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Fluid Mechanics (AM1401)

B Tech. Mech.& Prod. (4th semester)
Chapter: Fluid Statics
Akshoy Ranjan Paul
Assistant Professor




Chapter 2: Fluid Statics


Pressure concepts and problems

Force Equilibrium of a Fluid Element

Fluid static is a term that is referred to the state of a fluid
where its velocity is zero and this condition is also called
So, in fluid static, which is the state of fluid in which the shear
stress is zero throughout the fluid volume.
In a stationary fluid, the most important variable is pressure.
For any fluid, the pressure is the same regardless its direction.
As long as there is no shear stress, the pressure is independent
of direction. This statement is known as Pascals law

Copyright ODL Jan 2005 Open University Malaysia


Force Equilibrium of a Fluid Element

Fluid surfaces

Figure 2.1 Pressure acting uniformly in all directions

Figure 2.2: Direction of fluid pressures on boundaries

Force Equilibrium of a Fluid Element

Pressure is defined as the amount of surface force exerted by
a fluid on any boundary it is in contact with. It can be written

Pr essure


Area of which the force is applied

Unit: N / m2 or Pascal (Pa).

(Also frequently used is bar, where 1 bar = 105 Pa).


Force Equilibrium of a Fluid Element

The formulation for pressure gradient can be written as:

p = (g a)

1. If a = 0, the fluid is stationary.

2. if a 0, the fluid is in the rigid body motion.


The formulation for pressure gradient in Eq. (2.11) is derived under the
assumption that there is no shear stress present, or in other word, there is
no viscous effect.
The rest of this chapter will only concentrate on the first case, i.e.
stationary fluids. The second case is applicable the case for a fluid in a
container on a moving platform, such as in a vehicle, and is out of scope of
this course.

Hydrostatic Pressure Distribution

For a liquid, usually the position is measured as distance from the
free surface, or depth h, which is positive downward as illustrated in
Fig. 2.3. Hence,

p2 p1 = g (h2 h1) = (h2 h1)

p = g h = h


Hydrostatic Pressure Distribution

If the atmospheric pressure p0 is taken as reference and is calibrated
as zero, then p is known as gauge pressure. Taking the pressure at
the surface as atmospheric pressure p0, i.e., p1=p, p2=p0 when h1=h,
h2=0, respectively:

p = p0 + gh = p0 + h
This equation produces a linear, or uniform, pressure distribution
with depth and is known hydrostatic pressure distribution.
The hydrostatic pressure distribution also implies that pressure is
the same for all positions of the same depth.

Hydrostatic Pressure Distribution

This statement can be explained by using a diagram in Fig. 2.4, where all
points, a, b, c and d, have the same value of pressure, that is

pa = pb = pc = pd

However, the pressure at point D is not identical from those at points, A, B,

and C since the fluid is different, i.e.

pA = pB = pB pD


Standard Atmosphere
A pressure is quoted in its gauge value, it usually refers to a standard
atmospheric pressure p0. A standard atmosphere is an idealised
representation of mean conditions in the earths atmosphere.
Pressure can be read in two different ways; the first is to quote the
value in form of absolute pressure, and the second to quote relative
to the local atmospheric pressure as reference.
The relationship between the absolute pressure and the gauge
pressure is illustrated in Figure 2.6.

Standard Atmosphere
The pressure quoted by the latter approach (relative to the local atmospheric
pressure) is called gauge pressure, which indicates the sensible pressure since this
is the amount of pressure experienced by our senses or sensed by many pressure
If the gauge pressure is negative, it usually represent suction or partially vacuum.
The condition of absolute vacuum is reached when only the pressure reduces to
absolute zero.


Pressure Measurement
Based on the principle of hydrostatic pressure distribution, we can develop an
apparatus that can measure pressure through a column of fluid (Fig. 2.7)

Pressure Measurement
We can calculate the pressure at the bottom surface which has to withstand
the weight of four fluid columns as well as the atmospheric pressure, or
any additional pressure, at the free surface. Thus, to find p5,
Total fluid columns = (p2 p1) + (p3 p2) + (p4 p3) + (p5 p4)
p5 p1 = og (h2 h1) + wg (h3 h2) +

gg (h4 h3) + mg (h5 h4)

The p1 can be the atmospheric pressure p0 if the free surface at z1 is
exposed to atmosphere. Hence, for this case, if we want the value in gauge
pressure (taking p1=p0=0), the formula for p5 becomes
p5 = og (h2 h1) + wg (h3 h2) + gg (h4 h3) + mg (h5 h4)
The apparatus which can measure the atmospheric pressure is called
barometer (Fig 2.8).


Pressure Measurement
For mercury (or Hg the chemical symbol for mercury), the height formed
is 760 mm and for water 10.3 m.
patm = 760 mm Hg (abs) = 10.3 m water (abs)

By comparing point A and point B, the atmospheric pressure in the SI unit,

pB = pA + gh
pacm = pv + gh
= 0.1586 + 13550 (9.807)(0.760)
101 kPa

Pressure Measurement
This concept can be extended to general pressure measurement using an apparatus
known as manometer. Several common manometers are given in Fig. 2.9. The
simplest type of manometer is the piezometer tube, which is also known as open
manometer as shown in Fig. 2.9(a). For this apparatus, the pressure in bulb A can be
calculated as:
pA = p1 + p0
= 1gh1 + p0
Here, p0 is the atmospheric pressure.
If a known local atmospheric pressure
value is used for p0, the reading for pA
is in absolute pressure. If only the
gauge pressure is required, then p0 can
be taken as zero.


Pressure Measurement
Although this apparatus (Piezometer) is simple, it has limitations, i.e.
a) It cannot measure suction pressure which is lower than the atmospheric
b) The pressure measured is limited by available column height,
c) It can only deal with liquids, not gases.
The restriction possessed by the piezometer tube can be overcome by the U-tube
manometer, as shown in Fig. 2.9(b). The U-tube manometer is also an open
manometer and the pressure pA can be calculated as followed:

p2 = p3
pA + 1gh1 = 2gh2 + p0
pA = 2gh2 - 1gh1 + p0

Pressure Measurement
If fluid 1 is gas, further simplification can be made since it can be assumed that
1 2, thus the term 1gh1 is relatively very small compared to 2gh2 and can be
omitted with negligible error. Hence, the gas pressure is:

pA p2 = 2gh2 - p0
There is also a closed type of manometer as shown in Fig. 2.9(c), which can
measure pressure difference between two points, A and B. This apparatus is known
as the differential U-tube manometer. For this case, the formula for pressure
difference can be derived as followed:

p2 = p3
pA + 1gh1 = pB + 3gh3 + 2gh2
pA - pB = 3gh3 + 2gh2 - 1gh1


Example 2.5
An underground gasoline tank is accidentally opened during raining causing
the water to seep in and occupying the bottom part of the tank as shown in
Fig. E2.1. If the specific gravity for gasoline 0.68, calculate the gauge
pressure at the interface of the gasoline and water and at the bottom of the
tank. Express the pressure in Pascal and as a pressure head in metres of
water. Use water = 998 kg/m3 and g = 9.81 m/s2.

Example 2.5

For gasoline:

g = 0.68(998) = 678.64kg/m3

At the free surface, take the atmospheric pressure to be zero, or p0 = 0 (gauge


p1 = p0 + pgghg = 0 + (678.64)(9.81)(5.5)

= 36616.02 N/m2 = 36.6 kPa

The pressure head in metres of water is:

h1 = p1 p0 = 36616.02 - 0


= 3.74 m of water
At the bottom of the tank, the pressure:

p2 = p1 + pgghg = 36616.02 + (998)(9.81)(1)

= 46406.4 N/m2 = 46.6 kPa

And, the pressure head in meters of water is:

h2 = p1 p0 = 46406.4 - 0


= 4.74 m of water



Example 2.6
Figure below shows a tank with one side open to the
atmosphere and the other side sealed with air above the oil
(SG=0.90). Calculate the gauge pressure at points A,B,C,D,E.



Oil (SG = 0.90)




Example 2.6

At point A, the oil is exposed to the atmosphere

thus PA=Patm
= 0 (gauge)
Point B is 3 m below point A,
Thus PB
= PA + oilgh
= 0 + 0.9x1000x9.81x3
= 26.5 kPa (gauge)
Point C is 5 m below point A,
Thus PC
= PA + oilgh
= 0 + 0.9x1000x9.81x5
= 44.15 kPa (gauge)
Point D is at the same level of point B,
thus PD
= PB
= 26.5 kPa (gauge)
Point E is higher by 1 m from point A,
Thus PE
= PA - oilgh
= 0 - 0.9x1000x9.81x1
= -8.83 kPa (gauge).



Example 2.7
Determine the pressure at point A in the figure below if
h1 = 0.2 m and h2 = 0.3 m. Use water = 1000 kg/m3.


P2 = P1 + Hggh2

But P1 = Patm (open to atmosphere) ==>P1 = 0 (gauge)

P2 = Hggh2

P3 = PA + waterg(h1+h2)

We know that

P2 = P3

(same horizontal level)


Hggh2 = PA + waterg(h1+h2)

PA = Hggh2 - waterg(h1+h2)

PA = 13.54x1000x9.81x0.3 1000x9.81x(0.2+0.3)

PA = 39, 848 - 4905

PA = 34.9 kPa (gauge)

Points to be selected:
1 at the open end of the manometer
2 at the right leg of the manometer
3 same level with point 2 but at left
leg of the manometer
4 same level as point A
Pressure at the points:
P2 = P3
P4 = PA

Copyright ODL Jan 2005 Open University Malaysia

The micro manometers are used for measuring small pressure difference.
The micro manometers utilizes two manometric liquids, which are
immiscible with each other and also with the fluid whose pressure
difference is to be measured.
When PA > PB , the liquid levels will be as shown in fig.
The volume of the liquid displaced in each tank is equal to the volume of
liquid displaced in the U-tube.
If a= cross-sectional area of the U-tube and A= cross-sectional area of tank

A z h / 2 a





Example 2.8
A 6-m deep tank contains 4 m of water and 2-m of oil as
shown in the diagram below. Determine the pressure at
point A and at the bottom of the tank. Draw the pressure



water = 1000 kg/m3

SG of oil = 0.98


Pressure at oil water interface (PA)
PA = Patm + Poil (due to 2 m of oil)
= 0 + oilghoil = 0 + 0.98 x 1000 x 9.81 x 2
= 15696 Pa
PA = 15.7 kPa (gauge)

Pressure at the bottom of the tank;

PB = PA + waterghwater
PB = 15.7x1000 + 1000 x 9.81 x 4
= 54940 Pa
PB = 54.9 kPa (gauge)
Pressure Diagram

Patm = 0


PA=15.7 kPa




PB = 54.9 kPA



Hydrostatic forces

Pressure is a scalar quantity

Figure 3.1 (p. 31)

Force balance in the x-direction:



Force balance in the z-direction:

Vertical force on A

Vertical force on
lower boundary

Total weight of wedge element

= specific weight

From last slide:

Divide through by

to get

Now shrink the element to a point:

This can be done for any orientation a, so



Pressure Variation with Elevation

Static fluid:
All forces must balance as there
are no accelerations.
Look at force balance in
direction of

Figure 3.4 (p. 35)

From figure, note that

Shrink cylinder to zero


(from previous slide)




Hydrostatic Forces
If a solid plate is immersed into the fluid, the pressure is
also acted upon the surface of the solid.
This pressure acts on the submerged area thus generating a
kind of resultant force known as hydrostatic force.
Hence, the hydrostatic force is an integration of fluid
pressure on an area.
Similar to pressure, the direction in which the force is
acting is always perpendicular to the surface.
To derive the hydrostatic force for a planar
To derive the hydrostatic force for a planar surface, consider
the solid plate shown in following slide..













Example 2.1
A circular door having a diameter of 4 m is positioned at the inclined wall as shown
in Fig. E2.3(a), which forms part of a large water tank. The door is mounted on a
shaft which acts to close the door by rotating it and the door is restrained by a
stopper. If the depth of the water is 10 m at the level of the shaft, Calculate:
(a) Magnitude of the hydrostatic
force acting on the door and its
center of pressure,
(b) The moment required by the
shaft to open the door.

Use water = 1000 kg/m3 and

g = 9.81 m/s2.



Example 2.1
(a) The magnitude of the hydrostatic force FR is
FR = ghC A
= (998)(9.81)(10) [ x(4)2]
= 1.230 x 106 N
= 1.23 MN
For the coordinate system shown in Figure E2.3(b), since circle is a symmetrical
shape, Ixy = 0, then xR = 0. For y coordinate,
yR = 1xx + yC = R4 + yC
yC A
+ 10
(10/sin 60)(2)2 sin 60
= 11.6 m


Example 2.1

yR = 1xx + yC =
= 0.0866 m
yC A
(10/sin 60)(2)2
(b) Use moment equilibrium M - 0 about the shaft axis. With reference to Figure
E2.3(b), the moment M required to open the door is:

M = FR ( yR - yC )
= (1.230 x 105) (0.0866)
= 1.065 x 105 N m
= 107 kM m



Example 2.2
Find the normal force required to
open the elliptical gate if it is hinged
at the top.
First find Ftotal, the total hydrostatic
force acting on the plate:


(Appendix p. A-5) we get

Now calculate the slant distance between


The slant distance to the hinge is 8m x 5m/4m = 10m, and the slant distance from the
hinge to the centroid is 2.5m. Hence,

The two moments about the hinge must add to zero:



Example 2.3
Find magnitude and line of action of equivalent
force F.
Force balance in x and y:



The line of action of the horizontal force is

Where we just read

directly off the figure.

The line of action for the vertical force can be found by summing the moments about C
(or any other point)

(notice that we could add a constant to every x-coordinate since

Distance from C to centroid is:

So that xcp is found to be



The complete result is summarized below: