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BEST PRACTICE MANUAL-FLUID PIPING

BEST PRACTICE MANUAL-FLUID PIPING

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Published by: api-3869476 on Dec 03, 2009
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03/18/2014

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Whenever fluid flows in a pipe there will be some loss of pressure due to several factors:

a) Friction: This is affected by the roughness of the inside surface of the pipe, the pipe diameter,
and the physical properties of the fluid.

b) Changes in size and shape or direction of flow

a) Obstructions: For normal, cylindrical straight pipes the major cause of pressure loss will be
friction. Pressure loss in a fitting or valve is greater than in a straight pipe. When fluid flows in a
straight pipe the flow pattern will be the same through out the pipe. In a valve or fitting changes
in the flow pattern due to factors (b) and (c) will cause extra pressure drops. Pressure drops
can be measured in a number of ways. The SI unit of pressure is the Pascal. However pressure
is often measured in bar.

This is illustrated by the D’Arcy equation:

gd

fLu

hf

2

2

=

Where:
L = Length (m)
u = Flow velocity (m/s)
g = Gravitational constant (9.81 m/s²)
d = Pipe inside diameter (m)
hf = Head loss to friction (m)
f

= Friction factor (dimensionless)

Before the pipe losses can be established, the friction factor must be calculated. The friction factor
will be dependant on the pipe size, inner roughness of the pipe, flow velocity and fluid viscosity. The
flow condition, whether ‘Turbulent’ or not, will determine the method used to calculate the friction
factor.

Fig 2.1 can be used to estimate friction factor. Roughness of pipe is required for friction factor
estimation. The chart shows the relationship between Reynolds number and pipe friction. Calculation
of friction factors is dependant on the type of flow that will be encountered. For Re numbers <2320
the fluid flow is laminar, when Re number is >= 2320 the fluid flow is turbulent.

The following table gives typical values of absolute roughness of pipes, k. The relative roughness k/d
can be calculated from k and inside diameter of pipe.

7

Figure 2-1: Estimation of friction factor

The absolute roughness of pipes is given below.

A sample calculation of pressure drop is given below.

A pipe of 4” Dia carrying water flow of 50 m3

/h through a distance of 100 metres. The pipe material is

Cast Iron with absolute roughness of 0.26.

2

3

3600

m

,

Area

Section

Cross

Pipe

h

/

m

,

Flow

s

/

m

,

Velocity

×

=

=

×

×

=

4

1000

14

3

3600

2

3

)

/

d

(

.

h

/

m

,

Flow

Type of pipe

k, mm

Plastic tubing 0.0015

Stainless steel 0.015

Rusted steel 0.1 to 1.0

Galvanised iron 0.15

Cast iron

0.26

8

×

×

=

4

1000

100

14

3

3600

50

2

)

/

(

.

= 1.77m/s

( )

µ

ρ

1000

d

u

Re

×

×

=

Where:
ρ = Density (kg/m3

) = 1000
u = Mean velocity in the pipe (m/s) = 1.77
d = Internal pipe diameter (mm) =100
µ = Dynamic viscosity (Pa s). For water at 25º C, the value is 0.001 Pa-s

( )

µ

ρ

1000

d

u

Re

×

×

=

=

(

)

001

0

1000

100

77

1

1000

.

. ×

×

= 177000

Relative roughness, k/d = 0.26/100= 0.0026

From fig 2.3, corresponding to Re = 177000 and k/d of 0.0026, friction factor in the turbulent
region is 0.025.

Head loss =

gd

fLu

hf

2

2

=

=

)

/

(

.

.

.

1000

100

81

9

2

77

1

100

025

0

2

×

×

×

×

= 4.0 m per 100 m length.

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