Material Properties of Fluids

Overview of this Lesson

When we design anything, we use fluid properties. Thus, this lesson

  • describes fluids, liquids and gases, and
  • introduces the most useful fluid properties

Benefits of this Lesson

  • Learn about the nature of fluids and the continuum assumption
  • Learn the meaning of fluid properties
  • Learn how to look up and document fluid properties


1. Learners know main concepts.
a. fluid, liquid, gas, continuum assumption
b. density1, specific weight, specific gravity
c. viscosity (include subconcepts: absolute versus kinematic viscosity, Newtonian versus Non-Newtonian fluid)
d. stress, shear stress
e. surface tension, vapor pressure, bulk modulus of elasticity

2. Learners know the Viscosity Equation.

3. Learners document fluid properties.

Steps to Reach Goals

1. Goal Setting.
Recommend: Write down personal goals for this lesson. Ask yourself, what do I want? What are my motivations for studying engineering? Make your goals specific (i.e. measurable) and challenging. For more information, see "how to write goals."

2. Fluids/Continuum Assumption.
a. Read pp. 1 to 3.
b. Make sure you have attained goal 1a.

3. Density/Specific Gravity/Specific Weight.
a. Read pp. 15 to 16.
b. Make sure you have attained goal 1b.
c. Skim Summary of fluid properties.
d. Work through these practice problems on the video (part1 and part2). The problem handouts is here.

4. Viscosity and Newtonian Fluids
a. Read pp. 18 to 24.
b. Make sure you have attained goal 1c, 1d, and 2.
c. Make sure you can do text problems such as 2.36, 2.37, and 2.42.
Resource! Example problem 2.33. For the handout, click here.

5. Surface Tension, Bulk Modulus, and Vapor Pressure
a. Read pp. 24 to 28.
b. Ensure that you have attained goal 1e.
c. Ensure that you can do text problems such as 2.45, 2.52, 2.53, 2.62, 2.64.

6. Documenting Fluid Properties.
a. Ensure that you can document fluid properties to level 5. (goal 3).

7. Lesson Review (Reflective Thinking)
a. Assess your learning using this form. Print2 and staple the form to front of your homework. Resource: (How to write an SII).
b. Assess this lesson using this (form).

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