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Chapter 2: Pressure

At the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. Define and derive the Pascals Law. 2. Distinguish between gauge, absolute and atmospheric pressure 3. Calculate the fluid pressure under different condition. 4. Describe the different types of manometer

Fluid Statics
Fluid is at rest. Or, there is no relative motion between adjacent particles. No shearing forces is placed on the fluid. The only stress in fluid statics is normal stress (pressure forces) Normal stress is due to pressure Variation of pressure is due only to the weight of the fluid fluid statics is only relevant in presence of gravity fields. Results in relatively simple analysis Generally look for the pressure variation in the fluid Applications: Floating or submerged bodies, water dams and gates, liquid storage tanks, etc.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Pressure is defined as a normal force exerted by a fluid per unit area at a given point acting on a given plane within a fluid mass of interest. Units of pressure are N/m2, which is called a 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, lbf/in2=psi.

Pressure at a Point: Pascals Law

How does the pressure at a point vary with orientation of the plane passing through the point?
Pressure Forces Gravity Force Wedged Shaped Fluid Mass


V = (1/2dydz)*dx

Pressure at a Point: Pascals Law

p is average pressure in the x, y, and z direction.
Wedged Shaped Fluid Mass

Ps is the average pressure on the surface

q is the plane inclination

d is the length is each coordinate direction, x, y, z ds is the length of the plane g is the specific weight
Pressure Forces Gravity Force


V = (1/2dydz)*dx

For simplicity in our Free Body Diagram, the x-pressure forces cancel and do not need to be shown. Thus to arrive at our solution we balance only the y and z forces
Pressure Force in the y-direction on the y-face Pressure Force on the plane in the y-direction Rigid body motion in the ydirection

Pressure Force in the z-direction on the z-face

Weight of the Wedge

Pressure Force in the plane in the z-direction

Rigid body motion in the zdirection

Pressure at a Point: Pascals Law

Substituting and rewriting the equations of motion, we obtain:

Now, we can simplify each equation in each direction, noting that dy and dz can be rewritten in terms of ds:


Pressure at a Point: Pascals Law Now, noting that we are really interested at point only, we let dy and dz go to zero:

Pascals Law: the pressure at a point in a fluid at rest, or in

motion, is independent of the direction as long as there are no shearing stresses present.

Pressure at a Point: Pascals Law

Variation of pressure vertically in a fluid under gravity

Consider a hypothetical differential cylindrical element of fluid of cross sectional area A and height (z2 z1). Upward force due to pressure P1 on the element = P1A Downward force due to pressure P2 on the element = P2A

Force due to weight of the element

mg = A(z2 - z1)g

Equating the upward and downward forces,

P1A = P2A + A(z2 - z1)g P2 - P1 = - g(z2 - z1)

Thus in any fluid under gravitational acceleration, pressure decreases, with increasing height z in the upward direction.

Equality of pressure at the same level in a static fluid

Equating the horizontal forces, P1A = P2A i.e. sum of the horizontal forces must be zero.

Equality of pressure at the same level in a continuous body of fluid

Pressures at the same level will be equal in a continuous body of fluid, even though there is no direct horizontal path between P and Q provided that P and Q are in the same continuous body of fluid.

PR = PS PR = PP + gh PS = PQ + gh PP + gh = PQ + gh PP = PQ


Measurement of Pressure

Atmospheric Pressure
Defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of air above that surface at any given point in the Earth's atmosphere Important to measure the atmospheric pressure as it affects the measurement of pressure in fluids Atmospheric pressure is taken as 1 bar = 100kPa

Absolute, gauge, and vacuum pressures

Actual pressure at a given point is called the absolute pressure

Absolute pressure - the total pressure exerted on a system, equal to the gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure
Pabs = gh + Patm Absolute pressure is always positive

As we live constantly under pressure of atmosphere and everything exists under this pressure, it is convenient to take Patm as the datum. So, pressure is quoted as above or below atmospheric Pressure quoted this way called as gauge pressure Gauge pressure, Pgauge=Pabs Patm Pgauge = gh Gauge pressure can be either negative or positive Negative gauge pressure is known as a vacuum

Pressure below atmospheric pressure are called vacuum pressure, Pvac=Patm Pabs Standard units of Pressure are psi, psia, kPa, kPa (absolute) Pressure could also be measured in terms of the height of a fluid in a column Units in terms of fluid column height are mm Hg, inches of Hg, inches of H20,etc

The gauge pressure at any point in a static liquid of constant density can be measured by the depth, h, of a column of the fluid that would produce the pressure p = gh The pressure head is given by: h = p/g Unit for h is m, mm or cm Pressure head should be stated with the density of the fluid given

Pressure Head

Example 1
A cylinder contains a fluid at a gauge pressure of 350 kN/m2. Express this pressure in terms of a head of a) water (H2O)=1000 kg/m3) b) mercury (sg = 13.6) What would be the absolute pressure in the cylinder if the atmospheric pressure is 101.3 kN/m2

Solution :
H =35.68m H=2.62 m Absolute pressure = Gauge pressure + atmospheric pressure =451.3 kN/m2

Example 2:
Determine the gauge & absolute pressure at depth of 10m in a tank filled with water. The atmospheric pressure is 100kN/m2


Pgauge = gh = 1000 x 9.81 x 10 = 98.1 kN/m2 Pabs = gh + Patm = 98.1 +100 = 198.1 kN/m2 = 198.1 kPa

Example 3:
A container is filled with oil of specific gravity 0.85. Determine the pressure at a depth of 2.5m. What is the head in m of water?

= oil gh = (0.85 x 1000) x 9.81 x 2.5 = 20850 Pa = 20.85kPa The head in mm of water is given by: h = p/wg = 20850/(1000x9.81) = 2.125 m of water P

Measurement of Pressure: Barometers

Fluid pressures can be determined by various means and devices depending on the types of fluid Common devices used are barometers, piezometers & manometers

The first mercury barometer was constructed in 1643-1644 by Torricelli. He showed that the height of mercury in a column was 1/14 that of a water barometer, due to the fact that mercury is 14 times more dense that water. He also noticed that level of mercury varied from day to day due to weather changes, and that at the top of the column there is a vacuum.

Evangelista Torricelli (16081647)

The Barometer
Atmospheric pressure is measured by a device called a barometer; thus, atmospheric pressure is often referred to as the barometric pressure. PC can be taken to be zero since there is only Hg vapor above point C, and it is very low relative to Patm. Change in atmospheric pressure due to elevation has many effects: Cooking, nose bleeds, engine performance, aircraft performance.
PC gh Patm Patm gh

Measurement of Pressure: Manometer

Manometry is a standard technique for measuring pressure using liquid columns in vertical or inclined tubes. The devices used in this manner are known as manometers The relationship between pressure and head is used to measure pressure with a manometer
The operation of three types of manometers will be discussed today:
1) The Piezometer Tube 2) The U-Tube Manometer 3) The Inclined Tube Manometer

The fundamental equation for manometers since they involve columns of fluid at rest is the following:

h is positive moving downward, and negative moving upward, that is pressure in columns of fluid decrease with gains in height, and increase with gain in depth.

The Manometer
A manometer consists of a Utube containing one or more fluids such as mercury, water, alcohol, or oil. Heavy fluids such as mercury are used if large pressure differences are anticipated.

P 1 P 2 P2 Patm gh

The Piezometer Tube

Used to measure the pressure of liquids in containers which are under pressure Consists of a tube attached to the wall of the container Due to the pressure in the liquid (higher than Patm), the liquid would rise up in the tube The height to which the liquid rises will give the head in the liquid and can be converted to pressure Disadvantages: 1. Can only be used for liquids 2. Pressure must above atmospheric 3. Liquid height must be convenient - not too small or too large

Measurement of Pressure: Piezometer Tube


Move Up the Tube

Closed End pA Container

Moving from left to right: Rearranging:

pA - g1h1 = po

p A po g 1h1
Gauge Pressure

Then in terms of gauge pressure, the equation for a Piezometer Tube:

Note: pA = p1 because they are at the same level

Example 4
What is the maximum gauge pressure of water that can be measured by a Piezometer of height 1.5m? And if the liquid had a relative density of 8.5 what would the maximum measurable gauge pressure?

Solutions pgauge = gh = water x relative density

The maximum measurable pressure is when the tube is completely full (h=1.5m). Any higher and the tube will overflow.

pwater = 14 715 N/m2 (or Pa) p = (0.85 x 1000) x 9.81 x 1.5 p = 12 508 N/m2 (or Pa)

U-Tube Manometer

Notes: 1)Common gauge fluids are Hg and Water, some oils, and must be immiscible. 2)Temp. must be considered in very accurate measurements, as the gauge fluid properties can change. 3) Capillarity can play a role, but in many cases each meniscus will cancel.

Example 5
Using a u-tube manometer to measure gauge pressure of fluid density r = 700 kg/m3, and the manometric fluid is mercury, with a relative density of 13.6. What is the gauge pressure if: h1 = 0.4m and h2 = 0.9m? h1 stayed the same but h2 = -0.1m?

Solution: pB = pC pB = pA + gh1 pB = pAtmospheric + man gh2 We are measuring gauge pressure so patmospheric = 0 pA = man gh2 - gh1 a) pA = 13.6 x 103 x 9.81 x 0.9 - 700 x 9.81 x 0.4 = 117 327 N, 117.3 kN (1.17 bar) b) pA = 13.6 x 103 x 9.81 x (-0.1) - 700 x 9.81 x 0.4 = -16 088.4 N, -16 kN (-0.16 bar) The negative sign indicates that the pressure is below atmospheric

Pressure difference measurement Using a U-Tube Manometer

Example 6
In the figure below two pipes containing the same fluid of density r = 990 kg/m3 are connected using a u-tube manometer. What is the pressure between the two pipes if the manometer contains fluid of relative density 13.6?

= pD = pA + g hA = pB + g (hB - h) + man g h - pB = g (hB - hA) + hg(man - ) = 990 x9.81x(0.75-1.5) + 0.5x9.81 x(13.6-0.99) x 103 = -7284 + 61852 = 54 568 N/m2 (or Pa or 0.55 bar)


pC pC pD pA

Inclined manometer
This type of manometer is used to measure small pressure changes

Measurement of Pressure: Inclined-Tube Manometer

Moving from left to right: Substituting for h2:

pA + g1h1

- g2h2

- g3h3

= pB

Rearranging to Obtain the Difference:

If the pressure difference is between gases:

Thus, for the length of the tube we can measure a greater pressure differential.

Choice Of Manometer
Care must be taken when attaching the manometer to vessel, no burrs must be present around this joint. Burrs would alter the flow causing local pressure variations to affect the measurement. Some disadvantages of manometers: Slow response - only really useful for very slowly varying pressures - no use at all for fluctuating pressures For the U - tube manometer two measurements must be taken simultaneously to get the h value. This may be avoided by using a tube with a much larger crosssectional area on one side of the manometer than the other; It is often difficult to measure small variations in pressure - a different manometric fluid may be required - alternatively a sloping manometer may be employed. It cannot be used for very large pressures unless several manometers are connected in series; For very accurate work the temperature and relationship between temperature and must be known Some advantages of manometers: They are very simple. No calibration is required - the pressure can be calculated from first principles