Dynamic pressure is the kinetic energy per unit volume of a fluid in movement.
Dynamic pressure is the kinetic energy of a flowing fluid - liquid or gas - per unit volume - and can be expressed as
pd = 1/2 ρ v2 (1)
pd = dynamic pressure (N/m2 (Pa), lbf/ft2 (psf))
ρ = density of fluid (kg/m3, slugs/ft3)
v = velocity (m/s, ft/s)
Dynamic Pressure Calculator - SI Units
The default values below are for water with density of 1000 kg/m3.
- 1 N/m2 = 1 Pa = 1.4504x10-4 lbf/in2 (psi) = 0.02089 lbf/ft2 (psf) = 1x10-5 bar = 4.03x10-3 in water = 0.336x10-3 ft water = 0.1024 mm water = 0.295x10-3 in mercury = 7.55x10-3 mm mercury = 0.1024 kp/m2 = 0.993x10-5 atm
Dynamic Pressure Calculator - Imperial Units
The default values below are for water with density of 1.940 slugs.
Some common densities at atmospheric pressure:
- Water - 0oC - 1000 kg/m3
- Water - 32oF - 1.940 slugs/ft3
- Air - 20oC - 1.2 kg/m3
- Air - 60oF - 2.373 10-3 slugs/ft3
Example - The Dynamic Pressure in a Water Flow
The dynamic pressure in water with - temperature 20oC - density 1000 kg/m3 and velocity 5 m/s - can be calculated as
pd = 1/2 (1000 kg/m3) (5 m/s)2
= 12500 Pa
= 12.5 kPa
Example - Hurricane and Force acting on a Wall
The dynamic pressure in a hurricane with air temperature 20oC, density of air 1.2 kg/m3 and wind speed 37 m/s can be calculated as
pd = 1/2 (1.2 kg/m3) (37 m/s)2
= 821 Pa (N/m2)
The force acting directly on a wall with area 10 m2 can be calculated as
F = pd A
= (821 N/m2) (10 m2)
= 8210 N
= 8.2 kN
- almost the weight of a small car.
Note! - the real force acting on the wall - or an other obstruction in the wind - is in general more complicated to calculate due to drag, turbulence and other effects.