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DIMENSIONAL

ANALYSIS, ANALOGIES
AND DIMENSIONLESS
GROUPS
DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF
THE EQUATIONS OF CHANGE
To scale up or scale down the experimental systems, we need;

 Geometric similarity: that is, the ratios of all dimensions


must be the same.

 Dynamic similarity: that is, the dimensionless groups


(such as the Reynolds number) in the differential
equations and boundary conditions must be the same.
The study of dynamic similarity is
best understood by writing the
equations of change, along with
boundary and initial conditions, in
dimensionless form.
Writing the equations of change for
constant density and viscosity fluids
Define the dimensionless variables and differential operators
Characteristic length Characteristic velocity
like tube diameter like average velocity

Characteristic
modified
pressure like at
tube exit
Two choices for the dimensionless modified pressure:

convenient for high Convenient for low


Reynolds numbers Reynolds numbers
where inertial forces where viscous forces
are more dominant are more dominant
Equations of Change written in terms of
dimensionless quantities
In these dimensionless equations, the four
scale factors appear in dimensionless group.

The reciprocal of this group is named after a famous fluid


dynamicist.
Reynolds Number

 Re is the ratio of Inertial forces to the Viscous forces.


 Primarily used to analyze different flow regimes i.e Laminar,
Turbulent, or Transient Flow.
 When Viscous forces are dominant (i.e low value of Re) it is a
laminar flow.
 When Inertial forces are dominant (i.e high value of Re) it is a
Turbulent flow.
 Additional dimensionless groups may arise in the initial
and boundary conditions.

 Two such dimensionless groups appear in problems with


fluid-fluid interfaces are:
Analogies in Transfer Processes
Molecular Rate Laws
Dimensionless groups important for comparison of
molecular transports are Prandtl, Schmidt and Lewis
 Depends only on fluid & its properties.
 It is the ratio of momentum diffusivity to heat diffusivity of the fluid.
 It is also the ratio of velocity boundary layer to thermal boundary
layer.
 Pr = small, implies that rate of thermal diffusion (heat) is more than
the rate of momentum diffusion (velocity). Also the thickness of
thermal boundary layer is much larger than the velocity boundary
layer.
 Analogous to Prandtl number of Heat Transfer.
 Used in fluid flows in which there is simultaneous momentum &
mass diffusion.
 It is also the ratio of fluid boundary layer to mass transfer
boundary layer thickness.
 To find mass transfer coefficient using Sherwood number, we need
Schmidt number.
•Ratio of thermal diffusivity to mass diffusivity.
•Fluid flow with simultaneous Heat & mass transfer by convection.
•It is also ratio of Schmidt number to Prandtl number.
Important for Convective Transfers
Important for Convective Transfers
Nusselt Number (HT)

 Ratio of convective to conductive heat transfer coefficient across


the boundary layer.
 Low Nu => conduction is more => Laminar flow
 High Nu => convection is more => Turbulent flow.
 It can also be viewed as conduction resistance to convection
resistance of the material.
Sherwood Number (MT)

 Ratio of Convective to diffusive mass transport.


 Analogous of Nusselt number in Heat transfer OR Sherwood
number is Nusselt number for mass transfer.
Peclet Number

 Ration of Heat transported by convection to Heat transported by


conduction.
 Product of Re & Pr for Pe(HT) & product of Re & Sc for Pe(MT).
Grashof Number

Ratio of Buoyancy force to viscous force in natural convection.


Reynolds number is used in forced convection of fluid flow,
whereas Grashof number is used in natural convection.
Biot Number

 Used in unsteady state (transient) heat transfer conditions.


 Ratio of heat transfer resistance inside the body to heat transfer
resistance at the surface of the body. OR ratio of internal thermal
resistance to external thermal resistance .
 Shows the variation of temperature inside the body w.r.t to time.
 Bi < 0.1 => heat transfer resistance inside the body is very low =>
inside the body conduction takes place faster compared to
convection at the surface. => no temperature gradient inside the
body (uniformity in temperature) vice versa implies that
Temperature is not uniform throughout the material volume.
Rayleigh Number

 It shows the presence & strength of convection in a fluid body.


 Heat transfer by Conduction within fluid < Critical value for
that fluid < Heat transfer by convection.
 (consequences of Ra values) Product of Gr.Pr
Graetz Number

 Characterizes laminar flow in a conduit OR transfer of heat


by streamline fluid flow in a pipe.
 In case of mass transfer, Pr is replaced by Sc.
Fourier Number

 Ratio of rate of heat conduction to the rate of heat storage.


 Used along with Biot number to solve transient state heat
transfer problems.
 For mass transfer by diffusion, Fourier number for MT is used.
 It can also be understood as current time to the time taken to
reach steady state.