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Course: Hydraulics

In this course, the basic principles / concepts of hydraulics are discussed with

an emphasis on the real world applications mostly related to civil

engineering.

Objective 1

Objective 2

computation and measurement, computation of total pressure force /

buoyant force and their points of application, stability analysis of submerged/

floating bodies

Objective 3

Objective 4

their applications

Objective 5

developed flows through pipes

Objective 6

applications to hydraulic modeling

Objective 7

To explain the basic features of open channel flow and its applications to

commonly observed hydraulic problems

Objective 8

1

To study the principles of hydraulic machinery and their applications through

Pumps, Turbines and other hydraulic machines

the various definitions, types and properties of fluids are discussed.

Objective 1

volume vs. free body diagram.

Objective 2

To explain the various definitions/ meanings/ types of fluids viz., ideal/ real

fluids, liquids/ gases, etc.

Objective 3

real fluids.

Objective 4

tension, compressibility.

Blank

Unit Objectives:

2

1. To provide with an overview of hydraulics in engineering;

2. To define hydraulics;

3. To explain/discuss the linkage between hydraulics and other branches of

mechanics.

Engineering is one of the major applications of science. Therefore it forms an important

branch of applied sciences. After analyzing real world situation(s) /problem(s), it aims to

provide technically sound explanation(s) and/ or solution(s) based on the principles of

basic sciences like physics, chemistry, biology etc. Civil engineering, mechanical

engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, aerospace engineering, ocean

engineering are some of branches of engineering which have evolved as applications of

physics. Likewise, chemical engineering, metallurgical engineering are the braches of

engineering which have been developed as applications of chemistry and agricultural

engineering, bioengineering have been established as applications of biology.

Water is a predominant element of nature along with other elements such as land, air,

space and energy in many engineering systems. To analyze such real world situations

involving water (which may be in stationary/ moving form in solid/ liquid/ gaseous/

plasma state), we need to use appropriate branch of science which employs relevant

conservation principles related to mass/ energy/ momentum. ‘Hydrology’ and

‘hydraulics’ are two such branches of science developed specifically to do this. While

hydrology focuses more on the quantitative aspects of water involving mostly the mass

conservation principle, hydraulics focuses on quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of

water. Thus hydraulics deals in all the three principles of mass conservation, energy

conservation and momentum conservation to analyze the water-related real world

phenomena.

mechanical behavior of these phenomena, we need to use ‘mechanics’ –which is the

relevant branch of physics, either in the form of ‘statics’ or in the form of ‘dynamics’.

Mechanics is one of the foremost as well as broad based subjects in engineering. It plays

a major role in orienting ‘engineering’ as an applied science. If these phenomena

comprise of only solid media –which act as rigid bodies generally, we should use solid

mechanics (i.e., rigid body mechanics) for analysis of such phenomena. In such analyses

‘free body diagram approach’ –wherein all the externally acting forces and the internally

acting reactive forces are properly indicated, is used. Force balance and moment balance

equations are used to carry out the analysis.

When engineering phenomena comprise of either fluid (i.e., liquid and/ or gas) media or

solid and fluid media, we need to use the fluid related portion of mechanics -simply

known as ‘fluid mechanics’. When the fluid media happens to be a water media, we need

to specifically employ the ‘fluid mechanics of water’ i.e., ‘hydraulics’. The word

‘hydraulics’ is derived from the Greek word ‘hudour’ -meaning water and it may be

defined as follows:

3

Hydraulics is that branch of engineering science or mechanics which deals with water

which is either at rest or at motion. In hydraulics we deal with systems consisting of

‘fluids’ which are those forms of matter capable of ‘flowing’

Alternatively, hydraulics has also been defined as the branch of engineering science

which is based on the experimental observation of water either at rest or in motion.

Since the main difference between a solid and a fluid is that the solid has a definite shape

while a fluid does not have a definite shape, fluid mechanics or hydraulics require an

approach which is different from the free body diagram approach. This new approach is

known as the ‘control volume approach’ wherein all the external forces and their

corresponding internal reactive forces acting on a fluid occupying a specified volume -

known as the control volume, is used to perform the analysis.

Depending upon the constitution of the medium/ media of the engineering phenomena,

we have to employ hydraulics/ fluid mechanics either severally or in combination with

other branch(es) of mechanics. Medium/ media in this case could consist of solid(s) and/

or fluid(s) in the form of soil/ rock/ water/ gas and so on. Accordingly we have to use

solid mechanics/ soil mechanics/ rock mechanics/ hydraulics/ gas dynamics etc. Thus

there exists a strong linkage between hydraulics and other branches of mechanics in the

analysis of engineering phenomena. Such a linkage is very much dependent upon the

constitution of the media in which the engineering phenomena take place.

Objective 1

undergraduate program; to define hydraulics and to explain its linkage with

other branches of mechanics.

No Problems

Blank

Unit Objectives:

1. To provide with the various definitions of fluids along with their brief meaning,

4

2. To classify fluids based on different criteria.

In this unit, we will discuss the various definitions of fluids along with their meaning and

classification based on different criteria. The word ‘fluid’ is derived from the word

‘flow’. Therefore we can describe a fluid as a substance which is capable of flowing.

Alternatively, fluids can also be considered as those types of matter which do not have a

rigid or a definite shape like the solids. It is the flexible shape of a fluid which is

responsible for its flowing nature. In other words, a portion of the fluid volume gets

sheared (i.e., undergoes relative motion) w.r.t. the adjoining fluid volume. This relative

motion of a portion of the fluid volume (which may be either continuous or intermittent

or momentary) results in the corresponding change in the shape of the fluid. The change

in fluid shape occurs in spite of the fluid resistance. This property of a fluid offering

resistance to its shearing is known as ‘viscosity’. This phenomenon of significant change

in shape does not generally happen in the case of solids. Hence the solids generally

behave like rigid bodies having a reasonably strong tendency to retain their shape.

In spite of this basic difference between the solids and fluids, there is one thing common

to both of them. It is that the solids as well as fluids do not carry any electric charge in

them like the substances in plasma state –which are generally considered as the 4th state

of matter. In simple terms, we can interpret fluids as those types of matter consisting of

liquids and/or gases, both of which do not have a definite shape and both are capable of

flowing. Thus we can summarize that fluids belong to the 2nd / 3rd state of matter, which

are between the solids (generally regarded as the 1st state of matter) and the matter in its

plasma state.

Fluids can be classified based on different criteria. Some of the important criteria for

their classification can be listed as follows:

a. State (or shape) of the matter,

compressibility,

c. Ability to have a constant viscosity at all velocity gradient (i.e., shear strain)

values.

Based on the state or shape of the matter, fluids can be classified into liquids and gases.

In case of liquids, the intermolecular distance is small and therefore the intermolecular

force of attraction between similar kind of molecules (i.e., cohesion) is quite large when

compared to that for gases. That is why liquids have a tendency to form a free surface,

unlike the gases. The free surface formed by the liquids generally behaves like a stretched

membrane due to a characteristic property known as the ‘surface tension’.

On the other hand, gases are amenable to compression/ expansion with the application/

release of pressure. This is due to the relatively large intermolecular distance and a

correspondingly reduced intermolecular force between the gas molecules. Therefore

compressibility or expandability [and not surface tension] is predominant in the case of

5

gases. Due to this nature, gases have a highly variable size. In comparison to this,

compressibility or expandability is very negligible in case of liquids.

The expandability observed in gases due to the large intermolecular distances, results in

their tendency to occupy as much space as possible subject to gravitational action and

many a times the entire volume of a container in which they are enclosed. If they are not

enclosed in a container, the gas molecules get stacked densely more and more in the

direction of gravity.

There is also another type of fluid known as the ‘vapor’ which is essentially the

evaporated or vaporized portion of the liquid due to its tendency to changeover to a

gaseous state. From a free surface of a liquid, molecules continuously vaporize and such

vapors exert a partial pressure known as the ‘vapor pressure’ on the liquid surface.

Simultaneously, few vapor molecules tend to re-enter the liquid when the liquid has a

confined space above its free surface. In such a case, the partial vapor pressure goes on

increasing till it balances the rate of re-entry of vapor molecules into the liquid. This

equilibrium vapor pressure is known as the ‘saturation vapor pressure’.

If a fluid does not show any of the three important properties viz., viscosity, surface

tension and compressibility, it is called an ‘ideal fluid’. An ‘ideal fluid’ is a conceptual

fluid and therefore none of the fluids existing in nature are ideal fluids. However, certain

fluids may behave almost like ideal fluids under specific conditions. Nevertheless the

ideal fluid concept is required to explain many of the phenomena observed in classical

fluid mechanics.

All the fluids which exist in nature are termed as ‘real fluids’. They show at least one of

the three important properties mentioned above. They may show all the three properties.

However depending upon their state and temperature, generally either one or two

properties among these three will be shown by them predominantly.

Objective 1

To provide with the various definitions of fluids along with their meaning and

to classify fluids based on different criteria.

No Problems

6

M1U3. Basic Properties of Fluids

Unit objectives:

1. To describe the basic fluid properties like density, specific gravity, specific

weight, specific volume.

In this unit, we shall discuss the basic fluid properties attributed to them by virtue of their

size (i.e., volume), content of matter (i.e., mass) and the gravitational force (i. e., weight)

acting on them. Most of these properties except the specific volume are generally

defined for solids also.

Firstly, let us consider ‘density’ (i.e., ‘mass density’ or ‘specific mass’ or ‘unit mass’)

generally denoted by Greek alphabet ρ (rho). It is defined as the ratio of fluid mass (m)

to the fluid volume (V). It has the units of kg/m3 in SI system. Thus we have,

m

ρ= (1.3.1).

V

Next, let us consider ‘specific gravity’ which is also known as ‘relative density’. Many a

times it is denoted as SG. It is defined as the ratio of the density of the fluid to the density

of the standard fluid, which is water at 4ºC1. Specific gravity is dimensionless and is

given by,

ρ fluid

SG = (1.3.2).

ρ std . fluid

Now, let us consider ‘specific weight’ (also known as ‘weight density’ or ‘unit weight’).

It is generally denoted by the Greek letter γ (gamma). It is defined as the ratio of fluid

weight (W) to the fluid volume (V). It has the units of N/m3 in SI system. Thus we

have,

W

γ = (1.3.3).

V

Since weight (W) is the product of mass (m) and acceleration due to gravity (g), specific

weight can also be expressed as,

γ = ρg (1.3.4).

Since the acceleration due to gravity (g) is practically having the same value through out

the earth surface, specific gravity (SG) of a fluid can also be defined as the ratio of its

1

It is interesting to mention here that water has the highest density of 1000 kg/m3 at 4ºC, when it is still in

liquid form. That is the reason why ice floats on water. When the temperature of water is decreased from

4ºC to 0ºC, on one hand it freezes into ice while on the other hand it expands in its volume marginally

thus showing its peculiar behavior of ‘anomalous expansion’ in that temperature range.

7

specific weight to the specific weight of the standard fluid i.e., water at 4ºC.

Accordingly we can write,

γ fluid

SG = (1.3.5).

γ std . fluid

Generally gases are very light having a very small density. For example, at the mean sea

level and at 15.2ºC, air (i.e., the standard atmosphere as considered in the USA)

generally has a density of 1.225 kg/m3. Or in other words, at this temperature and

pressure, air is about 815.5 times lighter than water. The corresponding density values of

gases will be extremely small numbers in other system of units like the CGS system or

the FPS system. Computations involving such small numbers are associated with either

truncation errors or rounding off errors. To overcome these errors in case of gases,

another property known as the ‘specific volume’ -which is defined as the reciprocal of

density or the specific weight, is used.

Thus the ‘mass specific volume’ may be defined as the ratio of the volume of the fluid

(V) to its mass (m). It may be denoted as (vm) and is given as:

V

vm = (1.3.6)

m

Similarly, the ‘weight specific volume’ may be defined as the ratio of the volume of the

fluid (V) to its weight (W). It may be denoted as (vwt) and is given as:

V

vwt = (1.3.7).

W

In SI system, the ‘mass specific volume’ has the units of m3/kg. Likewise, the ‘weight

specific volume’ has the SI units of m3/N.

Objective 1

To describe the basic fluid properties like density, specific gravity, specific

volume, specific weight.

Blank

8

M1U4. Other Properties of Fluids

Unit objectives:

1. To elaborate on the other distinguishing properties of real fluids viz., viscosity,

kinematic viscosity, surface tension, capillarity, compressibility, vapor pressure, bulk

modulus.

In this unit, we shall be discussing the other properties of real fluids which distinguish

them from the ideal fluids. These properties are derived from the three main properties

viz., viscosity, surface tension and compressibility.

Viscosity: Firstly, let us consider ‘viscosity’. As already mentioned in the Unit 2 of this

Module, viscosity is the property of a fluid by which it offers resistance to the shearing

experienced by a flowing fluid. When a fluid is flowing above a solid stationary

boundary without slipping, the fluid velocity continuously varies across its flow

direction. This velocity is zero at the stationary boundary and it continuously increases

as we move away from the boundary reaching a maximum velocity at some distance.

Thus a velocity gradient exists there in a direction normal to the flow. This velocity

gradient results in a shearing action leading to a continuous change in the shape of the

fluid element. As a consequence, a fluid element which is originally rectangular in

shape, may assume the shape of a parallelogram after some time δt. The inclined side

may be either straight or curved depending upon the velocity profile across the boundary.

Refer to Fig. 1.4.1.

u + (du/dy)δy δs u + (du/dy)δy

δx

δθ

δy

δx δx δ

u u

Fig. 1.4.1 [a] Fluid element at time ‘t’ [b]Fluid element at time ‘t +δt’

Assuming that the inclined side of length δy is inclined at an angle δθ -due to the shearing

by two unequal velocity components of u and u+(du/dy)δy, the rate of shear strain (δθ/δt)

is given by:

δθ δs 1

= {u + du δy} − u ]δt

1 1

= (1.4.1).

δt δy δt dy δy δt

Therefore we can write,

δθ du

= (1.4.2).

δt dy

Thus the rate of shear strain (δθ/δt) –or simply the shear strain, is equal to the velocity

gradient in a direction normal to the flow. This is simply known as the velocity gradient.

9

If the shear stress (τ) in the fluid is proportional to the shear strain in the fluid, then we

can write,

du

τ =µ (1.4.3).

dy

Here the constant of proportionality (µ) represents viscosity or the fluid resistance to

shearing. Thus mathematically, viscosity of a fluid is the ratio of the shear stress to its

shear strain (i.e., the velocity gradient). Notice the similarity in the mathematical

expression of viscosity to those of either the ‘elastic modulus’ (i.e., the ratio of linear

stress to the linear strain) or the ‘bulk modulus’ (i.e., the ratio of volumetric stress to the

volumetric strain).

This relationship between the shear stress and the shear strain of a fluid was first

suggested by Sir Issac Newton. Hence the Equation 1.4.3 is known as the ‘Newton’s law

of viscosity’. All those fluids which obey this law by exhibiting a constant viscosity

value are known as ‘Newtonian fluids’. Such fluids start showing the shear strain right

from the moment they are subjected to a shear stress. This minimum shear stress at

which the fluids start showing a shear strain is known as the ‘yield stress’. In case of

Newtonian fluids, the yield stress is zero.

On the other hand, there are many fluids called ‘Non-Newtonian fluids’ which do not

obey the Newton’s law of viscosity. Such fluids show a variable viscosity value.

However, like the Newtonian fluids, all the non-Newtonian fluids also have a zero yield

stress.

Since viscosity represents the proportionality constant (i.e., a coefficient) in the equation

representing the Newton’s law of viscosity, it is also known as the ‘coefficient of

viscosity’. In SI system, its units are N.s/m2. In the CGS system, the unit of viscosity is

‘poise’ which equals dyne-s/cm2. It is named after the hydraulician –Poiseuille, known

for the ‘Hagen-Poiseuille Equation’ applicable in conduit flow.

We can notice here that, the units of viscosity essentially involve the force units. Hence

many times, viscosity is also referred to as the ‘dynamic viscosity’. If we consider the

ratio of viscosity and density of a fluid, we can totally eliminate the force term from its

units. This ratio of viscosity of a fluid to its density is called the ‘kinematic viscosity’. It

is denoted by the Greek letter ‘ν’ (nu). Thus we have,

µ

ν= (1.4.4).

ρ

Kinematic viscosity has the units of m2/s in SI system and cm2/s in the CGS system. The

CGS system of unit is also known as ‘stokes’ named after another hydraulician –Stokes,

known for the ‘Stokes’ Law’. It is relevant to note here that unlike the dynamic viscosity,

kinematic viscosity unit does not contain the force terms.

Surface Tension: Now let us consider the ‘surface tension’ which has also been briefly

discussed in Unit 2 of this Module. It is the tension (i.e., the property by virtue of which

10

a fluid resists the deformation) existing at the fluid surface. Therefore, surface tension is

predominant only in case of fluids which form a free surface viz., liquids with a free

surface generally at the top. Because of surface tension, the free surface behaves like a

stretched membrane. One can observe this phenomenon quite frequently. When a needle

is gently placed on the surface of water or when rice grains are gently poured in a rice

cooker bowl containing water, the needle or some of the rice grains float on water. This

is due to the surface tension phenomenon.

measured as the force (F) per unit length of the surface which is experiencing this

phenomenon. Thus we have,

F

σ= (1.4.5)

l

Due to the surface tension property, a water droplet [of negligible size and weight] or a

soap bubble will be having a spherical shape. This is due to the tendency of the droplet

or the bubble to have a minimum surface area on account of the existence of surface

tension everywhere through out its surface. Refer to Figure 1.4.2.

11

Figure 1.4.2 (a). Free body diagram of the left half of a water droplet

(b). Free body diagram of the left half of a soap bubble

(c). Free body diagram of the left half of a liquid jet

Let us consider the free body diagram of the left half of a water droplet as shown in

Figure 1.4.2 (a). Applying the force balance equation in the horizontal direction, we get,

πd 2

p = σπd (1.4.6)

4

This can be simplified to,

pd

σ= (1.4.7).

4

Similarly, while considering the free body diagram of the left half of the soap bubble, we

need to account for the two concentric spherical surfaces existing there with a very small

12

distance between them. Therefore the horizontal force balance in this case [which is

shown in Figure 1.4.2 (b)] will be,

πd 2

p = σ 2πd (1.4.8)

4

On simplification this becomes,

pd

σ= (1.4.9).

8

Likewise, for a liquid jet [whose free body diagram is shown in Figure 1.4.2 (c)] we get,

pld = σ 2l (1.4.10)

This can be simplified to,

pd

σ= (1.4.11).

2

In Unit 2 of this Module, we have already discussed ‘cohesion’ which is the force of

attraction between similar molecules. Likewise, the force of attraction between

dissimilar molecules is known as ‘adhesion’. When adhesion force is more than the

cohesion force, the liquid molecules will tend to spread over the entire solid, with which

they are in contact. This is known as ‘wetting’. One common example for this ‘wetting’

phenomenon is water in contact with glass. Here the angle of contact (θ) –which is the

angle between the liquid surface and the solid -with which it is in contact, is less than

90º [Refer to Figure 1.4.3a]. On the other hand, when cohesion force is more than the

adhesion force, the liquid molecules tend to concentrate among themselves and occupy

the minimum area on the solid surface with which they are in contact. This is known as

‘non-wetting’ for which mercury and glass is a very common example. Here the angle of

contact (θ) –which is the angle between the liquid surface and the solid -with which it

is in contact, is more than 90º. [Refer to Figure 1.4.3b].

fall of a liquid in a very narrow tube or in a pair of vertical parallel plates placed very

close to each other. Capillary rise is such an important phenomenon by which all the

plants transport water and nutrients even to their topmost parts through very thin tubes

known as xylem and phloem running through their stem.

To derive an expression for the capillary rise, we need to consider the force balance in the

vertical direction for the free body diagram shown in Figure 1.4.3a below. This

expression containing the cosine of the angle of contact (θ) will also prove that θ>90º

for non-wetting liquids.

13

Figure 1.4.3 (a) Capillary rise in a narrow tube; (b) Capillary depression in a narrow tube

Let us consider the vertical force balance in Figure 1.4.3 (a) shown above. Equating the

weight of the capillary rise volume of the liquid with the surface tension force, we get,

πd 2

γ( h) = σ cos θ (πd ) (1.4.12)

4

After simplification, we get the expression for capillary rise (h) as,

4σ cos θ

h= (1.4.13).

γd

This equation will also explain the phenomenon of capillary depression shown in Figure

1.4.3(b). In this case ‘cosθ’ and hence ‘h’ become negative due to the fact that θ >π/2

radians.

Compressibility and bulk modulus: It is time now to consider compressibility (C) which

is the property of a fluid to undergo a volume change under the action of external

pressure. This property is more predominant in gases as compared to the liquids. Bulk

modulus (K) –the reciprocal of C, is the property used to quantify the compressibility of a

fluid. It is defined as the ratio of volumetric stress (i.e., additional external force applied

per unit area or the additional external pressure) to the volumetric strain (i.e., the ratio of

the change in the fluid volume to its original volume). Refer to Figure 1.4.4 (a) and (b).

Figure 1.4.4 (a). A gas subjected to extra pressure; (b) Volumetric stress-strain plot

14

Mathematically, we can write,

dp 1

K= = (1.4.14).

− dV C

V

Here the change in volume (dV) is negative for a positive value of the change in the

pressure (dp). Since the bulk modulus is always positive, the volumetric strain term is

taken with a –ve sign in this case.

Vapor Pressure: From a free surface of a liquid, molecules continuously vaporize and

such vapors exert a partial pressure known as the ‘vapor pressure’ (pv) on the liquid

surface. Simultaneously, few vapor molecules tend to re-enter the liquid when the liquid

has a confined space above its free surface. In such a case, the partial vapor pressure

goes on increasing till it balances the rate of re-entry of vapor molecules into the liquid.

This equilibrium vapor pressure is known as the ‘saturation vapor pressure’ (pvs).

If the external pressure imposed on the liquid surface is lowered to a value equal to the

saturation vapor pressure or below it, the vaporization of the liquid starts irrespective of

its temperature. This results in formation of bubbles of dissolved gases and liquid vapors.

These vapor bubbles are carried by the flowing liquid into a high pressure region wherein

they collapse, giving rise to a high impact pressure. This impact pressure is so high and

therefore causes erosion of the material in the adjacent boundaries and thus cavities are

formed. This phenomenon known as ‘cavitation’ is extremely harmful to the material

boundaries on which liquids flow and hence needs to be avoided at all costs.

Objective 1

viscosity, surface tension, capillarity etc.

This module will introduce the concepts related to pressure in a fluid at rest

and their application in hydraulics.

Objective 1

15

Objective 2

vacuum pressure)

Objective 3

Objective 4

Objective 5

Objective 6

surfaces.

Objective 7

Objective 8

16

Unit objective:

1. To explain the governing equation for pressure and its application in pressure

measurement.

{p+(∂p/∂z).δz/2}δx.δy

{p-(∂p/∂y).δy/2}δx.δz

δx

δy

{p-(∂p/∂x).δx/2}δy.δz γ δx.δy.δz

{p+(∂p/∂x).δx/2}δy.δz

δz

Z

{p-(∂p/∂z).δz/2}δx.δy

{p+(∂p/∂y).δy/2}δx.δz

X

Y

Consider a static fluid element of specific weight γ in the form of a rectangular prism

having dimensions of δx, δy and δz along the X-, Y- and Z-directions. Let the pressure at

the centroid of this element be p. Considering the pressure gradients as ∂p/∂x, ∂p/∂y and

∂p/∂z along the X-, Y- and Z-directions, we can write down the expressions for pressure

forces on the two faces of the rectangular element perpendicular to the X-axis as {p-

(∂p/∂x).δx/2}.δy.δz and {p+(∂p/∂x).δx/2}.δy.δz respectively. Similarly the expressions

for pressure forces on the two faces of the rectangular element perpendicular to the Y-

axis are {p-(∂p/∂y).δy/2}. δx.δz and {p+(∂p/∂y).δy/2}.δx.δz . Likewise, the expressions

for pressure forces on the two faces of the rectangular element perpendicular to the Z-

axis are {p-(∂p/∂z).δz/2}. δx.δy and {p+(∂p/∂z).δz/2}.δx.δy .

∂p

=0 (2.5.1)

∂x

Similarly applying ∑Fy=0 and simplifying, we get

∂p

=0 (2.5.2).

∂y

17

Now let us apply ∑Fz=0. Here we need to consider the self weight of the fluid element (γ

δx.δy. δz) in the –ve Z-direction. After simplification we get,

∂p

= −γ (2.5.3).

∂z

This is the governing equation for pressure gradient in a fluid. According to this

equation, we can state that the pressure gradient exists only in the direction of gravity and

it is having a magnitude equal to the fluid specific weight, γ.

Governing equation for pressure in a liquid: It can be derived from the governing

equation for the pressure gradient. Since liquids are practically incompressible, we can

simplify Eq.2.5.3 to find the governing equation for pressure as under:

p = −γz + C (2.5.4)

To evaluate the constant of integration (C), we need to consider Figure 2.5.2.

Liquid of

Sp. Wt. γ

h

H

z=H+z0-h z0

Datum

The pressure at any point on the liquid surface is the atmospheric pressure (pa). So, Eq.

2.5.4 becomes,

p a = −γ ( H + z 0 ) + C (2.5.5)

Substituting this value of C, we get,

p = −γz + p a + γ ( H + z 0 ) (2.5.6).

Since z = H+z0-h, we can derive the governing equation for pressure at a point h units

below the free surface of the liquid as,

p = γh + p a (2.5.7)

Here γh is known as the ‘gauge pressure’ (i.e., the pressure w.r.t. the atmospheric

pressure) and p is known as the ‘absolute pressure’ at a point which is h units below the

surface of the liquid of specific weight γ. The depth h below the free surface of an

incompressible liquid is known as the ‘pressure head’ which is equal to the ratio of the

gauge pressure p and the liquid specific weight γ. Mathematically we can write,

18

p

h= (2.5.8).

γ

Sometimes the absolute pressure at a point may be less than the atmospheric pressure

there. In that case, h will be –ve in the Eq. 2.5.7 and such a gauge pressure is known as

‘negative gauge pressure’ or ‘vacuum pressure’ to indicate that the absolute pressure

there is closer to the ‘absolute zero pressure’ (i. e., vacuum) than the local atmospheric

pressure there. Refer to Figure 2.5.3 for absolute pressure and gauge pressure at a point.

Pressure at a point in a compressible fluid: If the fluid is compressible, its specific weight

γ is a variable quantity. So, to get the pressure at a point in a compressible fluid, we need

to integrate Eq. 2.5.3 between the appropriate limits. If p1, and p2 are pressures at points

having altitudes z1 and z2 we can write,

p2 z

dp 2

∫

p1

γ

= ∫ dz = ( z 2 − z1 )

z1

19

5.3.2.3.1.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To explain the governing equation for pressure and its application in pressure

measurement.

simple manometers

Unit objectives:

1. To discuss the different pressure measuring devices.

2. To classify manometers.

3. To explain the working principle for piezometers and simple manometers.

4. To derive the basic manometric equation.

Pressure measuring devices: Measurement of pressure is very vital in so many activities.

There are three main pressure measuring devices as listed below:

1. Piezometers,

2. Simple manometers, differential manometers and micromanometers

3. Pressure gauges and pressure transducers

column. The liquid column will be in a tube of reasonably small diameter (of about 10 to

12 mm diameter) wherein there are no capillarity effects. For piezometers, the fluid in the

tube (known as the piezometric tube) will be the same as the liquid whose pressure is to

be found out. On the other hand, for other types of manometers the fluid in the tube

(known as the manometric tube) will be different from the liquid whose pressure is to be

found out. For all practical purposes, piezometers can be considered as the simplest type

of manometers.

In case of pressure gauges and transducers, the pressure measurement is due to the

principle of deflection of an elastic solid element located in a solid-fluid interaction in

proportion to the applied pressure. In pressure gauges, the deflection of the elastic solid

is magnified and/or transferred to either a needle rotating within a graduated

circumferential scale or a graduated bar, which will indicate the pressure measured. Since

the pressure transducers employ electronic instrumentation, their description is beyond

the scope of this course. Therefore they are not discussed here. Now, let us consider the

classification of manometers.

20

Classification of Manometers: Based on the type of manometric liquid and the geometry,

manometers can be classified as follows:

Manometers

Manometers Manometers

Manometers Manometers Differential

Manometers

Micromanometers Micromanometers

micromanometers measure the pressure difference between atmosphere and a point

within the fluid. While differential manometers and differential micromanometers

measure pressure difference between two points in two different fluid systems like tanks

or pipes. The micromanometers will have a bulb or a small reservoir in at least one of

their limbs having a cross sectional area of around 100 times the manometric tube cross

sectional area, so as to further minimize the height of the manometric liquid column.

One of their limbs which is not containing the bulb may be inclined so that it can measure

very small pressure differences. The differential manometers and the micromanometers

will be discussed in Unit 7.

piezometers do not have a different liquid in their piezometric (i.e., manometric) tube.

This is true for 2-peizometer manometers also, which belong to the differential

manometer category. While the advantage of piezometers is their simplicity, they can be

used to measure only a limited pressure difference ( = γh, the product of the specific

weight and the height difference between the two points) due to the limitation in the

21

manometric tube height. Also, they are unsuitable to measure –ve gauge pressures since

air might enter through the piezometric tube. Refer to Figure 2.6.1a for the sketch.

To overcome the above mentioned two limitations of the piezometer, a heavier liquid

(different from the fluid wherein pressure measurement is required) is generally used in

all other manometers except the 2-Piezometer manometer. The simple manometers

generally employ a U-tube (consisting of a heavier manometric liquid) to measure the

pressure difference between atmosphere and a point within the liquid. They can also be

used to measure –ve gauge pressures (i.e., vacuum pressures). Refer to Figure 2.6.1b for

the sketch. In the next objective, let us derive the basic manometric equation along with

the steps involved in writing the equation.

Derivation for and steps to write the basic manometric equation: The governing equation

for pressure [i. e., Eq. 2.5.7] is also used to write the manometric equation. Firstly we

start with the point of known pressure. In many cases it may be the free surface of the

manometric liquid where there is atmospheric pressure (i.e., zero gauge pressure). Then,

we move on to the next interface by taking the pressure difference term ( = γh) with a

+ve sign if this interface is below the previous point of known pressure or with a –ve sign

if this interface is above the previous point). This procedure is continued till we reach the

point for which we need to write the manometric equation. Alternatively, the

manometric equation can also be written in terms of pressure heads by adopting the

procedure mentioned above.

Let us consider Figure 2.6.1a. Adopting the stepwise procedure mentioned above, we

get,

0 + γh = p A = γh (2.6.1)

22

Here γ is the specific weight of the liquid in the piezometer and pA is the pressure at point

A.

Similarly, for the Figure 2.6.1b consisting of a simple U-tube manometer, the manometric

equation in terms of pressure at point B can be written as follows:

0 + γ w S 2 h2 − γ w S1 h1 = p B = γ 2 h2 − γ 1 h1 (2.6.2).

Here γw, γ1, γ2 are the specific weights of water (the standard fluid), the fluid in the pipe

and the manometric liquid respectively.

Objective 1

• To classify manometers.

• To derive the basic manometric equation.

• To explain the working principle for piezometers and simple

manometers.

manometers and pressure gauges

23

24

5.3.2.3.3.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

manometers, pressure gauges.

• To identify the merits & demerits of different pressure measuring

devices.

25

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