Application Areas of Fluid Mechanics

Fluid mechanics is widely used both in everyday activities and in the design of modern engineering systems from vacuum cleaners to supersonic aircraft.

To begin with, fluid mechanics plays a vital role in the human body. The heart is constantly pumping blood to all parts of the human body through the arteries and veins, and the lungs are the sites of airflow in alternating
directions. Needless to say, all artificial hearts, breathing machines, and dialysis systems are designed using fluid dynamics.

An ordinary house is, in some respects, an exhibition hall filled with applications of fluid mechanics. The piping systems for cold water, natural gas and sewage for an individual house and the entire city are designed primarily
on the basis of fluid mechanics. The same is also true for the piping and ducting network of heating and air-conditioning systems. A refrigerator involves tubes through which the refrigerant flows, a compressor that pressurizes the refrigerant, and two heat exchangers where the refrigerant absorbs and rejects heat. Fluid mechanics plays a major role in the design of all these components. Even the operation of ordinary faucets is based on fluid mechanics.

applications fluid mechanisms

We can also see numerous applications of fluid mechanics in an automobile. All components associated with the transportation of the fuel from the fuel tank to the cylinders the fuel line, fuel pump, fuel injectors, or carburetors, as well as the mixing of the fuel and the air in the cylinders and the purging of combustion gases in exhaust pipes, are analyzed using fluid mechanics. Fluid mechanics is also used in the design of the heating and air-conditioning system, the hydraulic brakes, the power steering, automatic transmission, and lubrication systems, the cooling system of the engine block including the radiator and the water pump, and even the tires. The sleek streamlined shape of recent model cars is the result of efforts to minimize drag by using extensive analysis of flow over surfaces.

On a broader scale, fluid mechanics plays a major part in the design and analysis of aircraft, boats, submarines, rockets, jet engines, wind turbines, biomedical devices, the cooling of electronic components, and the transportation
of water, crude oil, and natural gas. It is also considered in the design of buildings, bridges, and even billboards to make sure that the structures can withstand wind loading. Numerous natural phenomena such as the rain cycle, weather patterns, the rise of ground water to the top of trees, winds, ocean waves, and currents in large water bodies are also governed by the principles of fluid mechanics.


Vinodh Reddy is an Editor-in-chief of ME Mechanical. He holds Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS-Pilani.

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