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EML 5714/EAS4132 Fall 2014


The study of Compressible Flow involves the combination of thermodynamic
principles with that of fluid motion.
Applicable from high speed aircraft to turbines to pipeline flows

A Fluid is defined as substance which deforms continuously under shear stress, i.e., the
molecules are free to move with respect to one another creating a velocity.

Shear load applied to a fluid (Shames 2003).

Types of Fluids

Liquids: state of matter in which the molecules are free to move with respect to one
another, but they are constrained or restricted by intermolecular cohesive forces.
liquids have a definite volume
they will form a free surface in a gravitational field if unconstrained from
Gas: state of matter where the molecules are free to move with respect to one
another, but they are not constrained by intermolecular forces (i.e., they are subject
to collision processes)
no definite shape or volume
a gas will expand to fill the container
a gas tends to possess a much lower bulk modulus/higher compressibility
w.r.t liquids

Compressibility can be considered as a measure of the change in density produced in a fluid
by a change in pressure.

Compressibility of a perfect substance (Homogeneous and Isotropic)
EML 5714/EAS4132 Fall 2014
Consider a small cube of a substance of volume ( ) subjected to a pressure (P)

For this we can define a property (K) called the bulk modulus
= lim ( ) = /
Compressibility is classically defined as;

and is physically described as the fractional change in volume of a fluid element per unit change
in pressure.

Special cases
Isothermal Bulk Modulus K
=K compression occurs under constant temperature
Isentropic Bulk Modulus, K
=K, compression occurs in a reversible adiabatic process

Concepts of Fluid motion (pertinent to this class)
Continuum Assumption Although gasses are made up of molecules we can usually
ignore that fact and consider them as a continuous substance as long as the mean free
path between molecules is much smaller than pertinent flow scales.

Governed by Knudsen # =
EML 5714/EAS4132 Fall 2014

Where ;
average distance a molecule travels before hitting
another on
L is a characteristic dimension of the flow

< 0.01 - Continuum assumption valid (where we will work)
0.01 < K
<0.1 - slip flow
0.1 < K
<3.0 - transition
3.0 < K
- free molecular flow (rarefied gas, often encountered @ very high velocity)

empirical relationship 1.26 ( )

Viscosity Is a property of the fluid and sometimes difficult to handle. For much of this
class we will ignore it, Inviscid Flow Approximation, although this is not always possible.

No-Slip Condition
o Fluid velocity must be zero at the surface
o Applies at all solid surfaces in continuum flow

Boundary Layer
o Usually considered to be thin
o If thin enough we can neglect it and in fact for most of this class we will use
simplifications neglecting it

EML 5714/EAS4132 Fall 2014
Compressible vs. Incompressible
Consider an object in a in a tube with a piston at one end as shown below.
When the piston is moved to the right the fluid near the piston must move with it.
Incompressible if all of the fluid moves uniformly and the disturbance
created by the moving piston is felt everywhere at once.
Compressible if the fluid far from the piston need not move with the piston
thus the observer might detect the disturbance at some later time.
(compared to the actual pressure) we can call it a weak disturbance.
Since sound is merely a weak pressure disturbance the speed at which the piston
movement travels down the tube is related to the speed of sound (important
concept for compressible flow)

This implies that the speed of sound in an incompressible medium is infinite
(disturbance felt everywhere at once).

This is not physically realizable hence no fluid is truly absolutely

We can use this to tell us
> a

> a