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CHE 203

Chapter 3

Types of Flow

CHAPTER 3

TYPES OF FLOW

FLUID MECHANICS (CHE 203)

3.1 FLUID FLOW

3.2 UNIFORM FLOW AND STEADY FLOW

3.3 COMPRESSIBLE AND INCOMPRESSIBLE FLOW

3.4 LAMINAR AND TURBULENT FLOW

3.5 REYNOLDS NUMBER

LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of this chapter, student should be able to:

i Define each types of flow including pathline, streamline and

stream tube

ii Discuss the differences / characteristics of steady,

unsteady, uniform, non-uniform, laminar, transitional and

turbulent flow

iii Calculate Reynolds Number

iv Determine the types of flow based on Reynolds Number

Chapter 3

A liquid particle

Pipe

3.1 FLUID FLOW

Pathlines : The path followed by a liquid particle in motion is called a

pathline. Thus, the pathline shows the direction of a particle for a certain

period of time or between two given section.

Chapter 3

Path line

t

1 t

0

3.1 FLUID FLOW

Streamlines : The imaginary line drawn in a fluid, in such a way that the

tangent to which at any point gives the direction of motion at the point. Thus,

the stream line shows the direction of motion of a number of particles at the

same time.

Because the fluid is moving in the same direction as the streamlines, fluid

can not cross a streamline.

Streamlines can not cross each other. If they were to cross this would

indicate two different velocities at the same point. This is not physically

possible.

The above point implies that any particles of fluid starting on one

streamline will stay on that same streamline throughout the fluid.

Streamlines around a wing shaped body

Chapter 3

Example:

Video Clip

3.1 FLUID FLOW

Streamtube

An element of fluid, bounded by a number of streamlines, which confine the

flow. As there is no movement of fluid across a streamline, therefore the fluid

inside the streamtube cannot escape through its walls.

A Streamtube

Chapter 3

3.2 UNIFORM FLOW AND STEADY FLOW

The following terms describe the states which are used to classify fluid

flow:

1. Uniform flow: If the flow velocity is the same magnitude and

direction at every point in the fluid it is said to be uniform.

2. Non-uniform: If at a given instant, the velocity is not the same at

every point the flow is non-uniform. (In practice, by this definition,

every fluid that flows near a solid boundary will be non-uniform - as

the fluid at the boundary must take the speed of the boundary,

usually zero. However if the size and shape of the of the cross-

section of the stream of fluid is constant the flow is considered

uniform.)

Chapter 3

3.2 UNIFORM FLOW AND STEADY FLOW

3. Steady: A steady flow is one in which the conditions (velocity,

pressure and cross-section) may differ from point to point but DO

NOT change with time.

4. Unsteady: If at any point in the fluid, the conditions change with

time, the flow is described as unsteady. (In practice there is always

slight variations in velocity and pressure, but if the average values

are constant, the flow is considered steady).

Chapter 3

Example: Video Clip

3.2 UNIFORM FLOW AND STEADY FLOW

Combining the above we can classify any flow in to one of four type

1. Steady uniform flow. Conditions do not change with position in the

stream or with time. An example is the flow of water in a pipe of constant

diameter at constant velocity.

2. Steady non-uniform flow. Conditions change from point to point in the

stream but do not change with time. An example is flow in a tapering pipe

with constant velocity at the inlet - velocity will change as you move

along the length of the pipe toward the exit.

3. Unsteady uniform flow. At a given instant in time the conditions at every

point are the same, but will change with time. An example is a pipe of

constant diameter connected to a pump pumping at a constant rate which

is then switched off.

4. Unsteady non-uniform flow. Every condition of the flow may change

from point to point and with time at every point. For example waves in a

channel

Chapter 3

All fluids are compressible - even water - their density will change as

pressure changes.

But under steady flow conditions, and provided that the changes in pressure

are small, it is usually possible to simplify analysis of the flow by assuming

it is incompressible and has constant density.

Since liquids are quite difficult to compress - so under most steady

conditions they are treated as incompressible.

In some unsteady conditions, very high pressure differences can occur and

it is necessary to take these into account - even for liquids.

Gasses are easily compressed, it is essential in most cases to treat these as

compressible, taking changes in pressure into account.

3.3 COMPRESSIBLE AND INCOMPRESSIBLE FLOW

Chapter 3

3.4 LAMINAR AND TURBULENT FLOW

The left situation is known as laminar flow and the right as turbulent flow.

Solution is introduced from the right handside and pumped through the pipe. If

the flow is controlled, after a small lead in length, the profile will become stable

with no mixing in the lateral direction, this is termed Laminar flow.

If however the solution is pumped through the cell at a high rate then the

transport can become Turbulent, where the solution movement is essentially a

random and unpredictable.

The laminar flow occurs when the fluid is flowing slow and the turbulent flow

occurs when it is flowing fast.

Laminar flow

Turbulent flow

Chapter 3

Example: Video Clip

Laminar Turbulent

Re < 2000 Re > 4000

'low' velocity 'high' velocity

Dye does not mix with water Dye mixes rapidly and completely

Fluid particles move in straight lines Particle paths completely irregular

Simple mathematical analysis possible Average motion is in the direction of

the flow

Rare in practice in water systems Cannot be seen by the naked eye

Changes/fluctuations are very difficult

to detect. Must use laser

Mathematical analysis very difficult -

so experimental measures are used

Most common type of flow.

3.4 LAMINAR AND TURBULENT FLOW

Chapter 3

Example: Video Clip

Sketch the flow of transitional region.

Chapter 3

3.4 LAMINAR AND TURBULENT FLOW

Answer

But what is fast or slow? And at what

speed does the flow pattern change? And

why might we want to know this?

In order to predict this change over

between turbulent and laminar behaviour,

work was carried out by Hagan in the mid

1840's and later by Reynolds who was the

first to put forward a predictive model. In

this particular example there is a maximum

velocity in the centre and minimum

velocity at the side walls.

A tank is arranged with a pipe taking water

from the centre into which a dye is injected

through a needle.

Reynolds Experiment

Storage

tank

Collection

tank

Dye

3.5 REYNOLDS NUMBER

Chapter 3

After many experiments by Reynolds, he found that the expression below

would help to predict the change in flow type.

3.5 REYNOLDS NUMBER

ud

ud

Re

If the value is less than about 2000 then flow is laminar, if greater than 4000

then turbulent and in between these then in the transition zone.

Chapter 3

Laminar flow : Re < 2000

Transitional flow : 2000 < Re < 4000

Turbulent flow : Re > 4000

What are the units of this Reynolds number? We can fill in the equation with SI units:

1

kg

ms

1

m

s

m

m

kg ud

Re

ms / kg m / Ns

m d

s / m u

m / kg

3

2

3

It has no units. A quantity that has no units is known as a non-dimensional

(or dimensionless) quantity.

Thus the Reynolds number, Re is a non-dimensional number.

3.4 REYNOLDS NUMBER

Chapter 3

EXAMPLE

If the pipe and the fluid have the following properties:

Water density, = 1000 kg/m

3

Pipe diameter, d = 0.5m

Dynamic viscosity, = 0.55 x 10

-3

Ns/m

2

What is the maximum velocity when the Re is 2000.

Chapter 3

Answer

If this were a pipe in a house central heating system, where the pipe diameter

is typically 0.015m, what is the limiting velocity for laminar flow would be?

Chapter 3

Answer

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