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MAE 300

Engineering Instrumentation and Measurement

Laboratory Experiments

Written By

Dr. Hamid R. Rahai

Experiment No. 1

Objective: To acquaint students with the terms and methods used in the statistical

analysis of physical measurements.

Theory

frequently approach a normal distribution if the number of measurements is very

large and if the errors are purely random. Thus, for this class of measurements we

may use all of the standard statistical tools so useful in describing normal

population distributions. Even if the distributions are not normal, the statistics are

still meaningful as a measure of central tendency and dispersion of data.

Engineers have used the mean, X , most probable error of the mean Em, and the

most probable error of a single measurement Es, to analyze errors in multiple

measurements of lines and angles. These quantities have strict statistical

meanings, which are very easily understood when compared with the mean,

variance, and standard deviation of classical statistics.

The principles of least squares, developed from probability theory, states that the

most probable value of an observed quantity available from a given set of

observations is the one for which the sum of the squares of the errors is a

minimum. If the number of measurements is very large, this value will be the

absolute mean as defined previously. For a limited number of measurements,

the value must be found by iteration (most easily done by computer techniques).

For simplicity in calculation, let us assume that the most probable value of a

series of measurements of the same quantity is the sample mean X , and that the

errors form a normal distribution. As you recall in studying the standard deviation

, 68.3% of all measurements are within plus and minus one standard deviation

from the mean . Civil Engineers felt that the figure 68.3 percent was not

convenient, and the use of 50% would be far more logical. Therefore, they

defined the most probable error of a single measurement as the deviation from the

mean that contains 50% of all measurements. That is:

Es 0.6745 x or

2

n

(X X )2

E s 0.6745 i

(n 1)

n 1

and the sample standard deviation x , are used instead of the absolute quantities

and , in the calculation of Es .

Any further measurements of the same quantity then have a 50% probability of

lying within the range of X E s . Es, however, is not the quantity of principal

importance in determining the precision of a series of measurements. What we

would really like to know is what the relative error of the mean is. It can be

statistically shown that as the number of measurements increases, the error of the

mean will decrease inversely as the square root of the number of measurements

1/ n . This means that as the number of measurements becomes very large, the

error of the mean approaches zero or X . is the mean for a continuous

distribution. It can be shown that if we divide Es by n , the resulting quantity Em

(the most probable error of the mean), has a very precise statistical meaning. The

true value of the mean (or the absolute mean) , has a 50% probability of lying

within the range X Em .

to report the result is:

Here Em is:

Es

Em or

n

n

( X X )2

E m 0.6745 i

n(n 1)

i 1

The student, therefore, should acquire a healthy suspicion the next time he sees a

measurement reported as:

123.141 0.003

3

This could mean several things, depending upon the preference of the reporter.

The 0.003 could be the absolute tolerance, as in machining practice (go - no go), it

could be the standard deviation, as in classical statistics, or it could be the most

probable error of the mean. All three are used commonly by various groups.

Length Xi X (X i X )2

Xi

952.48 + 0.01 1 x 10-4

952.38 - 0.09 81 x 10-4

952.56 + 0.09 81 x 10-4

952.41 - 0.06 36 x 10-4

X = 952.47 (mean X = 224 x 10-4

= Xi/n)

I = 1 to 5

Es 0.6745 224 x 10 4 / 4 0.05 (rounded off from

0.0506)

Es 0.0506

Em 0.02 (rounded off from 0.0225)

n 5

Procedure:

describe a series of measurements of the same quantity. They serve as a

measure of the precision of a series of measurements.

instructor.

Perform measurements of the a population assigned by the instructor.

4

CALCULATIONS:

Part I:

1. Calculate mean the mean, error of a single measurement and error of the

mean. Report the final answer as X E m to the proper number of significant

figures.

2. Construct a normalized histogram.

3. Calculate the standard normal distribution z and P(z) of the given data and

plot the graph.

Part II:

Range

Midrange

Mean

Mode

Median

Average Deviation from the Mean

RMS Deviation from the Mean

Standard Deviation from the Mean

3. Develop a table to compare the corresponding results for the sample of 5 and

the entire population.

DISCUSSION:

Part I:

1. Explain the shape of the shape and distribution of data in the normalized histogram.

2. Explain the shape of the shape and distribution of data in the standard normal

distribution curve.

3. Explain the possible source of errors.

Part II:

Explain the comparison of corresponding results in the table for the sample of 5 and the

entire population to see if a sample of five a good representative for the entire

population.

5

Experiment No. 2

CALIBRATION OF A LOAD CELL AND A BOURDON -TUBE-TYPE

PRESSURE GAGE

Objective: To familiarize students with the calibration procedure and the method of

least squares.

Theory: Calibration means assessment of testing equipment against known values, for

development of a relationship between measured and reading values and to reduce errors

in the measurement. Method of least squares is commonly used to obtain a polynomial

for relating the measured values to the output values.

In this experiment, a bourdon gage and a compression load cell are calibrated.

Figure 1 shows a bourdon gage. When pressure is applied at the input of the C-shaped

tube, the elliptical cross section is forced to become more circular, thereby causing

deflection at its other free end. The deflection is then magnified with the levels and gears

to rotate a pointer for reading pressure.

The load cell is a strain-gage pressure transducer. A bridge circuit (Figure 2) is employed

to record small resistance changes due to deformation. The circuit has four elements.

When pressure is applied, the resistance of two elements decreases from tension and the

resistance of the other two elements increase from compression. The output is the net

change in resistance. The most common type of strain gages used are small wire, metal

foil, and types of semi conductors.

6

Procedures:

The gage is checked at load intervals for the whole range. Apply pressure loads to

the platform and screw plunger in each time until platform floats about ½ inch above

its lowest position. Spin the platform and record the gage reading. Repeat this

procedure for all loadings in increasing order, “up” reading, and then in decreasing

order, “down” reading. For each loading, the average of the “up” and “down” is

your average measured pressure.

Tabulate the applied load versus the measured pressure. Record the

uncertainty of the equipment.

The maximum range for the load cell is 25 lbs. Make sure you do not overload the

load cell. Zero the smart sensor indicator. Then apply loads in increasing order and

record the outputs from the indicator. Repeat the measurement during unloading with

the same increment. The average output for each loading is the average of the “up’ and

“down” readings.

Tabulate the applied load VS measured output. Record the uncertainty for your

equipment.

Plot outputs vs. Inputs and find calibration equations and standard errors for the bourdon

gage and the compression load cell. You need to have calibration equations for loading,

unloading and average data. Discuss the sensitivity of the equipment to the direction of

the loading and how that affects the calibration coefficients. What are the effects of

equipment uncertainty on the calibration coefficients?

Write a technical report according to the instructions provided. Discuss the accuracy

and limitations of your results.

7

Experiment No. 3

TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT

Objective: To become familiar with different thermometers and their thermal response.

Theory:

Temperature of an object is a measure of thermal potential of that object. Various

instruments have been used for temperature measurements. This experiment involves a

mercury-in-glass thermometer, a thermocouple, a thermistor, a platinum resistance

thermometer, and a bimetal thermometer.

expansion of the mercury with increase in temperature. The expansion has been

calibrated to provide accurate temperature reading.

A thermocouple consists of two wires of dissimilar metals joint at one end. When the

metallic junction is heated, an e.m.f. is generated which is known as the Peltier E.M.F.

The thermocouple wires are chosen according to the maximum temperature measurement

and linearity of its output (e.m.f) versus temperature.

conducting material. It has a very fast non-linear response to the temperature change and

the majority of the thermistors have negative response coefficients (their resistances

decrease with increasing temperature). A thermistor is usually restricted to a temperature

range of -100 to 250 C.

The platinum resistance thermometer consists of a length of platinum which has been

trimmed in length to give an accurate resistance of 100 at 0 C. The wire is wounded

and protected with insulation. It is then further protected with a metallic shell.The

resistance changes with a change in temperature. It provides a nearly linear temperature

resistance relationship which is stable over a long time period. Its thermal response

suffers due to degree of mechanical protection.

The bi-metal thermometer consists of two thin metal strips with different coefficient of

linear expansions that are fastened together. The result is a strip that bends significantly

when heated. One end of the strip is fixed and the other end is connected to a pointer on a

calibrated dial that deflects with changes in temperature. When the strip is formed into a

coil, its sensitivity is increased.

The most important characteristic for selecting a thermometer for a particular application

is its thermal response. The thermal response is defined by the time it takes to change

63.2% of the step change. This is defined as the “time constant” and is irrespective of the

step change in temperature. Figure 1 shows a temperature-time plot for a thermometer

8

with two different step changes. The time constant remains the same, irrespective of the

difference in temperature step changes.

Figure 1

Procedure:

1. Insert the assign thermometers from the instructor along with a mercury-in-glass

thermometer through the platen into the water heater, which contains water at

room temperature. Using the water heater power regulator, heat the water and

record temperatures of all thermometers for at least five steps from room

temperature to the boiling point temperature.

2. Prepare a container with mixture of ice and water. Place the assigned

thermometers in this container; stir the mixture and record temperatures from the

thermometer. Remove the thermometers and place them immediately in the

container with boiling water and record temperature vs. time to calculate the

response times for different thermometers to the jump in temperature.

3. Prepare a container with water at room temperature and repeat step 2 to obtain the

time constants for the thermometers for the jump in temperature between the

water-ice mixture and the water at room temperature.

CALCULATIONS

compared to the mercury in glass thermometer.

2. Correct all temperatures using calibration equations from part 1. Develop

temperature-time plots for all thermometers and obtain their time constant.

3. Prepare a technical report according to the instructions provided.

References:

2. P.A. Hilton, Experimental Operating and Maintenance Manual, Temperature

Measurement Unit, H980.

3. Cengel , Y.A., Heat Transfer, A Practical Approach, McGraw Hill, 2nd Edition,

2002.

9

Experiment No. 4

MEASUREMENTS OF MEAN CIRCUMFERENTIAL PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION

OF A SMOOTH CYLINDER IN A CROSS FLOW IN SUB-CRITICAL REYNOLDS

NUMBER REGIME

circumferential pressure distribution in the sub-critical Reynolds number regime.

Theory:

Flow characteristic around a circular cylinder can be identified with its circumferential

pressure distribution which is a function of Reynolds number. Reynolds number is

defined as: Re U D . Here , U∞ , , and D are density, free stream mean velocity,

D

increases, flow separate from the cylinder and create a pressure differential across the

cylinder which causes a drag force. Figure 1 shows a flow visualization for a cylinder

in cross flow at 2,000 Reynolds number. Figure 2 shows variations of pressure

coefficient with circumferential angle and drag coefficient with Reynolds number. For

ideal flow, where we assume due to zero viscosity, there is no flow separation from the

cylinder; the pressure coefficient is symmetric, resulting in zero net force on the

cylinder. However, in real flow, the viscosity causes the flow to separate from the

surface with a maximum pressure in the front (stagnation pressure) and negative

pressures in the back, resulting in a net pressure drag on the cylinder. The total drag is

the summation of the pressure drag and viscous drag, where for a smooth circular

cylinder in a cross flow at sub-critical Reynolds number regime, the viscous drag

accounts for approximately 5% of the total drag.

10

Figure 2. Pressure and drag coefficients of a smooth cylinder

coefficients are defined as follow:

P P Fd

C p , C d

P0 P 1ρ

U² A

2

Here,

C p and C d are respectively the pressure and drag coefficients, P , P , and P0 are circumferential,

free stream, and stagnation pressures, and Fd and A are the drag force and the projected area. Since

the pressure drag is the result of the pressure force in the horizontal direction, the drag

coefficient can be obtained from pressure coefficient distribution as:

11

Procedure:

1. Turn the digital manometer on and wait for 5 minutes, then zero the manometer and

lock the knob.

2. Placed the smooth cylinder inside the wind tunnel and connect its pressure tap to the

positive pressure side of the manometer.

3. Turn the tunnel on and set the speed at the lowest possible speed.

4. Rotate the circular cylinder at 5 degrees interval and record the mean pressure

differential.

CALCULATIONS

1. From the data obtained, calculate the pressure coefficients and plot C p Vs

(Degrees) for both speeds.

2. Calculate the drag coefficient from the circumferential mean pressure distribution for

all speeds.

3. Prepare a technical report according to the instructions provided.

Note: In your discussions, you need to discuss variation of the pressure coefficient

versus the circumferential angle as it relates to the flow characteristics around the

cylinder. Identify regions of flow acceleration, deceleration and separation, including the

approximate location of flow separation. How does the change in Reynolds number

affecting the Cp distribution and the drag coefficient? Compare your drag coefficient

with the corresponding results from figure 2 and discuss the differences.

References:

1. Fox, R and McDonald, A.T., Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 4th ed., John Wiley & Sons,

Inc., 1992.

2. Schlichting, H., Boundary-Layer Theory, 7th ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1979.

12

EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF NATURAL CONVECTION FROM A

SPHERE, USING LUMPED SYSTEM ANALYSIS

Experiment No. 5

quiescent environment.

Theory:

Lumped system analysis is used to determine the convective heat transfer of lumped

objects. The lumped objects have negligible internal resistance as compared to the

external flow resistance, thus temperature is assumed to be uniform throughout the object

and being a function of time only. For convective heat transfer we have:

q hA(T T ) (1)

dT

q C p V (2)

dt

Here, q, C p , , are respectively total heat transfer, specific heat and density of the object,

V is the volume, A is the surface area and h is the convective heat transfer coefficient. T

is the object temperature and T is the free stream temperature. Equating these two

equations, and integrate from initial temperature of Ti to temperature T and initial time of

0 to time t results in the following equation:

T T hA

ln C V t (3)

Ti T p

Thus, if variation of temperature with time and properties of the object are known, h can

be determined.

For natural convective heat transfer over a sphere, an empirical relation for Nusselt

number is given as:

0.589Ra 1/ 4

Nu 2 for Pr 0.7 and Ra 1011 (4)

(1 (0.469 / Pr) 9 /16 4 / 9

)

Here Nu and Ra are respectively the Nusselt number and Rayleigh number and Pr is the

Prandtl number. The Nusselt and the Rayleigh number are defined as:

13

(5)

Procedure:

1. Set up the sphere specimen and the temperature display panel according to the

instructions provided by your instructor. Measure the diameter of the sphere and the

room temperature.

2. Heat up the sphere to reach to nearly 130 C.

3. Remove the heating device away from the sphere. Start recording the temperature

vs. time.

1. Calculation of the experimental heat transfer coefficient h_exp

- Plot the graph of vs. time t(s) and fit the straight line through the data,

ignoring initial data points. Obtain the slope of the line using the method of least

square.

y=a0+a1*x

- Calculate the experimental heat transfer coefficient h_exp from the equation:

h= -slope**V*Cp

A

Where A=4πr²=πD², V=(4/3)*π*r³=πD³/6 and D is the

diameter of the sphere . For steel property, density ρ=7854 kg/m³,

Cp=454 J/kg K. For copper brass property, density ρ=8933 kg/m³,

Cp=385 J/kg K

14

2. Calculation of the average theoretical heat transfer coefficient h_theoretical

Calculate Raleigh number Ra

The properties of K, ν and the Prandlt number Pr are evaluated at the film temperature

Tf . Tf is the average temperature of the surface temperature Tw and T (room

1

temperature). where Tf is being absolute temperature( in Kelvin). From your

Tf

raw data, Tw1 and Tw2 are the surface temperatures of the sphere on the slope of the

line at time t1 and t2 in Fig.1. You need to find the Rayleigh number at Tw1 and then

at Tw2.

Calculate the Nusselt number:

Finally, find the average heat transferred coefficient h at Tw1 and Tw2.

number Pr for air at different film temperatures using the below table.

st

1 Edition, 1998.

3. Compare between the experimental and theoretical heat transfer coefficients. Discuss

source of errors.

15

4. Obtain the uncertainty for the experimental h value using the following equation

References:

1. Cengel , Y.A., Heat Transfer, A Practical Approach, McGraw Hill, 1st Edition, 1998.

2. Incorpera, F.P, and De Witt, D.P., Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, John

Wiley&Sons, 4th ed., 1996.

3. Holman, J.P., Heat Transfer, 8th ed. McGraw Hill, 1997.

16

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