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The experiment was to examine the pressure

losses in turbulent pipe flow due to frictional
forces present at the boundaries of the pipes
flow area

In this experiment you will investigate the
frictional forces inherent in laminar and
turbulent pipe flow. By measuring the pressure
drop and flow rate through a pipe, an estimate
of the coefficient of friction (friction factor) will
be obtained. Two different flow situations will be
studied, laminar flow and turbulent flow. The
experimentally obtained values of the
coefficient of friction will then be compared with
established results by plotting them on the
Moody chart provided.

In order to generate a dimensionless group to

describe the frictional losses experienced by a
pipe flow, the Bernoulli energy equation is used
generate an expression that describes the
pressure losses due to friction
P1/ +V12 /2 +gz1-Ws +q =P2/ + V22/2 + gz2+gh2

Where is the density of the fluid, P1 is the

pressure of the fluid upstream, V1 is the
upstream velocity of the flow, z1 is the upstream
height, W s is shaft work done by the flow, q is
heat addition to the flow, P2 is the downstream
pressure, V2 is the downstream velocity, z2 is

the downstream height of the flow, and gh L is

the head loss.
Assume the pipe flow is fully developed,
therefore the velocity at states one and two are
equal and can be neglected. It will also be
assumed that the heights of state one and two
are equal and negligible, that there is no shaft
work being done by the flow and that there is no
heat addition to the flow. Therefore, Equation 1
can be simplified to produce the following

P2-P1/ =ghL

(eq. 2)

The head loss component of Equations 1 and 2

can also be represented as a pressure drop h,
multiplying both sides of the equation by the
fluids density, , yields the hydrostatic
P = gh (eq.3)
Another equation used to represent pressure
losses in pipe flow is the Darcy-Weisbach
equation. The equation is written as follows

P = f (L/D) (V2/2) (eq.4)

Where P is the pressure difference over a
segment of conduit, f is the friction factor of the
flow, L is the length over which the pressure
drop is measured, D is the diameter of the
conduit, is the fluids density and V is the
average velocity of the flow. Setting the
hydrostatic equation equal to the DarcyWeisbach equation yields the following
gh =f(L/D)( V2/2)


Rearranging Equation 5 to solve for the

dimensionless friction factor of the flow yields
the following equation.
f = (2gh)/ (V2 (L/D)) (eq.6)

It is common to generate a log-log graph of the

friction factor plotted against the Reynolds
number for a series of volume flow rates. This
diagram is known as the Moody diagram (Figure
2) and is useful to determine the characteristics
of pipe flow. To calculate the Reynolds number,
employ the following equation.

Re = (VD)/ (eq.7)
Where V is the average velocity of the pipe flow,
D is the diameter of the conduit and is the
kinematic viscosity of the fluid.

Experimental equipment and methods

1-Ensure that the sump tank is full and engage
the pump(s) specific to the pipe(s) that will be
used for the experiment.

2-Open and close the appropriate valves on the

apparatus (left and right side of Figure 3) to
obtain the desired flow path.
3-Use the valve closest to the pump(s) on the
downstream side of the apparatus to obtain a
desired flow rate.
4- With the pump still running, record the
pressure drop that occurs from the manometer
board and record the indicated flow rate from
the flow meter.
5- Using the valve closest to the pump(s),
increase the flow rate and again record the
pressure drops from the manometer board and
the indicated flow rate from the flow meter.
6- Repeat Step 5 until separate pressure drops
and flow rates have been recorded.


A comparison of the Moody diagram generated

from the experimental data (Figure 4) to the
diagram shown in (Figure 2) indicates that the
data gathered in this experiment is flawed. The
curve in (Figure 4) shows a momentary increase
in the frictional factor as the Reynolds number
increases. The curve should be a decreasing

exponential function as seen in the Moody

diagram of (Figure 2)
A possible cause of the discrepancy between
the generated Moody diagram and Figure 4
would be a sudden expansion of the fluid in the
testing apparatus. It was noted during the
experiment that the line that returns fluid back
to the sump tank was exhibiting vibration. This
vibration was likely due to an interference with
the flow, there by interrupting the fully
developed flow.
The assumptions used to derive the
dimensionless friction factor of Equation 6 rely
on the flow being fully developed, turbulent and
steady .A sudden expansion in the line would
cause the flow to be unsteady and would skew
the data.
Other sources of error were present in this
experiment. One source of error was due to the
measurement of the head loss, h, from the
manometer board. Due to unsteady flow in the
testing apparatus, the air over water
manometer did not give a steady reading.
In order to compensate for this discrepancy, the
lowest value the fluctuating fluid took was the

recorded value. Another source of error was due

to the flow meter of the testing apparatus. The
indicated flow rates would fluctuate over a
range of five to ten GPM, preventing an
accurate reading of the flow rate and therefore
further skewing the data

Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 3 rd Edition William
S. Janna (1993)
A Manual for the Mechanics of Fluid Laboratory
William S. Janna (2008)
White, F. M. 2003, Fluid Mechanics, 5th Edition,
McGraw-Hill, Chapter 6;