Use fluids in engineering


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to solve problems relating to water flow in open channels and/or pipes.

The unit of competency is applied by technicians in a structural and civil engineering environment to apply fluid flow principles to engineering projects.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

  • DCSBFE613 Use basic fluids in engineering


Elements describe the essential outcomes.


Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1.    Calibrate various weirs and notches.

1.1.      Differentiate between weirs and notches

1.2.      Apply formulae for the theoretical discharge over various notches and weirs to solve weir problems.

1.3.      Determine coefficient of discharge and produce calibration curves for various weirs and notches in a laboratory or via simulation.

2.    Determine flow rates in an open channel.

2.1.      State the Chezy and Manning formula.

2.2.      Apply the Chezy and Manning formula to calculate flow rates in open channels.

2.3.      Explain how gauging stations operate and how they are used in the management of water resources.

3.    Solve stability problems for floating objects.

3.1.      State Archimedes principle.

3.2.      Determine the upthrust on a partly submerged body.

3.3.      Determine if a partly submerged body is stable.

4.    Determine the friction losses in a pipe network.

4.1.      Determine the friction factor using a Moody diagram.

4.2.      Calculate the head loss due to friction using the Darcy – Weisbach equation.

4.3.      Calculate the minor head loss in a pipeline.

4.4.      Graphically represent the THL and the HGL at no flow and when flow takes place.

5.    Determine forces on submerged plates.

5.1.      Determine the magnitude and position of the force acting on a submerged plate.

5.2.      Calculate the required mass of a counter-weight attached to a flap type gate used to control flow in a reservoir.

6.    Select pumps for a given fluid system.

6.1.      Categorise pumps as displacement or rotodynamic.

6.2.      Compare the operation of a reciprocating pump and a centrifugal pump.

6.3.      Explain how cavitation is caused and how it can be prevented.

6.4.      Identify elements of a pump performance curve


Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.


41987 Use fluids in engineering is equivalent.



Assessment requirements for DCSFLE624 Use fluids in engineering


To achieve competency in this unit a person must satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, foundation skills and range of conditions included in the unit.

The person must also:

  • carry out computations using fluid power principles
  • solve engineering problems using fluid power principles
  • prepare relevant documentation

Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided at least once for each criterion.


To achieve competency in this unit, a person must demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Key concepts and principles for fluid flow, including:
    • formulae for discharge over weirs and notches.
    • Chezy and Manning formulae for flow in an open channel
    • Archimedes principle
    • centre of buoyancy and metacentric height
    • formulae for minor losses in a pipe network – “k” factors
    • Darcy – Weisbach equation for friction loss in pipes.
    • formulae for the magnitude and position of forces on submerged objects
    • fluid mechanics principles relating to the operation of displacement pumps and rotodynamic pumps.
    • determine from a Moody diagram a value for the friction
    • determine friction losses in a pipe network


Assessment conditions:

All assessment must be completed in accordance with work health and safety standards.

When assessments are conducted remotely, invigilation software must be used to ensure authenticity of work completed.

Model answers or marking guides must be provided for all assessments to ensure reliability of assessment judgements when marking is undertaken by different assessors.

The candidate must have access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required.

Assessor Requirements:

Assessors must satisfy the assessor requirements in the standards for registered training organisation (RTOs) current at the time of assessment.

Assessors must also hold a tertiary qualification in engineering or related field.

Assessors must have worked for at least 3 years in industry where they have applied the skills and knowledge covered in this unit of competency.

The RTO must also ensure that trainers and assessors keep their industry knowledge up to date through ongoing professional development.

The RTO must take appropriate steps, as an ongoing procedure, to verify information about trainer and assessor’s qualifications, vocational competencies and current industry skills


Software/Hardware Used


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