What is Incompressible: Definition and 67 Discussions

In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric flow) refers to a flow in which the material density is constant within a fluid parcel—an infinitesimal volume that moves with the flow velocity. An equivalent statement that implies incompressibility is that the divergence of the flow velocity is zero (see the derivation below, which illustrates why these conditions are equivalent).
Incompressible flow does not imply that the fluid itself is incompressible. It is shown in the derivation below that (under the right conditions) even compressible fluids can – to a good approximation – be modelled as an incompressible flow. Incompressible flow implies that the density remains constant within a parcel of fluid that moves with the flow velocity.

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  1. Twigg

    What is the most incompressible elastomer?

    Hi all! Usually, one would model a rubber as incompressible (##\nu \rightarrow \infty## or equivalently ##\kappa \rightarrow \infty##, where ##\nu## is Poisson ratio and ##\kappa## is bulk compressibility). However, I am trying to use rubber in an application where performance will improve the...
  2. A

    The Euler Equation and Incompressible Fluid Theorems

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  3. Adesh

    Three doubts in a paragraph on the equilibrium of Incompressible fluids

    These are the images from Sommerfeld’s Lectures on Theoretical Physics, Vol 2 chapter 2, section 6, Equilibrium of Incompressible Fluids. Image 1 Image 2 Doubt 1 : What does it mean for a force to act on a fluid volume? Force acts on a point, force may act on a surface but I’m unable to...
  4. D

    Fluid dynamics and incompressible fluids

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  5. L

    Airfoil drag prediction in incompressible and inviscid flow

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  6. U

    Compressible flow or incompressible flow equation?

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  7. H

    A What's the meaning of "Incompressible" for FQHE?

    Someone says The fractional quantum Hall effect is an incompressible quantum liquid, what's the meaning?
  8. Davidkippy

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  9. N

    Internal pressure due to vessel collapse

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  10. A

    I Why incompressible flow does not satisfy energy equation?

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  11. M

    A How to Solve Isothermal Incompressible Navier-Stokes for Compressible Fluid?

    I did a lot of googling but could not find a satisfying answer to my question, hence a post here. Question: How to solve (or close) the isothermal incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for an isothermal compressible fluid? Situation: We have a compressible fluid, for example a gas. The flow...
  12. H

    Constant density vs Incompressible

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  13. W

    I Spectral representation of an incompressible flow

    Hi PH. Let ##u_i(\mathbf{x},t)## be the velocity field in a periodic box of linear size ##2\pi##. The spectral representation of ##u_i(\mathbf{x},t)## is then $$u_i(\mathbf{x},t) = \sum_{\mathbf{k}\in\mathbb{Z}^3}\hat{u}_i(\mathbf{k},t)e^{\iota k_jx_j}$$ where ι denotes the usual imaginary...
  14. A

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  15. S

    I Is every conservative vector field incompressible?

    So I have found that everyone conservative vector field is irrotational in a previous problem. Based on the relationship irrotational vector fields and incompressible vector fields have, div(curl*F)=0, does that also imply every conservative vector field is incompressible? Kindly, Shawn
  16. KingDaniel

    Why should an ideal fluid be incompressible?

    Hi, I read that an ideal fluid needs to be frictionless and incompressible. Please explain why, especially the incompressible part? Thanks
  17. S

    State postulate for incompressible substance

    State postulate for a simple compressible system is completely specified by two independent intensive properties. But what about state postulate for a incompressible system. Why it is not so important?
  18. F

    Boundary layer equations for incompressible flow

    Hello everyone. I posted this question in another forum and got no answers so I'll try and re-post it question here. I need to deliver a correct answer to the cited question below to my course responsible teacher. Below is also my own solution and thoughts on the problem but I don't know if I am...
  19. F

    Boundary layer equations for incompressible flow

    Hi. I am new here so I please let me know if I should post this in another forum. I have been struggling for a while with the following homework problem: "State the boundary layer equations for incompressible flow over a solid, weakly curved boundary of a Newtonian fluid. What approximations...
  20. P

    Potential flow, inviscid flow, incompressible flow

    I have a couple of questions regarding several key areas of fluid mechanics: 1. My first question deals with the Navier-Stokes equations. Does incompressible&irrotational flow imply inviscid flow? My answer is yes and here is my thought process. In the incompressible form of the Navier-stokes...
  21. Z

    What is Incompressible material?

    I sent a summary about ultrasound elastography to my teacher and somehow I wrote incompressible material in my paper. now he wants me to really explain him what is Incompressible material. I looked at internet about compressibility and Poisson ratio but doesn't still give a good understanding...
  22. M

    How long will it take for a gas tank to empty?

    Hello all, I have an oxygen tank that is 10 L in volume, pressurized at 500 barr (pressure can be adjusted down to 1 barr out of the tube), and I want to 'bubble' the oxygen into a beaker of water. I will simply use a tube (diameter is around 0.5 cm) connected from the tank and with the other...
  23. M

    MHB Incompressible Flow: Questions and Answers

    Hey! :o In my notes there is the following example: One dimensional incompressible flow in a channel of constant section. $$\overline{u}=(u(x, t), 0) \ \ \ \ \ p(x, y, t)=p(x)$$ incompressible flow: $\partial_x u=0$ Euler equations: $\rho_0 \partial_t u=-\partial_x p$ $$\Rightarrow...
  24. O

    Fluid Mechanics: Constant Pressure and Incompressible flow

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  25. C

    Divergence Operator on the Incompressible N-S Equation

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  26. KOUSIK

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  27. C

    Pressure change when volume changes for incompressible fluid

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  28. G

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  29. Z

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  30. Salvador

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    A book about liquid mechanics, says that water is considered incompressible , because the amount by which it compresses is too tiny to bother with. My question is , what would happen with a metal ball or sphere filled with water and put into extreme conditions , like in the very center of sun...
  31. Z

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  32. M

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    Homework Statement Consider a tube of uniform cross section, let one end (a) of the tube is at height h1 and other end (b) is at height h2, where h2>h. Now an incompressible fluid passing through the tube the workdone to pass the liquid at end (a) P1V1 and workdone to pass the liquid at end...
  33. E

    Incompressible flow in a funnel

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  34. N

    Fluid Mechanics: Incompressible flow and pressure

    Most liquids can be assumed to be incompressible, since the Mach-number is much smaller than 1. That means that the density variations are negligible and from the relation between pressure p and density ρ, p=c_s^2 \rho we see that the pressure in constant as well. Now, say that I look at a...
  35. N

    Low Mach Numbers: Incompressible flow or fluid

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  36. H

    Incompressible fluid in horizontal test tube

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  37. P

    Incompressible fluid acquiring momentum

    Suppose we have the set up shown in the thumbnail, in which an incompressible fluid moves from left to right, trapped by converging streamlines. The rate of acquisition, F, of momentum by the fluid is surely F = \rho A_2 v_2^2 - \rho A_1 v_1^2 = \rho A_1 v_1^2 \left\{\frac{A_1}{A_2} -...
  38. T

    Divergence of velocity of incompressible fluid in uniform gravity

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  39. tomwilliam2

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  40. F

    Compressible vs. Incompressible Flow Equations

    As a private study I'm trying to figure out fluid dynamics applied to compressed air systems. Most of the material I am studying considers only incompressible fluid flow. From what I understand about the differences between compressible and incompressible flow in terms of the equations it only...
  41. B

    Advantages/disadvantages of penalty formulation for incompressible fluid flow

    Advantages/disadvantages of "penalty formulation" for incompressible fluid flow Hi everyone: I'm interested in getting into some fluid flow modeling (e.g., advection-diffusion). I'm a newbie, so sorry in advance for any silly questions. Today I came across the "penalty formulation" and...
  42. A

    Shear stress on oscillating wall in viscous incompressible fluid

    Homework Statement A layer of viscous incompressible fluid of thickness H lies on top of a solid wall that oscillates simple harmonically w/ angular frequency Ω. u(wall)=Acos(Ωt). Ignore the motion of air above the fluid layer and find the shear stress at the wall. (Shear stress on free...
  43. S

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    Hello, I'm looking at this problem which states: "A parallel air flow along a semi infinite flat plate has undisturbed parameters as follows: " Then they list the speed, temprature, viscousity and pressure. "Demonstrate that the boundary layer can treated by means of incompressible...
  44. A

    Is there really any such thing as an incompressible liquid?

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  45. J

    Density constant along streamline of incompressible fluid

    Question: Show that for a steady flow with div.u=0, the density is constant along streamlines. I just don't see how to approach this question without Bernoulli's equation, I can see that the Lagrangian derivative of the density is zero but that doesn't specifically show that the density is...
  46. J

    (HELP )Compressible vs incompressible flow (QUESTION)

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  47. A

    Calculating Stream Function of Incompressible Fluid from Velocity

    Hi everybody, I have been looking for a way to calculate the stream function if I know the velocity \vec{v}=(vx,vy,0) of a bidimentional flux. From the formula given for \vec{v}, I know it is an incompressible fluid.
  48. E

    Bernoulli for incompressible inviscid flow

    [b]1. Investigate and apply equations of stae; speed of sound; continuity; bernoulli for incompressible inviscid flow; shear forces and stresses; laminar flow; flow in boundary layer link to shear forces and viscosity- continuity equation [b]2. [b]3. I have answered 90% of the...
  49. P

    What is the incompressible fluid?

    what is the incompressible fluid?
  50. C

    Solving Incompressible Flow Homework: Find f(r)

    Homework Statement A velocity field is given by \vec {u} = f(r)\vec{x}, r = | \vec{x}| = \sqrt {x^2 + y^2 + z^2} written in rectangular cartesian coordinates, where f(r) is a scalar function. Find the most general form of f(r) so that \vec {u} represents an incompressible flow...