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Introducing non-Newtonian fluid mechanics computations with Mathematica in the undergraduate curriculum
Journal / Anthology

Chemical Engineering Education
Year: 2007
Issue: Winter 2007
Page range: 59-64

We study four non-Newtonian fluid mechanics problems using Mathematica. Constitutive equations describing the behavior of power-law, Bingham and Carreau models are recalled. The velocity profile is obtained for the horizontal flow of power-law fluids in pipes and annuli. For the vertical laminar film flow of a Bingham fluid we determine the velocity profile. Both problems involve the use of the shooting techniques because they have split boundary conditions. Since Mathematica permits symbolic computations, we determine analytical expressions of volumetric flow rates for pipe flow of the Bingham and power-law fluids. We use the built-in optimization command of Mathematica, FindMinimum, in order to find the non-Newtonian fluid model from representative data of flow rates measured under different applied pressure gradients in a horizontal pipe. These pedagogic problems are used to introduce the field of non-Newtonian fluid mechanics to students at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Tunis. The Mathematica notebooks are available from the corresponding author upon request or at Wolfram Research.

*Education > College
*Engineering > Chemical Engineering

power law and Bingham fluids, annulus and pipe flow, model determination