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  • Date Submitted: 11/24/2012 07:52 AM
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Knowledge Laboratory
Flow Lines and Kinematics
Lab 102, Bench 4
Author: Clemens Brechtelsbauer
Academic Contacts: Omar Matar, Christos Markides
1. Objectives
The aim of this experiment is to be able to describe the flow of fluids around ‘bluff’ bodies, in pipes and open channels, and observe clearly the transition in flow regimes (e.g. from laminar to turbulent flow). ‘Bluff’ bodies (e.g. a sphere) do not have a streamlined shape (as in the case of an airplane wing, for instance).

The specific objectives of this study are as follows:
  * To become familiar with the characteristics of laminar flow;
  * The distinguish clearly between laminar, transitional and turbulent flow regimes;
  * To observe the formation of vortices and describe their effect on the flow dynamics;
  * To develop a qualitative understanding of how fluid flow is affected by different geometries and flow conditions;
  * To calculate approximate values of critical Reynolds numbers.

Describing the flow kinematics with the help of pathlines, streaklines and streamlines was introduced in Lecture 7 of the first year fluid mechanics course; distinguishing between different flow regimes (within the context of pipe flow) by estimating the Reynolds number was introduced in Lecture 8 of that course [1].
2. Industrial Relevance
Flow visualization is an important technique in its own right and an integral part of fluid mechanics and aeronautical design. It enables the streamlining of e.g. cars, planes and ships through the reduction of drag. Fluid transport in pipes is essential in the vast majority of engineering applications in the manufacturing and oil-and-gas industry.
3. Scientific Foundation
In fluid mechanics, the knowledge of velocity flow fields provides important information for the effective design and operation of e.g. pipelines or airplanes. The Navier-Stokes Equations are used to describe flow on the basis of conservation of momentum. For most real-life scenarios,...


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