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Chapter 5

5.4 Conservation of Momentum


5.4a Macroscopic Momentum Balance. The equation for the conservation of momentum
with respect to a control volume (CV) can be written as follows:
rate of accumulation =
of momentum in CV
d

(m V )cv =
dt

rate of momentum into CV

( m V )
in

rate of momentum + sum of forces


out of CV
acting on CV

(m V )
out

on

CV

The total force acting on the control volume consists both of surface forces and body forces.
The surface force is due to interaction between the control volume and its surrounding
through direct contact at the boundary. The body force is due to the location of the control
volume in a force field. The gravitational field and its resultant force is the most common
example of the body force that will act on the entire control volume and not just at the control
surface.
Example 5.4-1. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Q

h
Q

Figure 5.4-1 Gravity-flow tank


The above figure shows a tank into which an in compressible liquid is pumped at a
volumetric flow rate Qo (ft3/s). The height of liquid in the vertical tank is h (ft). The flow rate
out of the tank is Q (ft3/s).The length of the exit line is L (ft) and its inside diameter is Dp (ft).
The cylindrical tank has an inside diameter Dt (ft). The liquid level h is determined as a
function of time given an initial height ho and initial velocity Vo of the liquid in the pipe.
Solution -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Step #1: Define the system.
We assume plug-flow conditions and incompressible liquid for the liquid flowing
through the pipe. Therefore all the liquid is moving at the same velocity, more or less like a
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solid rod. The velocity V (ft/s) is equal to the volumetric flow Q divided by the crosssectional area Ap of the pipe.

FL
0
L
Figure 5.4-2 Exit line of the gravity-flow tank
F0

Let control volume (CV) be the fluid inside the exit line then the mass m of fluid
inside the pipe is ApL.
Step #2: Find equation that contains the liquid level h.
The liquid level can be obtained from the mass balance however the volumetric flow
rate must be obtained from the momentum balance.
Step #3: Apply the momentum balance on system.
rate

of
rate

input

sum

acting

of accumulation
d
=
( ApLV)
momentum in CV
dt
momentum
rate of momentum

= QV
to CV
of CV

out

of

of
on

forces

= Fo FL Ff , where
CV

Fo = Aphg (hydraulic force) + ApPatm (static force due to surrounding pressure)


FL = ApPatm (static force due to surrounding pressure)
Ff = KfLV2 is the frictional force due to the viscosity of the liquid pushing in the
opposite direction from right to left and opposing the flow.
The momentum equation for the fluid inside the exit line becomes
d
( ApLV) = Fo FL Ff = Aphg KfLV2
dt

or
Kf
dV
g
=
h
V2
Ap
dt
L

(E-1)

To describe the system completely a total continuity equation (mass balance) on the
liquid in the tank is also needed.
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At

dh
= Qo Q = Qo ApV
dt

or
Qo
Ap
dh
=

V
At
At
dt

(E-2)

Step #4: Specify the boundary conditions for the differential equations.
We need to solve two coupled ordinary differential equations (E-1) and (E-2).
Physical dimensions, parameter values, and initial flow rate and liquid height are given in
Table 5.4-1
Table 5.4-1 Gravity-flow tank data
_______________________________________________________________________
Pipe:
ID = 3 ft
Area = 7.06 ft2
Length = 3000 ft
Tank:
ID = 12 ft
Area = 113 ft2
Height = 7 ft
Initial values
h = 3.0 ft
V = 2.0 ft/s
Parameters
density = 62.4 lb/ft3 Kf = 0.0281 lbfs2/ft3
_______________________________________________________________________
Step #5: Solve the resulting equations and verify the solution.
Substituting the numerical values of parameters into Eqs. (E-1) and (E-2) give
dV
= 0.0107h 0.00205V2
dt

(E-3)

Qo
dh
=
0.06248V
dt
113

(E-4)

The above equations can be solved by Matlab with initial values of V and h at a given Qo.
Table 5.4-2 lists the Matlab programs and results with Qo = 35.1 ft3/s. Figure 5.4-3 shows the
results in graphical forms.
Table 5.4-2 Gravity-flow tank results
% Example 5.4-1, gravity flow tank
% Main program
xspan=0:10:500;
[x,y]=ode45('ex541',xspan,[2 3]);
plot(x,y(:,1),'-',x,y(:,2),':')
grid on
xlabel('t(s)')
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ylabel('V,h')
legend('V(ft/s)','h(ft)')
% Example 5.4-1, gravity flow tank
function yy = ex541(x,y)
% y(1)=V, y(2)=h
yy(1,1)=0.0107*y(2) - 0.00205*y(1)^2;
yy(2,1)=35.1/113- 0.06248*y(1);
t (sec)
0
10.0000
20.0000
30.0000
40.0000
50.0000
60.0000
70.0000
80.0000
90.0000
100.0000
110.0000
120.0000
130.0000
140.0000
150.0000
160.0000
170.0000
180.0000
190.0000
200.0000
210.0000
220.0000
230.0000
240.0000
250.0000
260.0000
270.0000
280.0000
290.0000
300.0000
310.0000
320.0000
330.0000
340.0000
350.0000
360.0000
370.0000
380.0000

V (ft/s)
2.0000
2.3225
2.7830
3.3314
3.9112
4.4704
4.9660
5.3712
5.6730
5.8703
5.9718
5.9925
5.9491
5.8571
5.7314
5.5878
5.4381
5.2896
5.1502
5.0272
4.9246
4.8437
4.7843
4.7467
4.7295
4.7300
4.7450
4.7711
4.8045
4.8418
4.8804
4.9177
4.9514
4.9799
5.0023
5.0190
5.0297
5.0349
5.0354

h (ft)
3.0000
4.7643
6.2814
7.4812
8.3254
8.8100
8.9622
8.8320
8.4842
7.9809
7.3821
6.7461
6.1199
5.5362
5.0198
4.5889
4.2515
4.0072
3.8529
3.7803
3.7785
3.8344
3.9347
4.0652
4.2115
4.3626
4.5096
4.6440
4.7591
4.8514
4.9201
4.9653
4.9883
4.9917
4.9790
4.9540
4.9203
4.8817
4.8420
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390.0000 5.0319 4.8034


400.0000 5.0254 4.7677
410.0000 5.0168 4.7364
420.0000 5.0072 4.7109
430.0000 4.9973 4.6918
440.0000 4.9877 4.6789
450.0000 4.9789 4.6717
460.0000 4.9712 4.6697
470.0000 4.9649 4.6720
480.0000 4.9602 4.6776
490.0000 4.9572 4.6856
500.0000 4.9556 4.6951
*********************************************************************
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V(ft/s)
h(ft)

V,h

50

100

150

200

250
t(s)

300

350

400

Figure 5.4-3 Velocity and liquid height in an unsteady-state gravity flow tank.

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450

500

The following example presents a system where energy and momentum balance must be
applied to obtain the results.
Example 5.4-21 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Advertised is a small toy, aerocket, that will send up a signal flare and the operation is
so simple that it is amazing (Fig. 5.4-4).

piston
trigger

Figure 5.4-4 Aerocket


Our examination of this device indicates that it is a sheet metal tube 7 ft long and 1 in. 2
area. A plug shaped into the form of a piston fits into the tube and a mechanical trigger
holds it in place 2 ft above the bottom. The mass of the piston is 3.46 lb. To operate the
device, the volume below the piston is pumped up to a pressure of about 4 atm absolute
with a small hand pump, and then the trigger is depressed allowing the piston to fly out
the top. The pyrotechnic and parachute devices contained within the piston are actuated
by the acceleration force during ejection.
When we operated this toy last summer, the ambient temperature is 90oF. Assuming no
friction in the piston and no heat transfer or other irreversibilities in the operation, how
high would you expect the piston to go? What would be the time required from the start
to attain this height?
Solution -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Step #1: Define the system.
System: The piston.
Step #2: Find equation that contains h, the height the piston will attain.
The momentum balance will provide the velocity of the piston as it leaves the metal
tube. An energy balance can then be applied to determine h.
Step #3: Apply the momentum balance on the system.
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piston

trigger
zi z

compressed air

Let the positive direction be pointing upward, the momentum balance on the piston
becomes
m

dVvel
= (P Patm) Ap mg
dt

where
m = mass of the piston
Vvel = velocity of the piston
P = pressure of the compressed air within the metal tube
Patm = surrounding atmospheric pressure
Ap = cross-sectional area of the piston
g = acceleration of gravity
We need to obtain the velocity of the piston as a function of the vertical distance z.
First, the relation between the pressure P and the volume V of the moles N of compressed
air within the metal tube must be determined. For the adiabatic expansion of air
dU = dW => NCvdT = PdV
From ideal gas law: PV = NRT => d(PV) = NR dT
N dT =

1
(PdV + VdP)
R

CV
C
PdV + V VdP = PdV => CvVdP = (R + Cv)P dV = CpPdV
R
R
Cp
dP
=
CV
P

dV
V

Integrating the equation from the initial conditions (Pi, Vi) to (P, V) gives
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ln (P/Pi) = ln(V/Vi) , where =

Cp
CV

Therefore
V
P = Pi
Vi

zAp

= Pi

z i Ap

z
= Pi
zi

From the momentum equation


m

dVvel
= (P Patm) Ap mg
dt

dVvel
z

m
= Pi Ap
dt
zi

Patm Ap mg

dVvel
Pi Ap zi - Patm Ap
g
=
z
m
dt
m

P A
PA z
Let a = i p i , and b = atm p g
m
m
The momentum equation becomes

dVvel
dVvel dz
dVvel
= az- b =>
= az- b => Vvel
= az- b
dt
dz dt
dz
Step #4: Specify the boundary conditions for the differential equation.
At z = zi = 2 ft, Vvel = 0
At z = 7 ft, Vvel = ?
Step #5: Solve the resulting equation and verify the solution.
How high would you expect the piston to go?
Integrate the momentum equation to obtain
a
1
2
Vvel
= 1 z1- bz + C1
2

At z = zi = 2 ft, Vvel = 0 => C1 = bzi

a
zi1-
1

The numerical values of a, b, and C1 can be evaluated


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a=

Pi Ap zi
m

( 4)(14.7)(1)( 21.4 )(32.2)


= 1.4441103 ft2.4/s2
3.46

Note the conversion factor from lbf to lb


b=

Patm Ap
m

C1 = bzi

g =

(1)(14.7)(1)( 32.2)
+ 32.2 = 169 ft/s2
3.46

a
1.4441 10 3 -0.4
zi1- = (169)(2) +
2 = 3,074 ft2/s2
1
0.4

Therefore
Vvel = 20.5(3,074 3,610z-0.4 169z)0.5
At z = 7 ft, Vvel = 21.6 ft/s
The height h attained by the rocket when it leaves the cylinder is evaluated from the
conservation of energy. At the maximum height, Vvel = 0, all the kinetic energy becomes
the potential energy.
2
1
1 Vvel
1 21.6 2
Vvel2 = gh => h =
=
2
2 g
2 32.2

= 7.2447 ft

The total height is 14.24 ft from the ground.


What would be the time required from the start to attain this height?
The total time consists of the time the piston spent within the cylinder and the time
spent outside the cylinder.
Time spent within the cylinder can be obtained by integrating
Vvel =

dz
= 20.5(3,074 3,610z-0.4 169z)0.5
dt

from z = 2 ft to z = 7 ft. This equation is rearranged and integrated numerically using


Simpson formula with 5 points.
t=

0.5

z(ft)
2.00

dz
=
(3,074 3,610 z 0.4 169 z ) 0.5

f(z)
f1 = 0.047909
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f ( z ) dz

3.25
4.50
5.75
7.00
t=

f2 = 0.026712
f3 = 0.022637
f4 = 0.020751
f5 = 0.019641

72
(f1 + 4f2 + 2f3 + 4f4 + f5) = 0.126 sec
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Time spent outside the cylinder is obtained by applying Newtons second law to the
pistion with the positive direction upward.
m

dVvel
dVvel
dz
= mg =>
= g => Vvel =
= gt + Vvel,0
dt
dt
dt

at t = 0 , Vvel = Vvel,0 = 21.6 ft/s


Integrate the equation again
z = 0.5gt2 + Vvel,0t + zo
at t = 0, z = zo = 0
z = 0.5gt2 + Vvel,0t = 16.1t2 + 21.6t
at z = 7.2447 ft = 16.1t2 + 21.6t
Solve this equation for t => t = 0.67 sec
Time to attain a height of 14.24 ft is: 0.126 + 0.67 = 0.796 sec
*********************************************************************

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