Applied Mechanics

© All Rights Reserved

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Applied Mechanics

© All Rights Reserved

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When an orifice plate is placed in a pipe carrying the fluid whose rate of flow is to be

measured, the orifice plate causes a pressure drop which varies with the flow rate.

This pressure drop is measured using a differential pressure sensor and when

calibrated this pressure drop becomes a measure flow rate. The flow rate is given by.

Cd = Discharge coefficient

A1 = Cross sectional area of pipe

A2 = Cross sectional area of orifice

P1, P2 = Static Pressures

The main parts of an orifice flow meter are as follows:

A stainless steel orifice plate which is held between flanges of a pipe carrying the

fluid whose flow rate is being measured.

It should be noted that for a certain distance before and after the orifice plate fitted

between the flanges, the pipe carrying the fliud should be straight in order to maintain

laminar flow conditions.

Openings are provided at two places 1 and 2 for attaching a differential pressure

sensor (U-tube manometer, differential pressure gauge etc) as shown in the

diagram.

The detail of the fluid movement inside the pipe and orifice plate has to be

understood.

The fluid having uniform cross section of flow converges into the orifice plates

opening in its upstream. When the fluid comes out of the orifice plates opening, its

cross section is minimum and uniform for a particular distance and then the cross

section of the fluid starts diverging in the down stream.

At the upstream of the orifice, before the converging of the fluid takes place, the

pressure of he fluid (P1) is maximum. As the fluid starts converging, to enter the

orifice opening its pressure drops. When the fluid comes out of the orifice opening, its

pressure is minimum (p2) and this minimum pressure remains constant in the

minimum cross section area of fluid flow at the downstream.

This minimum cross sectional area of the fluid obtained at downstream from the

orifice edge is called VENA-CONTRACTA.

The differential pressure sensor attached between points 1 and 2 records the

pressure difference (P1 P2) between these two points which becomes an indication

of the flow rate of the fluid through the pipe when calibrated.

The concentric orifice plate is used to measure flow rates of pure fluids and has a

wide applicability as it has been standardized.

The eccentric and segmental orifice plates are used to measure flow rates of fluids

containing suspended materials such as solids, oil mixed with water and wet steam.

The vena-contracta length depends on the roughness of the inner wall of the pipe

and sharpness of the orifice plate. In certain cases it becomes difficult to tap the

minimum pressure (P2) due to the above factor.

Pressure recovery at downstream is poor, that is, overall loss varies from 40% to

90% of the differential pressure.

In the upstream straightening vanes are a must to obtain laminar flow conditions.

The orifice plate gets corroded and due to this after sometime, inaccuracy occurs.

Moreover the orifice plate has low physical strength.

Note: the materials used for maintaining orifice plate are stainless steel, phosper

bronze, nickel and monel.

ROTAMETERS

(VA) flowmeter. In these devices, the falling and rising action

of a float in a tapered tube provides a measure of flow rate

(see Figure 1). Rotameters are known as gravity-type

flowmeters because they are based on the opposition

between the downward force of gravity and the upward force

of the flowing fluid. When the flow is constant, the float stays

rate. That position is indicated on a graduated scale. Note

that to keep the full force of gravity in effect, this dynamic

balancing act requires a vertical measuring tube.

Other forms of gravity-type VA meters may incorporate a

piston or vane that responds to flow in a manner similar to

the float's behavior. All these devices can be used to

measure the flow rates of most liquids, gases, and steam.

There are also similar types that balance the fluid flow with a

spring rather than gravitational force. These do not require

vertical mounting, but corrosive or erosive fluids can damage

the spring and lead to reduced accuracy.

Figure 1. The rotameter's operating principle is based

on a float of given density's establishing an equilibrium position where, with a given flow rate, the

upward force of the flowing fluid equals the downward force of gravity. It does this, for example,

by rising in the tapered tube with an increase in flow until the increased annular area around it

creates a new equilibrium position. By design, the rotameter operates in accordance with formula

for all variable-area meters, directly relating flow rate to area for flow.

ADVANTAGES OF ROTAMETER

Compensation for viscosity changes. The float can be designed to compensate for normal

variations in viscosity and density so that certain viscous oils and chemicals, such as sulfuric

acid, can be measured accurately in spite of wide temperature changes.

Easy to install and maintain. The inherent simplicity of design makes the rotameter easy to

install and maintain. It mounts vertically in the pipe without pipe taps, connecting lines, seal pots,

or valves, or requirements for a straight run of pipe upstream or downstream as is necessary with

a dp transmitter, nor is there a need to keep such parts free of foreign matter.

Needs no electric power. The simple indication of flow rate locally requires no connection to an

electric power source, and hence make explosionproofing unnecessary where flammable fluids

may be present.

MORE ON ROTAMERTERS

A rotameter is a device that measures the flow rate of a liquid or gas in a tube. Karl

Kueppers invented the rotameter in 1908, which has been widely used since then for a

variety of applications. Rotameters are included in a class of devices known as variable

area meters that depend on the substance they are measuring to change the area of the

test field being measured.

How Rotameters Work

Rotameters consist of a tube, generally made of glass, and an object known as a float. The

float is always denser than the substance it is resting in and does not actually float on the

substances surface, but rests somewhere between the substances surface and the bottom

of the container. As a liquid or gas passes through the tube, the flow causes the float to rise.

Under normal circumstances, gravity causes the float to fall. Depending on the substances

flow rate, the float will rest at a specific level in the tube. By marking each level in the tube, a

precise flow rate measurement can easily be obtained by noting where the float rests.

Applications

Rotameters are used in systems that involve a liquid or gas travelling through a tube. For

example, rotameters are used in oil pipelines to measure the flow rate of oil as it is dispersed

from one location to another across great distances. Portable rotameters can also be

constructed to measure the flow rate of large bodies of liquid or gas, such as rivers, oceans,

streams, as well as the atmosphere. These portable rotameters can simply be dunked into

the substance they are measuring in order for a measurement to be taken.

Advantages

Rotameters have several important advantages over other variable area meters. They are

easy to construct and are often made from inexpensive materials. Rotameters do not require

any external force aside from the substance they are measuring and can be used in a wide

variety of systems due to their portability and small design.

Disadvantages

Rotameters must be made of glass or other transparent material in order for the user to see

the float in the tube. They must also be used vertically because of their dependence on

gravity. Also, rotameters are only reliable for a specific substance at a specific temperature.

Therefore, multiple scales or even multiple rotameters must be used for measuring different

substances.

BACK

Introduction

Flow Through Rectangular Notch

Flow Over a Triangular Notch

Trapezoidal Notch

Submerged Rectangular Notch

References

Introduction

A weir is an opening in the sidewall of a tank at top. The stream of liquid coming out the

weir is known as a nappe, sheet, or vein. There is no difference between a notch and weir

except that the former is a small structure and has sharp edges. A weir is generally an overflow

structure, with a broad crest, built across an open channel. The terms air and weirs are used

synonymously in general. The top of weir wall over which the liquid flows is known as the sill or

crest. The head under which the weir is discharging is measured from the crest to the free

surface. A weir or notch is generally used for measuring the flow of liquids.

TOP

Discharge over the rectangular notch of crest length b and working under a head H.

Q=2/3 cd b 2g H3/2

Where cd= coefficient of discharge which depends on length of weir, the head H, the degree of

sharpness of the edge etc. and is about 0.62. The actual value of the c d for a particular notch should be

obtained from experiments.

End contractions:

If the length of the weir is less than the width of the channel, the nappe contracts at the sides.

The width of the nappe at the crest is less than the crest length b, and the weir is said to have end

contractions. Effective length, b=b-0.1 n H

Where n= no. of end contractions.

If the approach channel is narrow, the liquid when reaches the weir has the velocity of approach

(va). It creates the velocity head, and the effective head over the notch is increased. Thus the notch

formula needs correction.

Q=2/3 Cd 2g [b-0.1n (H+Ha)] [(H+Ha) 3/2-Ha3/2]

Where:

Ha= va v/2g for non-uniform velocity.

Francis formula: - Q=1.84 [b-0.1 n H] H3/2

Brazins formula: - q=2/3 [0.607 + 0.0045/H] b 2g H3/2

Rehbock formula: - q=2/3 [0.605 +0.08He/p] b 2g He 3/2

He =H+0.0011 m

P=height of weir.

Problem:

A rectangular notch of crest width 40 cm is used to measure the discharge in a rectangular

channel 60 cm wide and 45 cm deep. If the head over the crest is 20 cm, find the discharge. Take

cd=0.62.

Solution: Q=2/3 cd b 2g H3/2

=2/3*0.62*0.4*2*9.81*(0.2)3/2

=0.066 m3/sec

Exercise:

The discharge over a rectangular notch is 0.15 cumecs when the head over the crest is 0.25 m. if the

coefficient of discharge is 0.6; determine the length of the notch. (Q=2/3 cd b 2g H3/2)

TOP

A triangular notch, also called a V-notch, is of triangular shape with apex down.

Q=8/15 Cd2g tan (/2) H5/2

Where Cd=0.6 in general.

The coefficient of contraction of a notch depends upon the length of the wetted perimeter. In a

triangular notch there is no base to contraction. The contraction is due to sides only.

Consequently the coefficient of discharge is fnotchesly constant in a triangular notch for all

heads. A triangular notch is very accurate for the measurement of low discharges.

Problem:

Why is a triangular weir more suitable than a rectangular weir for measuring discharge?

Calculate the top width and depth of a triangular notch capable of discharging a maximum

quantity of 700 liters per second. The weir discharges 5.7 liters per second when the head over

the crest is 7.5cm. Take Cd=0.62.

TOP

Trapezoidal notch:

It has the shape of trapezium. Discharge through a trapezoidal notch is Q =2/3 c d b 2g H3/2 +

8/15 Cd2g tan (/2) H5/2.

Cippoletti weir:

It is a trapezoidal weir with side slopes 1 in 4 (1H: 4V). The formula for the discharge

over a cippoletti weir is the as that for a rectangular weir without end contractions.

Then Q=2/3 Cd b 2g H3/2

Problem: what length of a cippoletti weir would be required to discharge 3.5 cumecs under a head of

0.5m? Take Cd=0.62.

Broad crested rectangular weir:

It is a weir having a broad crest or sill. The crest is wide enough to cause adherence

of the nappe to the top surface of the sill. The head over a crest on the u/s is H and d/s edge is

h.

Q = Cd b 2g (H h2-h3)

Here H=h+(Va2/2g)

Q=1.7 Cd b H 3/2

If the crest width is less than 2/3 H, the nappe springs clear and the weir acts as a

sharp-crested weir. On the other hand, if the crest is excessively wide, i.e. l is large, the broadcrested weir would become a short flume. A hydraulic jump (when the velocity is very high) may

also occur. If the sill of the broad-crested weir is sharp at the entrance, the nappe springs up

and creates pockets of negative pressure at the u/s edge. This may result in cavitations. Thus

corners must rounded to avoid cavitations.

Problem:

1. A water weir has to pass flood discharges of 3 cumecs. Find the length of the broadcrested weir, if the head over the crest is not to exceed 0.6 m. take C d=0.96.

The crest of a broad crested weir is 2m below the u/s water level. Find the length of the crest if the

discharge is 30 cumecs. Take Cd=0.97.

TOP

It is one in which the level of the liquid in the channel on the d/s of the notch in above the crest

of notch. The discharge over a submerged notch can be obtained by dividing the flow in two

portions.

The first portion act as a weir and second portion acts as a drowned orifice.

Q=Q1+Q2

Q= 2/3 Cd b 2g H3/2 + Cd b H22gH

Because it is very difficult to measure the head H accurately, owing to undulation in the liquid surface,

the submerge weir is not suitable as a measuring device.

TOP

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