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CEE 2342/ME 2342 Fluid Mechanics

Roger O. Dickey, Ph.D., P.E.

II. HYDROSTATICS

A. Pressure Measurement and Units

B. Pressure Variation in a Static Fluid

Reading Assignment:

Chapter 2 Fluid Statics, Sections 2.1 through 2.7

A. Pressure Measurement and Units

Pressure is expressed as a difference from a

reference datum. Common reference datums are:

Complete vacuum absolute zero pressure

Local atmospheric pressure

Definitions,

Absolute pressure the difference between the

pressure at the point and absolute zero pressure

Gauge Pressure the difference between the

pressure at the point and local atmospheric

pressure

Most pressure measuring devices, called pressure

gauges, measure the fluid pressure relative to local

atmospheric pressure, hence the term gauge

pressure.

Absolute pressures > 0

Gauge pressure < 0 a partial vacuum exits

Gauge pressure > 0 pressurization above

atmospheric pressure

Common pressure measuring devices include:

Piezometer tube

U-tube manometer

Differential U-tube manometer

Inclined tube manometer

Bourdon tube pressure gauge

Diaphragm-strain gauge pressure transducers

Figure 2.9 (p. 52)

Piezometer tube.

Figure 2.10 (p. 53)

Simple U-tube manometer.

Figure 2.11 (p. 54)

Differential U-tube

manometer.

Figure 2.12 (p. 56)

Inclined-tube manometer; used for accurate

measurement of low differential pressures.

Figure 2.13 (p. 57)

(a) Liquid-filled Bourdon pressure gages for various

pressure ranges. (b) Internal elements of Bourdon

gages. The C-shaped Bourdon tube is shown on the

left, and the coiled spring Bourdon tube for high

pressures of 1000 psi and above is shown on the right.

(Photographs courtesy of Weiss Instruments, Inc.)

Figure 2.14 (p. 58)

Pressure transducer which combines a linear

variable differential transformer (LVDT) with a

Bourdon gage. (From Ref. 4, used by permission.)

Figure 2.15 (p. 59)

Diaphragm-strain gauge

pressure transducer (a) photo,

(b) schematic diagram

(b)

(a)

Local atmospheric pressure is measured with a

device called a barometer (mercury barometer

invented by Toricelli in 1644).

Standard

Atmospheric

Pressure

(absolute pressure)

14.7 psi

2,116 lb/ft

2

29.92 inches of mercury

33.91 ft of water

1 atm

760 mm of mercury

101.325 kPa

10.34 m of water

Figure 2.8 (p. 51)

Mercury barometer.

Aneroid barometers are

similar in design to Bourdon

tube pressure gauges, but

with the interior of the

sensing element evacuated to

near absolute zero pressure.

The sensing element then

deflects in response to

changing ambient

atmospheric pressure. Aneroid barometer

Any gauge pressure measurement can be

converted to absolute pressure as follows,

Convention:

All pressures are gauge pressures unless

specifically indicated as absolute (e.g., psia).

atmosphere gauge absolute

P P P + =

B. Pressure Variation in a Static Fluid

Pascals Law (stated in 1653 by Blaise Pascal),

The pressure is the same in all directions at

any point in a fluid with no shear stresses

(i.e., t = 0).

From Newtons Law of Viscosity,

t = 0

dy

du

t =

du/dy = 0, i.e., the fluid is at rest

= 0, i.e., the fluid is non-viscous

Since pressure at a point in a static fluid is

independent of direction, pressure is a scalar

quantity. Conversely, pressure forces exerted on

surfaces by fluids are vectors, always acting in a

direction normal to the surface.

Vector a physical quantity having both

magnitude and direction, and that

obeys the rules of vector algebra.

Corollary to Pascals Law relating to pressure

transmission,

In a closed fluid system, a pressure change

applied at one point in the system will be

transmitted throughout the system.

The phenomena of pressure transmission in a

fluid system is widely applied in hydraulic

systems:

Brakes

Aircraft control surfaces

Jacks and lifts

Presses

Auto

Hydraulic

Brakes

Aircraft Hydraulic Systems

Control Surfaces, Landing

Gear

Manual Hydraulic Press

Hydraulic Jack

Construction Equipment

Cherry Pickers

In analysis of pressure transmission in hydraulic

systems, the variation in pressure with elevation

is usually neglected.

Refer to Handout II.B. Hydraulic Lift

Example for a simple example problem.

For deriving a general equation describing

pressure variation in a static fluid, consider the

free-body diagram for an arbitrary cylindrical

fluid element having constant cross-sectional

area, A, and length, l, inclined at an arbitrary

angle u from the horizontal within a static fluid

mass:

u

y

z

x

W

Free Surface

Apply Newtons 2

nd

Law of Motion along the

longitudinal axis of the cylindrical element, i.e.,

in the l-direction:

Thus,

ma F =

0 =

F

There are no shear stresses in a static fluid.

Hence, the only forces acting on the fluid

element are: (i) gravity, i.e., weight of the

element, W, acting in the z-direction, (ii) fluid

pressure force, pA, acting normal to the lower

end of the element in the +l-direction, and (iii)

fluid pressure force, (p+p)A, acting normal

to the upper end of the element in the l-

direction. Summing the forces in the l-direction:

( ) 0 = A A + A

W A p p A p

W

l

is the component force of the weight acting

in the l-direction:

u u sin sin W W

W

W

= =

u

W u

The total weight of the cylindrical fluid element

is given by:

( ) A A = A W

Specific

Weight of

the Fluid

Cylinder Volume = Base Area Height

Thus, W

l

is:

Substituting into the equation resulting from

application of Newtons 2

nd

Law:

( ) u sin

A A = A W

( ) ( ) 0 sin = A A A A + A u A A p p A p

Dividing through by A:

Subtract out p, divide through by l and

rearrange:

0 sin = A A u p p p

u sin =

A

A

p

Now consider that:

By definition:

u

z

A

A

=

z

u sin

2 2

y x A + A

Substituting z/l for sin u in the equation

resulting from application of Newtons 2

nd

Law:

Multiplying through by l and rearranging:

A

A

=

A

A z p

=

A

A

z

p

Taking the limit as z0 yields,

where,

p = pressure [F/L

2

]

z = distance in vertical direction above a

horizontal datum [L]

= specific weight of the fluid [F/L

3

]

Basic Equation of Fluid

Statics, Equation (2.4), p. 44;

applies to both compressible

and incompressible fluids

=

dz

dp

Given that the derivation was based on an

arbitrary fluid element, several general

conclusions may be drawn from this result:

When moving along a path in a static fluid,

pressure changes occur only when there is a

change in elevation (i.e., movement in the

vertical, or z-direction)

There is no change in pressure along any

horizontal plane through a static fluid

The greatest pressure gradient is achieved

when following a vertical path (i.e., when

moving in the z-direction)

dp/dz < 0 since > 0, revealing that moving

upward (z increasing) through a static fluid

results in a pressure decrease, and moving

downward (z decreasing) results in a

pressure increase

Increasing pressure with greater depth results

from the increasing weight of the overlying

fluid column

No limitations were placed on the

compressibility of the fluid, therefore, the

basic differential equation holds for both

compressible and incompressible fluids;

= f(z), for compressible fluids

= constant, for incompressible fluids

Reconsider the Basic Equation of Fluid Statics,

Solve this first-order, linear, ordinary differential

equation by separation of variables, integrating

between two points at differing elevations z

1

and

z

2

having pressures p

1

and p

2

, respectively:

=

dz

dp

} }

=

2

1

2

1

z

z

p

p

dz dp

For incompressible fluids, is constant and may

be factored from the integral on the right-hand

side of the equation; integration then yields:

Where p

1

and p

2

are pressures at points located at

vertical elevations z

1

and z

2

, respectively, above

a horizontal reference plane (the xy-plane) as

illustrated in Figure 2.3, p. 44 in the textbook:

( )

1 2 1 2

z z p p =

Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics;

incompressible fluids only

Figure 2.3, p. 44 Modified

Free Surface (pressure = p

0

)

( )

1 2

z z z = A

Point 2

Point 1

Divide both sides of the Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics by and rearrange, yielding another

common form of the equation,

Each term has dimensions of [L]. For the p/ terms:

2

2

1

1

z

p

z

p

+ = +

Alternate form of the

Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics;

incompressible fluids only

| | L

L F

L F

3

2

In this latter form of the equation:

1. p/ is referred to as the pressure head,

i.e., the equivalent depth of liquid having

specific weight that produces the

pressure, p.

2. z is referred to as the elevation head, i.e.,

the gravitational potential energy per unit

weight of fluid.

* Important Points

1. Both forms of the Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics apply between any two points

in a continuous, incompressible, static fluid

mass.

2. Fluids adhering to the Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics are said to have a hydrostatic

pressure distribution.

When applying the Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics where there is a free surface

exposed to atmospheric pressure, it is usually

convenient to choose the free surface as the

horizontal reference plane, defining an alternate

coordinate system based on depth, h, below the

surface. Notice that (z

2

z

1

) = (h

1

h

2

):

Figure 2.3, p. 44 Modified

Free Surface (pressure = p

0

)

( ) ( )

2 1 1 2

h h z z z = = A

h

h

2

h

1

Point 2

Point 1

Write the Basic Equation of Hydrostatics starting

from an initial point located at an arbitrary depth h

below the surface, having pressure p and elevation

z, moving upward to a second point on the free

surface (i.e., at zero depth) having pressure p

0

and

elevation z

0

,

as defined on the following sketch:

( ) z z p p =

0 0

z

z

0

pressure = p

h = (z

0

z)

h

z

x

y

Free Surface (pressure = p

0

)

Transform to the new coordinate system by

substituting h for (z

0

z) ,

Solve for the pressure, p, at depth h,

h p p =

0

0

p h p + =

Equation (2.8), p.45

When a barometer reading is used to set p

0

equal

to local atmospheric pressure, the previous

equation yields the absolute pressure at depth h

below the surface. Setting p

0

= 0 yields the

gauge pressure at depth h:

Gauge pressure at depth h

below a free liquid surface

h p =

*Important Point

Pressure in a fluid having a hydrostatic pressure

distribution depends only on the depth of the fluid

relative to some horizontal reference plane, it is

not influenced by the size or shape of the fluids

container. For example, the pressure is constant at

all points along horizontal Plane A-B through the

irregularly shaped but continuous, homogenous

fluid mass illustrated in the following figure:

Fluid equilibrium in a container of arbitrary

shape.

Example applications of the Basic Equation of

Hydrostatics are presented in Handout II.B.

Hydrostatics Examples.

Homework No. 4 Pressure, application of the

Basic Equation of Hydrostatics, and manometry.

Manometry

Manometers are pressure measuring devices

that employ liquid columns in vertical or

inclined tubes. Common types include:

1. Mercury barometers

2. Piezometers

3. U-tube manometers

4. Differential U-tube manometers

1. Mercury barometer,

Figure 2.8 (p. 51)

m

z

Apply the Basic Equation of Hydrostatics from

Point B to Point A for the mercury barometer:

But here,

p

A

= p

vapor

the vapor pressure of

mercury in the head space at the

ambient temperature

p

B

= p

atm

local atmospheric pressure

h = (z

A

z

B

)

( )

B A m B A

z z p p =

Substituting,

Then solving for p

atm

yields:

Mercury has a very low vapor pressure at

normal ambient temperatures, hence, it is often

assumed negligible yielding,

h p p

m atm vapor

=

vapor m atm

p h p + =

h p

m atm

~

h

1

2. Piezometer Tubes

A

1

z

Apply Equation (2.8), p. 45 from Point A to the free

surface at the open end (Point 0) of either piezometer

tube shown on the previous slide:

Set p

0

= 0 to yield the gauge pressure at Point A,

Notice that Point A inside the pipe and Point (1) in

the piezometer bend are at the same elevation, hence,

p

A

= p

1

.

0 1 1

p h p

A

+ =

1 1

h p

A

=

Piezometer Wells

3. U-tube manometer,

Figure 2.10 (p. 53)

*Manometer Problem Solving Hints

When following a path through a continuous

column of static manometer fluid having

constant , use the following sign convention

and assumptions for rapid problem solution:

1. h > 0 when moving downward (pressure

increases)

2. h < 0 when moving upward (pressure

decreases)

3. h = 0 when moving horizontally (pressure

unchanged because h unchanged)

4. 0 for gases without introducing

significant error

Analyze the simple U-tube manometer in Figure

2.10, p. 53 using the rapid problem solving hints,

starting with the pressure at Point A, p

A

, and then

proceeding along a path through the manometer

tube to the free surface where the pressure is zero

(i.e., atmospheric pressure):

First, there is no change in pressure when

moving horizontally along the path between

Point A and Point (1), hence,

p

1

= p

A

When moving downward along a path

from Point (1) to Point (2), the pressure

increases by an amount +

1

h

1

such that,

p

2

= p

A

+

1

h

1

There is no change in pressure when

proceeding from Point (2) to Point (3)

through the tube because these points lie in

the same horizontal plane passing through

the gauge fluid, thus p

3

= p

2

, that is,

p

3

= p

A

+

1

h

1

When moving upward from Point (3) to the

free surface (Point 0), the pressure

decreases by an amount

2

h

2

such that,

p

0

= p

A

+

1

h

1

2

h

2

Set p

0

= 0, and solve for the unknown

gauge pressure p

A

,

p

A

=

2

h

2

1

h

1

Equation (2.14), p. 53

If the fluid in the pipe at Point A is a gas,

then

1

0 when compared to

2

for the

liquid gauge fluid, then,

p

A

2

h

2

4. Differential U-tube

manometer, Figure 2.11

(p. 54)

Analyze the differential U-tube manometer in

Figure 2.11, p. 54, using the rapid problem

solving hints, starting with the pressure at Point

A, p

A

, and then proceeding along a path through

the manometer tube to Point B where the pressure

is p

B

:

First, there is no change in pressure when

moving horizontally along the path between

Point A and Point (1)

When moving downward along a path

from Point (1) to Point (2), the pressure

increases by an amount +

1

h

1

There is no change in pressure when

proceeding from Point (2) to Point (3)

through the tube because these points lie in

the same horizontal plane

When moving upward from Point (3) to

Point (4), the pressure decreases by an

amount

2

h

2

When moving upward from Point (4) to

Point (5), the pressure decreases by an

amount

3

h

3

There is no change in pressure when

moving horizontally along the path

between Point (5) and Point B

The pressure at Point B, p

B

, is determined by

summing the pressure changes while proceeding

along the path through the manometer tube

between Points A and B:

p

A

+

1

h

1

2

h

2

3

h

3

= p

B

The differential pressure, Ap = p

A

p

B

, is then,

Ap =

2

h

2

+

3

h

3

1

h

1

Refer to Handout II.B. Manometry

Examples for additional example problems.

Homework No. 5 Pressure, pressure

measurement, force due to pressure, and

manometry.

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