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Next: Historical Background Up: Introduction Previous: What is Compressible Flow   Index

Why Compressible Flow is Important?

Compressible flow appears in many natural and many technological processes. Compressible flow deals with more than air, including steam, natural gas, nitrogen and helium, etc. For instance, the flow of natural gas in a pipe system, a common method of heating in the u.s., should be considered a compressible flow. These processes include the flow of gas in the exhaust system of an internal combustion engine, and also gas turbine, a problem that led to the Fanno flow model. The above flows that were mentioned are called internal flows. Compressible flow also includes flow around bodies such as the wings of an airplane, and is considered an external flow.

These processes include situations not expected to have a compressible flow, such as manufacturing process such as the die casting, injection molding. The die casting process is a process in which liquid metal, mostly aluminum, is injected into a mold to obtain a near final shape. The air is displaced by the liquid metal in a very rapid manner, in a matter of milliseconds, therefore the compressibility has to be taken into account.

Clearly, Aero Engineers are not the only ones who have to deal with some aspect of compressible flow. For manufacturing engineers there are many situations where the compressibility or compressible flow understating is essential for adequate design. For instance, the control engineers who are using pneumatic systems use compressed substances. The cooling of some manufacturing systems and design of refrigeration systems also utilizes compressed air flow knowledge. Some aspects of these systems require consideration of the unique phenomena of compressible flow.

Traditionally, most gas dynamics (compressible flow) classes deal mostly with shock waves and external flow and briefly teach Fanno flows and Rayleigh flows (two kind of choking flows). There are very few courses that deal with isothermal flow. In fact, many books on compressible flow ignore the isothermal flow1.5. In this book, a greater emphasis is on the internal flow. This doesn't in any way meant that the important topics such as shock wave and oblique shock wave should be neglected. This book contains several chapters which deal with external flow as well.

next up previous index
Next: Historical Background Up: Introduction Previous: What is Compressible Flow   Index
Created by:Genick Bar-Meir, Ph.D.
On: 2007-11-21