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FluidStatics

Whenthefluidvelocityiszero,calledthehydrostaticcondition,thepressurevariationisdueonlytothe
weightofthefluid.
Consider a small wedge of fluid at rest of size x, z, s and depth b into the paper. There is no shear
stressbydefinition,andpressureisassumedtobeidenticaloneachface(smallelement).

Fig.1:EquilibriumofasmallFluidelementatrest.
Sincetheelementisatrest,summationofallforcesmustequalzero.
F
x
= u = p
x
b z - p
n
b s sin0
F
z
= u = p
z
b x - p
n
b s cos0 -
1
2
pg b x z
Fromgeometry,s sin0 = z s cos0 = x.Aftersubstitutioninaboveequations,onefinds:
p
x
= p
n
p
z
= p
n
+
1
2
pg z
Thismeans:
1) Thereisnopressurechangeinthehorizontaldirection.
2) There is a vertical change in pressure proportional to the density, gravity and depth change in
thefluid(i.e.theweightofthecolumnofthefluidabovethepoint).
Note: in the limit as the fluid wedge shrinks to a point, z goes to zero, we have: p
x
= p
z
= p
n
= p.
Thus,pressureinastaticfluidisapointproperty.
Pressureforceonafluidelement
Assumethepressurevaryarbitrarilyinafluid,p=p(x,y,z,t).Considerafluidelementofsizex,y,zas
showninFig.2.Thenetforceinthexdirectionisgivenby:
g
M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics2

JF
x
= pJyJz - _p +
op
ox
Jx] JyJz = -
op
ox
Jx Jy Jz

Fig.2:Netforceinthexdirectionduetopressurevariation.
Inasimilarmanner,netforcesactinginyandzdirectionscanbecalculated.Thetotalnetforcevector,
duetopressure,is:
JF
pcss
= -_
op
ox
i +
op
oy
] +
op
oz
k] Jx Jy Jz
Noticethatthetermintheparenthesesisthenegativevectorgradientofpressureandthetermdxdy
dz=dV,isthevolumeoftheelement.Therefore,onecanwrite:

pcss
= -vp
where f
press
is the net force per volume. Notice that the pressure gradient (not pressure) causing a net
forcethatmustbebalancedbygravityoraccelerationand/orothereffectsinthefluid.
Note: the pressure gradient is a surface force that acts on the sides of the element. That must be
balancedbygravityforce,orweightoftheelement,inthefluidatrest.
In addition to gravity, a fluid in motion will have surface forces due to viscous stresses. Viscous forces,
however,forafluidatrestarezero.
Thegravityforceisabodyforce,actingontheentiremassoftheelement:
JF
gut
= pgJx Jy Jz
gut
= pg
Gagepressureandvacuumpressure
The actual pressure at a given position is called the absolute pressure, and it is measured relative to
absolutevacuum.
Themeasurepressuremaybeeitherlower(calledvacuumpressure)orhigher(gagepressure)thanthe
localatmosphere.
p > p
u
0ogc prcssurc p
gugc
= p - p
u

p < p
u
Iocuum prcssurc p
ucuum
= p
u
- p
M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics3

Fig.3:Absolute,gage,andvacuumpressures.
Hydrostaticpressuredistribution
Forafluidatrest,thesummationofforcesactingontheelementmustbebalancedbythegravityforce.
7p

= pg
Thisisahydrostaticdistributionandiscorrectforallfluidsatrest,regardlessofviscosity.
Recallthatthevectoroperatorvexpressesthemagnitudeanddirectionofthemaximumspatialrateof
increaseofthescalarproperty(inthiscasepressure).
Note:vpisperpendiculareverywheretosurfaceofconstantpressurep.Inotherwords,inafluidatrest
willalignitsconstantpressuresurfaceseverywherenormaltothelocalgravityvector.Or,thepressure
increase will be in the direction of gravity (downward). However, in our customary coordinate z is
upwardandthegravityvectoris:
g = -gk
whereg=9.807m/s
2
.Forthiscoordinate,thepressuregradientvectorbecomes:
op
ox
= u
op
oy
= u
op
oz
= -pg = -y
Sincepressureisonlyafunctionofz(independentofxandy),wecanwrite:
Jp
Jz
= -y p
2
- p
1
= -_ yJz
2
1

Asaresult,wecanconclude:pressureinacontinuouslydistributeduniformstaticfluidvariesonlywith
verticaldistanceandisindependentoftheshapeofthecontainer.Thepressureisthesameatallpoints
onagivenhorizontalplaneinafluid.
P
atm

P
gage
P
abs
Absolute
(vacuum)=0
P
P
vac

M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics4

Fig. 4: Hydrostatic pressure is only a function of the depth of the fluid, p


u
= p
b
= p
c
. However,
p
A
= p
B
= p
C
= p

. Because point D, although at the same level, lies beneath a different fluid,
mercury.Thefreesurfaceofthecontainerisatmosphericandformsahorizontalline.
Note: In most engineering applications, the variation in acceleration of gravity (g) due to different
heightsislessthan0.6%andcanbeneglected.
Forliquids,whichareincompressible,wehave:
p
2
-p
1
= -y(z
2
- z
1
) or z
1
- z
2
=
p
2
y
-
p
1
y

Thequantity,p y isalengthcalledthepressureheadofthefluid.
Themercurybarometer

Mercuryhasanextremelysmallvaporpressureatroomtemperature(almostvacuum),thusp
1
=0.One
canwrite:
p
u
- u = -y
mccu
(u -b) or b =
p
u
y
mccu

M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics5

Atthesealevel,theatmosphericpressurereads,761mmHg.
Hydrostaticpressureingases
Gasesarecompressiblewithdensitynearlyproportionaltopressure,thusthevariationindensitymust
beconsideredinhydrostaticcalculations.Usingtheidealgasequationofstate,p = pRI:
Jp
Jz
= -pg = -
p
RI
g
After integration between points 1 and 2 and also assuming a constant temperature at both points T
1

=T
2
=T
0
(isothermalatmosphere),wefind:
p
2
= p
1
cxp _-
g(z
2
- z
1
)
RI
0
_
Theisothermalassumptionisafairassumptionforearth.However,forhigheraltitudestheatmospheric
temperaturedropsoffnearlylinearlywithz,i.e.I = I
0
- Bz,whereT
0
isthesealeveltemperature(in
Kelvin)andB=0.00650K/m,wefind:
p = p
u
_1 -
Bz
I
0
]
g RB
foi aii
g
RB
= S.26
Notethattheatmosphericpressureisnearlyzero(vacuumcondition)atz=30km.
Manometry
Itisshownthatachangeinelevationofaliquidisequivalenttoachangeinpressure,b = py.Thus
astaticcolumnofoneormultiplefluidscanbeusedtomeasurepressuredifferencebetween2points.
Suchadeviceiscalledmanometer.

Fig.5:Simpleopenmanometer.
p
A
+ y
1
|z
A
- z
1
| -y
2
|z
1
-z
2
| = p
2
= p
utm

Tworolesformanometeranalysis:
1) Adding/subtractingyzasmovingdown/upinafluidcolumn.
M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics6

2) Jumping across Utubes: any two points at the same elevation in a continuous mass of the same
staticfluidwillbeatthesamepressure,thuswecanjumpacrossUtubesfilledwiththesamefluid.
Hydrostaticforcesonplanesurface
Consideraplanepanelofarbitraryshapecompletelysubmergedinaliquid.

Fig.6:hydrostaticforceandcenterofpressureonaplanesubmergedinaliquidatanangle.
IfhisthedepthtoanyelementareadA,thelocalpressureis:
p = p
u
+ yb
Thetotalhydrostaticforceononesideoftheplaneisgivenby:
F = _pJA = _(p
u
+yb) JA = p
u
A + y _bJA
Wealsohave:b = sin0.Aftersubstitution,weget:
F = p
u
A + y sin0 _JA = p
u
A + y sin0
Cu
A
Since,b
Cu
= sin0
Cu
,
F = p
u
A + yb
Cu
A = (p
u
+ yb
Cu
)A = p
Cu
A
Itmeans,theforceononesideofanyplanesubmergedsurfaceinauniformfluidequalsthepressureat
theplatecentroidtimestheplatearea,independentoftheshapeoftheplateorangle.
To balance the bendingmoment portion of the stress, the resultant force F acts not through the
centroid but below it toward the high pressure side. Its line of action passes through the centre of
pressureCPoftheplate(x
CP
,y
CP
).
M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics7

To find the center of pressure, we sum moments of the elemental force pdA about the centroid and
equatetothemomentoftheresultantforce,F:
Fy
CP
= _ypJA = _y(p
u
+ ysin0) JA = ysin0 _yJA
Theterm]yJA = u,bydefinitionofcentroidalaxes.Usingthedefinitionoftheareamomentofinertia
aboutcentroidalxaxis,I
xx
= ]y
2
JA,aftersomesimplifications:
y
CP
= -ysin0
I
xx
p
Cu
A

Thenegativesignshowsthaty
CP
isbelowthecentroidatadeeperlevelanddependsonangleandthe
shapeoftheplate(I
xx
).
Followingthesameprocedure,wefind:
x
CP
= -ysin0
I
x
p
Cu
A

Note: for symmetrical plates, I


xy
= 0 and thus x
CP
= 0. As a result, the center of pressure lies directly
belowthecentroidontheyaxis.

Fig.7:Centroidalmomentsofinertiaforvariouscrosssections.

M.Bahrami FluidMechanics(S09) Fluidstatics8

Hydrostaticforcesoncurvedsurfaces
Theeasiestwaytocalculatethepressureforcesonacurvedsurfaceistocomputethehorizontaland
verticalforcesseparately.

Fig.8:Calculatinghorizontalandverticalpressureforcesonanimmersedcurvedsurface.
UsingthefreebodydiagramshowninFig.8b,onecanfind:
The horizontal force, F
H
equals the force on the plane area formed by the projection of the curved
surfaceontoaverticalplanenormaltothecomponent.
Theverticalcomponentequalstotheweightoftheentirecolumnoffluid,bothliquidandatmospheric
abovethecurvedsurface.ForthesurfaceshowninFig.8:
F
V
=W
2
+W
1
+W
air