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Topic 5

Fundamentals of
Fluid Flow
The previous topics deals only with fluids at rest in which the only significant property used is the weight of the
Now we shall deal with fluids in motion which is based on the following principles:
(a) the principles of conservation of mass,
(b) (b) the energy principle (the kinetic and potential energies), and
(c) (c) the principle of momentum.
DISCHARGE OR FLOW RATE, Q – Discharge or flow rate is the amount of fluid passing through a section per
unit of time. This is expressed as a mass flow rate, weight flow rate, and volume flow rate or flow rate.
Volume flow rate 𝑄 = 𝐴𝜗
Mass flow rate 𝑚 = 𝜌𝑄
Weight flow rate 𝑊 = 𝛾𝑄
• Q=discharge in 𝑜𝑟 𝑓𝑡 3 /𝑠
• A=cross−sectional area of flow in 𝑚2 𝑜𝑟 𝑓𝑡 2
• ϑ=mean velocity if flow in 𝑜𝑟 𝑓𝑡/𝑠
• ρ=mass density in 𝑜𝑟 𝑠𝑙𝑢𝑔𝑠/𝑓𝑡 3
• γ=weight density in 3 𝑜𝑟 𝑙𝑏/𝑓𝑡 3
The Reynolds Number is a dimensionless parameter used to determine
the type of fluid flow.
𝜸𝑫𝝑 𝝆𝑫𝝑 𝑫𝝑
𝑹𝒆 = = =
𝝁𝒈 𝝁 𝒗
Where: 𝜸 = specific weight of fluid N/m3; lbf/ft3
𝝆 = density of fluid kg/m3 ;lbm/ft3
𝝁 = absolute viscosity Pa-s; Poise; lb-s/ft2
𝑫 = Internal diameter of the pipe mm; cm; in
𝝑 = velocity of the fluid m/s; ft/s
𝒗 = kinematic viscosity m2/s; cm2/s (stoke); ft2/s
𝒈 = Acceleration due to gravity = 9.8066 m/s2 = 32.2 fps2
Types of Fluid Flow
1. Laminar Flow – fluid particles move along straight, parallel
paths in layers or laminae, in which Re < 2000 (low velocity)
2. Turbulent Flow – fluid particles move in a haphazard
fashion in all directions. It is impossible to trace the motion
of an individual particle due to high velocity and variable
direction; in which Re > 4000 (high velocity)
3. Critical Flow – combination of laminar and turbulent flow;
also known as transitional flow, in which Re = 2000 to 4000
• Steady flow - This occurs when the discharge Q passing a given cross-section is constant with time. If the flow
Q at the cross-section varies with time, the flow is unsteady.
• Uniform flow - This occurs if, with steady flow for a given length, or reach, of a stream, the average velocity
of flow is the same at every cross-section. This usually occurs when an incompressible fluid flows through a
stream with uniform cross-section. In stream where the cross-sections and velocity changes, the flow is said to be
• Continuous flow - This occurs when at any time, the discharge Q at every section of the stream is the same.

Continuity equation
• For incompressible fluids
𝑄 = 𝐴1 𝑣1 = 𝐴2 𝑣2 = 𝐴3 𝑣3
• For compressible fluids
𝜌1 𝐴1 𝑣1 = 𝜌2 𝐴2 𝑣2 = 𝜌3 𝐴3 𝑣3
ɣ1 𝐴1 𝑣1 = ɣ2 𝐴2 𝑣2 = ɣ3 𝐴3 𝑣3
• One-Dimensional Flow
• This occurs when in an incompressible fluid, the direction and magnitude of
the velocity at all points are identical.
• Two-Dimensional Flow
• This occurs when the fluid particles move in planes or parallel planes and the
streamline patterns are identical in each plane.
• Streamlines
• The are imaginary curves drawn through a fluid to indicate the direction of
motion in various sections of the flow of the fluid system.
• Streamtubes
• These represents elementary portions of a flowing fluid bounded by a group
of streamlines which confine the flow.
• Flow Nets
• These are drawn to indicate flow pattern in case of two-dimensional flow, or
even three-dimensional flow.
• The energy possessed by a flowing fluid consists of kinetic and
potential energy.
• Potential energy may in turn be subdivided into energy due to
position or elevation above a given datum, and energy due to
pressure in the fluid.
• The amount of energy per pound or Newton of fluid is called

Head of fluid is the height to which a column of fluid must rise to
contain the same amount of energy as contained in one unit weight or mass
of fluid under the conditions being considered.
• Kinetic Energy
• The ability of the fluid mass to do work by virtue of its velocity.
𝐾. 𝐸. = 𝑚𝑣 2
𝐾. 𝐸. 𝑣2
𝐾𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑜𝑟 𝑉𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑕𝑒𝑎𝑑 = =
𝑊 2𝑔
For circular pipe of diameter D flowing full:
𝑣2 ( 𝐴 )2 𝑄2
= =
2𝑔 2𝑔 2𝑔𝐴2
𝑣2 𝑄 2
= 𝜋
2𝑔 2𝑔(4 𝐷2 )2
𝑣2 8𝑄2
= 2 4
2𝑔 𝜋 𝑔𝐷
• Elevation Energy (Potential Energy)
• The energy possessed by the fluid by virtue of its position or elevation with respect to a
datum plane.
𝐸𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 = 𝑊𝑧 = 𝑀𝑔𝑧
𝐸𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦
𝐸𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑕𝑒𝑎𝑑 = =𝑧
• Pressure Energy ( Potential Energy)
• Consider a closed tank filled with a fluid which has a small opening at the top. Without
pressure at the top, the fluid practically will not flow.
𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 = 𝑊
𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝐸𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 𝑝
𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑕𝑒𝑎𝑑 = =
𝑊 𝛾
z = position of the fluid above (+) or below (-) the datum plane
p = fluid pressure
𝑣 = mean velocity of flow

• Total Flow Energy, E

• The total energy or head in a fluid flow is the sum of the kinetic and the potential energies. It
can be summarized as:
Total Energy = Kinetic Energy + Potential Energies
𝑣2 𝑝
𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑕𝑒𝑎𝑑, 𝐸 = + +𝑧
2𝑔 𝛾
𝑁 𝑚3
• Power is the rate at which work is done. For a fluid of unit weight and moving at a rate of 𝑄 𝑠
with a total energy of E(m), the power in N-m/s(Joule/sec) or watts is:
𝑃𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 = 𝑄𝛾𝐸
𝐸𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦, ɳ = 𝑥 100%
1hp = 746W=550ft-lb/s
• the Bernoulli’s energy theorem results from the application of the principle of conservation of energy.

𝐸𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝐴 + 𝐸𝑎𝑑𝑑𝑒𝑑 − 𝐸𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 = 𝐸𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝐵

• Energy Equation without Head Lost:
• If the fluid experiences no head lost in moving from section A to section B
then the total energy at section A must be equal to the total energy at section
B. Neglecting head lost in fluid flow, the values that we get are called ideal or
theoretical values.
𝐸1 = 𝐸2
𝑣1 2 𝑝1 𝑣2 2 𝑝2
+ + 𝑧1 = + + 𝑧2
2𝑔 𝛾 2𝑔 𝛾
• Energy Equation with Head Lost:
• Considering head lost, the values that we can attain are called actual values.
𝐸1 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = 𝐸2
𝑣1 2 𝑝1 𝑣2 2 𝑝2
+ + 𝑧1 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = + + 𝑧2
2𝑔 𝛾 2𝑔 𝛾
• Energy Equation with Pump:
• Pump is used basically to increase the head. The input power of the pump is
electrical energy and its output power is the flow energy.

𝐸1 + 𝐻𝐴 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = 𝐸2
𝑣1 2 𝑝1 𝑣2 2 𝑝2
+ + 𝑧1 + 𝐻𝐴 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = + + 𝑧2
2𝑔 𝛾 2𝑔 𝛾
𝑂𝑢𝑡𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑢𝑚𝑝 = 𝑄𝛾𝐻𝐴
• Energy Equation with Turbine or Motor:
• Turbines or motors extract flow of energy to do mechanical work which in
turn converted into electrical energy for turbines.

𝐸1 − 𝐻𝐸 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = 𝐸2
𝑣1 2 𝑝1 𝑣2 2 𝑝2
+ + 𝑧1 − 𝐻𝐸 − 𝐻𝐿1−2 = + + 𝑧2
2𝑔 𝛾 2𝑔 𝛾
𝐼𝑛𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑇𝑢𝑟𝑏𝑖𝑛𝑒 = 𝑄𝛾𝐻𝐸
Problem 5 – 1

Air having a density of 1.01 kg/m3 and an absolute

viscosity of 1.79 x 10-4 Poise flows through a 30.48-cm
diameter pipe at the rate of 1814 kg/hr. Determine the
type of flow existing in the pipe.

Ans. Turbulent Flow

Problem 5 – 2
Water flows through a 75 mm diameter pipe at a velocity
of 3 m/s. find (a) the volume flow rate in m3/s and
lit/sec, (b) the mass flow rate in kg/s.
Problem 5 – 3
A horizontal pipe gradually reduces from 300mm
diameter section to 100 mm diameter section. The
pressure at the 300 mm section is 100 kPa and at the
100 mm section is 70 kPa. If the flow rate is 15
liters/sec of water, compute the head lost between
the two sections.

HL = 2.872 m