Help Using a Manometer: Tips for Dean

In summary, Dean is explaining the wind tunnel and how it works. He says that the instrument will allow you to measure the aerodynamic drag in grams on the F1 car for the selected wind speed. Different cars will have differing amounts of drag at the same speed. The car is mounted on or against the test stand and the wind speed adjusted to the desired speed. The manometer allows you to match speeds from test to test or at least measure and compensate for the difference. The drag in grams indicates how much force is needed to overcome the drag.
  • #1
First of all I'd like to apologise for my question, as it will probably be embarrassingly easy to answer but I don't have any idea.
I've recently been given the role of running a manufacturing centre for F1 in Schools and everything is going well apart from one area.
We have a wind tunnel to check the aerodynamics of small F1 cars made from balsa wood. The wind tunnel comes with a manometer which apparently gives an accurate reading for wind speed and also a display showing the amount of drag in grams.
Could someone please explain what this means and how I can use the figures?

Regards Dean
 
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  • #2
Basically the instrument will allow you to measure the aerodynamic drag in grams on the F1 car for the selected wind speed. Different cars will have differing amounts of drag at the same speed.

The car is mounted on or against the test stand and the wind speed adjusted to the desired speed. The manometer allows you to match speeds from test to test or at least measure and compensate for the difference. The drag in grams indicates how much force is needed to overcome the drag.

I clipped this out of wikipedia:
99a6015b6a230860c9b1517b238e5de9.png

where
FD is the drag force, (This is indicated in grams on your meter)
f7f177957cf064a93e9811df8fe65ed1.png
is the density of the fluid, (Lookup on a table for your altitude and temperature)
v is the speed of the object relative to the fluid, (Your manometer will indicate this)
A is the https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Cross_section_(geometry) [Broken], and (You will have to measure the car for this)
CD is the https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Drag_coefficient [Broken] – a https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Dimensionless_number [Broken] number.
 
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  • #3
Sorry the links back to Wiki got broken in the copy/paste.
 
  • #4
Dean Snaith said:
The wind tunnel comes with a manometer which apparently gives an accurate reading for wind speed
Does your manometer look something like this?
MkII_25_600x600.gif

Your manometer problem then is to convert from whatever are the units on your manometer to miles-per-hour or feet-per-second or something ?
 
  • #5
Doh! I translated manometer to anemometer.

Edit: Although the manometer may be scaled for windspeed at STP.
 
  • #6
Dean Snaith said:
an accurate reading for wind speed and also a display showing the amount of drag in grams.
Could someone please explain what this means and how I can use the figures?

Dean are you a non-science major who's been thrust into this program unprepared?
That's okay it has happened to me .

Following is so very elementary it is either just what you need, or a farce.
If the latter please do not take offense - it's just a shot in the dark.

You mentioned "figures"
can you post one, and give us a little more about your background?
I looked up 'F1 in schools' , looks like a great science program
but school administrations do not always match assignment to background.

Dont take following as "talking down"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, maybe this is the snag

engineers love to see everything on a graph, not a spreadsheet

Basics of a graph:
It shows the interrelationship between two things that you measure , those two things are called your "variables"
To make a graph one establishes two scales one horizontal and one vertical
like this

ordinate-and-abscissa.png

Horizontal scale is named the "abscissa"
vertical scale is named "ordinate"
but hardly anyone calls them that
we say horizontal and vertical because that's more mnemonic, or often X for horizontal and Y for vertical.
and where they intersect is called "origin" or sometimes "zero, zero"

To gather data for his graph
one controls one of his variables , observes and writes down how the other behaves.
He gets a series of paired values for his two variables.
For each pair of values he puts a dot on his graph.

it is traditional to use horizontal for the controlled variable
and vertical for the observed variable
so one chooses scales for horizontal and vertical that encompass all his numbers

On the numberless graph here
p169.jpg


horizontal is controlled variable, speed
vertical is observed variable drag
probably for a seaplane taking off from water -
you can see drag first increase with speed than decrease as the hull transitions from displacement to planing .
(Ever water ski? If so you've felt that transition...)
and as hull leaves the water there's no more water drag .So you'll measure drag at increasing speed and graph the results
kid with lowest drag curve wins.

Does your F1 apparatus also measure vertical force?
Good multi-axis wind tunnels go back to Wright Brothers
if you're near Dayton Ohio go see theirs at Air Force Museum.
 
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  • #7
amount of drag in grams.

strictly speaking a gram is a mass
and drag is a force so should be in Newtons,

but most people don't use Newtons

you'll be okay - just don't be surprised if your students try to trip you up.

A gram force miht more correctly be called a 'pond' or 9.8 milliNewtons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilogram-force
 

What is a manometer and how does it work?

A manometer is a device used to measure pressure. It works by comparing the pressure of a gas or liquid to the pressure of a column of liquid, typically mercury or water. The height of the liquid in the column indicates the pressure being measured.

How do I use a manometer to measure pressure accurately?

To use a manometer accurately, it is important to first ensure that the device is properly calibrated. This can be done by adjusting the zero point and ensuring the device is level. It is also important to make sure that the liquid being measured is not moving or agitated, as this can affect the accuracy of the measurement. The height of the liquid in the column should be read at eye level to avoid parallax error.

What are some common sources of error when using a manometer?

Some common sources of error when using a manometer include incorrect calibration, air bubbles in the liquid column, and improper leveling of the device. It is also important to make sure that the liquid being measured is not too viscous or that the pressure being measured is not too high, as this can affect the accuracy of the measurement.

What are the safety precautions that should be taken when using a manometer?

When using a manometer, it is important to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, to avoid contact with the liquid being measured. It is also important to handle the device carefully to avoid breakage and potential exposure to hazardous liquids. Additionally, make sure to follow proper disposal procedures for any hazardous substances used in conjunction with the manometer.

Are there any alternative devices to a manometer for measuring pressure?

Yes, there are several alternative devices to a manometer for measuring pressure, such as pressure gauges, pressure transducers, and pressure sensors. These devices may offer different levels of accuracy and precision, and the choice of which to use will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the experiment or application.

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