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5.3.

3 Module: Fluid kinematics

5.3.3.1 Module Overview

This module will elaborate on the different kinematic aspects of fluids


wherein only the fluid flow parameters are elaborated and not the forces
which cause the flow.

5.3.3.2 Module Objectives

Objective 1

To describe the fluid motion using Lagrangian/Eulerian concepts

Objective 2

To explain local/convective acceleration components.

Objective 3

To define stream line, path line, streak line.

Objective 4

To elaborate on the types of fluid motions like linear/angular deformation,


translation, rotation.

Objective 5

To provide the meaning of fluid flows classified based on space/time


variance, dimensions, free surface, compressibility, turbulence &
rotationality.

Objective 6

To define stream function (Ψ), velocity potential function (Φ).

Objective 7

To apply the Φ-Ψ concepts for flow net construction in irrotational flows.

Objective 8

To elaborate on irrotational flow (i.e., potential flow), rotational flow, angular


velocity.

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5.3.3.3 Module Units

5.3.3.3.1 Unit: Lagrangian and Eulerian description of motion;


Local and convective acceleration

5.3.3.3.1.1 Unit Overview

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5.3.3.3.1.2 Unit Summary

M3U10: Lagrangian and Eulerian methods of description of fluid motion; Local and
convective acceleration

Unit objectives:
1. To distinguish between: (i) the Lagrangian / Eulerian types of description, (ii) the
local / convective acceleration, as related to fluid motion.

In this unit on fluid kinematics (i.e., study of fluid motion with reference to only the
kinematic or the motion parameters and not the forces causing the motion), we will be
dealing with two types of description of fluid motion and also two types of accelerations
associated with it.

Lagrangian / Eulerian methods of description of fluid motion: In the ‘Lagrangian method


of description of fluid motion’ (i.e., ‘Lagrangian approach’) we study the motion of
selected fluid particles through time and space. Since the very minute size of a fluid
particle (of the order of nanometer) is a function of its state –whether it is in a liquid state
or in a gaseous state, and also its molecular structure, the Lagrangian approach is a very
accurate approach of describing the motion one or a few selected fluid particles. It
involves intensive computations of the components of displacement, velocity and
acceleration over space and time, requiring very sophisticated instruments like video
cameras, particle image velocimeters and so on. Therefore Lagrangian approach is
employed only in selective cases where a very high accuracy is needed for a very few
selected fluid particles in motion.

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‘Eulerian method of description of fluid motion’ (i.e., ‘Eulerian approach’) is the other
type of approach wherein different fluid particles in motion are studied over a period of
time, at a selected point or a section. This approach is more feasible and can be applied
for various cases involving fluid motion and it does not involve the use of very
sophisticated instruments. The components of displacement, velocity and acceleration
are either measured or computed using appropriate instruments which are readily usable
or by techniques which are reasonably simple. Many a times it is required to consider
more number of points or sections so as to get as complete a picture as required.

Local acceleration and convective acceleration: Let us consider a particle of a fluid


having a velocity V and acceleration a, undergoing motion in a 3-dimensional space. Let
δx, δy, δz be the infinitesimal components of displacement δs in time δt [from its original
position (a,b,c) at time t = 0] and u, v, w be the velocity components in the X-, Y- and Z-
directions respectively. Similarly let ax, ay, az be the acceleration components and i, j, k
be the unit vectors along the three mutually perpendicular axes in X-, Y- and Z-directions
respectively. Here the velocity components u, v, w and the acceleration components ax,
ay, az are functions of space (i.e, displacement components in X-, Y- and Z- directions)
and time t. Vectorially we can write,
δs = δx.i + δy. j + δz.k
V = u.i + v. j + w.k (3.10.1a, b, c).
a = a x .i + a y . j + a z .k
If Eq. 3.10.1a is partially differentiated w.r.t. time t, we get Eq. 3.101b. Similarly, if
Eq.3.101b is totally differentiated w.r.t. time t, we get Eq. 3.10.1c. Therefore we can
write,

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∂x
u= ;
∂t
∂y
v= ; (3.10.2a, b, c);
∂t
∂z
w=
∂t
and,
du ∂u ∂x ∂u ∂y ∂u ∂z ∂u ∂u ∂u ∂u ∂u
ax = = + + + =u +v +w + ;
dt ∂x ∂t ∂y ∂t ∂z ∂t ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂t
dv ∂v ∂x ∂v ∂y ∂v ∂z ∂v ∂v ∂v ∂v ∂v
ay = = + + + =u +v +w + ; (3.10.3a, b, c).
dt ∂x ∂t ∂y ∂t ∂z ∂t ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂t
dw ∂w ∂x ∂w ∂y ∂w ∂z ∂w ∂w ∂w ∂w ∂w
az = = + + + =u +v +w +
dt ∂x ∂t ∂y ∂t ∂z ∂t ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂t

Alternatively we can express the acceleration by a single equation as,


dV ∂V ∂s ∂V ∂V ∂V
a= = + =V + (3.10.4).
dt ∂s ∂t ∂t ∂s ∂t

Here we can observe that the acceleration is the sum of two terms, viz. the first term
V .[∂V/∂s] known as the ‘convective acceleration’ and the second term ∂V/∂t known as
the ‘local acceleration’ or the ‘temporal acceleration’. While the convective acceleration
is the acceleration is due to the change in the position of the fluid, the local acceleration is
the acceleration due to the rate of velocity change with time at a given location.

The first 3 terms in each of the Eq. 3.10.3a, b, c are the X-, Y- and Z-components of the
convective acceleration. Likewise, the last term in these equations are the X-, Y- and Z-
components of the local acceleration. Convective acceleration and local acceleration can
be further expressed as follows:
∂V 1 ∂ (V 2 )
V = ;
∂s 2 ∂s (3.10.5a, b).
∂V ∂u ∂v ∂w
= i+ j+ k
∂t ∂t ∂t ∂t

5.3.3.3.1.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To distinguish between:

(i) the Lagrangian / Eulerian types of description,

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(ii) the local / convective acceleration, as related to fluid motion

5.3.3.3.2 Unit: Fluid kinematics (stream line, path line, streak


line), basic types of fluid motion

5.3.3.3.2.1 Unit Overview

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5.3.3.3.2.2 Unit Summary

M3U11: Fluid kinematics (streamline etc.), basic types of fluid motion.

Unit objectives:
1. To provide with the meaning / definition of stream line (i.e., flow line), , streak
line, stream tube, and
2. to describe the basic types of fluid motion with either displacement / deformation.

In this unit, we shall discuss the three types of lines used to describe the fluid motion, the
streamtube and also the four elementary types of fluid motion based on either
displacement or deformation.

Streamline, and streak line: ‘Streamline’ also known as ‘flow line’ is a line tangent to
which at any point indicates the flow direction at that point. Depending upon the types of
flow, the streamlines may be 1-Dimensional or 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional (i.e., 1-
D or 2-D or 3-D). The general equation of a 3-Dimensional streamline is:

dx dy dz
= = (3.11.1)
u v w
Here, dx, dy, dz are the distances along X-, y-, Z- directions between two points on a
small stretch of a streamline wherein the corresponding velocity components are u, v, w.

Streamlines represent the flow pattern at a particular time instant as shown in Figure
3.11.1. Thus the lines in a snapshot of a flow pattern taken from a camera represent the
streamlines at that instant in the flow field. All the flow is essentially along the
streamlines and there can’t be any flow across the streamlines. Thus streamlines
represent an instant based approach for flow field description.

Two streamlines can never cross or intersect each other nor can a streamline intersect
itself. However they can meet each other or emerge out from a common point. The
spacing between two streamlines in inversely proportional to the velocity. Thus a set of
converging streamlines indicate an accelerating flow and a set of diverging streamline
indicate a decelerating flow. In an unsteady flow, the streamline pattern keeps on
changing continuously with time.

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A ‘path line’ is the locus or trace of a fluid particle at over a period of time. Path lines
represent a Lagrangian approach of describing a fluid motion. Like streamlines, they can
be 1-D or 2-D or 3-D. But unlike streamlines, they can intersect themselves as well as
neighboring path lines in special cases of unsteady flow. Figure 3.11.2 represents path
lines. Tracing of path lines generally requires a very highly sophisticated instrument such
as a particle tracer.

Figure 3.11.1. A 2-Dimensional view of a flow pattern consisting of streamlines

A ‘streakline’ is a line connecting the end points of path lines of particles released from a
point or a section at any time instant. A common example of a streakline is the line
representing the outermost edge of a smoke plume released from a cigarette or a chimney
or the outermost line of water or oil spilled from a reservoir. Figure 3.11.2 represents
streaklines along with path lines.

Figure 3.11.2. A pictorial representation of path lines and streak lines in the top view of a
water reservoir

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Stream tube: A ‘stream tube’ is a collection of adjacent streamlines passing through a
closed curve and forming an imaginary tube as shown in Figure 3.11.3. Unlike the
streamlines, the stream tubes have an inlet cross section, an outlet cross section and a
lateral control surface. Like streamlines, there is no flow across the stream tubes.

Figure 3.11.3 A typical stream tube


Basic types of fluid motion with either displacement or deformation: Fluid motion can be
classified into 4 basic types with two types of motion having displacement and the
remaining two having deformation. Figure 3.11.4 shows these four basic types of fluid
motions applied to a 2-D fluid element.

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Figure 3.11.4 Basic types of fluid motion in a 2-D fluid element (a) Linear displacement,
(b) Linear deformation, (c) Angular deformation and (d) Angular displacement.

In the ‘linear displacement’ which is also known as ‘pure translation’ the fluid element
moves linearly from one initial location to a new location in t seconds. maintaining its
linear dimensions and the orientation of the axes. Under the ‘linear deformation’ a fluid
element gets extended in one direction simultaneously getting contracted in the lateral
direction while maintaining the orientation of its axes. In the ‘angular deformation’ the
fluid element gets extended along one of its diagonals, correspondingly getting contracted
along the other diagonal(s) in such a way that the sum of rotation angles of both the axes
is zero. In ‘angular displacement’ -the last basic type of fluid motion also known as ‘pure
rotation’ the fluid element undergoes a uniform rotation of both of its axes while
maintaining its linear dimensions.

5.3.3.3.2.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To provide with the meaning / definition of stream line (i.e., flow line), path
line, streak line, stream tube and to describe the basic types of fluid motion
as either displacement / deformation.

5.3.3.3.3 Unit: Classification of fluid flows

5.3.3.3.3.2 Unit Summary

M3U12: Classification of fluid flows

Unit objectives:
1. To classify the fluid flows based on the criteria of space invariance/ time
invariance, dimensionality/ rotationality/ viscosity/ compressibility/ ability to
form a free surface.

In this unit, the fluid flows are classified based on 7 criteria listed above and the meaning
of each type flow along with their equivalent terminologies are provided after their
tabulation in Table No. 3.12.1 given below:

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Table 3.12.1 Classification of fluid flows
Sl. Fluid flow Type of fluid flow (along with
No. classification criterion their equivalent terminologies in paranthesis)
1. Space invariance 1a. Uniform flow,
1b. Non-uniform flow (i.e., Varied flow).
2. Time invariance 2a. Steady flow,
2b. Unsteady flow.
3. Dimensionality 3a. 1-Dimensional flow,
3b. 2-Dimensional Flow and
3c. 3-Dimensional Flow
4. Irrotationality/ 4a. Irrotational flow (i.e., Potential flow),
Rotationality 4b. Rotational flow.
5. Layeredness/ Viscosity/ 5a. Laminar flow (i.e., Viscous flow),
Turbulence 5b. Transitional flow,
5c. Turbulent flow.
6. Compressibility/ 6a. Compressible flow (i.e., Compressible fluid flow),
Incompressibility 6b. Incompressible flow (i.e., Incompressible fluid flow).
7. Formation of free 7a. Open channel flow (i.e., Free surface flow),
surface/ flow under 7b. Pipe flow (i.e., Pressurized flow or Conduit flow).
pressure

The important fluid flow parameters are flow depth, cross sectional area, velocity,
‘discharge’ (i.e., ‘volumetric flow rate’ or ‘flow rate’), pressure. Based on the space
invariance criterion, fluid flows are classified into ‘uniform flow’ and ‘non-uniform flow’
(i.e., ‘varied flow’).
In ‘uniform flow’, the flow parameters are spatially constant. Mathematically we can
write,
 ∂V 
  =0 (3.12.1).
 ∂s  t =cons tan t
Here ∂V is the change in velocity, ∂s is the displacement in any direction. Example for
uniform flow: flow through the straight reach of a ‘prismatic channel’, which having a
uniform cross section through out its reach.

On the other hand, in ‘non-uniform flows’ [also known as ‘varied flows’] the fluid
parameters are spatially varying. Mathematically we can write,
 ∂V 
  ≠0 (3.12.2).
 ∂s  t =cons tan t
Example for non-uniform flow: flow through a rectangular channel having a variable
width. Here the flow depth and velocity will be varying at different locations

Based on the criterion of time invariance, flows can be classified into ‘steady flow’ and
‘unsteady flow’. In steady flow, the flow parameters are constant w.r.t. time. Therefore
in steady flows, the magnitude and direction of velocities is maintained over a time
period. Thus, the streamlines and path lines will be the same straight lines emerging in
the flow direction. Mathematically,

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 ∂V 
  =0 (3.12.3).
 ∂t  x1 , y1, z1
Here x1,y1,z1 are the coordinates of the location where the flow parameters like velocity V
are measured. Example for steady flow: flow through a pipe or channel with a flow rate
constant over time.

In an ‘unsteady flow’ the flow parameters are varying with time. Mathematically we can
write,
 ∂V 
  ≠0 (3.12.4).
 ∂t  x1 , y1, z1
Here x1,y1,z1 are the coordinates of the location where the flow parameters like velocity V
are measured. Example for unsteady flow: Flow in a channel during floods wherein the
discharge varies with time as per the flood hydrograph ordinates.

Based on the criterion of dimensionality, fluid flows can be classified into ‘1-
Dimensional flow’(i.e., 1-D flow), ‘2-Dimensional flow’ (i.e., 2-D flow) and ‘3-
Dimensional flow’ (i.e., 3-D flow). In a 1-D flow, the flow parameters are dependent
only on one of the dimensions –which is generally along the flow direction of the fluid,
and time [only when it is an unsteady 1-D flow]. Mathematically we can write,
V = f ( z, t ) (3.12.5).
Here velocity V –the flow parameter considered, of the 1-D unsteady flow depends only
on one of the dimensions [which is z in this case] and time t. Example for 1-D flow:
Downward flow of a liquid from a small outlet hole in the bottom of an elevated tank.
Refer to Figure 3.12.1 for a pictorial representation of 1-D flow.

In a 2-D flow, the flow parameters are dependent on two of the dimensions and also on
time when the flow is unsteady. Mathematically,
V = f 1 ( x, y , t ) (3.12.6).
Here the 2-D unsteady flow parameters depend upon x, y -two of the dimensions, and
also on time t. Example for 2-D flow: Sheet flow through a rectangular mild sloped
channel. Refer to Figure 3.12.1 for a pictorial representation of 2-D flow.

In a 3-D flow, the flow parameters are dependent on all the three dimensions and also on
time when the flow is unsteady. Mathematically,
V = f 1 ( x, y , z , t ) (3.12.7).
Here the 3-D unsteady flow parameters depend upon x, y, z -all the three dimensions, and
also on time t. Example for 3-D flow: Flow through a conical outlet pipe at the bottom
end of a rectangular mild sloped channel. Refer to Figure 3.12.1 for a pictorial
representation of 3-D flow.

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Figure 3.12.1 Pictorial representation of 1-D flow, 2-D flow and 3-D flow.

Based on the criterion of irrotationality or rotationality, fluid flows can be classified as


‘irrotational flow’ and ‘rotational flow’. In ‘irrotational flow’, the fluid does not undergo
any rotation about any of the axes. In other words, the rotational components of the fluid
elements under motion about the X-axis, Y-axis and Z-axis are zero. Mathematically,
Ωx = Ωy = Ωz = 0 (3.12.8).
Here Ωx, Ωy, Ωz are the rotational components for the fluid flow system about X- axix, Y-
axis and Z-axis respectively. This is also the condition for the existence of velocity
potential function (Φ), which will be discussed in detail in the next Unit. Therefore,
irrotational flow is also known as ‘potential flow’. Example for irrotational flow: flow in
a rectangular channel away from the bed and banks with a velocity almost equal to the
free stream velocity. Figure 3.12.2 shows the irrotational flow zone in an open channel
flow.

In the case of ‘rotational flow’, at least one of the rotational components among Ωx, Ωy,
Ωz will not be zero and the fluid will undergo rotation whose magnitude is given by,
( )
0.5
Ω = Ω 2x + Ω 2y + Ω 2z (3.12.9).
The axis of rotation will depend upon the rotational component values. Figure 3.12.2
shows the rotational flow zone in an open channel flow.

Figure 3.12.2 Flow in an open channel with zones of rotational flow and irrotational flow.

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Based on the criterion of layeredness /viscosity/ turbulence, fluid flows can be classified
into ‘laminar flow’, ‘transitional flow’ and ‘turbulent flow’. In the case of ‘laminar flow’
the fluid flows as layers of gradually changing velocity from a minimum velocity at the
boundary to a maximum velocity away from the boundary. Since viscosity is the reason
for a flowing fluid to show such a laminar or layered nature, the flow is also known as
‘viscous flow’. Laminar flow takes place at low velocities. Example for laminar flow:
The flow of water just below a continuously leaking tap. Figure 3.12.3 shows laminar
flow and its changeover.

In ‘turbulent flow’ the layered nature of the fluids vanishes and there is erratic formation
of eddies (i.e., cross currents) leading to intermixing of fluid particles. This phenomenon
known as ‘turbulence’ occurs at velocities much higher than the laminar flow velocities.
Example for turbulent flow: The flow of water far below a continuously leaking tap.
Figure 3.12.3 shows turbulent flow pictorially.

There is also a type of flow wherein the laminar nature has vanished and the intermixing
of fluid particles is yet to begin. Such a type of flow wherein there is neither the laminar
nature nor the turbulence is known as ‘transitional flow’. Example for transitionall flow:
The flow of water in between the upper laminar flow region and the lower turbulent flow
flow region under a continuously leaking tap. Figure 3.12.3 shows the transitional flow.

Figure 3.12.3 Pictorial representation of zones of laminar flow, transitional flow and
turbulent flow.
Based on the criterion of compressibility or incompressibility, the fluid flows can be
classified into ‘compressible flow’ and ‘incompressible flow’. In case of ‘compressible
flow’ [also known as ‘compressible fluid flow’] the density of the fluid (ρ) is not a
constant. Mathematically,
ρ≠c (3.12.10).
Here c is a constant. Example for compressible flow: flows of all gases.

On the other hand the ‘incompressible flow’ [also known as ‘incompressible fluid flow’]
consists of the flow of a fluid whose density (ρ) is a constant. Mathematically,

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ρ =c (3.12.10).
Here c is a constant. Example for incompressible flow: flows of all liquids.

Based on the criterion of formation of free surface or flow under pressure, the fluid flows
can be classified as ‘open channel flow’ [also known as ‘free surface flow’] and ‘pipe
flow’ [also known as ‘pressurized flow’ or ‘conduit flow’]. In the case of ‘open channel
flow’ there is a formation of free surface where the pressure is atmospheric. These types
of flows are driven by gravity. Example for open channel flow: all the flows in rivers,
streams, canals etc.

In ‘pipe flow’ the fluid flows fully through a pipe or a conduit under pressure much
higher than the atmospheric pressure. So, there is no free surface formation and the flow
is driven by pressure. Example for pipe flow: all the flows through municipal water
supply pipelines.

5.3.3.3.3.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To classify the fluids based on the criteria of space/time invariance,


dimensionality/ rotationality/ viscosity/ compressibility/ ability to form free
surface.

5.3.3.3.3.4 Unit Level Problems

No Problems

5.3.3.3.4 Unit: Stream function, velocity potential function and


flow nets.

5.3.3.3.4.1 Unit Overview

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5.3.3.3.4.2 Unit Summary

M3U13: Stream function, velocity potential function and flow nets

Unit objectives:
1. To elaborate on stream function (ψ) velocity potential (Ф), their inter-relationship
in the flow net construction in irrotational flows.

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Stream function (ψ): It is defined as the scalar function of space and time whose partial
derivative gives the velocity component in the clockwise1 orthogonal direction. It is
denoted by the Greek letter ‘psi’ (ψ). For simplicity, only a 2-Dimensional flow in the
XY-plane is considered here. Mathematically we can write,
∂ψ
= u;
∂y
(3.13.1a, b)
∂ψ
= −v
∂x
Here u, v are the velocity components in the X- and Y-direction respectively.

Let us consider the simplest case of a steady, 2-Dimensional flow of an incompressible


fluid in the XY-plane. The ‘mass conservation equation’ [also known as ‘continuity
equation’, which is being discussed in one of the Units of Module 4] for this case is,
∂u ∂v
+ =0 (3.13.2).
∂x ∂y
Using the relationships in Eq. 3.13.1a, b, we can write,
∂  ∂ψ  ∂  ∂ψ 
  + −  = 0;
∂x  ∂y  ∂y  ∂x 
(3.13.3).
∂ 2ψ ∂ 2ψ
i.e., − =0
∂x.∂y ∂y.∂x
This relationship is true when ψ is a continuous function in two variables x, y whose 2nd
derivative exists. Therefore we can say that for all possible cases of fluid flow, the
stream function (ψ) exists.

Consider a line having a constant ψ value through out its length in a 2-D fluid flow field
in XY-plane. For this line, mathematically we can write,
ψ = c;
i.e., dψ = 0; (3.13.4).
∂ψ ∂ψ
i.e., δx + δy = 0
∂x ∂y
Here c= constant.

This can be simplified to,


− v.δx + u.δy = 0;
δx δy
i.e., = ; (3.13.5)
u v
dy v
i.e., =
dx u
This is an equation for a streamline in the XY-plane as given already in Eq. 3.11.1. Thus,
the stream function value(ψ) is constant for a stream line.

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some authors take it as the counterclockwise orthogonal direction.

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The exact numerical value associated with a given streamline doesn’t have any particular
significance. But the change in the stream function value between two adjacent
streamlines is related to the discharge (i.e., the volume rate of flow) between them.
Refer to Figure 3.13.1.

C
ψ+dψ

u.dy
B
ψ
dq
A

-v.dx

Figure 3.13.1 Flow between two adjacent streamlines

Consider two adjacent streamlines ψ and ψ+dψ as shown in the Figure 3.13.1. Let dq
represent the discharge between these two streamlines. This is also equal to flow rate
across the face AC which in turn is equal to the flow rates across the faces AB and BC.
So, we have,
∂ψ ∂ψ
dq = −v.dx + udy = dx + dy = dψ (3.13.6).
∂x ∂y

In the cylindrical polar coordinates, the expressions for radial velocity (vr) and angular
velocity
(vθ)in terms of the stream function ψ(r,θ) are,
1 ∂ψ
vr = ;
r ∂θ
(3.13.7).
∂ψ
vθ = −
∂r
Velocity Potential (φ): It is defined as a scalar function of space and time whose –ve2
partial derivative in any direction gives the fluid flow velocity component in that
direction. It is denoted by the Greek letter ‘phi’ (φ). Physically, it represents some form
of energy. Mathematically,

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Some authors consider it as the +ve partial derivative.

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∂φ
u=− ;
∂x
∂φ
v=− ; (3.13.8a, b, c).
∂y
∂φ
w=−
∂z
Here u, v, w are the fluid flow velocity components in the X-, Y- and Z-directions.
Let us now consider a steady flow of an incompressible fluid. The ‘continuity equation’
(i.e., the ‘mass conservation equation’) for this case is,
∂u ∂v ∂w
+ + =0 (3.13.9).
∂x ∂y ∂z
Substituting the expressions for velocity components from the Eq. 3.13,8 a, b, c, we get,
∂  ∂φ  ∂  ∂φ  ∂  ∂φ 
−  + −  +  −  = 0;
∂x  ∂x  ∂y  ∂y  ∂z  ∂z 
(3.13.10).
∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ
i.e., 2 + 2 + 2 = 0
∂x ∂y ∂z
This is the ‘Laplace Equation in φ. Therefore, a steady incompressible fluid flow satisfies
the Laplace Equation in velocity potential (φ).

Now let us consider the following expressions for rotational components about the X-, Y-
Z- axis, which are derived in the next Unit of this Module:
1  ∂w ∂v 
ϖ x =  − ;
2  ∂y ∂z 
1  ∂u ∂w 
ϖy =  − ; (3.13.11a, b, c).
2  ∂z ∂x 
1  ∂v ∂u 
ϖ z =  − 
2  ∂x ∂y 
Substituting the expressions for velocity components from the Eq. 3.13,8 a, b, c, we get,
1  ∂  ∂φ  ∂  ∂φ  
ϖ x =  −  − −  ;
2  ∂y  ∂z  ∂z  ∂y  
1  ∂  ∂φ  ∂  ∂φ  
ϖ y =  −  − −  ; (3.13.12a, b, c).
2  ∂z  ∂x  ∂x  ∂z  
1  ∂  ∂φ  ∂  ∂φ  
ϖ z =  −  − −  
2  ∂x  ∂y  ∂y  ∂x  
If φ is a continuous function in x, y, z whose 2nd partial derivative exists, we have,

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∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ
= ;
∂y.∂z ∂z.∂y
∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ
= ; (3.13.13a, b, c).
∂z.∂x ∂x.∂z
∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ
=
∂x.∂y ∂y.∂x

This implies ϖ x = ϖ y = ϖ z = 0 (3.13.14).


Which is the case of an irrotational flow. Therefore, it is evident that the velocity
potential (φ) exists only for irrotational flows and not for rotational flows. So,
‘irrotational flows’ are also known as ‘potential flows’.

In case of rotational flows, rotational energy –a component of the total energy is added
continuously through an external source. Simultaneously, the flow system goes on
continuously losing energy due to friction. Thus, the velocity potential will be a
discontinuous function and the total energy vs. time graph will have the shape of a saw
tooth wave.

Now let us consider a steady, 2-Dimensional, irrotational flow in the XY- plane. From
Eq. 3.13.11c we have,
1  ∂v ∂u  1  ∂  ∂ψ  ∂  ∂ψ  
ϖ z =  −  =  − −    = 0;
2  ∂x ∂y  2  ∂x  ∂x  ∂y  ∂y  
(3.13.15).
∂ 2ψ ∂ 2ψ
i.e., 2 + 2 = 0
∂x ∂y
This indicates that a steady, 2-Dimensional, irrotational flow in XY-plane satisfies
Laplace Equations both in velocity potential (φ) and in stream function (ψ).

The lines along which the velocity potential (φ) is constant are called ‘equipotential
lines’. For these lines in the XY-plane, mathematically we can write,
φ = k;
i.e., dφ = 0;
∂φ ∂φ
i.e., δx + δy = 0; (3.13.16).
∂x ∂y
i.e.,−u.δx − v.δy = 0;
dy u
i.e., =−
dx v
Here k is another constant. The Eq.s 3.13.5 and 3.13.16 provide us with the expressions
for the slopes of streamlines and equipotential lines. Therefore the product of slopes of
streamlines and equipotential lines is given by,
 dy   dy  v  u
 dx  . dx  = . −  = −1 (3.13.17).
 ψ =c   φ = k u  v 

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Since the product of slopes is -1, it indicates that streamlines and equipotential lines meet
each other orthogonally forming what is known as the ‘flow net’. Like velocity potential
and equipotential lines, flow net also exists only for irrotational flows. Figure 3.13.2
provides a diagram of a flow net in the XY-
plane.

Figure 3.13.2 Flow net.

Flow Net Construction


Methods:
a. Analytical Method
b. Graphical Method
c. Electrical Analogy Method

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BATTERY

NON-CONDUCTOR
VOLT METER

Teledeltos paper

CONDUCTOR

CONDUCTOR NON-CONDUCTOR

19
Basic Conditions

Flow Net (Equipotential lines are red and dashed, while flow lines are green and solid.)

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5.3.3.3.4.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To elaborate on stream function (ψ) velocity potential (Ф), their inter-


relationship in the flow net construction in irrotaional flows.

5.3.3.3.5 Unit: Irrotational and rotational flows, angular


velocity

5.3.3.3.5.2 Unit Summary

M3U14: Angular velocity, irrotational and rotational flows.

Unit objectives:
1. To explain the concepts of angular velocity, condition for irrotationality/
rotationality, circulation and vorticity.

Angular velocity: Consider a rectangular fluid element PACB in the XY-Plane, with the
velocity components along its edges as shown in Figure 3.14.1. Let δθ1 and δθ2 be the
angular displacements of the edges PA, PB of this element, due to the differential
velocity components along the pairs of edges normal to them. Now the expressions for
angular velocities about Z-axis along the edges PA (ωPA) and PB (ωPB) can be written as
follows:

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Figure 3.14.1 Rotation of a rectangular fluid element about Z-axis

 ∂v  
 v + δx  − v δt
δθ  ∂x   ∂v
ω PA = lim 1 = lim  = (3.14.1)
δt → 0 δt δt → 0 δx.δt ∂x

 ∂u  
−  u + δy  − u δt
δθ  ∂y   ∂u
and, ω PB = lim 2 = lim  =− (3.14.2).
δt →0 δt δt →0 δy.δt ∂y

Here –ve sign is introduced to account for δθ2 being in the opposite direction as
compared to the positively assumed ∂u/∂y. The ‘rotation component’ about any axis may
be taken as the average of the angular velocities along two directions which are
orthogonal to each other and also to the rotational axis. Therefore the rotational
component about Z-axis will be,
1  ∂v ∂u 
ω z = (ω PA + ω PB ) =  − 
1
(3.14.3).
2 2  ∂x ∂y 
Similarly, we can derive the expressions for the ‘rotational components’ about X- and Y-
axis as follows:
1  ∂w ∂v 
ω x =  −  (3.14.4)
2  ∂y ∂z 
and,
1  ∂u ∂w 
ωy =  −  (3.14.5).
2  ∂z ∂x 
The condition for irrotational flow as given in the Eq. 3.13.14 is,
ϖ x =ϖ y =ϖ z = 0.

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Therefore the conditions for the irrotational flow can be simplified as under:
∂v ∂u
= ;
∂x ∂y
∂w ∂v
= and (3.14.6a, b, c).
∂y ∂z
∂u ∂w
=
∂z ∂x

If any one of these conditions is not met, the flow will be rotational about the axis for
which there is a non-zero value of the rotational component. In rotational flows,
rotational components about 2 or 3 axes may be non-zero, many a times. In such cases,
the rotational axis will be the resultant of all the non-zero rotational components.

Circulation and vorticity: ‘Circulation’ is the flow along a closed curve. Physically it
means fluid flow in cross currents such as eddies and vortices. Mathematically it is equal
to the line integral of the tangential component of the velocity vector evaluated around
the closed curve. It is denoted by the Greek letter Γ (‘GAMMA’). Consider a closed
curve C as shown in Figure 3.14.2. Let the fluid flow velocity at any general point be V.
If α is the angle between the small element ds of the curve C at this point, we can write
the mathematical expression for circulation as,
r r
Γ = ∫ V .ds (3.14.7).
C
If the velocity V has the components u, v, w along X-,Y-, Z- directions and if ds the small
element of the curve C can be resolved into displacements dx, dy, dz along the coordinate
directions, we can write,
Γ = ∫ (udx + vdy + wdz ) (3.14.8).
C

Figure 6.14.2. Circulation around a closed curve C.

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Now let us consider circulation around a rectangular fluid element of dimensions δx, δy
in the XY-plane as shown in Figure 6.14.3. Let the steady fluid flow velocity
components at the centre of this element be u, v along X- and Y-directions. The
expressions for the velocity components along each of the four edges are also shown in
this figure.

Figure 6.14.3. Circulation around a rectangular fluid element in XY- plane under steady
flow
Now the mathematical expression for circulation becomes,
 ∂u δy   ∂v δx   ∂u δy   ∂v δx 
ΓABCD =  u − δx +  v + δy −  u + δx −  v − δy
 ∂y 2   ∂x 2   ∂y 2   ∂x 2 
(3.14.9).
 ∂v ∂u 
∴ ΓABCD =  − δxδy
 ∂x ∂y 
Here the 3rd and the 4th terms are taken with a –ve sign to account for the fact that the
directions CD and DA (which constitute the segments of the counterclockwise traverse
ABCDA) are in a direction opposite to the indicated directions of velocity components.

‘Vorticity’ is defined as the circulation per unit area of a closed curve. It is denoted by
the Greek letter Ω 3 (‘OMEGA’). Therefore in the case of the rectangular fluid element
in XY-plane, vorticity expression about Z-axis becomes,
 ∂v ∂u 
Ω z =  −  = 2ω z (3.14.10).
 ∂x ∂y 
Thus we obtain a very important relationship according to which the circulation per unit
area or vorticity about any axis is equal to twice the rotational component about that
axis, for a rotating fluid element. For irrrotational flow, both vorticity and rotational
components are zero.

3
Some authors denote it by the Greek letter ζ (‘zeta’).

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On the similar lines, we can write down the expressions for vorticity about X- and Y-
axis as,

 ∂w ∂v 
Ω x =  −  = 2ω x ;
 ∂y ∂z  (3.14.11a, b).
 ∂u ∂w 
Ωy =  −  = 2ω x
 ∂z ∂x 

5.3.3.3.5.3 Unit Objectives

Objective 1

To explain the concepts of vorticity, circulation, condition for irrotationality/


rotationality and angular velocity.

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