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E PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION ON A CIRCULAR CYLINDER

1 Aim

To determine the pressure distribution on a circular cylinder and calculate the pressure
coefficient.
2 Theory

External flows past objects have been studied extensively because of their many practical
applications. For example, airfoils are made into streamline shapes in order to increase the
lift, and at the same time, reducing the aerodynamic drag exerted on the wings. Fluid flow
patterns (at very low Reynolds numbers) past a blunt body, such as circular cylinder
resembles an ideal fluid (inviscid, incompressible). The potential flow solution to this
problem results in a relation between coefficient of pressure cp, pressure on the surface of
cylinder pc, static pressure p and velocity of the fluid u which is

cp =

( pc p )
= 1 4 sin 2
1 2
u
2

The drag force calculated by this potential flow solution comes out to be zero which is known
as d'Alembert's paradox . The paradox arises because viscous influences are neglected.
The presence of the fluid viscosity slows down the fluid particles very close to the solid
surface and forms a thin slow-moving fluid layer called a boundary layer. The flow velocity
is zero when it is in contact with the solid body to satisfy the no-slip boundary condition.
Inside the boundary layer, flow momentum is quite low since it experiences a strong viscous
flow resistance. Therefore, the boundary layer flow is sensitive to the external pressure
gradient (as the form of a pressure force acting upon fluid particles). If the pressure decreases
in the direction of the flow, the pressure gradient is said to be favorable. In this case, the
pressure force can assist the fluid movement and there is no flow retardation. However, if the
pressure is increasing in the direction of the flow, an adverse pressure gradient is said to
exist. In addition to the presence of a strong viscous force, the fluid particles now have to
move against the increasing pressure force. Therefore, the fluid particles could be stopped or
reversed, causing the neighboring particles to move away from the surface. This phenomenon
is called the boundary layer separation.
At higher Reynolds numbers, the boundary layer remains laminar and symmetrical (about axis
of the cylinder parallel to the flow direction) up to the separation points. Beyond the point of
separation, the boundary layer separates and eddies are formed.

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3 Experimental Set-up
3.1 APPARATUS
Wind tunnel, Prandtl manometer, Betz manometer , circular cylinder (25mm diameter)
.
3.2 EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE:

Experiment is carried out on a suction type of wind tunnel with 0.6 m x 0.6 m test section. A
circular cylinder of 25mm diameter is placed in the test section of the wind tunnel. A total
pressure probe is attached on the surface of the cylinder and connected to Prandtl manometer.
A pressure tab is attached to the wall of the wind tunnel before the test section and connected
to Betz manometer and this gives static pressure reading. A description of experimental setup
is shown in Figure 1.The wind tunnel is switched on and the experiment is started after the
flows attains steady state (steady periodic state in the wake region). Initially the cylinder is
kept at 0o angle and the pressure readings from both the manometers are taken. The cylinder
is rotated in steps of 5o or 10o up to 70o , in steps of 1o or 2o from 70o to 80o (to be able to
capture the separation point accurately) and further rotated in steps of 5o or 10o from 80o to
180o pressure readings from both the manometers are taken at each station. Since, the flow is
assumed to be symmetrical about the axis of the cylinder parallel to the flow direction
experimental readings between 180o and 360o are not taken.

1 2

7
9

8
4

3
1 - Circular cylinder
4 - Betz manometer
7- Wall Pressure Tap

2 - Test section
5 - Honey comb
8 Diffuser

3 - Prandtl manometer
6 - Nylon screens
9 - Fan

Fig 1. Experimental setup.

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4 Procedure

Record the following observations and perform relevant calculations to obtain experimentally
observed Cp vs distribution.

( in degrees)

PPrandtl
PBetz
CP
(hp in mm of (hb in mm of (experimental)
water)
water)

CP
(theoretical)

CALCULATIONS:

c p (therotical ) =

( pc p )
= 1 4sin 2
1 2
u
2

c p (exp erimental ) =

(hp hb )
( pc p )
=
( pc p ) =00 (hp hb ) =00

5 Results and Discussion

Plot actual Cp distribution (along with theoretical distribution) on the cylinder surface.
Identify the points of separation.
Briefly mention in your report on why measuring Cp distribution is important.

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