Last modified: 2/19/08 Osborne Reynolds’ Demonstration Materials

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Last modified: 2/19/08

Osborne Reynolds’ Demonstration


  • Osborne Reynolds’ apparatus (F1-10)

  • Dye

  • Thermometer

  • Stopwatch

  • Graduated cylinder

  • Step stool


  1. Obtain the Reynolds’ Apparatus from the Module Storage bay (ITL 2B60) and rest it on the top channel of the Hydraulics Bench.

  2. Position the outlet pipe and the overflow pipe in the well of the Hydraulics Bench.

  3. Securely connect the inlet quick release connector on the Hydraulics Bench to the inlet valve on the Reynolds’ apparatus. If the ball bearings on the quick connect are showing the piping is not secure.

  4. The feet are adjustable so that the assembly can be leveled.

  5. Check that ALL the valves on the Hydraulics Bench are completely CLOSED (clockwise).

  6. CLOSE the Flow Control Valve on the Reynolds’ apparatus.

  7. Turn the motor switch to ON.

  8. OPEN the Hydraulics Bench flow control valve found on the front of the Hydraulics bench.

  9. Slowly fill the head tank to the overflow level, and then CLOSE the hydraulics bench flow control valve.

  10. Open and close the flow control valve on the Reynolds’ apparatus to admit water to the flow visualization pipe.

  11. Allow the apparatus to stand at least 10 minutes before proceeding.

  12. Adjust the height of the dye reservoir assembly such that the hypodermic needle is close to the bellmouth entrance of the visualization tube.

  13. Open the inlet valve slightly until water trickles from the outlet pipe.

  14. Slowly open the dye flow control valve of the dye reservoir [Note: It takes a while for the dye to exit the hypodermic needle. Do not loosen or tighten the reservoir screw too much, or the thread could be damaged.].

  15. Once the flow regime is identified, close the dye flow control valve.

  16. The flow rate can be measured using a graduated cylinder and the stopwatch.

  17. The temperature can be recorded using a thermometer.

  18. Other flow regimes (and flow rates) can be obtained by regulating the flow control valve on the Reynolds’ apparatus.

  19. When the experiment is finished, turn the pump motor OFF.

  20. Disconnect the Reynolds’ Apparatus from the Hydraulics Bench and return it to the storage area.

Technical Data

Inner diameter of visualization pipe 10.0 mm

Figure 1: Osborne Reynolds' Apparatus

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