Fluid Mechanics Lab

The Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory is designed to examine the properties of fluids and to conduct experiments involving both incompressible and compressible flow. The laboratory is also equipped to conduct experiments on open channel flow, centrifugal pumps and groundwater flow. The facilities can accommodate up to three labs running concurrently depending on the experiment involved.

This laboratory is primarily used as an undergraduate teaching lab, though the experimental apparatus has been used for demonstrations in graduate classes. Both graduate and undergraduate research projects have been conducted in the laboratory.


Major Experiments Conducted

  • Flow rate and velocity distribution in a pipe carrying water
  • Energy equation applied to a convergent/divergent passage carrying air
  • Centrifugal pump
  • Impulse and momentum: impact of a jet on a plate
  • Hydraulic jump in open channel flow
  • Lift and drag on a symmetrical airfoil
  • Fluid phenomena

Equipment Inventory

  • Three rigid bed, tilting, hydraulic channels
  • Air flow bench with various test apparatus
  • Two water circulating flow benches with various test apparatus
  • Centrifugal pump and impulse turbine test rig with instrumentation
  • Pipe friction circulating flow apparatus
  • Nozzle pressure distribution unit for high speed compressible air flow
  • Subsonic 20-140 fps wind tunnel
  • Cannon-Fenske viscometers

Laboratory Highlights

The Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory is used principally for teaching:

  • Fluid Mechanics Lab
  • CEE 3500 - Fluid Mechanics

Demonstrations are held for:

  • Civil Engineering Measurements use a hydraulic flume to practice with a current meter
  • CEE 4521 - Water Resources Design may use the hydrology catchment basin for rainfall-runoff relation measurements and groundwater flow studies or the sediment tilting channel with in-house built models including SAF Stilling Basin and Parshall Flow Measuring Flume.