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RETAIN ALL WORK UNTIL AFTER PUBLICATION OF FINAL RESULTS

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING


ASSESSMENT COVER SHEET
Family Name:
Da Costa Rodrigues
First Name:
Mateus
Student ID: 25230158
Unit Code & Name: CHE 2161 / MEC 2404: Fluid Mechanics
Name of assessment task:
Drag Force
Name of Lecturer : Dr Josie Carberry Name of Tutor: Gazy Al-Sumaily
Tutorial Day & Time: 12/09/2013 4pm
Due Date: 16/09/2013 Date submitted: 16/09/2013

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EXPERIMENT DF: FLOW VISUALISATION
MATEUS DA COSTA RODRIGUES
25230158
THURSDAY, 12/09/2013 - 4:00PM

OBJECTIVE

To confirm that the drag coefficient for spheres varies with the Reynolds number by measuring terminal fall velocities
in oil and water. To observe some of the corresponding flow patterns. To observe the influence of shape on the drag
coefficient by determining the fall velocity in water of rectangular and square plates of equal area.

PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS:

(a) Identify the three forces acting on a solid sphere falling through a liquid and state the directions in which they
are acting.

Gravitational force: Vertical down force;
Buoyancy: vertical upwards force;
Drag force: vertical upwards force.

(b) With reference to the three forces you have identified above, explain how the sphere attains its terminal
velocity.

The terminal velocity in this case is reached when we have a vertical equilibrium of these three forces acting on the
object. So, when the drag force added to the buoyancy force equal to the weight force we have no acceleration in
the vertical direction (F=m*a), making the velocity reach its final value.

(c) Write an equation relating the magnitude of the above forces for the state of terminal velocity.



(d) Derive an expression for the drag force in terms of d, the diameter of the sphere, f and s, the densities of the
fluid and the solid respectively.


INTRODUCTION:

Studies of drag force on fluids are very important to establish and define important characteristics of different fluids and
how the geometry of the immersed bodies can influence on the system flow. The present experiment allowed the study
of drag force in different conditions of object geometry and fluid properties, as well as visualizing the flow behaviour in
different fluids.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES:

In this experiment, the material needed to obtain the desired results consisted of two large cylindrical baths containing
water and oil (in different cylinders), nine spheres of three different sizes having diameters equal to 4.68, 11.1 and
19.1mm respectively (three spheres for each size), three square plates (25.4 x 25.4 x 3.17mm), three rectangular plates
(50.8 x 12.7 x 3.17mm), one metric ruler and one digital stopwatch.
In order to calculate the terminal velocity of the immersed bodies it is necessary to release the object, which has to be
previously submerged, in the bath and measure the elapsed time for the object to cross the two pre-established height
marks on the cylinder (it is assumed that the top mark is located far enough from the fluid surface to give time for the
object to reach its final velocity). After doing this procedure (in triplicate to reduce possible errors) we can use the data
obtained to calculate the terminal velocity for each case and, having all the data relative to the fluid and object
properties, we can also calculate the Reynolds number and the drag coefficient by using the formulas presented on the
Appendix. With all the obtained results from the calculations, it is possible to discuss the influence of the fluid
properties and the immerse object properties and geometry on the flow behaviour.
The second step of this experiment consists in the flow visualization of a sphere. In this case, additional black and white
inks are required. To visualize the flow around the falling particle it is necessary to involve the sphere with one of the
inks and release it into the fluid cylinder. As the particle falls, it releases ink to surroundings, allowing the visualization
and sketching of the flow streamlines, making it possible to discuss the visual differences between a laminar and a
turbulent flow.

RESULTS

WATER
Table1: Experimental Results of objects dropped in water

Object T.1
(s)
T.2
(s)
T.3
(s)
Average
Time (s)
Terminal
Velocity (V) m/s
Drag
coefficient (CD)
Reynolds
number (Re)
Small
Sphere
3.50 3.84 3.59 3.64 0.136 0.596 635.207
Medium
Sphere
2.25 2.22 2.21 2.23 0.222 0.531 2459.27
Large
Sphere
1.87 1.97 1.81 1.88 0.239 0.788 4555.77
Square

7.03 7.00 7.03 7.02 0.070 2.292 1774.44
Rectangle

7.57 7.22 7.56 7.45 0.066 2.578 1338.43

OIL
Table2: Experimental Results of objects dropped in oil

Object T.1
(s)
T.2
(s)
T.3
(s)
Average
Time (s)
Terminal
Velocity (V) m/s
Drag
coefficient (CD)
Reynolds
number (Re)
Small
Sphere
7.21 7.31 7.00 7.17 0.068 4.559 13.939
Medium
Sphere
2.65 2.72 2.62 2.66 0.188 1.415 91.402
Large
Sphere
1.56 1.62 1.68 1.62 0.309 0.901 258.500
Square

4.12 4.06 4.19 4.12 0.121 1.466 134.610
Rectangle

4.56 4.53 4.53 4.54 0.110 1.774 97.902


FLOW VISUALISATION



Table3: Characteristics of laminar and turbulent flow

LAMINAR FLOW TURBULENT FLOW
1 The flow is ordered and smooth The flow is random and very disordered
2 There are no expressive velocity fluctuations
through the flow
Velocity fluctuations in the flow
3 Low values for the Reynolds number (<2300) High values for the Reynolds number (>4000)

DISCUSSION

By analysing the results obtained in the first step of the experiment, the first thing that we notice in both fluids is that,
when using a sphere as the object of study, the terminal velocity is highly dependent on the object diameter. When
increasing the diameter of the sphere, the terminal velocity reaches higher values, what is a result of the increase of
inertia forces relatively to viscous forces due to a larger mass of the sphere, and then having a higher value for the
Reynolds number which leads to the conclusion that the drag force increases as the Reynolds number decreases. This
behaviour can be noticed in most of the results. However, in some cases, the large amount of suspended particles in the
fluids could affect the route of solids and increase viscous effects, leading to some errors in the calculation of the drag
coefficient.
Another thing that is really clear for both fluids is that the geometry of the immersed objects can really affect the flow
behaviour. Even having the same area, it is easy to notice that the change in the geometry from a square to a rectangle
can affect the drag coefficient. In the case of the square, the Reynolds number is always higher than in the rectangle,
making it easier to conclude that the square will always reach higher terminal velocities.
Finally, when comparing both fluids in all the cases, it is noticeable that the Reynolds number, when using the oil as the
fluid in the system, is significantly lower when comparing similar cases using water, which makes it much easier to
have a laminar flow using oil, due to its higher viscosity.


QUESTIONS: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

(e) Parachute question:
Neglecting buoyancy force, as the density of air is relatively low, we find that the parachute diameter is d = 10.285m

(f) Golf Ball question:
Obtaining the maximum and minimum values of Re from the table we find: 18.5 ms
-1
< Vball < 61.67 ms
-1

CONCLUSIONS:
The properties of the fluid in study, especially viscosity, have a great influence in the magnitude of the terminal
velocity reached by an object. Drag coefficient is highly dependent on Reynolds number, being observed that the
Reynolds number increases as the drag coefficient increases. Finally we can conclude that the dimensions and the
geometry of the object can really influence on the flow behaviour.

APENDIX