Preston-Static Tubes for the Measurement of Wall Shear Stress

[+] Author and Article Information
Josef Daniel Ackerman, C. Ross Ethier, Jan K. Spelt

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A4

Louis Wong, D. Grant Allen

Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

J. Fluids Eng 116(3), 645-649 (Sep 01, 1994) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910326 History: Received November 29, 1992; Revised May 02, 1994; Online May 23, 2008


We present a Preston tube device that combines both total and static pressure readings for the measurement of wall shear stress. As such, the device facilitates the measurement of wall shear stress under conditions where there is streamline curvature and/or over surfaces on which it is difficult to either manufacture an array of static-pressure taps or to position a single tap. Our “Preston-static” device is easily and conveniently constructed from commercially available regular and side-bored syringe needles. The pressure difference between the total pressure measured in the regular syringe needle and the static pressure measured in the side-bored one is used to determine the wall shear stress. Wall shear stresses measured in pipe flow were consistent with independently determined values and values obtained using a conventional Preston tube. These results indicate that Preston-static tubes provide a reliable and convenient method of measuring wall shear stress.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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