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Properties of Fluids in an Engineering Context

Vorlesungsmitschrift 2015 14 Seiten

Ingenieurwissenschaften - Anlagenbau


Table of Contents



Properties of Fluids
Mass Density
Problem 1.
Specific Weight
Relative Density
Problem 2.

Dynamic Viscosity (m)
Kinematic Viscosity (n)
Problem 3.

Compressibility and Elasticity
Problem 4.
Vapor Pressure
Surface Tension

Capillary Rise / depression
Problem 5:




The eBook discusses the different properties of fluids. In a general context, fluids are classified as either a liquid or gases, although in other textbooks, it also incorporates plasma as part of its scope. The coverage of this eBook is limited to the detail discussion of the fluid properties such as the density, viscosity, compressibility and elasticity, vapor pressure, surface tension and capillary rise or depression. Specific problems are presented with detailed solutions to guide the reader on the step by step procedure of solving in an engineering point of view.

The study of fluid mechanics is utilised in the field of engineering most specifically on engineering structures that incorporate the conveyance of fluids in the system. Pipelines and machines like turbines and engines also use the principles of fluid mechanics. Thus, it is cognizant to learn the basics of the properties of fluids in order to have a better grasp of the principles of fluids in application to engineering works. The units that were used in the illustrations are all in metric system.


“Fluid mechanics is a branch of physics concerned with the mechanics of fluids (liquids, gases, and plasmas) and the forces on them.”[1]

“Fluids are divided into liquids and gases. A liquid is hard to compress and it changes its shape according to the shape of its container with an upper free surface. Gas on the other hand is easy to compress, and fully expands to fill its container.”[2]

“There are two aspects of fluid mechanics which make it different to solid mechanics. Firstly, the nature of fluid is much different to that of a solid, and secondly, in fluids we usually deal with continuous streams of fluid without a beginning or end. In solids we only consider individual elements.”[3]

Properties of Fluids

The different properties of fluids are discussed below:


“The density of a fluid, is generally designated by the Greek symbol ρ (rho) is defined as the mass of the fluid over an infinitesimal volume.”[4]

Is oil lighter than water? This kind of question actually compares two measures, the mass and the volume, which makes sense in the determination of the density of a certain fluid.

Mass Density

“Mass Density is generally defined as the mass per unit volume of a material.”[5]

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Problem 1.

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Specific Weight

“The specific weight of a fluid is designated by the Greek symbol γ (gamma), and is generally defined as the weight per unit volume.”[6]

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[1] Fluid mechanics,

[2] Y. Nakayama, Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 2000, p6


[4] Fluid Mechanics/Fluid Properties, 19 October 2017

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
fluids fluid mechanics properties of fluids density viscosity surface tension capillary vapor pressure elasticity relative density specific weight specific gravity kinematic viscosity dynamic viscosity



Titel: Properties of Fluids in an Engineering Context