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FLUID FLOW

A Fluid is substance that can flow, like a Liquid or a Gas. The flow of a fluid can be represented by Streamlines, which are 'fluid elements' that move relative to each other.

In Laminar Flow, all the fluid elements flow in the same direction, and none of the streamlines cross over. It usually occurs at lower velocities and with streamlined objects. The word 'laminar' means flow in layers, and it is as if there are layers of fluid sliding over each other. In laminar flow, the 'layers' towards the middle tend to flow faster.

Turbulent Flow occurs at higher velocities or with non streamlined objects, when the flow lines become chaotic and mixed up. Eddies - small whirlpools - form where the flow gets mixed up.

FLUID FLOW A Fluid is substance that can flow, like a Liquid or a Gas .

Three different types of fluid flow are:

  • 1. Laminar flow

  • 2. Turbulent flow

  • 3. Transitional flow

  • 1. Laminar flow:

Occurs when the fluid flows in parallel layers, with no mixing between the layers.

  • 2. Turbulent flow:

In turbulent flow occurs when the liquid is moving fast with mixing between layers. The speed of

the fluid at a point is continuously undergoing changes in both magnitude and direction.

  • 3. Transitional flow:

Transitional flow is a mixture of laminar and turbulent flow, with turbulence flow in the center of the pipe and laminar flow near the edges of the pipe. Each of these flows behaves in different manners in terms of their frictional energy loss while flowing and have different equations that

predict their behavior.

Turbulent or laminar flow is determined by the dimensionless Reynolds Number.

Reynolds Number

The Reynolds number is important in analyzing any type of flow when there is substantial velocity gradient (i.e. shear.) It indicates the relative significance of the viscous effect compared to the inertia effect.

The Reynolds number is proportional to inertial force divided by viscous force.

Re =

v is the velocity of the fluid µ is the viscosity of the fluid ρ is the density of the fluid D is the diameter of the pipe The flow is

laminar when Re < 2100

transient when 2100 < Re < 4000

turbulent when 4000 < Re

Steady and Unsteady Flows

If a flow is such that the properties (velocity, pressure etc) at every point in the flow do not depend upon time, it is called a steady flow.

In a flow if the properties are depends on time, such flow can be called as unsteady flow.

Compressible & incompressible flows

Compressible flows

in which the density of the fluid changes from point to point the density is not constant for the fluid Incompressible flows

in which the density of the fluid does not changes from point to point the density is constant for the fluid

Rotational flows & Irrotational flows

Rotational flow: A flow is said to be rotational if the fluid particles while moving in the direction of flow rotate about their mass centers. Eg. Liquid in a rotating tank

Irrotational flow: The fluid particles while moving in the direction of flow do not rotate about their mass centers. This type of flow exists only in the case of an ideal fluid.