Fluid Mechanics

6 ECTS / Semester / Portuguese

Objectives and competences

Understand the concepts of pressure in a fluid and fluid properties (density, viscosity).
Calculate the pressure forces on submerged surfaces.
Understand the fundamental concepts of fluid behaviour in situations of flux.
Calculate pipes and energy requirements for the transport of fluids (Newtonian and non-Newtonian).
Analyse the rheological behaviour of the fluids and the effects of different types of rheological behaviour.
Select the most appropriate pump for transporting fluid in a given installation.
Calculate the fluid discharge in a steady, uniform open channel.
Measurement of fluid properties: viscosity and density. Flow measurement. Measurement of energy losses.


Teaching Methodologies

The course unit is structured around lectures, group tutorials, laboratory practices and supporting tutorials.

In lecture classes, the theory is presented. In tutorial classes, the methodology for solving some typical problems is explained, and students solve calculation problems with the aim of consolidating and applying knowledge.

In the laboratory practices, students perform two laboratory protocols. In these classes, students have the opportunity to observe and quantify phenomena explained in theory and analyse experimental results.

During supporting tutorials, students clarify doubts on questions recommended by the teacher.



  • Introduction to Fluid Mechanics: Properties of fluids: density, viscosity, behaviour and quantification methods; Equipment to measure pressure.
  • Fluid Statics: Fundamental equation of fluid statics; Pressure forces in horizontal, rectangular and curved submerged surfaces; Archimedes Principle.
  • Non-viscous flow and Bernoulli equation: Velocity profiles; Reynolds number; Flow rate of a fluid; Continuity equation; Bernoulli equation; Applications: pipes, flow meters (Venturi, Orifice, Pitot), Torricelli theorem.
  • Viscous flow: Energy losses and gains in real systems; General energy equation; Energy losses due to friction and minor losses; Calculation of pipe lines for incompressible and Newtonian fluids.
  • Application and selection of pumps: Types and operating principles; Characteristic curves; Cavitation and NPSH.
  • Open channels flow: hydraulic radius; uniform steady flow; Manning equation.


Associate Professor
Chemical Engineer and PhD in Biotechnology with a specialty in Food Science and Engineering, she is an Associate Professor at the Escola Superior de…
Ana Catarina Araújo é mestre em Engenharia Alimentar pela Escola Superior de Biotecnologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa (ESB). Trabalhou sete anos nos…
Master’s in biomedical engineering and BSc in Bioengineering (major in Biomedical Engineering) from the Faculty of Biotechnology (ESB), Portuguese Catholic…