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Engineering Fluid Mechanics Hydrostatics

LO2: Apply hydrostatic principles to fluid forces, pressures, stability and buoyancy

Dr. Amirhossein Malakahmad

Civil Engineering Department Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS

Unit objectives
At the end of this session you will be able to :

Determine the variation of pressure in a fluid at rest. Calculate the forces exerted by a fluid at rest on plane submerged surface.

Pressure is defined as a normal force applied by a fluid per unit area. Unit of pressure in SI system is kg/ms2 (N/m2), which is called pascal (Pa). Since the unit Pa is too small for pressures encountered in practice, kilopascal (1 kPa = 103 Pa) and megapascal (1 MPa = 106 Pa) are commonly used. Other units include bar, atm, kgf/cm2 are used commonly and are almost equivalent to each other and equal to 100kPa.

Absolute, Gage, and Vacuum pressures

Actual pressure at a given point is called the absolute pressure. Most pressure-measuring devices are calibrated to read zero in the atmosphere, and therefore indicate gage pressure, Pabs= Pgage + Patm Pressure below atmospheric pressure are called vacuum pressure, Pvac= Patm - Pabs

Absolute, Gage, and Vacuum pressures

Example 1: A vacuum gauge connected to a chamber reads 24 kPa at a location where the atmospheric pressure is 92 kPa. Determine the absolute pressure in the chamber.

Pressure at a Point
Pressure is the compressive force per unit area.
Pressure at any point in a fluid is the same in all directions. Pressure has a magnitude, but not a specific direction, and thus it is a scalar quantity.

Variation of Pressure with Depth

In the presence of a gravitational field, pressure increases with depth because more fluid rests on deeper layers. To obtain a relation for the variation of pressure with depth, consider rectangular element
Force balance in z-direction gives

maz 0

P2 x P x g xz 0 1
Dividing by x and rearranging gives

P P2 P g z s z 1

Variation of Pressure with Depth

Pressure in a fluid at rest is independent of the shape of the container. Pressure is the same at all points on a horizontal plane in a given fluid.

The Manometer
An elevation change of h in a fluid at rest equals to P/g. A device based on this is called a manometer. A manometer consists of a U-tube containing one or more fluids such as mercury, water, alcohol, or oil. Heavy fluids such as mercury are used if large pressure differences are expected.

P P2 1 P2 Patm gh

Example 2: A manometer is used to measure

the pressure of gas in a tank. The fluid used has a specific gravity of 13.6, and the manometer column height is 35 cm, as shown in Figure. If the local atmospheric pressure is 100 kPa, determine the absolute and gage pressure within the tank.

100 kPa

h = 35 cm

SG = 13.6

Mutlifluid Manometer
For multi-fluid systems
Pressure change across a fluid column of height h is P = gh. Pressure increases downward, and decreases upward.

Two points at the same elevation in a continuous fluid are at the same pressure. Pressure can be determined by adding and subtracting gh terms.

Patm + 1gh1 + 2gh2 + 3gh3 = P1

Example 3: The water in a tank is pressurized by air, and the pressure is measured by a multifluid manometer as shown in figure below. Determine the gage pressure of air in the tank if h1= 0.2 m, h2 = 0.3 m, and h3= 0.46 m. Take the densities of water, oil, and mercury to be 1000 kg/m3, 850 kg/m3, and 13,600 kg/m3, respectively.

Measuring Pressure Drops

Manometers are wellsuited to measure pressure drops across valves, pipes, heat exchangers, etc. Relation for pressure drop P1-P2 is obtained by starting at point 1 and adding or subtracting gh terms until we reach point 2.

Atmospheric pressure is measured by a device called a barometer; thus, atmospheric pressure is often referred to as the barometric pressure.

The pressure at point B is equal to atmospheric pressure and PC can be taken to be zero since there is only mercury vapor above point C, and it is very low relative to Patm.

Patm = gh

A frequently used pressure unit is the standard atmosphere, which is defined as the pressure produced by a column of mercury 760 mm in height at 0C ( Hg =13,595 kg/m3) under standard gravitational acceleration (g = 9.807 m/s2).

Example 4
Someone claims water instead of mercury can be used to measure the standard atmospheric pressure, in your point of view, is it a practical approach?

Example 5: Your company has signed an agreement with Maxcarry Sdn. Bhd. for some renovation in KL tower. You are assigned as survey engineer to measure the height of the tower. For this task you only have a basic barometer. i. Explain how you can complete this task. ii. Barometric readings at the top and bottom of the tower are 718 and 753 mmHg, respectively. Assume an average air density of 1.13 kg/m3 and mercury density of 13600 kg/m3.


Pascals Law
Pressure applied to a confined fluid increases the pressure throughout by the same amount. two hydraulic cylinders of different areas could be connected, and the larger could be used to exert a proportionally greater force than that applied to the smaller. Ratio A2/A1 is called ideal mechanical advantage.

F1 F2 F2 A2 P P2 1 A1 A2 F1 A1