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INTRODUCTION

The equipment mainly used in the experiment is the SOLTEQ Free and Forced Vortex
(Model: FM24) which is designed to produce and measure the characteristics of free and
force vortices. The orifice discharge accessory enables full analysis of the flow through four
different orifices over a range of flow rates.
Vortex is the rotation of fluid elements around a common center. Mostly the fluid
flows in a spinning motion about an imaginary axis, straight or curve where these motion
patterns are called vortical flows. There are two types of vortices, i.e. free and forced. The
fluid (or gas) circles around a center in a forced vortex, whilst in a free vortex, the medium
spirals towards the center. In industry sector and the real world, the applications of the vortex
flow can be seen in various areas like in turbine design, natural phenomenon and also in
creating safety against natural disaster.
Free vortex formed when water flows out of a vessel through a central hole in a base
of a tank in which the degree of the rotation being dependent on initial disturbance. In the
free vortex flow, the fluid mass rotates without any external force. The rotation cause by
either by internal action or due to some rotation imported previously. Throughout this
experiment, the free vortex is created by using rotating plate. For instance, the free vortex
motion is flow through an opening at the bottom of a shallow vessel where the speed and rate
of rotation of the fluid are the greatest near the center.
Forced vortex motion is caused by the external forces on the fluid such as the impeller
of a pump. In this very experiment, the forced vortex flow is created by using the rotating
plate with the addition of paddle. The speed of the forced vortex is zero at the center and
keeps increasing proportional to the distance measured from the center. Both free and forced
vortex exhibit minimum pressure minimum at the center, however free vortex has a much
lower minimum pressure compared to forced vortex. During the forced vortex motion, the
fluid mass is made to rotate by external source of power which it exerts a constant torque on
the fluid mass and caused it to rotate with a constant angular velocity.

THEORY

A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent (violent), flow of fluid. Any spiral motion with
closed streamlines is vortex flow where the motion of the fluid swirling rapidly around a
center is known as vortex. The speed and rate of rotation of the fluid in a free (irrotational)
vortex are greatest at the center, and decrease progressively (little by little) with distance from
the center, whereas the speed of a forced (rotational) vortex is zero at the center and increases
proportional to the distance from the center (Theory of a Vortex). There are two types of
vortex flow which are free vortex flow and forced vortex flow.

Figure 1: Free and Forced Vortex Flow


Free vortex
The essential characteristic of free vortex in ideal fluid is that it does not require the
application of external energy or any other addition or destruction of energy in the flow field.
In such cases, the absence of friction would make it impossible to create or destroy the vortex
motion. The motion in the fluid might be permanent flow pattern and the velocity of the fluid
element that instantaneously passing through a given point will be constant with the time.
Some of the examples of free vortex are the flow of liquid through a hole at the bottom of the
container, the flow of liquid around a circular bend in pipe and the flow of fluid in a
centrifugal pump casing (Pattison, n.d.).
The water moves spirally towards the center with a streamline motion which by
neglecting losses caused by the viscosity, the energy unit per mass will kept constant. The

fluid particles move in circle about a point in the free vortex flow. The only-trivial velocity
component is tangential where this tangential speed varies with radius in order the same
circulation is maintained. All the streamlines are concentric circles about given point where
the velocity along each streamline is inversely proportional to the distance from the center. In
the non-technical terms, the fluid near the center of the vortex will circulate faster. At the
same time, the inner streamline have a shorter distance to travel to complete the ring.
Based on the vortex profile for all diameter of orifice and gradient of the graph can be
calculated using the equation:
2

( )( r1 )

X=

K
2g

Where;
X

= pressure head/ depth of the pitot tube

= gravitational acceleration

= radius
Based on the velocity which can be calculated from the pitot tube reading and the

radius profile:
V =(2 gH )0.5
Where;
V

= velocity

= gravitational acceleration

= pitot tube difference


Thus, theoretically, the velocity can be calculated using the equation:

V=

K
r

Forced vortex

In contrary with free vortex, the fluid motion in forced vortex circles around the center where
the speed and rate of rotation of the fluid is the greatest at the center and decrease
progressively as it goes away from the center. Few examples of forced vortex motion are the
vertical cylinder containing liquid rotated about its central axis with constant angular
velocity, the flow of liquid inside the impeller of a centrifugal pump and flow of water
through the runner of a turbine (Pattison, n.d.).
Throughout the experiment, the forced can be created by rotating the body containing
the fluid or by the addition of paddle in the fluid. Streamlines for such flow shall be
concentric circles and the total energy is constant along a streamline. The equation for the
forced vortex can be created by applying Newtons law to a fluid element and assuming there
is no shear stress acting on the fluid which is no relative motion between adjacent particles.
In conclusion, the resulting equation can be expressed as:

h=hh0=

w 2 r2
2g

Where;
h

= initial (non-rotating) surface height of the fluid

h0

= height on the axis

= angular velocity, radian/second

= radius of the cylinder

= gravitational acceleration