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The impact of jet experiment is a way to understand fluid pressure by using the pressure to
accelerate the fluid to a plate by a high velocity in a jet which in result will generate force due to
impulse. It enables the force developed by a jet of water affecting upon a stationary object to be
measured. The objective of this experiment is to investigate the validity of theoretical expressions for
the force exerted by a jet on target of various shapes. The shapes can be categorised into three
geometries which are plate, hemisphere and slope. For this experiment, only the slope deflector is
used at an angle of 120. The procedure of this experiment is by changing the amount of load placed
on the weight pan and time is recorded for the volume of water to reach 5.0L to measure the flow rate
of the water jet at different weight. The higher the load's weight gave a lower time taken for the water
to reach 5.0L which resulted in a higher flowrate of the water jet. The graphs will show load weight
and computed theoretical jet force against volume flow rate and the square of volume flow rate to get
linear slope which will be easier to compare. The results obtained experimentally will be compared
with the theoretical value and any discrepancies between the slopes of the measured forces will be
discussed. From here we can conclude that the objective of this experiment has been achieved of not.
This experiment helps us to understand about fluid pressure also gives us a better understanding about
fluid related machines.


A moving stream of fluid carries momentum. Momentum is defined as the product of the
mass of a body and its velocity. When a moving stream of fluid, or jet, is deflected by a surface, a
change in linear momentum occurs. This change in linear momentum results in the water jet exerting
a force on the surface it is impacting (Mirdo, 2010). One of the applications of jet impact is used to
generate power. Impact of jet is used to rotate the turbine namely Pelton wheel in the generator. The
water jet is applying force tangential to the wheel. The tangential forces of water jet generate moment
of torque on the wheel to its maximum value and therefore increase the mechanical energy of the
Pelton wheel (UKEssays, 2015). Although the concept is essentially simple, such turbines can
generate considerable output at high efficiency. Powers in excess of 100MW, and hydraulic
efficiencies greater than 95%, are not uncommon. It may be noted that the Pelton wheel is best suited
to conditions where the available head of water is great, and the flow rate is comparatively small
(Saminathan, n.d.). To predict the output of a Pelton wheel and to determine its optimum rotational
speed, understanding on how the deflection of the jet generates a force on the buckets and how the
force is related to the rate of momentum flow in the jet are needed (Conor, n.d.).

The velocity of fluid, Vjet, leaving the nozzle of cross-sectional area, A is given by

where Q is the flow rate of the water jet

It is assumed that the magnitude of the velocity does not change as fluid flows around the deflector,
and that only its direction changes.

The Law of the Conservation of Linear Momentum for this system is

0, steady flow

= +

Control Control
volume surface

At entrance : 1 = 1 =
At exit : 2 = 2 cos = cos

= ( )1 + cos ( )2 (1)

The Law of the Conservation of Mass for steady flow is:

1 1 + 2 2 2 = 0 (2)

Since: 1 = 2 = and 1 = 2 = then => 1 = 2 =

Substituting this into Equation 2 yields:

= 2 (1 cos ) (3)

Substituting the volumetric flow rate ( = ) into Equation 3 yields:


(1 cos ) (4)

For the = 120 target:

2 1 3 2
= [1 ( )] = (5)
2 2

For a flat plate ( = 90):

2 2
= (1 0) =

For a hemispherical target ( = 180):

2 2 2
= [1 (1)] =

List of symbols:

A= cross sectional surface area Q= volume flow rate of water

d= diameter of jet t= time
g= acceleration of gravity, 9.81 m/s2 W= weight of the masses on the pan
Fy= theoretical jet force Vjet= average velocity of the jet
m= mass on the weight pan = angle jet is deflected
n= normal unit vector = density of water

One of the applications of impact of jet is used for turbines for power generator. Hydraulic
Turbines are being used from very ancient times to harness the energy stored in flowing streams,
rivers and lakes. The oldest and the simplest form of a Hydraulic Turbine was the Waterwheel used
for grinding grains. Different types of Hydraulic Turbines were developed with the increasing need
for power. Three major types are Pelton Wheel, Francis and Kaplan Turbine. The Pelton Turbine has
a circular disk mounted on the rotating shaft or rotor. This circular disk has cup shaped blades, called

as buckets, placed at equal spacing around its circumference. Nozzles are arranged around the wheel
such that the water jet emerging from a nozzle is tangential to the circumference of the wheel of
Pelton Turbine. According to the available water head (pressure of water) and the operating
requirements the shape and number of nozzles placed around the Pelton Wheel can vary. The high
speed water jets emerging form the nozzles strike the buckets at splitters, placed at the middle of a
bucket, from where jets are divided into two equal streams. These stream flow along the inner curve
of the bucket and leave it in the direction opposite to that of incoming jet. The high speed water jets
running the Pelton Wheel Turbine are obtained by expanding the high pressure water through nozzles
to the atmospheric pressure. The high pressure water can be obtained from any water body situated at
some height or streams of water flowing down the hills. The change in momentum (direction as well
as speed) of water stream produces an impulse on the blades of the wheel of Pelton Turbine. This
impulse generates the torque and rotation in the shaft of Pelton Turbine.
To obtain the optimum output from the Pelton Turbine the impulse received by the blades
should be maximum. For that, change in momentum of the water stream should be maximum
possible. That is obtained when the water stream is deflected in the direction opposite to which it
strikes the buckets and with the same speed relative to the buckets. A typical setup of a system
generating electricity by using Pelton Turbine will have a water reservoir situated at a height from the
Pelton Wheel. The water from the reservoir flows through a pressure channel to the penstock head and
then through the penstock or the supply pipeline to the nozzles, from where the water comes out as
high speed jets striking the blades of the Pelton Turbine. The penstock head is fitted with a surge tank
which absorbs and dissipates sudden fluctuations in pressure. For a constant water flow rate from the
nozzles the speed of turbine changes with changing loads on it. For quality hydroelectricity generation
the turbine should rotate at a constant speed. To keep the speed constant despite the changing loads on
the turbine water flow rate through the nozzles is changed. To control the gradual changes in load
servo controlled spear valves are used in the jets to change the flow rate. And for sudden reduction in
load the jets are deflected using deflector plates so that some of the water from the jets do not strike
the blades. This prevents over speeding of the turbine (Agrawal and Stonecypher, 2009).

To investigate the validity of theoretical expressions for the force exerted by a jet on target of
various shapes.


1. The base of the apparatus is levelled.

2. The level of water in tank is checked whether is sufficient or not.
3. The control valve is closed.
4. The area of the nozzle(jet) is calculated and recorded.
5. The weight is placed on the weight pan and the pump is switched on.
6. The control valve is opened to allow water to flow out.
7. The flow rate is adjusted until the datum on the weight pan is adjacent to the level gauge.
8. The readings of volume and time is taken for determining flow rate. The mass on the
weight pan is noted.
9. The steps are repeated by putting additional masses on the weight pan.


Diameter of the nozzle, d = 0.008m

Density of water, = 999.1 kg/3

2 (0.008)2
Area of the nozzle, A = 4
= 4
= 5.0265 105 2

Table 1: Tabulation of data

Load Load Volume Time (t), s Flow rate (Q) 2 , 6 2 Jet force
mass weight of 1 2 3 ( ), N
(m), g (W), N water, L
30 0.2943 5.0 45.0 44.0 44.5 0.1124 1.1236 104 1.2625 108 0.3762
50 0.4905 5.0 33.0 32.0 32.5 0.1538 1.5385 104 2.3670 108 0.7057
80 0.7848 5.0 30.0 29.0 29.5 0.1695 1.6949 104 2.8727 108 0.8565
100 0.9810 5.0 27.0 26.0 26.5 0.1887 1.8868 104 3.5600 108 1.0614
130 1.2753 5.0 24.0 24.0 24.0 0.2083 2.0833 104 4.3401 108 1.2934
150 1.4715 5.0 22.0 22.0 22.0 0.2273 2.2727 104 5.1652 108 1.5400
180 1.7658 5.0 20.0 20.0 20.0 0.2500 2.5000 104 6.2500 108 1.8634

Below are the graphs for the experiment that is plotted using a free online software, Online Chart Tool

From the graph of load weight (W) against 2 ( 2 ),
3 2
the equation for the graph is = 2

We know that the component for x-axis is 2 and the component of y-axis is W. Therefore, the
gradient for the graph is .

From the information we can calculate the theoretical value of the gradient;
= = 2.98416 107 6 2
2( 0.0042 )
For the experimental value of the gradient;

for graph load weight (W) against 2 ( 2 )

= 2.95038 107 6 2

To calculate the percentage of error, we use the formula

2.98416 107 2.95038 107

. . = 100% = 1.13%
2.98416 107
For graph jet force ( ) against 2 ( 2 )

= 2.98138 107 6 2

2.98416 107 2.98138 107

. . = 100% = 0.093%
2.98416 107

From the calculation of data and the slight percentage of error for the slope of the graphs show some
little discrepancies in the validity of theoretical value that may be caused by some factors;
i) Human error; parallax error when adjusting the weight pan adjacent to the level gauge
and taking readings of the volume of water. We took turns to take the readings so it may
result in non-uniform collections of data.
ii) Apparatus error; there was a problem for our set up for the experiment which is the hole
for the load weight is too small to fit the pole in the middle of the weight pan. So, to do
the experiment, we had no choice but to place the weight on the side of the weight pan
and this resulted in a non-uniform distribution of weight by the load on the weight pan
that may affect the force of the water jet. We did try to balance the weight pan by placing
the load weight on each side of the weight pan but the reading will still be different every
iii) Friction; the water jet is subjected to friction along its way especially when hitting the
nozzle and also in the spring of the weight pan. The theoretical expression does not
consider the frictions in this experiment and is neglected. We are also required to oscillate
the weight when testing for level to minimize the effect of friction. This shows that
frictions indeed cause some errors for the experiment as it is not included in the

It can be concluded that from the calculations of data and percentage of error, the experiment carried
out validates the theoretical expression for the force exerted by a jet on a target and hence the
objective of the experiment is achieved. Even though there are some errors for the experimental
values with the theoretical value (1.13% for load weight and 0.093% for jet force), the percentage is
small enough that we can still validate the theoretical expression as errors in the experiment are to be
expected. So, it is logical and acceptable for us to accept that the theory for the impact of jet to be


Agrawal, N. and Stonecypher, L. (2009). Hydraulic Turbines: The Pelton Wheel. Retrieved from

Conor, J. (n.d.). Impact of a Jet Report. Retrieved from

Mirdo, S. (2010). Impact of a Jet of Water. Retrieved from

Saminathan, A. (n.d.). Introduction Impact Jet. Retrieved from

UKEssays. (2015). When a Jet of Water Strikes. Retrieved from