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Sample Exam 1 Question 1 (1 hr; 10 points) 2.

006 Fall 1999

A “dead-weight” pressure gage tester is a device used to calibrate Bourdon-tube pressure gages.
The device consists of a cylinder with a closely fitting piston. The volume between the piston face and
the cylinder head is filled with hydraulic oil. Attached to the piston is a pan upon which various masses
are placed. By adjusting the mass for a known piston diameter, any desired pressure may be obtained in
the oil. In a typical design, the piston uses no piston rings in order to minimize solid friction that would
lead to erroneous calibrations. As a consequence, there is some leakage of oil from the cylinder volume
to the atmosphere past the piston which causes the piston to descend under the influence of gravity and
the viscous drag of the oil in the gap.
In a particular design, the piston diameter is D = 10 mm and its length is L = 70 mm. The oil has
a viscosity of 0.5 kg/m sec. Atmospheric pressure is 105 N/m2.
(a) Assuming no leakage of oil, determine the mass necessary to produce a pressure of
1.5 x 106 N/m2 in the oil.
(b) Since the gap thickness is much smaller than the radius of the piston, we can model the
leakage of the oil in the gap as a one-dimensional flow. For this model, determine the velocity profile
v x ( y) (where x is the flow direction, and y is the normal direction) of the oil in the gap.
(c) For the mass determined in part (a) above, determine the rate of descent of the piston ( U) for
a radial clearance of a = 0.03 mm if viscous drag in the radial gap can be neglected.
(d) Calculate the drag force on the piston due to viscous flow of oil in the gap. How does this
compare with the normal force due to the pressure of the oil acting on the face of the piston?U


Exploded view of gap

Pressure gage
Oil flow

Cylinder wall
Gap, thickness = 0.03 mm

In Cartesian coordinates, the differential operators you may need are:

∂( ) ∂( ) ∂( ) ∂2 ( ) ∂2 ( ) ∂2 ( )
∇( ) = ex + ey + ez ∇2 ( ) = + 2 + 2
∂x ∂y ∂z ∂x 2 ∂y ∂z