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• Fluid Mechanics -The branch of mechanics dealing with
the properties of fluids in various states and with their
reaction to forces acting upon them.
• Fluid Statics - the study of fluids at rest in equilibrium
• Fluid dynamics - the study of fluids in motion, is much
more complex; indeed, it is one of the most complex
branches of mechanics
• Defined as the mass per unit volume of a material. If a
mass 𝑚 of a homogenous material has volume 𝑉, the
density 𝜌 is
• The SI unit of density is kg/m³
• The cgs unit is g/cm³
1 g/cm³ = 1000 kg/m³
Two objects with different masses and
different volumes but the same density.
Density of Some Common Substances
Material Density (𝒌𝒈/𝒎𝟑 ) Material Density (𝒌𝒈/𝒎𝟑 )
Air (1 atm, 20°C) 1.20 Iron, steel 7.8 x 10³
Ethanol 0.81 x 10³ Brass 8.6 x 10³
Benzene 0.90 x 10³ Copper 8.9 x 10³
Ice 0.92 x 10³ Silver 10.5 x 10³
Water/Freshwater 1.00 x 10³ Lead 11.3 x 10³
Seawater 1.03 x 10³ Mercury 13.6 x 10³
Blood 1.06 x 10³ Gold 19.3 x 10³
Glycerine 1.26 x 10³ Platinum 21.4 x 10³
Concrete 2 x 10³ White dwarf star 1010
Aluminum 2.7 x 10³ Neutron star 1010
• Specific Gravity- The ratio of a material’s density to the
density of water at 4.0°C, 1000 kg/m³.
• Relative Density – synonymous to specific gravity
• Average Density – If there are 2 or more materials with
different densities, average density is used.
Importance of Measuring Density
• Density is a factor to be considered in determining
whether something will float or sink when placed on a
surface of a fluid.
Example 1. The weight of a roomful of air

• Find the mass and weight of the air at 20°C in a living

room with a 4.0m x 5.0 m floor and a ceiling 3.0 m high,
and the mass and weight of an equal volume of water.

Ans. 𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑟 = 72 kg
𝑤𝑎𝑖𝑟 = 700 N or 160 lb
𝑚𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 6.0𝑥104 kg
𝑤𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 5.9𝑥105 N or 1.3𝑥105 lb = 65 tons
Example 2
A hollow cylindrical copper pipe is 1.50 m long and has an
outside diameter of 3.50 cm and an inside diameter of 2.50
cm. How much does it weigh?

Ans. 61.6 N
Pressure in a Fluid

Forces acting on a small surface within a fluid

at rest.
The pressure on either side of a surface is force divided
by area. Pressure is a scalar with units of newtons per
square meter. By contrast, force is a vector with units of
Pressure in a Fluid
• Pressure is the ratio of normal force per unit area.
• The SI unit of pressure is Pascal (Pa)
1 Pa = 1 N/m²
• Units used in meteorology
1 bar = 105 Pa
1 millibar = 100 Pa
• Atmospheric Pressure (𝑝𝑎 ) is the pressure of the earth’s
atmosphere, the pressure at the bottom of this sea of air
we live.
• Normal atmospheric pressure at sea level (average value)
is 1 atm.
1 atm = 1.013 𝑥 105 Pa
= 1.013 bar
= 14.70 lb/in² or psi
Example 3
In the room described in Ex. 1, what is the total downward
force on the floor due to an air pressure of 1.00 atm?

Ans. F = 2.0 𝑥 106 N

= 4.6 𝑥 105 lb
= 230 tons
The forces on an element of
fluid in equilibrium.
Pressure, Depth, and Pascal’s Law
• Atmospheric pressure is less at high altitude than at sea
• Using summation of forces in vertical axis
𝑝𝐴 − 𝑝 + 𝑑𝑝 𝐴 − 𝜌𝑔𝐴 𝑑𝑦 = 0
• Dividing by A and rearranging,
= −𝜌𝑔
How pressure varies with depth
in a fluid with uniform density.

Each fluid column has the same

height, no matter what its
Pressure in a Fluid of Uniform Density
• If 𝑝1 and 𝑝2 are the pressures at elevations 𝑦1 and 𝑦2 ,
respectively, and if 𝜌 and 𝑔 are constant, then
𝑝2 − 𝑝1 = −𝜌𝑔(𝑦2 − 𝑦1 )
• Expressing in terms of the depth below the surface of a
𝑝𝑜 − 𝑝 = −𝜌𝑔 𝑦2 − 𝑦1 = −𝜌𝑔ℎ or
𝑝 = 𝑝𝑜 + 𝜌𝑔ℎ
Pascal’s Law
• Pressure applied to an enclosed fluid is transmitted
undiminished to every portion of the fluid and the walls of
the containing vessel.
𝐹1 𝐹2
𝑝= 𝐴1
= and
𝐹2 = 𝐹1
Absolute Pressure and Gauge Pressure
• The excess pressure above atmospheric pressure is
called Gauge Pressure and the total pressure is called
Absolute Pressure
𝑃𝑎𝑏𝑠 = 𝑃𝑎𝑡𝑚 + 𝑃𝑔𝑎𝑢𝑔𝑒
• psig for “pounds per square inch gauge”
• psia “pounds per square inch absolute,” respectively.
• If the pressure is less than atmospheric, as in a partial
vacuum, the gauge pressure is negative.
Example 4
Water stands 12.0 m deep in a storage tank whose top is
open to the atmosphere. What are the absolute and gauge
pressures at the bottom of the tank?

absolute: 31.8 lb/in²
gauge: 17.1 lb/in²
Example 5
Scientists have found evidence that Mars may once have
had an ocean 0.500 km deep. The acceleration due to
gravity on Mars is 3.71 m/s²
(a) What would be the gauge pressure at the bottom of
such an ocean, assuming it was freshwater?
(b) To what depth would you need to go in the earth’s
ocean to experience the same gauge pressure?

a. 1.86 𝑥 106 Pa
b. 184 m
Pressure Gauge
The simplest pressure gauge is
the open-tube manometer. The
U-shaped tube contains a liquid
of density 𝜌, often mercury or
water. The left end of the tube is
connected to the container
where the pressure p is to be
measured, and the right end is
open to the atmosphere at
pressure 𝑝𝑜 = 𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑚
Another common pressure gauge
is the mercury barometer. It
consists of a long glass tube,
closed at one end, that has been
filled with mercury and then
inverted in a dish of mercury. The
space above the mercury column
contains only mercury vapor; its
pressure is negligibly small, so
the pressure at the top of the
mercury column is practically

1 𝑇𝑜𝑟𝑟 = 1 𝑚𝑚 𝐻𝑔
Buoyancy is a familiar phenomenon: A body immersed in
water seems to weigh less than when it is in air. When the
body is less dense than the fluid, it floats. The human body
usually floats in water, and a helium-filled balloon floats in
Archimedes’ principle
When a body is completely or partially immersed in a fluid,
the fluid exerts an upward force on the body equal to the
weight of the fluid displaced by the body.
Example 6
A 15.0-kg solid gold statue is
raised from the sea bottom.
What is the tension in the
hoisting cable (assumed
massless) when the statue is
(a) at rest and completely
and (b) at rest and completely
out of the water?

a. 139 N
b. 147 N
Example 7
An ore sample weighs 17.50 N in air. When the sample is
suspended by a light cord and totally immersed in water,
the tension in the cord is 11.20 N. Find the total volume and
the density of the sample.

𝑉 = 6.43 𝑥 10−4 𝑚3
𝜌 = 2.78 𝑥 103 𝑘𝑔/𝑚3