Viscosity and Shear Stress: Summary

The answers to the ConcepTests are given below and will open in a separate window. 
Key points from this module:
  • Shear stress is caused by a tangential force on the surface of the fluid.
  • Shear stress is equal to the viscosity of the fluid times its velocity gradient.
  • The velocity profile of this fluid can be determined from the shear stress.
From studying this module, you should now be able to:
  • Use the velocity profile to determine the shear stress.
  • Distinguish between Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids.
  • Calculate the viscosity of a fluid knowing the shear stress.
  • Determine how changing tangential forces and viscosity affects velocity profiles. 
Prepared by Janet deGrazia, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder