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# Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

## Experiment (4): Flow measurement

Introduction:
The flow measuring apparatus is used to familiarize the students with typical methods of flow
measurement of an incompressible fluid and, at the same time demonstrate applications of the
Bernoulli's equation.
The flow is determined using a sudden enlargement, venturi meter, orifice plate, elbow and a
rotameter. The pressure drop associated with each meter is measured directly from the
manometers.

Purpose:
To investigate the flow rate using particular flow measuring apparatus.

Apparatus:
Water flow measuring apparatus (Figure 1).

## 1 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

Water flow measuring apparatus is designed as a free-standing apparatus for use on the hydraulics
bench, although it could be used in conjunction with a low pressure water supply controlled by a
valve and a discharge to drain. Water enters the apparatus through the lower left-hand end and
flows horizontally through a sudden enlargement into a transparent venturi meter, and into an
orifice plate, a 90° elbow changes the flow direction to vertical and connects to a variable area flow
meter, a second bend passes the flow into a discharge pipe which incorporates an atmospheric
break.
The static head at various points in the flow path may be measured on a manometer panel. The
water flow through the apparatus is controlled by the delivery valve of the hydraulics bench and
the flow rate may be confirmed by using the volumetric measuring tank of the hydraulics bench.

Theory:
(1) Pressure drop at sudden enlargement

The test section consists of a 10mm diameter bore with a sudden enlargement to 20mm diameter.
Two manometer are provided.
Consider a sudden enlargement in pipe flow area from area A1 to area A2.
Applying Newton’s second law, the net force acting on the fluid equals the rate of increase of
momentum

Where P' is the mean pressure of the eddying fluid over the annular area of the expansion. It is
known from experimental evidence that P´ = P1, since the jet issuing from the smaller pipe is
essentially parallel

## 2 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

## 3 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

## (2) The venturi meter

The venturi is manufactured from transparent acrylic materials and follows the classic 21°-10°
convergent-divergent design which forms the basis of most engineering standards for venturi flow
meters.
From consideration of continuity between the mouth of the venturi of area A1 and the throat of area
A2:

## and on introducing the diameter ratio then:

Applying Bernoulli’s theorem to the venturi meter between section 1 and section 2, neglecting
losses and assuming the venturi is installed horizontally:

## 4 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

Rearranging:

## The volumetric flow rate is then given by:

The actual discharge will be less than this due to losses causing the velocity through the throat to be
less than that predicted by Bernoulli’s theorem, therefore it is necessary to introduce an
experimentally determined coefficient of discharge . The actual discharge will then be given by:

The coefficient of discharge varies with both the Reynolds number and area ratio. Typical values for
a machined venturi meter are between 0.975 and 0.995.

## (3) Orifice plate

The orifice flow meter consists of a 20mm bore tube with an orifice of 12mm. The downstream
bore of the orifice is chamfered at 40° to provide an effective orifice plate thickness of 0.35mm.
Manometer tappings are positioned 20mm before the orifice and 10mm after the orifice plate.
Due to the sharpness of the contraction in flow area at the orifice plate a vena contracta is formed
downstream of the throat in which the area of the vena contracta is less than that of the orifice.

## 5 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

Applying the continuity equation between the upstream conditions of area A1 and the vena
contracta of area Ac:

Rearranging:

## The volumetric flow rate is then given by:

The flow area at the vena contracta is not known and therefore a coefficient of contraction may be
introduced so that

The coefficient of contraction will be included in the coefficient of discharge and the equations
rewritten in terms of the orifice area A2 with any uncertainties and errors eliminated by the
experimental determination of the coefficient of discharge. The volumetric flow rate is then given
by:

## 6 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

The position of the manometer tappings has a small effect on the values of the discharge
coefficients which also vary with area ratio, with pipe size and with Reynolds number. The
variations of with Reynolds number is tabulated below for orifice plates with .

Reynolds
1 x 104 2 x 104 3 x 104 5 x 104 7 x 104 1 x 105 3 x 105 1 x 106 1 x 107
Number

D & D/2
0.6127 0.6102 0.6079 0.6068 0.6060 0.6043 0.6036 0.6032
taps

## (4) Flow Round Bends and Elbows

A 90º elbow is placed immediately after the orifice plate and before the rotameter. There is a
constant bore diameter throughout the bend with manometer tappings positioned normal to the
plane of the bend before and after the elbow.
Whenever the direction of the flow is changed at a bend or elbow, the velocity distribution across
the pipe is disturbed. A centrifugal effect causes the maximum velocity to occur towards the outside
of the bend or elbow whilst at the inside of the bend or elbow, the flow is slowed or even reversed
in direction if the flow separates from the wall and a vena-contracta formed. A secondary flow is set
up at right angles to the pipe cross section which increases the velocity gradient and hence the
shear stress of the wall.
The loss of head is related to the velocity head by defining a bend loss coefficient so that

Values of are related to the pipe friction factors or by a constant which is dependent on the
ratio of the bend radius to the pipe diameter R/D. This constant may also be treated as an
equivalent length of straight pipe expressed as diameters by using the Darcy Weisbach equation :

hence

## 7 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

For single 90º bends and elbows the bend resistance coefficient and the equivalent length are
typically:

## R/D Elbows 1 1.5 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

30D 20D 14D 12D 14D 17D 24D 30D 34D 38D

## 120 80 56 48 56 68 96 120 136 158

30 20 14 12 14 17 24 30 34 38

Note that Which suggests a significant advantage in the use of in comparison with
using for pipe work design.

Figure 2: Character of flow in a 90° bend and the associated loss coefficient

(5) Rotameter
The rotameter utilises a transparent tube and a stainless steel float providing a visual indication of
the flow rate by measuring the position of the float relative to the position of the tube by using the
integral scale, which is calibrated from 1.5 to 10 litres/minute.

## 8 Instructors : Dr. Khalil M. ALASTAL Eng. Mohammed Y. Mousa

Fluid Mechanics Lab Experiment (4): Flow measurement

Procedures:
1. Position the water flow measuring apparatus on the horizontal operating surface of the
hydraulics bench using the locating pegs on the top surface of the bench. Connect the delivery
hose from the bench to the inlet connection of the water flow measuring apparatus. Insert the
overflow hose from the inlet tank into the overflow pipe of the volumetric measuring tank.
2. Prepare the instruments such that the water passes sudden enlargement, then venturi meter,
orifice plate, elbow, and finally rotameter .
3. With the flow regulating valve of the bench closed, switch on the bench pump and allow water
to be pumped into the apparatus by controlling the opening of the flow regulating valve until
water just begins to flow into the equipment and just overflows through the air vent above the
rotameter. Ensure that there are no air bubbles trapped in the manometer tubes, if necessary
open the supply valve until water spills out of the top of the manometer tubes so that the water
flushes out all air bubbles.
4. Adjust the supply valve to obtain 6 or 7 readings with the height of water in the left hand
manometer tube increasing in increments of approximately 50mm. The maximum flow which
can be achieved for the experiment is when the height of water in the left hand manometer tube
reaches the top of the manometer scale. At each steady state condition record the heights on
each manometer tube and the flow shown on the rotameter. Also measure the flow using the
volumetric flow tank of the hydraulics bench with a stop watch.

Time (min)