Course Title: Apply fluid mechanic principles in mechanical engineering

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: MIET7539

Course Title: Apply fluid mechanic principles in mechanical engineering

School: 130T Vocational Engineering

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6132 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology

Course Contact : Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dr Betty Richards
Phone: +61 3 9925 4172

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency sets out the knowledge and skills required to apply fluid mechanic principles in mechanical engineering. This includes the principles and applications of fluids, fluid components, fluid status, fluid flow, fluid power, and forces developed by flow in fluids. To perform calculations to determine changes, forces etc. fluid flow and headloss in pipes and through open channels, to determine operational aspects of a pump in a system and to describe the basic types of fluid machinery.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21200 Apply fluid mechanic principles in mechanical engineering


1. Identify the application of fluid mechanics to engineering problems

Performance Criteria:

1.1 OH&S and environmental requirements for a given work area are obtained and understood.
1.2 Established OH&S requirements and risk control measures and procedures are followed in preparation of the work area.
1.3 Safety hazards, which have not previously been identified, are documented and risk control measures devised and implemented in consultation with appropriate personnel.
1.4 The requirements for using fluid mechanic principles in solving the engineering problem are determined from documentation, reports, or clients and from discussions with appropriate personnel.
1.5 Specifications for the solution are drawn up and approved by the appropriate personnel.
1.6 Expert advice is sought with respect to the solution and according to enterprise procedures, where appropriate.
1.7 Resources and equipment needed for the task are obtained in accordance with enterprise procedures.


2. Apply fluid mechanic principles to the solution of engineering problems

Performance Criteria:

2.1 OH&S requirements for carrying out the work are followed.
2.2 Solution options are evaluated and the most appropriate solution is chosen.
2.3 Appropriate computations are carried out to ensure that the solution meets specifications.
2.4 The fluid mechanic system is sketched to specification.
2.5 Potential risks with respect to the application are analysed and management strategies are recommend to appropriate personnel.
2.6 Contingency plans are implemented in collaboration with appropriate personnel.


3. Validate and review the solution

Performance Criteria:

3.1 OH&S requirements for completing the work are followed.
3.2 The solution is validated and reviewed with the appropriate personnel.
3.3 The fluid system is documented and approved by the appropriate personnel.

Learning Outcomes

Refer to Elements

Details of Learning Activities

You will be involved in the following learning activities to meet requirements for this competency and stage 1 competencies for Engineering Associates:

• Lectures
• Tutorials
• Practicals
• Review questions
• Case projects
• Lab journal
Engineers Australia Mapping Information:

This course is mapped against stage 1 competencies for Engineering Associates developed by Engineers Australia as detailed below:

EA 1. Knowledge and Skill Base

EA1.1. Descriptive, formula-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the practice area.
EA 1.2. Procedural-level understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the practice area.
EA 1.3. In depth practical knowledge and skills within specialist sub-disciplines of the practice area.
EA 1.4. Discernment of engineering developments within the practice area.
EA 1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the practice area.
EA 1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the area of practice.

EA 2. Engineering Application Ability

EA 2.1. Application of established technical and practical methods to the solution of well-defined engineering problems.
EA 2.2. Application of technical and practical techniques, tools and resources to well defined engineering problems.
EA 2.3. Application of systematic synthesis and design processes to well defined engineering problems.
EA 2.4. Application of systematic project management processes.

EA 3. Professional and Personal Attributes

EA 3.1. Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
EA 3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
EA 3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
EA 3.4. Professional use and management of information.
EA 3.5. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
EA 3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies are mapped with competency VU21200 in the Assessment Matrix.

Teaching Schedule

The proposed teaching schedule for this competency is detailed below:


Week    Topics DeliveredElements/Performance Criteria
 1 Basic Properties of Fluids:- Description of a fluid and the difference between solids and fluids, liquids and gases, hydraulics and pneumatics; - Chemical properties, reaction with metals, corrosiveness, flammability, toxicity, pollution and environmental effects; - Dissolves gases and particles in liquids (slurries) - Foaming of liquids

 1.1, 1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5,1.7,

  2.1, 2.2, 2.3,  2.4,2.5, 3.2, 3.3

 2 Basic properties and units - mass, volume, density, specific volume, relative density, force and weight, pressure (absolute, atmospheric and gauge), temperature (Celsius and Kelvin), viscosity, surface tension 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3
 3 - Vapour pressure of a liquid - saturation vapour pressure; - Temperature and pressure effects on the basic properties - Ideal/perfect gases and liquids - Gas laws for ideal gases 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3

Fluid Statics: Pressure at a point, direction of pressure on a surface - Pressure variation with depth in a liquid - Pascal’s Principle - Manometer/piezometer calculations (vertical and inclined)

 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5,3.2, 3.3
 5 Forces due to fluid pressure on vertical, horizontal and inclined surfaces - Centre of pressure - Archimedes Principle - buoyance, flotation, apparent weight and centre of buoyancy 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3

Components: - Pipes, channels, tubes and ducts (rigid and flexible) - Valves - gate, globe, non-return/foot, needle, ball, plug cock, diaphragm, pressure regulating/reducing, safety valves - Filters and strainers for gases and liquids - Gauges and instruments - pressure and temperature gauges, liquid level gauges, thermometers, thermocouples, manometers, piezometers - Pipe fittings - elbows/bends, enlargement/contractions, coupler/unions, tees - Tanks and vessels - storage tanks, pressure vessels, header and surge tanks, weirs/dams/reservoirs - Nozzles/spray heads - Flow measurement instruments - venturi and orifice meters, pitot tube, rotameter, anemometer (fan/hot wire) - Pumps/compressors, motors/turbines - Actuators - linear (cylinders) and rotary - Selection of equipment and instruments considering properties and compatibility

Fluid flow - Steady and unsteady flow, streamlines and eddies - Velocity - average or mean and local - Mass and volume flow rate - Conservation of mass leading to the Continuity Equation for fluid flow - Modification of the Continuity Equation for volume flow of liquids or gases with small changes in density - Bernoulli Equation for ideal fluids, meaning of pressure, velocity and potential head. Total head - Causes of head loss and modification of the Bernoulli Equation to include a head loss term for real fluid.

 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

  Reynold’s Number and Flow Regime - Reynold’s Number for fluid flow in a pipe given the flow rate and fluid properties. - Characteristics of laminar, turbulent and mixed (transition) flow. - Relationship between Reynold’s Number and flow regime. - Upper and Lower Critical Reynold’s Number. - Non-circular pipes.

Head Loss in Pipes and Fittings - Darcy Equation for head loss in a pipe. - Determination of the fraction factor using both Moody Diagram and formula. - Head loss through fittings using K factors. - Head loss through a piping system consisting of a single diameter pipe and a number of fittings. - System head curve for a piping system consisting of a single diameter pipe and a number of fittings as well as reservoirs or tanks either vented or under pressure or vacuum.

 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3
 9 Test 

Pipe Networks - Head loss through parallel and series pipes. - Reduction of a simple pipe network consisting of a number of parallel or series pipes to an equivalent single pipe system.

 Channel flow - Chezy and Manning formula for flow rate through an open channel. - Flow rate given dimensions and inclination. - Optimum shape of section for both fixed and variable flow rates.

 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3


 12 Fluid Power - Definition and units for work, torque and power - Relationship between force, velocity and power and torque, angular velocity and power - Work done by a gas expanding at constant pressure - Relationship between fluid power, mass flow rate and head - Relationship between fluid power, volume flow rate and pressure - Efficiency of a pump or turbine.
- Modification of the Bernoulli Equation to include a pump or turbine in the fluid circuit as well as a head loss term.
 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3
 13 Forces developed by flowing fluids - Impulse-momentum equation for fluid flow - Force developed by a jet striking a stationary plate - perpendicular, inclined or curved - Force developed by a jet striking a moving plate or blade - Force developed by a jet striking a series of moving plates or blades - power developed and efficiency - Forces developed by a fluid flowing in a pipe or duct with changes in direction and/or cross section.  2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3

 Fluid Machinery - Distinction between the various types of fluid equipment, namely, pumps, compressors, fans, turbines and motors. - Positive displacement machines - fixed and variable displacement piston types, vane types, gear and geroter types, flexible impeller, flexible diaphragm screw, peristaltic.

Pumping Systems - Duty point for a rotodynamic pumping system by combining system head curve with pump performance curve. - Flow, head, power and efficiency at the duty point. - Energy cost of pumping. - Causes and effects of cavitation. -Avoidance of cavitation by attention to inlet system design. - Influence of fluid temperature and pressure on tendency for cavitation.

Lab sessions

 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
 16 Revision 
 17-18 Exam 

Student directed hours involve completing activities such as reading online resources, assignments, individual student-teacher course-related consultation. Students are required to self-study the learning materials and complete the assigned out of class activities for the scheduled non-teaching hours. The estimated time is minimum 30 hours outside the class time.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

National Engineering Module EA706 - Fluid Mechanics 1.


        Donald F. Young , Bruce R. Munson , Theodore H. Okiishi , Wade W. Huebsch 5th Edition, A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics            

      Roger Kinsky, Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics An Introduction

Other Resources

Notes posted on the blackboard. Handouts provided during class. References to information posted on the internet (this includes videos, papers, etc).

Overview of Assessment

Assessment are conducted in both theoretical and practical aspects of the course according to the performance criteria set out in the National Training Package. Students are required to undertake summative assessments that bring together knowledge and skills. To successfully complete this course you will be required to demonstrate competency in each assessment tasks detailed under the Assessment Task Section.

Assessment Tasks

This course will be graded based on the following assessments:

1. Assignment 15%
2. Test                 30%
3. Lab report and Team Journal    10%
4.  Exam             45%

This course is graded as Competent or Not Yet Competent and subsequently the following course grades are allocated:

80 - 100: CHD - Competent with High Distinction
70 - 79: CDI - Competent with Distinction
60 - 69: CC - Competent with Credit
50 - 59: CAG - Competency Achieved - Graded
0 - 49: NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment vs VU21200 Elements & Performance Criteria

 VU21200 Elements & Performance Criteria
Assignment x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Test x x x x x x x x x x xx x x x x
Lab report and team Journal x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Exam x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

 Assessment vs Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies

  Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies
Assessments EA1.1EA1.2EA1.3EA1.4EA1.5EA1.6EA2.1EA2.2EA2.3EA2.4EA3.1EA3.2EA3.3EA3.4EA3.5EA3.6
Assignment x      x    x x x x x x
Test x      x    x x  x  
Lab report and team Journalx     x   xxxxxx
Exam x      x    x x  x  
ALL ASSESSMENTS VU21200 3      3    3 3 2 3 2 2
 0 (Blank)Graduate attribute is not assessed.     
 1Graduate attribute is assessed in at least one, but less than one-third, of the Element
 2Graduate attribute is assessed in at least one third, but less than two-thirds, of the Element
 3Graduate attribute is assessed in more than two-thirds of the Element

Other Information

Credit Transfer and/or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

You may be eligible for credit towards courses in your program if you have already met the learning/competency outcomes through previous learning and/or industry experience. To be eligible for credit towards a course, you must demonstrate that you have already completed learning and/or gained industry experience that is:

• Relevant
• Current
• Satisfies the learning/competency outcomes of the course

Please refer to to find more information about credit transfer and RPL.

Study and Learning Support:

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to you. Services offered by SLC to support your numeracy and literacy skills are:

• Assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
• Maths and science developmental support and advice
• English language development

Please refer to to find more information about Study and Learning Support.

Disability Liaison Unit:

If you are suffering from long-term medical condition or disability, you should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek advice and support to complete your studies.

Please refer to to find more information about services offered by Disability Liaison Unit.

Late Submission:

If you require an Extension of Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) for seven calendar days or less (from the original due date) and have valid reasons, you must complete an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager.

The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. You will be notified within no more than two working days of the date of lodgement as to whether the extension has been granted.

If you seek an Extension of Submittable Work for more than seven calendar days (from the original due date), you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date.

Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special Consideration:

Please refer to to find more information about special consideration.


Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the university.

Please refer to to find more information about plagiarism.

Email Communication:

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview