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By Dhakshina Perera (June 2013) Pressure types in a liquid

Pressure is the force acting on a unit area, basically pressure is a force. There are major two types of forces acting in liquid 1.)Hydro static Pressure 2.)Hydro Dynamic Pressure

1.)Hydro Static Pressure(H.S.P)

Is due to gravity, each and every molecule in a tank has a weight accumulated and acting at the bottom one creating a force/pressure which can be given by H.S.P= hg , see fig(1)


Where H.S.P.= Hydro Static Pressure h = Height of the water column = Density of the liquid g = Gravitational acceleration

2.)Hydro Dynamic Pressure(H.D.)

Assume that in the above tank(Fig(1)), a opening is located at the bottom of the tank where the water will flow freely and if a hand is held to the flow a force can be felt thus a pressure. Hydro dynamic pressure was created due to the movement of the liquid which is given by H.D.P =


(see Fig(2))



H.D.P.= Hydro Dynamic Pressure = Density of the liquid V = Velocity of the flowing liquid

Bernoullis theorem
States that the sum of all forms of energy is the same on all streamlines because in a reservoir the energy per unit volume (the sum of pressure and gravitational potential g h) is the same everywhere. In simple words HSP+HDP = k (as a constant) at points in a pipe line This can be easily explained by the eductor system which used onboard ships for many purposes.

Ship Eductor System

When performing de-ballasting operations, eductor is the major system used in order to strip the tanks. Normal eductor systems are having following arrangement (see Fig(3))


Sea water from the ballast pump sent through a reducer to a out board valve and a branch pipe fitted in between next to the reducer running to the ballast tank for suction or connected to the vessel ballast lines. When water flows through the eductor system , as per Bernoullis theory , Energy at pointAa equals to energy at pointB , in a invicid liquid.

Energy in the eductor system

Energy At Point A = Energy At PointB

But Energy At PointA can be given by the sum of HSP and HDP at point A

Energy at pointA = HSPA + HDPA

Similarly energy at point B can be given by,

Energy at pointB = HSPB + HDPB



As per Fig(4) then ,

ha g +

= hb g +

=k ----(1)

Fig(4) Where

ha = Gauge Level at pointA hb = Gauge Level at pointB

va = Flow velocity at pointA vb = Flow velocity at pointB

k = As a constant Flow Velocity

Flow accelerated through the reducer, thus increases the velocity at point B (vb), compared to velocity at pointA(va). ===>

va < vb


Pressure changes after the reducer

As per equation (2) , Hydro Dynamic Pressure at PointB , is different than pointA, due to the velocity change

Then ==>


Hence ==>


As per Bernoullis theory ,

HSPB + HDPB= hb g +
decrease. Creating a LOW hydro static pressure at point B.

HSPB needs to

In order to maintain the same constant (k) at point B when HDPB increases,

Stripping the Ballast tank

Ballast tanks are connected with an air vent which needs to be weathertight, so tank is basically having the Atmospheric Pressure inside, due to the vent connected. The suction pipe in the eductor system, where one end is connected to the eductor and the other end to the tank, Will be having two different pressures acting at the ends of the line(see Fig(5)). Eductor end is having Hydro Static Pressure(HSPB) Tank end is having Atmospheric Pressure (A.P)

Fig(5) So there can be three possibilities 1.)


In this case water flowing through the eductor pipe will drop into the tank, and the tank will be filled. Suction line valve should not be open at this condition.


Nothing will happen, neither suction nor filling.



The atmospheric pressure inside the tank having a higher value than the eductor end will push the water and air inside the tank through the suction pipe, stripping the ballast tank If the pressure difference is high the efficiency of the eductor system is high.

Conclusions from Bernoullis theory

1.) In a free flowing liquid if velocity increase the hydrostatic pressure drops

2.) In a free flowing liquid if velocity changes by a small amount the pressure changes by a big amount, due to velocity squared.



These conclusions are very much important when it comes to shiphandling.