The drop in pressure in natural gas piping is related to the density of the gas and the vertical distance difference of two locations in the pipe. Density measures the compactness of the atoms that compose a substance. Gravity pulls down the gas, causing pressure differences to increase as the distance between the two locations in the pipe gets larger. Pressure is measured in pascals, or pounds per square inch.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
Measure the vertical distance, in centimetres, between the two points for which you wish to get a pressure difference. Suppose, for this example, the distance is 35.0cm.
Convert the distance to meters by dividing by 100, since there are 100 centimetres in a meter. Now you have a vertical distance of 0.35m.
Multiply the vertical distance times density of the gas times the acceleration due to gravity on Earth. The acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 meters per second squared, is the acceleration of falling objects on Earth. Completing the example leads to 0.35m times 0.8kg per meter cubed times 9.81 meters per second squared, or 2.7 pascals.
Tips and warnings
- This process works for any fluid whether its a liquid or a gas.
- Convert a pressure from pascals to pounds per square inch by dividing by 6,894.8.
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- Georgia State University: HyperPhysics -- Fluid Pressure Calculation
- Georgia State University: HyperPhysics -- Density
- Engineering Toolbox: Densities of Gases
- "Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics"; Raymond A. Serway and John W. Jewett; 2009
- NASA: Fluid Definition
- Engineering Toolbox: Pressure Units