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Fluid Mechanics Lab

Machine Shop

A Specialized Lab for Specialized Goals

The Fluid Mechanics Lab, located in Norris Hall, is a multifaceted laboratory facility that hosts specialized teaching and research equipment for fluid mechanics applications. 

Towing Basin

The Fluid Mechanics Lab boasts a large towing basin that measures 98 feet in length, with a maximum water depth of 4 feet. The usable test length of the basin is approximately 70 feet, with other portions reserved for carriage braking instrumentation.

The basin is also equipped with a hydraulic wave maker and has two glass-walled observation pits along the side of the tank, intended for use in studying wave reflection and absorption.

Virginia Tech students use the towing basin to model ship resistance. 

Wind and Water Tunnels

The Fluid Mechanics Lab also houses several wind and water tunnels of varying size, available for both teaching and research purposes.

Hydraulics Benches

An array of hydraulics benches are available for classroom lab use. Students use instruments such as a vertical jet deflection apparatuses, Venturi meters, and others to measure fluid momentum and flow rates.


For more information about the Fluid Mechanics Lab in Norris Hall, please contact BEAM laboratory supervisor Mac McCord.