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# Pipe Friction Lab Report

## Mohammed Atheeq Nasir

H00164902
Course: Mechanical Eng. Science 6 (B58EF)
Lecturer: Dr. Mehdi Nazarinia

Summary/ Abstract:
We investigated the effect of pipe friction on head loss in different types of flow. To achieve
this objective, we used a hydraulic bench with a hydraulic motor, test-pipe with a constant
diameter and a head tank with stilling material inside it. It reflected that beyond a certain flow
velocity, the type of flow changed from laminar to turbulent. There was found to be a linear
relationship between Reynolds Number and Fanning friction factor.

Introduction:

Pressure drop or head loss in pipes is due to eddy currents caused by friction
between the pipes inner surface, as a result of its roughness, and the fluid it
contains. The frictional force acts tangential to the motion of the fluid and
results in a decrease in the overall energy of the fluid in motion. The study of
the frictional force between a moving fluid and the walls of a pipe and the
energy loss associated with it has numerous engineering applications in industry
The results of this experiment could be used in the oil pipe system design and
drop for different types of fluid flow is imperative to their work. In pipe system
design, the pressure drop between two locations determines the minimum
acceptable cross-sectional area of the pipeline given the flow rate requirements
for a desired output in a system.
Engineers in the oil pipe system design industry also use their knowledge of
pressure drops in piping networks to produce the most economical balance
between installation costs of the piping system and operational costs of the
pumps system.
In oil pump design, the knowledge of pressure drop is crucial to determining the
size of the pumps. After engineering calculations to find out the type of oil flow
using the dimensionless Reynolds Number, the pressure drop or head loss
between two points is determined. This value of pressure drop is then accounted
for by the pumps as the amount of power loss due to frictional losses in the pipe
is the power required to be added to the system by the booster pumps. These
booster pumps will be placed at points in the pipe system where maximum
pressure drops occur.
This pipe friction experiment aims to investigate the magnitude of pressure drop
for a broad range of flow rates that represent laminar, transitional and fully
turbulent types of flow and to calculate an estimate for the critical Reynolds
number where the flow changes from laminar to turbulent in nature.

Theory:
The type of fluid flow in a system is found by calculation of the dimensionless Reynolds
Number (ratio between inertial forces and viscous forces):

R eD=

VD

## turbulent in nature, is considered to be around 2000.

Generally, there are three types of fluid flow in pipes:

Laminar flow
Transient or transitional Flow
Turbulent

Laminar flow occurs mainly in pipes with small-cross-sectional area, at low fluid flow
velocities or with fluids of relatively high density. It is the flow in which viscous forces
dominate inertial forces. Laminar flow is a smooth steady flow of a fluid where its particles
move in layers that do not mix and are parallel to the wall. Shear stress depends solely on
viscosity and is independent of density. Occurs below Re=2000
Turbulent flow occurs generally at high flow rates, in pipes with larger cross-sectional areas
or with fluids of relatively low density. It is the flow in which inertial forces dominate
viscous forces. Eddies and wakes mean the layers of particles are now mixed and the flows
behavior is unpredictable. Shear stress for turbulent flow is directly related to the fluids
density. Occurs above Re= 2000
Transient flow occurs when turbulent and laminar flows occur simultaneously with
turbulence in the middle of the flow and laminar flow at the sides. This occurs around Re=
2000.
The energy loss due to friction between the pipes inner surface and the fluid it contains can
be derived from the Bernoullis Equation which describes the different forms of energy
involved in the fluid:

2
p1 V 1
p V2
+ +Z 1 = 2 + 2 +Z 2 + h
2g
2g

)(

Where:

## = Static Pressure in N/m2

= g = Specific weight of the fluid in N/m3

## = Average Velocity of the fluid in the pipe in m/s

= Elevation in pipe in m

## h L = Energy loss per unit weight of fluid in Nm

g = Acceleration due to gravity in m/s2

The value of Z (Z2 Z1), the length of the tube, is 510mm which will be a
constant throughout the experiment. The change in fluid velocity is
negligible, therefore, V2-V1= 0. Factoring these conditions into the
Bernoullis Equation and rearranging to make h L the subject of the
formula will give us an expression to calculate the total head loss:
h L=

p1 p 2
Z

In turbulent flow, the surface roughness of the pipe has a significant effect
on the head loss but in turbulent flow, the surface roughness of the pipe
has negligible effect on the head loss.
Through experimental observations, Darcy and Weisbach developed an
expression to calculate the energy loss in both laminar and turbulent flow:

## Rearranging the expression allows us to calculate the friction factor, f

which relates the head loss to the fluids flow velocity:
hL

f=

h L = Head loss in m

LV
2 Dg

## = Velocity of the fluid in m/s

= Diameter of pipe in m

## The friction factor can then be compared to the Moody

Diagram using the values of surface roughness and
Reynolds Number to reflect how close the experimental
value was to the theoretical value of friction factor. The
Moody Diagram is a graph that reflects the relationship
between surface roughness, Friction factor and
Reynolds Number.

Equipment:

1)Stopwatch- To
measure time
taken for water
to be
collected.

2)Measuring
Beaker- To
measure
volume of
water
collected
3) Hydraulic Bench:
A vertical piping
system with 3
valves in the rear
to switch
between
different types of
flow. A hydraulic
motor pumps
water up the
pipe and into the
the stilling
matter for
laminar flow. The
motor is
connected
directly to the
test pipe by
valves to obtain
a higher flow
rate. (Turbulent
flow)

## Procedure: V1, V2, V3, V4

Laminar Flow:

To obtain a laminar flow for the test, adjust the 3 valves at the back of
the bench. Engage Valve V1 and close valve V2 to allow the water to
flow to the reservoir.
Set the over flow tube at the required water level in the head tank.
Open valve V3 to allow the fluid to flow through the stilling material
and into the test pipe.
Control the volumetric flow rate using valve V4. Start the stopwatch
when the valve V4 is opened.
Close V4 and stop the timer simultaneously.
Record readings on the mercury manometer, reflecting pressure loss in
the test pipe between the 2 test points, and the water level reading on
the measuring water.
Repeat 4,5 and 6 for other rates of flow.
Turbulent Flow:
Disengage valves V2 and V3 and open valve v2 to allow water to flow
directly from the hydraulic bench into the test pipe to obtain a higher
rate of water flow.
Repeat 4,5 and 6 for a range of flow rates.

h1
(cm
.Hg)

h2
h
(cm. (cm.
Hg) H20
)

Loss
(m)

Volum
e
(m3)

Time(s
)

22

22.5

0.5

0.505

0.0001

14.2

23

21.4

1.6

0.494

0.0001

13.3

21

23.5

2.5

0.485

0.0001

10.5

24

20.5

3.5

0.475

0.0001

8.75

23.7

20.9

2.8

0.482

0.0001

9.56

Flow
Rate
(m3/s
)
7.042
25E06
7.518
8E-06
9.496
68E06
1.142
86E05
1.046
03E05

Velocit
y
(m/s)

Reynold
s
Number

0.9962
76
1.0636
93

2598.98
1
2774.85
2

1.3435
06

Fanning
friction
(Experimen
tal)

Fanning
Friction
(Moody
diagram
)

0.01467987

0.015

0.0125975

0.013

3504.79
8

0.007752694

0.0076

1.6168
13

4217.77
4

0.005242807

0.0049

1.4798
24

3860.41
1

0.006350632

0.0064

Laminar Flow
0
3.4
-0.5

log(f)

3.45

3.5

3.55

3.6

3.65

-1
-1.5
-2
-2.5
log(Re)

h1
(cm.H
g)

h2
(cm.H
g)

h
(cm.H2
0)

Hea
d
Los
s
(m)

Volume
(m3)

5.5

0.45
5

0.000
1

9.8
7

1.013
E-05

Time(s)

1.4333
45

Flow Rate
(m3/s)

3739.161
623

Velocity
(m/s)

0.006389
985

Reynol
ds
Numbe
r

Fanning
friction
(Experimen
tal)

0.006
2

3.572774

Fann
Fricti
(Moo
diagr

4.5
7.5
8.4
9.7

0.46
5
0.43
5
0.42
6
0.41
3

0.000
1
0.000
1
0.000
1
0.000
1

9.6
6
7.0
3
6.5
3
5.7
5

1.035
E-05
1.422
E-05
1.531
E-05
1.739
E-05

1.4645
05
2.0123
92
2.1664
81
2.4603
68

3820.447
746
5249.719
093
5651.688
396
6418.352
213

0.006255
49
0.003099
232
0.002618
726
0.001968
52

0.006
2
0.003
1
0.003
0.002
5

3.582114

3.720136

3.752178

3.807424

Turbulent Flow
0
3.55
-0.5

3.6

3.65

3.7

3.75

3.8

3.85

-1

-2
-2.5
-3
log (Re)

## It is clearly reflected in both the graphs that the relationship between

the Fannings friction factor and the Reynolds Number, thus, the flow
rate, is linear. For each test, the friction factor calculated from the
experimental results was fairly close to the theoretical value taken
from the Moody Diagram within an acceptable margin of error which
will be reflected in the calculations portion below.
The critical Reynolds Number where the type of flow changes from
laminar to turbulent was estimated to be 2680 from the table of
results above. This estimation was calculated from the tests
immediately before the significant rise in Reynolds Number which was
the indicating factor that the type of flow had changed from laminar to
turbulent. This number falls within the acceptable critical Reynolds
Number range of 2000 to 4000.
According to the Darcy and Weisbach expression to calculate friction
factor, the Fanning friction factor is inversely proportional to the square
of the flow velocity. This relationship is reflected in the table of results

## as a small increase the flow velocity leads to a significant fall in the

friction factor.
The fluid, water, was assumed to be an ideal fluid in the calculations
which is not the case in reality and this contributed to an error in the
calculation for the experimental friction factor.
It was observed that the friction factor for laminar flows was
significantly lower than the friction factor for turbulent flows. As the
head loss is directly related to the friction factor, it is observed that the
head loss in laminar flow is much higher than the head loss in
turbulent flow.

Calculations:
The sample calculations to calculate the Fanning friction factor and
Reynolds number from the results of each test are as follows:
h=h2h1

## = 25 29.5 = 5.5cm (Hg)

h water=5.5 cm
h L= h Z 0.055 0.510| = 0.455m
Flow rate Q=

Volume

Time

0.0001
m3
5 m
=1.013
=1.013 10
9.87
sec
s

2.25 10

2
5
Velocity v=Q( r )=(1.013 10 )/

hL

Frictional Factor f =

L V
D 2g

0.455
=0.00639
0.51
1.433 2
4

0.003 2 9.81

VD VD 1.43335 3 103
R eD =
=
=
= 3739.161623

1.15 106

Percentage error:
Largest percentage error in friction factor (laminar flow):

## f (experimental )f ( Moody Diagram)

f ( Moody Diagram)

100

0.0052430.0049
0.0049

100 =

7%
Largest percentage error in friction factor (turbulent flow):
f (experimental )f ( Moody Diagram)
f ( Moody Diagram)

100

0.0019690.0025
0.0025

100

21.3 %
The percentage error for turbulent flow was much larger than that of
laminar flow as the much higher velocities needed highly accurate
mechanism for time measurement, which meant that, human error had a
much greater impact on the calculation of the friction factor.
Possible Sources of Error:
1) Human Error: Parallax error while reading the levels of manometric
fluid in the manometer and the volume of water in the measuring
beaker. Delay in recording the time taken for a volume of water to be
collected.
2) Diameter of test pipe: The diameter of the test pipe might vary slightly
through its length which would greatly affect the accuracy of the
diameter. This is because the diameter affects the flow rate calculation
and in turn, the calculation for the friction factor which is directly
related to the square of the flow velocity.
3) Fluctuations in Manometer: Air bubbles coul have been formed during
the calibration of the manometer which would lead to an error in the
Precautions:
1)
2)
3)
4)

## Ensure test-pipe is properly fit into the head tank.

Check if the heights of manometric fluid in the columns are the same.
Ensure pipe doesnt touch the water in the measuring beaker.
Practice caution while handling the flexible tube delivering water into
the measuring beaker in order to avoid causing back pressure.

Improvements:
1) Place measuring beaker at an appropriate height to avoid parallax
error rather than a relatively low height in the sink.
2) Use a stand to hold the delivery tube in order to avoid causing
unwanted fluctuations in pressure difference due to varying
elevation.

Conclusion:

The head loss in the test-pipe was found to be proportional to the flow velocity of the fluid.
The findings of the experiment have shown that the head loss due to friction in laminar flow
is much larger than in turbulent flow. It reflected that beyond a certain flow velocity, the type
of flow changed from laminar to turbulent. This laboratory experiment proved that the
Fanning friction factor was directly related to the Reynolds Number for both laminar flow
and turbulent flow which was expressed in the log graphs plotted from the results. It also
showed that the friction factor for laminar flow was significantly larger than for turbulent
flow.

References: