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VISCOSITY

Viscosity is a fundamental characteristic property of all liquids. When a liquid

flows, it has an internal resistance to flow. Viscosity is a measure of the

internal resistance to flow or shear.

Viscosity can also be termed as a drag force and is a measure of the frictional

properties of the fluid.

• Viscosity is a function of temperature and pressure.

• Viscosity is expressed in two distinct forms:

a. Absolute or dynamic viscosity

b. Kinematic viscosity

Dynamic viscosity is the tangential force per unit area required to slide one

layer (A) against another layer (B) as shown in Figure 1.1 when the two layers

are maintained at a unit distance. In Figure 1.1, force F causes layers A and B

to slide at velocities v1 and v2, respectively. Since the viscosity of a fluid is

defined as the measure of how resistive the fluid is to flow, in mathematical

form, it can be described as:

Shear stress = (Strain or shear rate)

where is the dynamic viscosity.

Transport Phenomena/ 2

= μ 𝑒̇

where x is the length, t is the time, and dt/dx is the velocity v. Therefore, the

dynamic viscosity can be written as

x

μ=

𝑣

temperature and pressure and is defined as

μ

𝑣=

𝜌

Common units for viscosity are poise (P), Stokes (St), Saybolt Universal

Seconds (SSU) and degree Engler.

Centipoise (cP) is the most convenient unit to report absolute viscosity of

liquids. It is 1/100 of a Poise.

In the SI System (Système International d'Unités) the dynamic viscosity units

are N·s/m2, Pa·s or kg/m·s where N is Newton and Pa is Pascal, and,

1 Pa·s = 1 N·s/m2 = 1 kg/m·s

Transport Phenomena/ 2

The dynamic viscosity is often expressed in the metric system of units called

CGS (centimeter-gram-second) system as g/cm·s, dyne·s/cm2 or poise (P)

where,

1 poise = dyne·s/cm2 = g/cm·s = 1/10 Pa·s

For the SI system, kinematic viscosity is reported using Stokes (St) or Saybolt

Second Universal (SSU) units. The kinematic viscosity is expressed as m2/s

or Stokes (St), where 1 St = 10-4 m2/s. Stokes is a large unit, and it is usually

divided by 100 to give the unit called Centistokes (cSt).

1 St = 100 cSt.

1 cSt = 10-6 m2/s

The specific gravity of water at 20.2°C (68.4°F) is one, and therefore the

kinematic viscosity of water at 20.2°C is 1.0 cSt.

Transport Phenomena/ 2

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Liquid viscosities are needed by

- process engineers for quality control,

- design engineers need the property for fixing the optimum conditions

for the chemical processes and operations as well as for the

determination of the important dimensionless groups like the Reynolds

number and Prandtl number.

- Liquid viscosity is also important in the calculation of the power

requirements for the unit operations such as mixing, pipeline design,

pump characteristics, atomization (liquid droplets), storage, injection,

and transportation.

The flow characteristics of liquids are mainly dependent on the viscosity and

are broadly divided into three categories:

a) Newtonian

b) Time independent Non-Newtonian, and

c) Time dependent Non-Newtonian.

When the viscosity of a liquid remains constant and is independent of the

applied shear stress, such a liquid is termed a Newtonian liquid.

In the case of the non-Newtonian liquids, viscosity depends on the applied

shear force and time. For time independent non-Newtonian fluid, when the

shear rate is varied, the shear stress does not vary proportionally and is shown

in Figure 1.2. The most common types of time independent non-Newtonian

liquids include psuedoplastic (This type of fluid displays a decreasing

viscosity with an increasing shear rate and sometimes called shear-thinning),

dilatant (This type of fluid display increasing viscosity with an increase in

shear rate and is also called shear-thickening), and Bingham plastic (A certain

amount of force must be applied to the fluid before any flow is induced).

Transport Phenomena/ 2

for which the rate of shear is zero if the shearing stress is less than or equal to

a yield stress eo. Otherwise, it is directly proportional to the shearing stress in

excess of the yield stress.

Suppose that the fluid being sheared in Fig. 1.8 is SAE 30 oil at 20_C.

Compute the shear

stress in the oil if V = 3 m/s and h = 2 cm.

in the study of viscous flow through pipes is called the Reynolds number,

Re, defined as VD/ where, as indicated in Fig. E1.4, is the fluid density,

V the mean fluid velocity, D the pipe diameter, and the fluid viscosity. A

Transport Phenomena/ 2

0.91 flows through a 25-mm diameter pipe with a velocity of 2.6 m/s.

FIND Determine the value of the Reynolds number using (a) SI units, and (b)

BG units.

Example: GIVEN The velocity distribution for the flow of a Newtonian fluid

between two wide, parallel plates (see Fig. E1.5a) is given by the equation

where V is the mean velocity. The fluid has a viscosity of 0.04 lb.s/ft2 . Also

V= ft/s , and h = 0.2 in. FIND Determine: (a) the shearing stress acting on the

bottom wall, and (b) the shearing stress acting on a plane parallel to the

walls and passing through the centerline (midplane).

Transport Phenomena/ 2

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