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Reduce mass flow rate may increase air velocity?

  1. Oct 2, 2015 #1

    I used a blower to flow air across an open duct through a nozzle. By using a gate valve, the mass flow rates were controlled. I took measurement in 3 different locations along the ducts.

    But, why by decreasing the mass flow rate, the air velocity was increased? It is just happend for the lower mass flow rates (downsizing the gate near to the bottom of surface)!!. but not when the gate is fully opened.

    I also wondering if someone could explain what should happen to the total pressure, dynamic pressure and static pressures when decreasing and increasing the mass flow rate?

    I'm really need someone to explain this simple physics. As I read more, I also confused more!!

    Thanks all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    Bernoulli's principle and equation relate the three different types of pressure to each other and the concept of a venturi explains why velocity is higher in a restriction. However, unlike a venturi, a valve doesn't provide a smooth restriction, resulting in flow separation, eddies, high velocity jets and other non-uniform flow patterns for a certain distance after the restriction.
  4. Oct 2, 2015 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How are you measuring mass flow, and in what units are you measuring it? For the same mass flow rate and a smaller orifice size, the velocity will be higher since you have to squeeze more mass per second through the opening. If you are reducing the mass flow rate and the orifice size at the same time, it will depend on how fast the mass flow rate is reduced compared to the rate the area of your orifice is reduced. That is likely to be a rather complex relationship when you are using a blower, and probably not linear. If you really are measuring a higher velocity with a smaller orifice, it just means that the mass flow rate has not fallen as fast as the area has.
  5. Oct 2, 2015 #4

    I was measuring the mass flow rate in kg/s, = density*velocity*area (orifice size). Thus same mass flow rate from the blower, but controlling the orifice size.
    So, probably due to both venturi effects and squeezing more mass per second through the smaller opening.

    Thanks to you both Russ_watters & boneh3ad.
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