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Stability of a Pivoting Fluid-Filled Container

[+] Author Affiliations
Si Mohamed Sah, Brian P. Mann

Duke University, Durham, NC

Paper No. DETC2011-47997, pp. 747-754; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 23rd Biennial Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5478-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper investigates the stability of a pivoting cylindrical container that is slowly filled with fluid. The stability of the upright and tilt angle equilibria is studied by using the Lagrange-Dirichlet theorem. The potential energy of the system is given for two regions that are delimited by an edge angle, and two spill angles. A bifurcation diagram is obtained showing the stability of the upright and tilt angle equilibria as function of both the fluid height in the container and the pivot location. In particular, it is shown that the upright angle equilibrium undergoes a pitchfork bifurcation and it is also found that two stable equilibria may coexist for some fluid heights and pivot point location.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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