Design of apparatus to determine Reynolds' number of various lubricating oils under varying conditions

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


The original intention regarding the Reynolds’ Number Apparatus was to design, construct, and operate extensively the experimental machinery. The extensive operation of the apparatus, however, would entail not only the investigation of the effects of various conditions on the Reynolds’ number of liquids, but also the effects of laminar and turbulent flow on the heat transferred from the liquid to the pipe walls. It would also be possible to use the apparatus to determine the friction factors of various diameter pipes. Any one of the above subjects contains enough material for a thesis. It was therefore decided to limit the scope of this investigation to the design, construction, and calibration of the apparatus. In view of the extremely slow delivery of equipment and the many delays encountered during the construction, this was indeed a wise decision.

It may therefore be stated that the purpose of this report is to present to the reader the Reynolds’ Number Apparatus and to acquaint him with its design, construction, calibration, and experimental possibilities. Although only enough test runs will be made to calibrate the instruments required to determine the Reynolds’ number of a given oil at one temperature, it is the author’s belief that this report will serve as an adequate guide to the construction of similar apparatuses and will stimulate others to a more extensive investigation of the experimental possibilities.