strain rate to the resulting shear stress and vice versa. Experiment #1 4  Take care not to let it touch the sides. momentum exchange between adjacent fluid lamina result in a net decrease of momentum . (T.M. Liquids: Viscosity decreases with increasing temperature  = Ae B T For water.Fluid Mechanics Lab.e. otherwise surface tension effects may cause errors.

du dy is constant. The deformation of a fluid parcel is represented by element A which. Bingham Plastic: Yield—Newtonian. RHEOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION Classification Characteristics Newtonian: Stress is linearly proportional to strain. This deformation is associated with the strain rate. stress is linearly proportional to strain after initial applied yield strain. Rheopectic*: Stress increases with time – constant strain rate. hence. shear stresses are produced. Table 1 contains a description of various rheological classifications.Fluid Mechanics Lab. the relation between shear and stress reduces to = du dy where du dy is twice the strain rate. Rheological Classification  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . as it moves to the right. deforms to element B in Figure 2. Non-Newtonian fluids may also be characterized by their stress-strain behavior. Thixotropic*: Stress decreases with time – constant strain rate. Strain in a fluid due to a moving boundary. Dilatant: Stress increases with increasing strain rate. For a Newtonian fluid. hence. A parcel of fluid is strained by the moving upper plate. Figure 2. 2  . Consider the flow between parallel plates as shown in Figure 2. *not shown in plot Table 1. Pseudo Plastic: Stress decreases with increasing strain rate. and Figure 3 contains a comparative plot of stress versus strain rate for a variety of rheological classifications. (10) Note that this special geometry results in a linear velocity distribution. Experiment #1 5 the strain rate.

Experiment #1 Figure 3. The phenomenon can be characterized by an apparent viscosity. Slowly pouring the fluid out of a cup would simulate a relatively low strain rate while vigorous stirring would correspond to a high strain rate. if the resistance (shear stress) to stirring "appeared" to decrease with more vigorous stirring (strain rate). the fluid would be classified a pseudoplastic. the above classifications could be determined by imposing a strain rate and qualitatively sensing the resistance (stress).  . For example. Stress-strain behavior for various fluids. which is defined as =  du dy  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (11) Florida Institute of Technology . Given an unknown fluid.6 Fluid Mechanics Lab.

The definition is applied as indicated in Figure 4. Rotational Viscometer  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . Measurement of viscosity of liquids Rotational viscometer: The absolute viscosity of liquids can be determined by using a rotational viscometer or a falling ball viscometer (see Figure 5). Experiment #1 7 Figure 4.Fluid Mechanics Lab. Figure 5. Definition of Apparent Viscosity.

the nonlinear convective acceleration terms in the Navier-Stokes equations become negligible. the strain rate. Further.  Repeat the procedure for other fluids if necessary. Hence. we can determine the viscosity from the following relation: 2 mg( Ro . Falling Ball Viscometer: Another technique that requires a low Reynolds number flow is to infer the viscosity (Newtonian) from the rate at which a small sphere falls through a fluid (Falling Ball Viscometer). If the cylinder is driven by a falling weight as shown. the strain rate is constant for a given rotation speed of the inner cylinder. which is proportional to the rotation rate. viscous forces dominate inertial forces. As a result the governing equations are linear and solvable in closed form. At very low Reynolds numbers (RD<<1). For this circular Couette flow. therefore. the apparent viscosity for each strain rate can be determined.  Note the dimensions of the cylinders and pulley. Stokes solved the equations of motion for a sphere moving through a fluid using the low Reynolds number assumption – Stokes’ flow. by applying different weights. will be known.Fluid Mechanics Lab.  Apply different weights to the weight hanger and. the applied stress to the fluid will be constant (and known).  . Experiment #1 8 The apparatus is designed such that the velocity profile between the cylinder and wall is linear.  (14)   Assume v   first and then estimate the range for U.Ri ) = r 3 Ri  2  L  U where  r m Ro Ri L U = = = = = = = (12) dynamic viscosity radius of the cylinder pulley mass which produces a steady velocity U outer radius of cylinder inner radius of cylinder length of the cylinder velocity of fall of the mass m Procedure  Fill the gap between the stationary and rotating cylinders with the fluid whose viscosity is to be determined. Hence.    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . The result: F = 3π·µ·U·D (13) Where F = net force acting on sphere U = velocity of sphere D = diameter of sphere µ = absolute viscosity provided that RD  UD  1 where ρ is the density of the fluid. measure the velocity of the fall (terminal velocity) by timing the fall through a known height. in each case. etc. Be sure the rotating cylinder is completely immersed in the fluid.

Experiment #1 9 Now consider a sphere falling through a stationary fluid (at a very low Reynolds number). When the Reynolds number is greater than 1.Fluid Mechanics Lab.   3  U  D (18) Again. then acceleration is zero. F=W-FB Where W = mg. Equation [18] can be used to determine the viscosity of the fluid. W. inertial forces begin to have more influence and the above technique is no longer valid. F. as shown in Figure 6. Procedure  Determine the density of the test fluid(s) and mass and diameter of the sphere(s). this equation is valid when the Reynolds number based on diameter is less than 1 [14]. NOTE: The instructor may have done this already.  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . The velocity. acting on the sphere is the resultant of the weight. The net force must be equal to [15]. with m equal to the mass of the sphere and FB  (15) gD 3 6 (16) where ρ is the density of the fluid. U. If the sphere is falling at a constant velocity. Figure 6. hence 3    U  D  mg  gD 3 6 (17) and solving for the viscosity  D 3   mg  1  6m  . If this condition is met. Note that the density of the fluid and the mass and diameter of the sphere must be known. Force diagram for a falling sphere. The net force. is found by timing the fall of the sphere over a specified distance. FB. and buoyancy.

otherwise the above theory is invalid. Figure 7.  Repeat several times for each fluid. Experimental Apparatus for Determining Viscosity  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .  Repeat for several sphere diameters.10 Fluid Mechanics Lab. NOTE: Begin timing the fall several centimeters below the surface of the liquid. Experiment #1  Drop the sphere into the cylinder of fluid. Time the fall of the sphere through a given distance and record. This will allow the speed of the sphere to reach equilibrium.

Suggested Presentation of Experimental Data Suggested Presentations  Calculate the viscosity using Equations [12] and [18].  How do your values of viscosity compare between the two methods and with the accepted values for the given fluids found in your textbooks? (The instructor should be able to give the accepted viscosity values.  Compare the viscosity values with standard table/graph values.)  Discuss the accuracy of the results and possible sources of errors.  Calculate the Reynolds number by [14].Fluid Mechanics Lab.  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . U and comment on the variation of F with m and D. Experiment #1 11 FALLING SPHERE VISCOMETER Fluid Density ____________________________ Run Temperature ______________________ Mass Diameter Distance Time Velocity M(kg) D(m) L (m) t (s) U (m/s) Reynolds Number RD Viscosity  (Ns/m2) Table 2.  How does the diameter and mass of the sphere influence the measurement?  Plot F vs.

on the other hand. Experiment #1 PART III – PRESSURE Pressure measurement is important not only in fluid mechanics but in virtually every branch of engineering. Pressure is mostly measured by observing the deflection of a material subjected to the unknown pressure. Absolute pressure. U-Tube Manometer: The most common instrument for the measurement of pressure differences is the U-tube manometer." These are not units of pressure! These units refer to the displacement of a fluid within a tube subjected to the unknown pressure.e. a water barometer used to measure atmospheric pressure would need to be in excess of 410 inches tall. A mercury barometer is commonly used to measure atmospheric pressure. The following experiments illustrate some of the methods and." The high density of mercury relative to that of water allows for a practical size: on the order of 30 inches tall. is the pressure measured relative to absolute zero. When pressure sources  1 and  2 are applied to the two open ends. how columns of fluid can be used in various forms to measure pressure. One can extend the concept to a point within the fluid (gas or liquid) where an imaginary surface would encounter the same momentum exchange. Pressures measured in this way have come to be known as gauge pressures and the term is generally used to indicate a pressure measured relative to any known datum value. the effect of an imposed pressure is usually indicated by some form of displacement. then the manometer becomes a barometer. U-Tube Manometer where  L is the density of the manometer fluid and g is the acceleration of gravity. Gauge pressures can be converted to absolute values by adding on the datum pressure. Often. a vacuum. A glass of plastic tube is made into a "U" shape and filled with some liquid of known density as shown in Figure 8. That is. It is this value of h that is reported in terms like "inches of water.S. This is a form of the hydrostatic equation. On the other hand.12 Fluid Mechanics Lab. the fluid on the low pressure side will rise to balance the applied pressure differential. There are a wide range of methods for measuring pressure and many of these employ hydrostatic principles. customary system and N/m2 in the SI system. Most pressure gauges measure changes in pressure relative to atmospheric pressure.  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . Hence. is proportional to the pressure difference by the relation p1  p1  L gh (19) Figure 8. Pressure is defined as the time rate of change in momentum flux of the fluid molecules randomly impacting a unit area surface." If p2 = 0. i. hence the reference to "inches of mercury. pressure is a point function defined as a force per unit area. The difference in liquid height. in particular. h. pressure is reported in terms of "inches of mercury" or "inches of water. Pressure has units of lb/in2 in the U.

In contrast.e. in general. b) incompressible flow (fluid particles do not change density). p is the pressure as defined above (sometimes called static or piezometeric pressure) and the last grouping of terms on the right is called the dynamic pressure. velocities in solid mechanics (i.Fluid Mechanics Lab. The displacement of the fluid in the inclined manometer is "amplified" by a factor of 1/sin  ." The relationship between velocity and pressure in a fluid can be derived from Newton's second law of motion. one usually refers to the velocity of fluid particles passing through a fixed point in space. combined with a special probe known as pitot static tube. is different than the fluid density in the manometer measuring the pressures p0 and p. Many assumptions are made regarding this form of Bernoulli's equation.. Figure 9.  . Small pressure differences are difficult to resolve. Higher resolution (up to about 0. Most inclined manometer scales are calibrated to reflect this amplification. This relation for an incompressible fluid may be written as  p0  p  V 2 2 (20) where p0 is the stagnation pressure. Solving for velocity yields  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology . Note that as  approaches 90o. and the dynamic pressure is the kinetic energy per unit volume. and c) steady flow (velocity at a point in the flow is invariant with time). is that of the fluid in which the measurement is taking place and. all motion is confined to horizontal plane).e. The result provides a means to determine fluid velocity based on pressure measurement for flow on a horizontal surface. When speaking of fluid velocity. Note that the density term. Experiment #1 13 Accuracy of the manometer illustrated in Figure 8 is limited by ones ability to read a displacement. You should recognize this as Bernoulli's equation. your car going down the street) are generally specific to a given "particle. the inclined manometer reverts to that in Figure 8. The manometer.01 in) can be achieved by inclining one of the manometer legs as shown in Figure 9. can be used to infer the velocity of a moving stream. Bernoulli's equation is analogous to conservation of energy where the total pressure represents total energy per unit volume. Inclined Manometer Bernoulli's equation may be used to infer the velocity at a point in a fluid. the static pressure is the potential energy per unit volume. Most importantly: a) negligible pressure change due to elevation (i. h.

p). total pressure probe). The barometer consists of a closed-end glass tube. Figure 10. a tube opening is placed into the oncoming flow. Experiment #1 V= 2( p 0 . But it remains to determine a method to sense this pressure difference. Mercury Barometer: The mercury barometer provides a means of measuring absolute pressure by using a column of mercury. Since the velocity becomes zero. L and . This can be done by placing a small hole drilled normal to a surface running parallel to the flow as shown in Figure 10. total head tube. Measurement of the total pressure accounts for both the static and dynamic pressures. hence. A device. The principle here is to bring the flow to rest (stagnate) in the tube.p) (21)  A manometer can be used to measure the pressure difference (p0 . Bernoulli's equation reduces to the total pressure being equal to the static pressure (only in a tube oriented in this way!). hence. Measurement of Static and Total Pressure The static pressure is due to the random impact of molecules. shown in Figure 11. a means to isolate the static pressure from the non-random motion (the velocity) is needed. is called a pitot-static tube. A pitot-static tube. which contains both a pitot tube and static pressure ports. as they are different. can be connected directly to a U-tube manometer and the velocity determined by substitution of the hydrostatic equation into Bernoulli's equation giving V= 2 L gh (22)  Care should be taken not to confuse the two densities. An example of a simple mercury barometer is fitted to the bench and a diagram is shown in Figure 12. Note that the manometer fluid insures that the flow comes to rest.14 Fluid Mechanics Lab. An apparatus of this type is called a pitot tube (also: stagnation tube. which is filled  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .

Pitot Static Tube with mercury such that all air is excluded. Figure 12. A suitable electronics (e. but for most purposes the pressure at the top of the column can be considered an absolute zero (i. In our case p1 = 0. Atmospheric pressure varies from day to day. so the height h is a measure of the absolute pressure at plane 2. The only pressure acting on the free surface is atmospheric pressure so the height h is an absolute measure of atmospheric pressure. The transducers convert the pressure input to electrical voltage outputs. the pressure at that plane is given by the equation p2 = p1 +  gh (12) where p2 is an absolute pressure. Simple Mercury Barometer Pressure Transducers: For digital data processing liquid column manometers are unsuitable.e. a complete vacuum). but a typical value gives a mercury column height of 760 mm. pressure transducers are commonly used. The general transducer has a high pressure chamber and a low pressure chamber separated by a diaphragm. Wheatstone bridge) is used to measure the changes in terms of voltages. The flexing of the diaphragm due to differential pressures in the two chambers is measured as a resistance (strain gage) or capacitance change. A tiny amount of mercury vapor is formed in the gap. and then inverted so that the closed end is at the top. The weight of the mercury column is such that the column falls in the tube and a vacuum is formed at the top.Fluid Mechanics Lab. The transducer  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .g. So. Experiment #1 15 Figure 11. If the top of the column is distance h above the free surface at plane 2.

The pressure gages are calibrated using a Dead Weight Calibrator as shown in Figure 15. General Notes: Show a neat schematic of the experimental setup. Pressure Gage Calibrator  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .                     Figure 13: Pressure transducer Procedure  Become familiar with the U-tube.  Measure the total pressure along the centerline of an air jet with the inclined and digital manometers and compare the results. Estimate ρ. Report your uncertainties of measurements. Figure 13 shows a Omega™ capacitance type pressure transducer used in our laboratory. amplifiers are used to gain the signal output. multi-tube inclined. Figure 15. Experiment #1 16 output voltages are generally small (in mv). μ. So. for the laboratory conditions.Fluid Mechanics Lab. and digital manometers. etc.

Fluid Mechanics Lab. Experiment #1 17 NOTES  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .

Experiment #1 NOTES  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Florida Institute of Technology .18 Fluid Mechanics Lab.