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At the end of this topic, you should be able to: Describe each types of flow including pathline, streamline

e and stream tube

Discuss the differences/characteristics of steady, unsteady, uniform, non-uniform, laminar, transitional and turbulent flow
Calculate Reynolds number & describe the types of flow based on Reynolds Number

Fluid dynamics

The analysis of fluid in motion Fluid motion can be predicted in the same way as the motion of solids By use of the fundamental laws of physics and the physical properties of the fluid

An ideal fluid has NO viscosity, and thus no shear stress between fluid layers
No boundary layers

A real fluid includes the effects of viscosity, and thus has boundary layers, and a velocity distribution

Flow can be classified based on the flow parameters such as velocity and pressure.
Uniform: Flow conditions (velocity, pressure, cross-section or depth) are the same at every point in the fluid. Example: flow in a constant diameter pipeline with constant flow rate Non-uniform: Flow conditions are not the same at every point Example: flow with constant flow rate thru a tapered pipe

Steady Flow conditions may differ from point to point but DO NOT change with time

Unsteady Flow conditions change with time at any point

Combining these four gives: Steady uniform flow. Conditions do not change with position in the stream or with time. E.g. flow of water in a pipe of constant diameter at constant velocity.

Steady non-uniform flow. Conditions change from point to point in the stream but do not change with time. E.g. flow in a tapering pipe with constant velocity at the inlet.

Unsteady uniform flow At a given instant in time the conditions at every point are the same, but will change with time. E.g. A pipe of constant diameter connected to a pump - pumping at a constant rate which is then switched off. Unsteady non-uniform flow Every condition of the flow may change from point to point and with time at every point. E.g. Waves in traveling along a channel

Compressibility - measure of the relative volume change of a fluid as a response to a pressure change All fluids are compressible - density will change as pressure changes Under steady conditions and small changes in pressure, it is usually possible to simplify analysis of the flow by assuming it is incompressible and has constant density Liquids are quite difficult to compress - so under most steady conditions they are treated as incompressible Gasses are very easily compressed, it is essential in most cases to treat these as compressible, taking changes in pressure into account

Streamlines a curve that is everywhere tangent to the instantaneous local velocity vector Streamlines are useful as indicators of the instantaneous direction of fluid motion throughout the flow field Streamlines cannot be directly observed experimentally except in steady flow Streamtube consists of a bundle of streamlines

Pathlines the actual path travelled by an individual fluid particle over some time period. Streaklines the locus of fluid particles that have passed sequentially through a prescribed point in the flow. Streakline is a pathline that moves more than a single point through the flow In a streakline, the entire line is moved through the flow.

If the flow is steady, streamlines, pathlines and streaklines are identical

When a fluid flows through a tube, different parts flow at different speeds The dots in the simulation above show how "parcels" of fluid would move in a tube. Notice that the fluid moves fastest in the middle of the tube and slowest at the walls. This type of flow is called laminar because the fluid moves in layers.

As the fluid velocity increases the layers of fluid start to become a little unstable. This type of flow is called transitional. Increasing the flow rate still further leads to a third type of flow.

At high velocities, the orderly layers of flow are completely disrupted and turbulence sets in. Turbulent flow is not as efficient at moving fluid as laminar flow. Some energy is lost as sound, for instance.

Laminar: highly ordered fluid motion with smooth streamlines.

Transitional: a flow that contains both laminar and turbulent regions

Turbulent: highly disordered fluid motion characterized by velocity fluctuations and eddies.

Laminar flow: A thin filament of dye injected into a laminar flow appears as a single line. There is no dispersion of dye throughout the flow, except the slow dispersion due to molecular motion Turbulent flow: If a dye filament injected into a turbulent flow, it disperses quickly throughout the flow field; the line of dye breaks up into myriad entangled threads of dye.

To determine whether flow is laminar or turbulent. Re < 2000 laminar 2000 Re 4000 transitional Re > 4000 turbulent
Re depends upon
Pipe roughness Vibrations Upstream fluctuations, disturbances (valves, elbows, etc. that may disturb the flow)


u d Re
Where: = density, kgm-3 u = average velocity , ms-1 d = diameter of the pipe, m = fluid viscosity, kgm-1s-1

A pipe of 20 mm diameter carries water at an average velocity of 1.5m/s. Calculate the Reynolds number for the flow and determine the flow regime. The absolute viscosity of water at room temperature is about 0.001 Pa.s.

Re = d/ = 1000 (0.5)(0.02)/0.001 = 30,000 Re > 4000, thus, the flow is turbulent

A Newtonian fluid having a viscosity of 0.38 N.s/m2 and a specific gravity of 0.91 flows through a 25mm diameter pipe with velocity of 2.6m/s. Determine the value of Reynolds number.


= SGH2O = 0.91(1000kg/m3) = 910 kg/m3

Re = d/ = [(910 kg/m3)(2.6m/s)(25mm)(103m/mm)]/0.38N.s/m2 = 156 (kg.m/s)/N = 156 Re < 2000, thus laminar flow

Q1: Oil flow through a pipe 25 mm in diameter at a velocity of 6 m/s. Determine whether the flow will be laminar or turbulent assuming that the viscosity of oil is 1.30 x 10-3 kgm-1s-1 and its S.G 0.9.

Q2: Water is flowing in a pipe of 15 mm diameter. What is the maximum velocity it can have to ensure laminar flow if the value of absolute viscosity is 1.002 x 10-3 N.sm-2. Take SG to be 0.9.

Q3: Water flowing at the rate of 10 gal/min in pipe having an inside diameter of 0.0525 m. Calculate the Reynolds Number if = 8.007 x 10-4 Pa.s. Given H2O = 996 kg/m3.