Fluids and Powder Dynamics

Module summary

Module code: GEEN1131
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Abdelhafid Belaidi



To introduce students to the topic of fluid mechanics and its relevance in Engineering and familiarise them with commonly used models to solve problems related to fluids at rest and in motion. Fluid problems are encountered in every aspect of life and engineers need to recognise and characterise different types of flows to select appropriate models to develop new systems or improve existing ones. By working on practical exercises and projects students will reinforce theoretical concepts and develop skills that help them breakdown problems and identify fluid concepts and models relevant to practical applications.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Understand the basic fluid properties and the physical laws that govern fluid behaviour and select appropriate models to solve fluid problems.
2 Compute horizontal and vertical force components on curved immersed surfaces and find the resultant forces and their lines of action.
3 Appreciate the principles of mass and energy conservation and the concepts of energy transformation in fluid machines.
4 Evaluate head losses in fluid systems and power requirements, design pipelines and pumping systems.
5 Explain the origin of lift and drag and correlate drag coefficient to flow velocity.

Indicative content

Background theory:
Fluid properties, spatial variation of pressure, stresses in fluids

Design and sizing of retaining walls and sluice gates:
Pascal’s law, forces on submerged surfaces and their lines of action, forces on floating bodies, buoyancy and stability, pressure measurement

Selection and sizing of flow metering devices:
Basic fluid dynamic principles, the flow pattern, flow types, open and closed systems, the continuity equation, Bernoulli’s equation

Matching pipelines and pumping systems for specific duties:
The energy equation, Poisseuille’s equation, D’Arcy’s equation, Moody’s chart and the determination of the friction factor, primary and secondary losses in confined flows, pump selection and sizing.

Drag reduction on moving objects (cars, airplanes…)
Boundary layer with and without pressure gradient, effects of pressure gradient on boundary layer separation, flow past streamlined and bluff bodies, flow past a cylinder, flow past a sphere, drag and lift forces, boundary layer separation and vortex formation, boundary layer control

Flow measurement:
Velocity measurement, flowrate measurement, differential head producing devices, devices using flow velocity, criteria for meter selection, meter installation, other type of meters.

Nozzle design and calculation:
Variation of pressure in terms of Mach number, one dimensional isentropic flow in ducts, isentropic flow in converging-diverging nozzles

Bulk solid conveying technology:
An overview of principal conveyor types; gravity chute, belt, chain, vibratory chute, air slide and pneumatic conveyor, with a detailed focus on the operation and key components of the latter

Teaching and learning activity

The module is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, tutorial sessions, directed learning and a comprehensive laboratory programme. Lectures are driven by real applications where consideration is given to theoretical concepts essential to the solution of engineering problems. Tutorial sessions will be used to cement theories and help the student link theory to practice to develop analytical skills essential to the solution of fluid flow problems. Learning and understanding of different fluid mechanics topics is re-enforced by working on a number of real-life challenges such as the design and calculation of hydraulic and fluid systems for diverse applications ranging from hydraulic lifting gears to innovative energy conversion systems, fluid distribution systems, thermal energy conversion and aerodynamic lift generating devices. These challenges are set for students to find answers to specific problems through the application of fluid mechanics concepts in an environmentally friendly manner. Some of the problems are open ended and will cultivate in students the practice of self-learning to develop confidence in their ability to research and learn independently. In addition to in-class demonstrations an extensive laboratory programme will further aid understanding of the subject matter by putting theories into practice as well as help students develop experimental and report writing skills.


Lab Practical - 40%
LO - all
Practical activities.

Examination - 60%
LO - 1,3,4,5.
3 hour unseen written examination.

In order to meet professional body requirements, students are expected to pass this module at 40% overall and with a minimum of 30% for each component.

Students are required to pass all components in order to pass the module.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Tutorial exercises on the topics covered, reinforcing the lecture material. Additional items of formative assessment (typically three such items) on which feedback will be provided.