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# Basic Fluid Mechanics

## 301. Basic Fluid Mechanics

The basic equations governing uid ow are the conservation of mass, the
conservation of energy, and conservation of linear momentum equations.
These are derived using a control volume of uid. By keeping track of the
transport of mass, momentum, and energy across the system boundaries, we
arrive at the following conservation principles.

## 301.1. Conservation of Mass

The statement of the conservation of mass, better known as the Continuity

equation , may be stated asthe rate of mass of uid entering the system
must equal that exiting the system. In other words, mass is neither created
nor destroyed within the control volume. The mass ow rate through a closed
control volume is given by

(301.1)
For incompressible uids (such as water under normal pressures) the density
is constant, leading to Q = VA = constant, where Q is the volumetric ow
rate (Fig. 301.1).

## 301.2. Conservation of Energy

The statement of the conservation of energy for incompressible uids, better
known as Bernoulli's equation , may be stated asfor steady, ideal ow in an
incompressible uidthe energy per unit weight (specic energy) is
conserved between two locations, as long as there are no energy loss
mechanisms between these locations. The specic energy can be written as

(301.2)
where is a correction factor for kinetic energy. This factor accounts for the
variation of ow velocity across the cross section and is given by

## For practical purposes, may be taken as 1.0. If energy losses between

sections 1 and 2 are ignored, this leads to the ideal form of Bernoulli's
equation:

(301.3)
If friction and form losses between sections 1 and 2 are written as h f and a
pump or turbine is located between 1 and 2, this may be extended to

(301.4)
where s = shaft power (positive for turbines, negative for pumps)
= eciency of pump or turbine

## Note that if the equation is applied as shown above, pressures may be

expressed as absolute pressure or gage pressure without introducing error.
Example 301.1
Flow occurs in a rectangular open channel (6 ft wide) with velocity of 8 ft/s
and depth of 5.8 ft. The elevation of the channel oor is 568.5 ft above sea
level. At a downstream location, the channel oor elevation is 564.3 ft. The
depth at the downstream end is 6 ft. Determine the head loss due to friction.
Solution Using the continuity equation, we solve for the velocity at the
downstream section

The energy grade line slopes downward due to the head loss. Thus, the head
loss is equal to the decrease of total energy from locations 1 to 2. The surface
streamline is at atmospheric pressure (gage pressure = 0). The elevation of
the channel surface at the upstream location is 568.5 + 5.8 = 574.3 ft and at
the downstream location is 564.3 + 6.0 = 570.3 ft.

## 301.3. Conservation of Momentum

The statement of conservation of momentum is derived from Newton's second
law which states that the sum of external forces is equal to the rate of
change of linear momentum. This principle may be used to calculate the net
force acting on a node where a change in momentum occurs. Examples are
bends in pipes where the ow changes direction and pipe section
enlargements (or contractions) where the ow velocity decreases (or
increases).

(301.5)
where is a correction factor for linear momentum. This factor accounts for

## For practical purposes, may be taken as 1.0.

The computed net force acts on the uid. Thus, if we are interested in
computing the force imparted by the uid, we should reverse the sign of the
computed force.
With constant ow rate, force on a rigid surface due to impinging ow =
Q V , where V is the change in velocity eected by the static surface.

## 301.4. Energy Grade Line and Hydraulic Grade Line

With respect to a horizontal datum, the energy grade line (EGL) and the
hydraulic grade line (HGL) may be plotted as the functions.

(301.6)
For example, if a horizontal pipe is tapped with a Pitot tube as shown in Fig.
301.2, the stagnation pressure at the head of the tube causes the liquid
column to rise to the EGL elevation, whereas a tap into the same central
streamline (but which doesn't stagnate the ow) causes the liquid column to
rise to the elevation of the HGL. If these two pressure taps were connected
to a dierential manometer, the height dierence recorded on the manometer
is proportional to the quantity V 2/2g , where V = ow velocity.

## Figure 301.2. Elevation of HGL and EGL in a Pitot tube.

These lines are plotted for the simple system shown in Fig. 301.3. A system of
pipes carries ow from the reservoir on the left to the one on the right. The
ow is aided by a pump and regulated by a valve. In the gure, the dark solid
line plots the EGL while the dashed line plots the HGL. The following
observations may be made about Fig. 301.3:

## Figure 301.3. Elevation of HGL and EGL in a water delivery system.

1. At free surfaces of large reservoirs, since the gage pressure is zero and
the velocity is eectively zero, both EGL and HGL coincide with the
reservoir free surface.
2. The slope of the EGL and HGL along each pipe segment represents friction
loss per unit length along that segment.
3. The vertical separation between EGL and HGL is proportional to the
square of the velocity. Thus, with the same ow rate through various pipes,
this separation will be greater for smaller pipe diameters.
4. At the location of the pump, there is a discontinuous jump in both HGL and

EGL.
5. At all locations where form losses occur (such as entry into the pipe
system, exit from the pipe system, pipe bends, etc.), there is a
discontinuous jump in both HGL and EGL.
The uid power (power needed to transmit a ow rate Q of a uid with unit
weight and provide it with a lift H ) is given by P = QH . In order that a
pump operating at an eciency provides this uid power, it must be rated
at a higher power given by

(301.7)
Example 301.2
Five manholes (A to E) with characteristics shown in the table exist along a
storm sewer as shown. During extreme rainfall events, the pipe ows full
with the pressures given in the fourth column. At which manholes does the
storm water overow through the manhole onto the street above?

Location

Pipe C.L

Pressure

d (ft)

elevation z (ft)

(Ib/in2)

8.2

100

10.5

86

4.2

12.4

71

6.3

6.8

54

3.1

6.2

43

1.2

## Solution For each location, the pressure is converted to pressure head

(listed in the third column in the table below). For example,

## The elevation of the hydraulic grade line is given by HGL = p / + z (listed in

the fourth column of the table).

Pressure

Location

(Ib/in2)

Pressure

HGL

Ground

head p /

elevation

elevation

(ft)

p / + z (ft)

(ft)

100

108.2

4.2

9.7

95.7

96.5

6.3

15.7

86.7

83.4

3.1

7.2

61.2

60.8

1.2

2.8

45.8

49.2

## Comparing HGL elevation to surface elevation, manholes C and D will

overow. In other words, if the pressure head at a certain location exceeds
the burial depth of the sewer, the manhole will overow.

301.5. Viscosity
The viscosity of a uid is a measure of its ability to resist shear stresses.
When a shear stress, no matter how small, is applied to any uid, a velocity
gradient develops transverse to the plane on which the shear stress is
applied. For newtonian uids, the applied shear stress causes a proportional

applied. For newtonian uids, the applied shear stress causes a proportional
velocity gradient. The constant of proportionality is termed the viscosity, or
dynamic viscosity, .

(301.8)
Viscosity has units of FT/L 2 (N-s/m2 or lb-s/ft 2) or M/LT (kg/m-s or slug/ft-s).
For nonnewtonian uids, the relationship between the applied shear stress
and the resulting velocity gradient is nonlinear and is most commonly
expressed as a power law.

(301.9)
The kinematic viscosity v is given by

(301.10)
Example 301.3
A newtonian uid with viscosity = 0.01 lb-s/ft 2 lls the annular space
between a xed inner cylinder diameter = 2.0 in and an outer rotating drum
(inner diameter = 2.04 in). The length of the assembly is 35 in. The drum is
rotated at a constant speed of 2000 rpm. What is the torque required to
maintain the rotation of the drum?

Solution

Rotational speed

## The tangential velocity of the drum v = r = 1.02 209.44 = 213.6 in/s.

Thickness of uid lm = 0.04 2 = 0.02 in.
Velocity gradient in the thin uid lm (in the annular space)

## The (cylindrical) surface on which this shear stress acts is

Therefore, the torque needed is the moment of the resultant surface force
about the axis

## Table 301.1 summarizes some of the fundamental properties of water as a

function of temperature.

Temp
(F)

Specic
weight
(lb/ft 3)

Dynamic

Kinematic

Surface

Density

viscosity

viscosity

tension

(slug/ft 3)

(lb-s/ft 2)

(ft 2/s

(lb/in

105)

104 )

105

Vapor
pressure
(lb/in2)

32

62.42

1.940

3.746

1.931

4.32

0.09

40

62.43

1.940

3.229

1.664

5.12

0.12

50

62.41

1.940

2.735

1.410

4.24

0.18

60

62.37

1.938

2.359

1.217

4.20

0.26

70

62.30

1.936

2.050

1.059

4.15

0.36

80

62.22

1.934

1.799

0.930

4.10

0.51

90

62.11

1.931

1.595

0.826

4.05

0.70

100

62.00

1.927

1.424

0.739

4.00

0.95

110

61.86

1.923

1.284

0.667

3.94

1.27

120

61.71

1.918

1.168

0.609

3.89

1.69

130

61.55

1.913

1.069

0.558

3.83

2.22

140

61.38

1.908

0.981

0.514

3.78

2.89

150

61.20

1.902

0.905

0.476

3.73

3.72

160

61.00

1.896

0.838

0.442

3.68

4.74

170

60.80

1.890

0.780

0.413

3.62

5.99

180

60.58

1.883

0.726

0.385

3.56

7.51

190

60.36

1.876

0.678

0.362

3.50

9.34

200

60.12

1.868

0.637

0.341

3.44

11.52

212

59.83

1.860

0.593

0.319

3.37

14.70

## Table 301.2 summarizes some of the fundamental properties of atmospheric

air as a function of elevation above mean sea level.

Elevation

Temperature

(ft)

(F)

Density
(slug/ft 3
105)

Kinematic
viscosity

Pressure

(ft 2/s 10

(lb/ft 2)

59.0

237

15.6

2116

1,000

55.4

231

16.0

2041

2,000

51.9

224

16.4

1968

5,000

41.2

205

17.7

1760

10,000

23.4

176

20.0

1455

15,000

5.54

150

22.8

1194

20,000

12.3

127

26.1

973

25,000

30.1

107

30.0

785

30,000

48.0

89

34.7

628

35,000

65.8

74

40.4

498

40,000

67.6

59

50.6

392

50,000

67.6

36

81.8

242

100,000

67.6

3.3

89.5

22.4

150,000

113.5

0.3

1.32

200,000

160.0

0.06

6.84

0.665

## 301.6. Static Pressure on Submerged Surfaces

A submerged static object is subject to hydrostatic pressure acting on the
various surfaces dening the boundary of the object. The resultant of these
static pressures is the buoyancy force acting on the object. For an object of
negligible volume, these forces are in static equilibrium and the buoyancy is
zero. Archimedes' principle on buoyancy may be stated as
1. The buoyancy force on a submerged object is equal to the weight of the
displaced uid.
2. An object in neutral equilibrium (oating) displaces a volume of uid whose
weight equals the weight of the object.
Thus, an ideal submerged plate (zero thickness, zero volume) develops equal
and opposite pressure proles on either side, and therefore has no buoyancy.
The following section outlines the procedure for calculating the static
pressure on one side of a plane surface.
301.6.1. Static Pressure on Plane Area of Arbitrary Shape

## Figure 301.4 shows a plane surface which is completely submerged and

inclined at an angle with the horizontal. Z C and Z R are distance from the
free surface, measured parallel to the plane of the submerged object. The
center of gravity of the object is marked as CG and the "eective location" of
the resultant force is marked as CP (center of pressure). The resultant force
on one side of the plane object is given by

(301.11)

## Figure 301.4. Static uid pressure on a submerged plane surface.

The depth of the center of gravity (measured vertically) is

(301.12)
The distance Z R is given by

(301.13)
where I is the second moment of area (moment of inertia) of the submerged
plane about a horizontal axis passing through its center of gravity, and A is
the cross-sectional area of the submerged plane.

Example 301.4
A triangular plate serves as a gate for a water storage tank as shown. The
gate is hinged at the top (point A in the tank cross section or line AA in the
side view of the gate) and at the bottom (point B). Calculate (1) the resultant
force (lbs) acting on the gate, (2) the eective depth of the resultant force
(ft), and (3) the force exerted at the hinge B.

## Solution Length of the triangle (perpendicular distance from the vertex B to

the base AA) = 5 ft.
Centroidal moment of inertia of a triangle
Area of triangle

## The inclined distance to the center of pressure is

5.278 ft.
1. The resultant force is R = h c . A = 62.4 3 8 = 1497.6 lb.
2. The (vertical) depth to the center of pressure is

3. Since the top of the gate is at depth 2 ft, the bottom is at depth 5 ft, and
the depth of the center of pressure is at 3.167 ft, the reaction at B, using
the Lever rule, is given by

## 301.6.2. Static Pressure on Compound Area (Curved or Multiple Linear

Segments)
Calculating the resultant force on a nonplanar surface can be very complex if
performed as an integration of the pressure prole acting normal to
innitesimal elements. An easier and equivalent procedure is to perform the
calculation in two steps as follows:
1. Draw a vertical plane through the toe of the surface and calculate the
horizontal force as the resultant of the pressure acting on the projection of
the surface onto this vertical plane. In Fig. 301.5, the toe of the surface is
at the point d and the vertical projection of the surface onto the vertical
plane is de .

## Figure 301.5. Static uid pressure on a submerged curved surface.

2. Calculate the vertical force as the weight of the uid above the surface. In
Fig 301.5, this would be the weight of the uid in the region abcde .
To calculate total force on the curved surface cd , draw a vertical plane de
through the toe. The horizontal force H = resultant of the hydrostatic
pressure on de . The vertical force V = weight of uid in area abcde . The
resultant force acting on the surface can then be calculated from

## In conducting model tests on uid behavior, certain dimensionless groups are

used to demonstrate that dynamic similarity (or dissimilarity) exists between
dierent uid ow elds. For example, if model tests are carried out in a
laboratory experiment (such as in a wind tunnel or water tunnel) to study a
full-scale phenomenon, one must ensure that the model and prototype ow
regimes have similar characteristics. This may be ensured by maintaining the
same Reynolds number (Re) or Froude number (Fr) or Mach number (M) in
both ow elds.
There are two aspects to maintaining similarity between model and
prototype. The rst is geometric similarity , which is to maintain the same
geometric proportions (model is true-to-scale in length, area, and volume).
The second is dynamic similarity , which is to maintain equal ratios of all
types of forces for the model and prototype.
There are various types of forces at work in a uid eld. Some of these are
inertial forces, viscous forces, surface tension forces, and gravitational
forces. For the eld of civil engineering, the two most important of these
dimensionless numbers are the Reynolds number and the Froude number.

## Case 1Inertial and Viscous Forces Dominate (Reynolds Number Similarity)

For systems where inertial and viscous forces dominate, the relative eect of
these forces is expressed in terms of the Reynolds number (Re). Examples of
systems where Reynolds number similarity is desirable are subsonic aircraft,
closed pipe-ow (turbulent), pumps, submarines, turbines, and drainage
through tank orices.
Reynolds number

(301.14)
Thus, if the model and prototype are to have equal Reynolds number,

(301.15)
This can be rearranged to relate the velocity ratio (or scale) to the length

scale as given below. The length scale, velocity scale, and viscosity scale are
expressed as L , V , and , respectively.

(301.16)
Thus, if the uid surrounding the prototype structure and the model are the
same (density and viscosity are the same), this would reduce to the simpler
relation

(301.17)
Example 301.5
A 1:50 scale model of a suspension bridge is tested in a water tunnel. The
model is completely immersed in the uid. If the temperature of the water is
70F, what is the velocity of the water needed to replicate wind eects (air
temperature 60F) due to a 60 mph wind?
Viscosity of water at 70F = 1.059 10 5 ft 2/s.
Viscosity of air at 60F = 1.58 10 4 ft 2/s.
Solution This is a case of submerged ow. Therefore, Reynolds number
similarity must be maintained.

## Case 2Inertial and Gravitational Forces Dominate (Froude Number

Similarity)
For systems where inertial and gravitational forces dominate, the relative
eect of these forces is expressed in terms of the Froude number (Fr).
Examples of systems where Froude number similarity is desirable are ows
over spillways, weirs, open channel ow with varying surface levels, surface

## ships, and surge and ood waves.

Froude number

(301.18)
Thus, if the model and prototype are to have equal Froude number,

(301.19)
This can be rearranged to relate the velocity ratio (or scale) to the length
scale as given below. The length scale, velocity scale, and gravity scale are
expressed as L , V , and g , respectively.

(301.20)
Thus, if the gravity eld strength for the prototype structure and the model
are the same, this would reduce to the simpler relation

(301.21)
Example 301.6
A 1:50 scale model of a spillway is constructed to replicate ow phenomena
for a ow rate of 500 cfs. What must be the ow rate in the model?
Solution This is a case of free surface ow. Therefore, Froude number
similarity must be maintained.

## Flow rate is given by Q = VA . From a point of view of dimensional analysis, Q

= VL 2. Therefore, the ow rate scale is given by

## 301.8. Laminar versus Turbulent Flow

Reynolds number is the ow parameter used to distinguish laminar and
turbulent ows. The term laminar ow indicates that individual streamlines
remain parallel and distinct and mixing does not occur. For turbulent ows,
slight perturbations upstream cause adjacent streamlines to cross, thereby
inducing mixing. For ow through closed conduits, ow is laminar when the
Reynolds number is less than approximately 1000 and turbulent if the
Reynolds number is greater than approximately 3000. Between these limits,
the ow regime goes through a transition from laminar to turbulent ow.
Figure 301.6 shows laminar and turbulent ow proles in circular pipes and
between parallel plates. The boundary layer for turbulent ow is of
insignicant thickness, as seen from the Fig. 301.6(b). As a result, for fully
turbulent ow, the average velocity is a good indicator of the true maximum
velocity, which occurs at the center streamline. On the other hand, for
laminar ow, a parabolic velocity prole develops, given by

(301.22)

Figure 301.6. Velocity distribution for (a) laminar and (b) turbulent
ow in a conduit.
where r = radial distance from centerline

## R = radius (circular pipe) or half the distance between parallel plates

The nominal velocity of ow in a conduit is often calculated as the average
velocity which is given by dividing the ow rate by the cross-sectional area. A
direct result of the parabolic prole is that for laminar ow in a circular pipe,
the maximum velocity is twice the average velocity and for laminar ow
between parallel plates, the maximum velocity is 1.5 times the average
velocity. For fully turbulent ow in a circular conduit, the maximum velocity is
approximately equal to 1.18 times the average velocity.
Example 301.7
The velocity is measured along the centerline of a circular pipe (internal
diameter 2 in) experiencing laminar ow is V = 1.5 in/s. What is the ow rate
(cfs)?
Solution Since the ow is laminar ow in a circular pipe, the theoretical
velocity distribution is parabolic and the average velocity is half of the
maximum velocity (along centerline).
Thus, average velocity = 0.75 in/s.
Flow rate

Citation
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Indranil Goswami: Civil Engineering All-In-One PE Exam Guide: Breadth and Depth,

## Second Edition. Basic Fluid Mechanics, Chapter (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012),

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