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Hydrostatic Forces acting on a Submerged Surface

A thrust force will act on a submerged surface

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Thrust force acting on a submerged surface

The thrust force acting on a surface submerged in a liquid can be calculated as

F = pa

   = ha ρ g A                           (1)

where

F = thrust force (N)

pa = average pressure on the surface (Pa)

A = area of submerged surface (m2)

ha = average depth (m)

ρ = density (kg/m3)  (water 1000 kg/m3)

g = acceleration of gravity (9.81 m/s2

Example - The thrust force acting on the side of a container

The trust force acting on the submerged side of a container can be calculated as

F = pa

   = ((pt + pb) / 2) A   

   = (ρ g (ht + hb) / 2) A                         (2)

where

pt = pressure at the top of the submerged surface (Pa)

pb = pressure at the bottom of the submerged surface (Pa)

ht = depth at the top of the submerged surface (m)

hb = depth at the bottom of the submerged surface (m)

The thrust on a surface with width 1 m and height from 0 m to 2 m - in a water-filled container can be calculated as

F =  (ρ g (ht + hb) / 2) A

   = (1000 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2) ((0 m) + (2 m)) / 2) ((1 m) (2 m))

   = 19620 N

   = 19.6 kN

Example - The thrust force acting on the bottom of a container

The trust force acting on the bottom of a submerged container can be calculated as

F =  pb A   

   = ρ g hb A                                     (2b)

The thrust on a bottom with width 1 m and length 2 m - on depth 1 m - in a water filled container can be calculated as

F =  ρ g hb A

   = (1000 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2) (1 m) ((1 m) (2 m))

   = 19620 N

   = 19.6 kN

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2011). Hydrostatic Forces acting on a Submerged Surface. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thrust-submerged-surface-d_1767.html [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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