Title

Poetry in Motion: Interactive Flow Visualization Devices

Poster Number

1

Lead Author Affiliation

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Lead Author Status

Faculty

Introduction

The subject of fluid mechanics (motion), which is studied in engineering and physics, has a wide range of scientific and industrial applications, from drug delivery systems to hydroelectric power plants to atmospheric science, to name a few. In addition to its applications, fluid motion has aesthetic value too, in many instances and especially those visible to naked eye.

This project deals with developing fluids-based demonstration, or flow visualization, devices for use in classrooms or outreach settings. Such devices not only exhibit a variety of fluid phenomena but are also visually engaging to even non-experts.

A Spring 2018 SAAG provided funding (materials/supplies), which is greatly appreciated.

Purpose

The objectives are:

(a) to develop low-cost devices that showcase physics of fluids, and

(b) to explore opportunities that glycerin and other fluids (e.g., Ferrofluid) offer to exhibit fantastic flow behaviors.

Method

Flow visualization devices, with and without internal obstructions, were made with acrylic sheet and round stocks using ordinary fabrication methods. Various fluids such as glycerin, rhescopic fluid, Ferrofluid, sand, and ceramic microspheres were used. (Granular materials, under some conditions, behave like fluids.) To make the devices light and portable, the overall size for flat devices is similar to a tablet; cylindrical devices are 4-6 inches in diameter.

Most commercially available and traditional flow visualization devices usually require set up time and power to operate. There is also clean up after each use and periodic maintenance. None of that is needed in the devices reported/displayed here, as they are sealed and self-contained.

Results

Ten different flow visualization devices have been developed in this project; some are on display for participants to examine during Research Day.

Those containing glycerin and air exhibit a range of interfacial phenomena such as surface tension effects to flow instability. For the cylinder with granular materials, eruption- and landslide-like flows are at display. The disk-shaped device that contains rhescopic fluid demonstrates vortical flow among other physical phenomena (not specified here). The flat enclosure containing Ferrofluid shows magnetic behavior of the fluid when it is exposed to a magnetic field (for example, provided by a bar magnet).

Significance

Although simple in design and low-cost, the self-contained devices exhibit complexity of fluid motion. They produce visually engaging patterns and, therefore, are accessible to everyone regardless of age or science background, which makes them ideal for outreach purpose. Furthermore, they can be easily replicated by others because only ordinary materials and fabrication methods are required.

Location

DeRosa University Center

Format

Poster Presentation

Poster Session

Afternoon

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Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Poetry in Motion: Interactive Flow Visualization Devices

DeRosa University Center

The subject of fluid mechanics (motion), which is studied in engineering and physics, has a wide range of scientific and industrial applications, from drug delivery systems to hydroelectric power plants to atmospheric science, to name a few. In addition to its applications, fluid motion has aesthetic value too, in many instances and especially those visible to naked eye.

This project deals with developing fluids-based demonstration, or flow visualization, devices for use in classrooms or outreach settings. Such devices not only exhibit a variety of fluid phenomena but are also visually engaging to even non-experts.

A Spring 2018 SAAG provided funding (materials/supplies), which is greatly appreciated.