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Lecture 2: Pressure and

Lecture outcomes:
Solve fluid problems using the concept of
pressure and the hydrostatic equation
Measure pressure in manometers and tubes

Statics of Fluid Systems

The general rules of statics apply to fluids at
rest, such that there will be no shearing forces
acting on it.
All forces exerted between the fluid and a
solid boundary must at right angles to the
If the boundary is curved, it can be considered
to be composed of a series of chords on each
of which a force F1, F2,, Fn acts perpendicular
at the surface at the section concerned.

Pressure p of the fluid is defined as
the force exerted per unit area.
Pressure = Force exerted / Area of
p = F/A (N/m2)

Pascals law for pressure at a point

The Pascals Law states as
follows: The intensity of pressure
at any point in a liquid at rest, is
the same in all directions. Such
that Ps = Px = Py

Variation of Pressure Vertically in a

Fluid under gravity
Suppose that the pressure is p1 is
on the underside at level z1 and
p2 on the top at level z2.

Since the fluid is at rest the element

must be in equilibrium and the sum
of all the vertical forces must be
Force due to p1 on area A acting up
=p1 A
Force due to p2 on area A acting up
=p2 A
Force due to the weight of the

Thus, p1 A p2 A gA(z2 - z1) = 0

p1 p2 = g(z2 - z1)
Since g(z2 - z1) is +ve, therefore, p1 >
It is concluded that the pressure
increase when the depth of fluid

Quiz 1
A diver descends from the surface of
the sea to a dept of 30m. What
would be the pressure under which
the diver would be working above
that at the surface? Assume that the
density of sea water is 1025kg/m3
and remains constant.

Equality of pressure at the same

level in static fluid
If P and Q are two points at same
level in a fluid at rest, a
horizontal prism of fluid of
constant cross-sectional area A
will be in equilibrium.

For static equilibrium,

p1A = p2A
p1= p2
Thus, the pressure at two points at
the same level in a body of fluid at
rest will be the same.

General Equation for the Variation of pressure due to gravity from point
to point in a static fluid

Pressure and Head

The hydrostatic paradox

From equation p = hg, it can be seen
that the pressure exerted by a fluid is
dependent only on the vertical head
of fluid and its mass density , it is
not affected by the weight of the
fluid present.

All have the same base area A

and are filled to the same height
h with the same liquid of density
Pressure on bottom in each case
= hg

Pressure Measurement
Pressure Tube or Piezometer
U-tube Guage

Pressure Tube or Peizometer

Quiz 2
What is the maximum gauge
pressure of water that can be
measured by means of a piezometer
tube 2m high? (Mass density of water
water = 1000kg/m3 )

U-Tube Gauge (Manometer)

Quiz 3
A U-tube manometer as shown below
is used to measure the gauge
pressure of a fluid P of density =
800kg/m3 . If the density of the liquid
Q is 13600 kg/m3 , what will be the
gauge pressure at A if (a) h1 = 0.5m
and D is 0.9m above BC, (b) h1 =
0.1m and D is 0.2m below BC

Quiz 4
A U-tube manometer is used to measure
the pressure of oil of specific gravity 0.85
flowing in a pipe line. Its left end is
connected to the pipe and the right limb is
open to the atmosphere. The centre of the
pipe is 100mm below the level of mercury
(specific gravity = 13.6) in the right limb.
If the different of mercury level in the two
limbs is 160mm, determine the absolute
pressure of the oil in the pipe.

U-tube gauge is arranged to measure the pressure

difference between two points in a pipeline. The
principle involved in calculating the pressure
difference is that the pressure at the same level
CD in the two limbs must be the same, since the
fluid in the bottom of the U-tube is at rest.

Quiz 5
A U-tube manometer is arranged as
shown below, to measure pressure
difference between two points A and
B in a pipeline conveying water of
density = 103kg/m3 . The density of
manometric liquid Q is 13.6
103kg/m3, and point B is 0.3m
higher than point A. Calculate the
pressure difference when h = 0.7m

Inverted-U Tube
The inverted U-tube is used to
measuring pressure differences in

Quiz 6
An inverted U-tube of the form shown in
Figure below is used to measure the
pressure difference between two points A
and B in an inclined pipeline through
which water is flowing (water = 103kg/m3).
The difference of level h=0.3m, a=0.25m
and b=0.15m. Calculate the pressure
difference pB pA if the top of the
manometer is filled with (a) air, (b) oil of
relative density 0.8.

Quiz 7
A U-tube differential manometer
connecting two pressure pipes at A
and B. The pipe A contains a liquid of
specific gravity 1.6 under a pressure
of 110kN/m2. The pipe B contains oil
of specific gravity 0.8 under a
pressure of 200kN/m2. Find the
difference of pressure head
measured by mercury as fluid filling

Quiz 8
Calculate the pressure head
difference h if the U-tube
manometer in example 7 is
inverted as shown below.