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## Laminar and Turbulent ows in pipes

Osborne Reynolds (1842-1912)
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Introduction to pipes
A pipe is a closed conduit through which a uid
ows. Pipes can be large (Siberian gas pipeline to
Europe). The water pipes suppling water in the
house. The hypodermic needle use by heroin junkies.
Pipes can be natural (veins and arteries) as well as
articial. Pipes can transport both liquid and gases.
Pipe systems consists of inlets, outlets, the pipe
itself, bends in the pipe, valves and pumps. Real
world eects (e.g. viscosity) tend to make the
Bernoulli equation more complicated to apply.
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General characteristics of pipe ow
A closed conduit is called a pipe if it is round in
cross section. Includes water pipes, hydraulic
hoses. Circular cross section is able withstand
higher pressure dierentials without distortion.
A closed conduit is called a duct if it is square in
cross section, e.g. heating and air-conditioning
ducts. Lower pressure dierential across wall of
duct.
The water owing down the conduit completely
lls the conduit. Storm water drains, sewers.
If water does not ll the conduit , the ow is
called channel ow. Since channel is not lled,
no pressure dierential between ends of pipes.
Gravity is usually the driver for channel ows.
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Laminar and turbulent ow
The nature of the streak-line formed by injecting the
dye depends on the uid velocity.
When the uid is moving slowest, get a
well-dened streak-line. This ow situation is
called laminar ow.
When the uid is moving faster, get an irregular
streak-line which blurs and spreads the dye out.
The streak-line also uctuates randomly with
time. This is called turbulent ow.
When the uid is moving at an intermediate
velocity, there are irregularities in the
streak-line, but the streak-line is still well
dened. This is called transitional ow.
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Laminar and turbulent ow
Examine the x -component of the velocity, u
A
at a
point A .
The laminar ow has a constant u
A
which is
smallest.
The transitional ow has a mostly constant u
A
with the occasional uctuation.
The turbulent ow has a uctuating u
A
some mean value. The ow rate is largest.
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The Reynolds number
Whether a ow will result in laminar or turbulent
ow is primarily determined by the Reynolds
number,
Re =
vD

## density is , diameter of pipe is D , uid velocity is

v and viscosity is .
The ow is laminar for Re < 2000
The ow is transitional between
2000 < Re < 4000
The ow is turbulent for Re > 4000
Values depend on shape of pipe, roughness, shape of
pipe inlet. The limits are also soft numbers.
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Laminar and turbulent ow
In laminar ow the streak-lines are straight lines.
The uid ows smoothly down the pipe.
Laminar Flow
In turbulent ow the streak-lines show wiggles and
vortices. The uid does not ow smoothly down the
pipe.
Turbulent Flow
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Laminar ow, The entrance region
What happens when uid enters a pipe?
The uid adjacent to the wall sticks to the wall
due to friction eects. This is the no-slip
condition and occurs for all liquids.
This boundary layer grows until it reaches all
parts of the pipe.
Inside the inviscid core, viscosity eects are not
important.
The entrance region for laminar ow is given by
l
e
D
= 0.06Re . Past here the ow is fully
developed.
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Laminar ow analysis
Assumptions, outside entrance region
du
dx
= 0 , and
Apply F = ma to a cylinder.
The cylinder becomes distorted as t t + t
The pressure is constant along the vertical
direction.
The pressure along horizontal direction does
change. p = p
2
p
1
< 0
There is a viscous shear stress acting along the
surface cylinder and = (r) . The shear stress
is a function of the radius of the cylinder.
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Application of F = ma
p
1
r
2
(p
1
|p|)r
2
= 2rl
p
l
=
2
r
Neither p or l depend on r
So

r
is independent of r
Then = Cr where C is constant.
At center r = 0 , = C 0 = 0 . At wall let
=
w
, where
w
is the wall sheer stress.
=
2
w
r
D
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Application of F = ma
=
2
w
r
D
If the viscosity was zero, there would be no shear
stress. The shear stress also causes the pressures to
drop along the pipe.
p =
2l
r
=
4l
w
D
A small shear stress can result in a large pressure
dierence is l/D 1 .
The shear stress is largest at the walls
(Note, so far the analysis is valid for both laminar
and turbulent ows.)
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Laminar velocity prole
To determine the laminar velocity prole, assume we
have a Newtonian uid, so
=
du
dy
(minus sign to give > 0 for
du
dr
< 0 . (uid velocity
decreases from pipe centerline). End up with
dierential equation
du
dr
=
p
2l
r
u(r) =
p
2l
r
2
+ u(r = 0)
At wall u(r = D/2) = 0 , so can x u(r = 0) = v
c
and
u(r) =
pD
2
16l
_
1
_
2r
D
_
2
_
u(r) =

w
D
4
_
1
_
r
R
_
2
_
u(r) = v
c
_
1
_
r
R
_
2
_
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Laminar velocity prole
u(r) = v
c
_
1
_
r
R
_
2
_
The ow rate is parabolic, with largest velocity in
middle of pipe and zero velocity at wall.
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Laminar ow rate
Just need to integrate the laminar velocity prole
over the cross sectional area.
Divide cross section into thin annular strips
Q = 2r r u(r)
Q =
_
r=R
r=0
2ru(r) dr
= 2v
c
_
R
0
r
_
1
r
2
R
2
_
dr
Now this reduces to
Q =
R
2
v
c
2
=
D
4
p
128l
The mean velocity is obtained by dividing the net
ow rate by the cross sectional area
v =
Q
R
2
=
v
c
2
=
p D
2
32l
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Pouiseuilles Law and Interpretation
The fundamental result
Q =
R
2
v
c
2
=
D
4
p
128l
is usually called Poiseuilles Law. Laminar ow in
pipes is sometimes termed Hagen-Poiseuilles ow.
Flow along a pipe is driven by a pressure dierence.
The viscosity acts to retard the passage of the uid
along the pipe through the no-slip condition at the
wall. The ow rate
Increases when p is increased
Decreases when is increased
Decreases when l is increased
Increases when D is increased
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Pipes at an angle
For an inclined pipe, need to replace pressure drop by
the combined eect of the pressure drop and gravity.
p l sin
l
=
2
r
All results for horizontal pipe analysis apply
provided p p l sin substitution is made.
v =
(p l sin )D
2
32l
Q =
(p l sin )D
4
128l
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Laminar ow example
Oil with a viscosity of = 0.40 Ns/m
2
and density
= 900 kg/m
3
ows along a 10.0 m pipe with
diameter D = 0.020 m .
(a) What pressure drop is needed to produce a ow
rate of Q = 2.0 10
5
m
3
/s along a horizontal
pipe
(b) What is the average uid velocity?
(c) Verify that the ow is laminar.
(a) Using Q =
D
4
p
128l
gives
p =
128lQ
D
4
=
128 0.40 10.0 2.0 10
5
3.14159 (0.020)
4
= 20, 000 Pa
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Laminar ow example: continued
(b) The mean velocity is
v =
Q
R
2
=
2.0 10
5
3.14159 0.010
2
= 0.0637 m/s
(c) Evaluate Reynolds number to determine whether
ow is laminar
Re =
vD

=
900 0.0637 0.020
0.40
= 2.865
The ow is laminar since Re 2000 .
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The friction factor
The friction factor is a parameter that will be useful
when dealing with turbulent ow. It is the ratio of
the pressure drop to the dynamic pressure
1
2
v
2
.
p
1
2
v
2
=
32lv/D
2
v
2
= 64
_

vD
_
l
D
=
64
Re
l
D
The factor
f =
64
Re
= 64
_

vD
_
is the Darcy friction factor (there is also a Fanning
friction factor f
Fanning
= f/4 ).
Knowledge of the friction factor means the pressure
drop in a pipe can be predicted.
p = f
1
2
v
2
l
D
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Energy consideration
The existence of the pressure drop means we can get
an estimate of the head loss for the extended
Bernoulli equation.
p
1

+
1
v
2
1
2g
+ z
1
h
L
=
p
2

+
2
v
2
2
2g
+ z
2

1
and
2
are the kinetic energy coecients. For
fully developed ow along a uniform pipe
1
=
2
, a
uniform velocity prole has
1
= 1 and while
1
> 1
for non-uniform proles in real pipes. For laminar
ow, = 2 .
Consider the case of steady, laminar ow along a
uniform horizontal pipe (v
1
= v
2
; z
1
= z
2
) ,
p
1
p
2

=
p

= h
L
h
L
=
4l
w
D
=
fv
2
l
2D
=
fv
2
l
2Dg
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Turbulent ow
Most ow situations involving pipes are actually in
the turbulent ow regime. Turbulence ow is one of
the most complex areas of physics/engineering.
Many aspects of turbulence defy mathematical
analysis. Will only cover basic aspects of turbulent
ow, and introduce the recipes that are used for
practical calculations.
Many of the concepts developed for laminar ow are
reheated with modications to deal with turbulent
ow.
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Laminar to turbulent
For most ow situations there is a dimensionless
parameter that characterizes the transition from
laminar to turbulent ow. The relevant value of the
Reynolds number will depend on the geometry
For a smooth cylindrical pipe, turbulence occurs
for Re > 4000
For ow over a smooth at plate, turbulence
occurs for Re > 500, 000 (length scale is
distance from front edge of plate).
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Laminar to turbulent
Initial situation is a tube, lled with water at rest. A
velocity at a specic point is plotted.
The random, irregular nature of the ow is the
distinguishing feature of turbulent ow.
Note, in inviscid ow, the Re since 0 .
Reasonable results obtained for ow since v can be
used.
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Laminar to turbulent
The uid velocity in the stream at a point can be
regarded as the time average of the uid velocity.
So if v = v(x, y, z, t) is instantaneous uid velocity
at some point, then
v =
1
T
_
t
0
+T
t
0
v(x, y, z, t) dt
can be dened as the time average mean. The
averaging time T should larger than time for longest
uctuations.
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The importance of turbulence
Laminar Flow Turbulent Flow
Just imagine some chemical impurity being emitted
from the bottom of the pipe. This chemical would
only diuse very, very slowly to the top of the pipe.
In a turbulent ow regime, the impurity would be
quickly carried to the top of the pipe. Turbulence is
very important for the mixing of dissolved
substances in uids. Why do you stir your tea or
coee after you place the milk in?
Turbulence ows also greatly promote heat transfer.
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Turbulence Intensity
v =
1
T
_
t
0
+T
t
0
v(x, y, z, t) dt
(u')
2
> 0
(u')
2
u'
u' = 0
t
u
'

o
r

(
u
'
)
2
0
The turbulence intensity is dened
I
T
=
_
1
T
_
t
0
+T
t
0
(v v)
2
dt
v
Question, why dont we use a measure of turbulence
intensity based on
_
t
0
+T
t
0
(v v) dt ?
The onset of turbulent ow is not abrupt and the
extent of the irregularities can vary (e.g. I
T
> 0.1 in
rivers).
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Turbulent shear stress
In laminar ow, molecules
moving slightly slower or
faster in ow direction than
given layer. It is the mo-
mentum ux due to the ran-
dom motion of molecules
that gives rise to the shear
stress.
In turbulent ow, chunks
of the uid move across
the imaginary layer bound-
aries. They can be regarded
as being eddies of various
sizes. The momentum ux
and shear stresses are much
larger than for molecular
transport.
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Turbulent Shear Stress
The apparent shear stress for turbulent ows are
much larger than for laminar ow. Some times it is
written as

turb
=
dv
dy
where is the eddy viscosity. However, is not a
simple property of a uid, it changes from one point
in a turbulent ow to another point, or from one ow
condition to another.
In general, their is no rst principles theory that
describes shear stresses for turbulent ow although
some qualitative information exists. Large scale
computer simulations often used for turbulence
modeling.
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Qualitative shear stress
The ow is often broken into 3 regimes.
The viscous boundary layer is very small boundary
layer near the wall and is dominated by laminar
shear stress. In the the outer region, the ow is fully
turbulent and the velocity is closer to uniform. In
the overlap region, the ow is turbulent and the
velocity is changing quickly.
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Turbulent velocity prole
In the viscous boundary layer, the velocity prole is
u
u

=
yu

## y = R r is the distance from the wall.

u is the average velocity
u

## is called the friction(shear) velocity.

is the kinematic viscosity
The quantity u

=
_

w
/ is not an actual velocity,
it just has the dimensions of velocity. This equation
indicates that velocity is proportional to the distance
from the wall in the laminar sub-layer near the wall
(0 yu

5 ).
In the overlap region the working formula
u
u

= 2.5 ln
_
yu

_
+ 6.0
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Turbulent velocity prole
1.0
0.5
0
0 0.5 1.0
Turbulent
Laminar
n = 8
n = 6
n = 10
r
__
R
_
u
__
V
c
A commonly used parametrization of the velocity is
u
v
c
=
_
1
r
R
_
1/n
The number n is usually between 6 and 10 . Note
du
dr
is incorrect at r = 0 and
r = R . Kinetic energy coecient, 1.1 . Flow
prole closer to uniform.
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Why turbulence is so hard
L F Richardson, 1920
Big whorls have little whorls that feed on their
velocity, and little whorls have lesser whorls and so
on to viscosity.
One problem is that vortices in the ow spawn more
vortices.
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Boundary Layer
Streamlines deflected
considerably
Re = U /v = 0.1
U
Viscous effects
important
u < 0.99U
y
x
U
(a)
U
u < 0.99U
y
x
Viscous effects
important
Streamlines deflected
somewhat
Re = 10
Viscosity not
important
U
Viscosity not
important
Re = 10
7
(b)
U
(c)
Viscous effects
important
Boundary layer
y
Streamlines deflection
very slight
<<
Wake
region
U
x
When uids ow around an object the uid ow is
distorted in a boundary layer where viscous eects
are important.
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Transition from laminar to turbulence

U U U U
Fluid
particle
edge
x = 0
Laminar boundary
layer
Turbulent boundary
layer
x
When uid passes a surface, a transition from
laminar to turbulent ow is possible. A small chunk
of uid will distort when it passes the the edge if the
plate and enters the laminar boundary layer.
Once the chunk of uid gets suciently far
downstream, it will become so distorted it will start
to rotate. The laminar boundary layer will become a
turbulent boundary layer for
Re =
ux

> 2 10
5
to 3 10
6
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Separated Flow
U
U
U
(c)
(b)
(a)
D
D
Boundary layer
Separated region
Viscosity not
important
Re = 10
5
<<D
Boundary layer separation
Viscous effects
important
Wake
region
x
Separation bubble
Separation
location
Viscosity not
important
Re = 50
Viscous forces
important throughout
Re = UD/v = 0.1
x
x
Viscous
effects
important
Low speed ow tends to follow the contours of a
body.
At higher speeds the ow separate from the body.
The inertia of the uid particles overcome the uid
viscosity (which tends to keep all layers moving
together). Separation bubble can form while ow is
still laminar.
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Separated Flow
U
U
U
(c)
(b)
(a)
D
D
Boundary layer
Separated region
Viscosity not
important
Re = 10
5
<<D
Boundary layer separation
Viscous effects
important
Wake
region
x
Separation bubble
Separation
location
Viscosity not
important
Re = 50
Viscous forces
important throughout
Re = UD/v = 0.1
x
x
Viscous
effects
important
At very high Reynolds numbers, the uids velocity
carries the uid particles downstream past the body.
One nds an extended wake region behind the object
where ow can often be turbulent.