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CHAPTER 6
FLOWS IN PIPE
6.1 Introduction
Flow in closed conduits is very important part of study of fluid mechanics as
examples are very common. Water for domestic use is districted to all parts of the
house in pipe, sewers and drain pipes carry waste water away. Crude oil is pumped
from oil well to refinery in pipes. Natural gas is brought to the consumer through
pipes. Heated or cold air in distributed to all parts of a house in circular or rectangular
ducts. All these examples show that water, oil or gas is usually transported through
pipes.

## The purpose of this chapter is to describe laminar and turbulent flow

phenomena, to determine the effect of viscosity and also examine various flow losses
that taking place in the piping systems.
6.2 Laminar and Turbulence Flows
In pipe flow three flow regimes exist which are laminar and turbulent. At low
velocities the layers of fluid move smoothly over one and another and this is known
as laminar flow. However, as the velocity is increased small disturbances cause
eddies which mix up the layer of fluid and produce a different pattern of flow known
as turbulent. The nature of flow determines the pressure loss and hence the power
required to pump the fluid along the pipe.
Osborne Reynolds is the first person to investigate the behavior of flow in pipes and
produced a rational method of predicting the nature of flow. Reynolds showed that
the flows behavior depends on inertia and viscous forced in the fluid. He introduced a
non-dimensional parameter called Reynolds number which gives ratio of inertia to
viscous forces and this number can identify the conditions under which flow changes
from laminar to turbulent.
Dividing the inertia forces by the viscous force, we obtain Reynolds number. This
number is used to identify the flow developed
Inertia force mass changes of velocity / time

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mass flow rate changes of velocity
density velocity area changes of velocity
u A u
u2 A
u2 D 2
Viscous force shear stress area

du
area
dy

u
D2
D

uD
Therefore, Reynolds number = Inertia force / Viscous force

Re

u 2 D 2 uD

uD

(6.1)

The term to write called kinematics viscosity and it is often convenient to write
equation 5.1 as
Re

uD

(6.2)

The important discovery made by Reynolds was that for a normal flow in a pipe the
transition between laminar and turbulent flow always occurs at approximately the
same value of Re irrespective of fluid and the size of pipe. This helps to predict the
flow conditions in pipes of any size carrying the fluid.
6.3 Reynolds Experiments
Reynolds apparatus is shown schematically in Figure 6.1a. A transparent tube is
attached to a constant-head water tank. The opposite end of the tube has a valve to

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control flow rate. Dye in injected into water tube at inlet and resulting flow pattern in
observed. For low velocities of flow something similar to that represented in Figure
6.1b is observed. The dye pattern is regular and forms a single line like thread.
There is no mixing in any part of the tube. The flow show that particles of fluid flow
in parallel lines. This is called laminar flow.
As the flow rate of water is increased beyond a certain point the dye is dispersed. The
dye mixes with water as shown in Figure 6.1c. This is called turbulent flow.
It has been found that when the flow in laminar the Re < 2000 and when the flows is
turbulent Re > 4000 and flow in said to be transition when Reynolds number in
between 2000 and 4000. A distinction must be made between laminar and turbulent
flows because the velocity distribution within the pipe is different for each case. A
velocity distribution in laminar flow is shown in Figure 6.2a and for turbulent flow it
is shown in Figure 6.2b.
For both laminar and turbulent flow, maximum velocity in the axial direction occurs
at the center line of the pipe. For laminar flow the curve is parabolic whereas velocity
distribution curve for turbulent flow depends on experimental data.

## Figure 6.1 Reynolds Apparatus

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(a)

(b)

Figure 6.2 Velocity distributions for laminar and turbulent flows in the pipe

## 6.4 Poiseuille Equation for Laminar Flow

Consider the laminar flow in a pipe as shown in Figure 6.3.

## Figure 6.3 Shear stress distributions in a pipe

Over cross-section of the tube the peizometric pressure (P) in constant
and this pressure falls continuously along the pipe. Suppose that between two crosssections A and B separated by length L of the pipe the fall in pressure is P. Then force
exerted by this pressure difference on the ends of cylinder having radius r from center
line of the pipe is given by
F= Pr2

(6.3)

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Let the velocity at radius r of the cross-section be denoted by u. Then shear stress in
the direction shown due to viscous forces on curved surface is given by

du
dr

(6.4)

## Resultant force = shear stress area

du
2rl
dr

(6.5)

For the fluid in a steady state condition, from the pressure and viscosity forces (where
eqn. 6.3 = eqn. 6.5), thus:

Pr 2

du
2rl 0
dr

du
Pr

dr
2 l

(6.6)

## After integration will gives;

Pr 2
C
4l

Where C is a constant and for a boundary condition when r= a, u=0 (at the pipe
surface)

Pa 2
C
4 l
Put the expression of C into the above equation;

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u

P 2
a r2
4 l

(6.7)

This equation provides the velocity distribution at the pipe cross section as shown in
Figure 6.2(a) is parabolic velocity profile. From the equation also shows that the
maximum velocity at r= 0 and can be calculated by:

umax

Pa 2
4 l

(6.8)

For the volume flow rate, it can be determined by the following equation:
dQ= u 2r dr
Replacing u into equation 6.7 and after integration between a and 0, gives:
a

P
2 a 2 r r 3 dr
4 l
0

Pa 4
8 l

(6.9)

Equations 6.7 and 6.9 are known as Hagen-Poiseuille equation and used widely in the
study of fluid mechanics.
The volume flow rate Q also can be determined as follows:
Q= a2 V

(6.10)

## Where V= average velocity.

If equation 6.10 combined together with equation 6.9, its will give:

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Pa 2 PD 2

8 l
32 l

(6.11)

## Where D= diameter of pipe.

Replace P in equation 6.8 into equation 6.11 will gives:

1
umax
2

Therefore, this has shown the average laminar velocity V is the half of the maximum
velocity in the pipe. Thus, the relationship of pressure drop and head loss is given by:
P gh f

(6.12)

hf

32 Vl
gD 2

(6.12)

hf

64 l V 2
Re D 2 g

(6.13)

## 6.5 Friction Losses

In a turbulent flow mixing takes place between layers of the fluid and as a result
distribution of velocity in more uniform than in laminar flow. Let us consider a crosssection of the pipe as shown in Figure 6.4.

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## Figure 6.4 Turbulent flow distributions

For a control volume from points A and B. The shear stress is acting on the wall
surface depends on the average velocity, thus:

1
V 2 f
2

(6.14)

1
1
V 2
V 2
Where 2
= dynamics pressure and f = friction factor. The o and 2
have

## dimensions but f is a dimensionless.

Resultant force due to shear stress = shear stress area

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= o2al

1
V 2 f 2al
2

(6.15)

= P a2

(6.16)

## Equations 6.15 and 6.16 will give:

Pa 2 f

V 2 fl
a

1
V 2 2al
2

(6.17)

The relationship between pressure drop and head losses is given by:
P gh f

(6.18)

## From equation 6.17 and 6.18 will produce:

hf

flV 2
2 gD

(6.19)

where D= 2a.
The comparison of equation 6.13 and 6.19, the friction factor of laminar flow is:

64
Re

(6.20)

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Example 6.1
SAE 10 oil flows through a cast iron pipe with a velocity of 1m/s. The pipe has a
length of 45m and diameter of 150mm. Determine head loss due to friction.
Solution:
From the table, density and viscosity of SAE oil are:
= 869kg/m3, = 0.0814Ns/m2

Re

VD 869 0.15 1

1601

0.0814

## Therefore, the flow is laminar (Re < 2000)

Friction factor,

64
64

0.04
Re 1601

hf f

l V2
45
1
0.04

0.612m
D 2g
0.15 2 9.81

Therefore, for a laminar flow the friction factor solely depends on the Reynolds
number only. However, the friction factor for the turbulence flow is depend on
Reynolds number and other parameters that known as relative roughness for the pipe.
The relative roughness is a ratio of average pipe wall roughness, k s and pipe diameter,
D as shown in Figure 6.5a. The pipe roughness depends on type of material and pipe
conditions. The value of roughness is high for old pipe compare to a new pipe.

(a)

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(b)
Figure 6.5 Wall relative roughness of pipe
Table 6.1 Wall roughness of commercial pipe
Material

Roughness ()
M

Riveted steel

0.0009-0.009

Concrete

0.0003-0.003

Wood

0.0002-0.0009

Cast iron

0.00026

Galvanised iron

0.00015

0.0001

0.000046

0.0000015

## Glass and plastic

smooth

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If the Reynolds number Re and relative roughness /D are known, the pipe friction
factor can be determined from a diagram of relationship as shown in Figure 6.6. This
diagram is known as Moody diagram and it is always being use in solving the pipe
flow problems.

## Figure 6.6 Moody Diagram

For the laminar flow Re < 2000, the friction factor f has the relationship of:

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Re

The relationship is shown as a straight line at the top of left hand side of Moody
diagram.

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For the turbulent flows Re > 4000, the relationship between f, /D and Re are
complexes. From the Moody diagram, for a higher Re the friction factor is not
depends on the Re.
Example 6.2
SAE 10 oil flows through a cast iron pipe with a velocity of 5m/s. The pipe has a
length of 45m and diameter of 150mm. Determine head loss due to friction.
Solution:
From the table, density and viscosity of SAE oil are:
= 869kg/m3, = 0.0814Ns/m2

Re

VD 869 0.15 5

8000

0.0814

k s 0.26

0.002
D 150

f 0.036

hf f

l V2
45
1
0.036

0.551m
D 2g
0.15 2 9.81

## 6.6 Minor Losses

As flows through a conduit, total energy possessed by the fluid tends to decrease in
the direction of fluid flow. Such energy losses are of two types

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(i) The friction loss, hf
(ii) The minor loss, hm
This total losses h1 is the sum of hf and hm.
hl h f hm

Friction losses have already been explained and they are due to friction resistance at
walls and due to resistance of fluid particles as they roll, rub and slide each other due
to fluid flow.
Minor losses are due to the flow through valves or pipe fittings such as elbows, tees,
bends etc. In the design of pipelines energy loss due to friction is dominant for the
pipe length of 30m or greater. For short length losses at elbows, valves, tee joints
may be equal to or greater than the frictional losses.
Minor losses are commonly expressed in terms of velocity head, in the equation form;

hm K

V2
2g

## Where hm = head of minor losses

K = coefficient of minor friction
V = average velocity in the pipe
The minor loss coefficient K has different values depending on particular type of
minor loss.
1.

Entrance losses occur when a liquid enters a conduit from a large tank or
reservoir. Entrances loss coefficient for different shapes of the entrances is
given in Figure 6.7.

2.

Exit losses: It occurs when liquid leaves the conduit and enters a large tank or
reservoir. Exit loss coefficient is equal to 1 for all shapes of exit (Figure 6.8).

3.

Sudden contraction: occur when there is a sudden decrease in conduit size and
sudden expansion losses occur when there is sudden increase in conduit size.
The loss coefficient (K) is depended on d/D ratio and is shown in Figure 6.7.

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4.

## A bend in a conduit produces a minor loss, and the coefficient K can be

determined from Figure 6.7 which depends on the ratio of radius of curvature
of the bend to diameter of the conduit (R/D) and relative roughness of the
bend /D.

5.

Additional minor losses result from fittings such as valves, elbow and tees as
given in Figure 6.7. Values of minor loss coefficient K for valves given in
Figure 6.7 are for fully open position. If valve is partially open the head loss
hm will be greater. Figure 6.7 enables us to estimate the increased head loss
for partially open valves.

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## Figure 6.8 Coefficient of minor loss at pipe exit: (a-d) K= 1.0

Minor losses calculated from equation 6.15 can be incorporated into Bernoullis
equation. The resulting equation is given by

P1 V12
P V2
flV 2
V2

Z1 2 2 Z 2
K
2g
2g
2 gD
2g
Example 6.3:
Two tanks are connected with the piping system with the first pipe has the diameter of
150mm and 6m long, and the second pipe has a diameter of 225mm with the length of
15m (Figure E6.37). The water surface in the first tank is 6m above the second tank.
Calculate the losses exist and determine the flow rate of flowing water. (Take the
friction coefficient for both pipes as 0.01)

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Figure E6.3
Solution:
Using the Bernoulli equation;

P1 V12
P2 V22

Z1

Z 2 hL
2g
2g
By considering at points 1 and 2;
P1 = P2 = 0 ;

and V1 = V2 = 0

## Thus, Total Losses

hL

hL

Q2
g

hL Z 1 Z 2 6m

flV 2
V2
K
2 gD
2g

and

Q= VA

f1l1
f 2 l 2 K 1Q 2 K 2 Q 2 K E Q 2

2
2
2
2 gA22
2 gA12
2 D1 A1 2 D2 A2 2 gA1

Where
A1

D12 (0.15) 2

0.0177 m 2
4
4

and

A2

D22 (0.225) 2

0.0398m 2
4
4

## From the minor losses table;

K1 = 0.5, K2 = 1 and KE = 0.41 ;

hL

Q2
0.01(6)
0.01(5)
0.5
1
0.41

2
2
2
2
2 g 0.15(0.0177)
0.225(0.0398)
(0.0177)
(0.0398)
(0.0177) 2

Therefore,

Q= 0.155m3/s

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Problems
1.

Kerosene with a kinematic viscosity of 210 -6 m2/s flows at a rate of 0.02 m/s
in a 20 cm steel pipe. Would you expect the flow to be laminar or turbulent?
Calculate the head loss per 100m of pipe.

2.

In the pipe system for a given discharge, the ratio of the head loss in a given
length of the 1 m pipe to the head loss in the same length of the 2 m pipe is

3.

(a)

(b)

(c)

16

(d)

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Glycerin at 20C flows at 0.6 m/s in the 2 cm commercial steel pipe. Two
piezometers are used as shown to measure the piezemetic head. The distance
along the pipe between the standpipes is 1 m. The inclination of the pipe is 20.
What is the height difference h between the glycerins in the two standpipes?

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4.

Water flows in the pipe shown and the manometer deflects 80 cm. What is f

for
the pipe if V = 3 m/s ?

5.

A fluid with v = 10-6 m/s and = 800 kg/m flows through the 8 cm
galvanized iron pipe. Estimate the flow for the conditions shown in figure.

## Find the loss coefficient Kv of the partially-closed valve that is required to

reducethe discharge to 50% of the flow with the valve wide open as shown.

7.

## Both pipes shown have an equivalent roughness of 0.10 mm and a discharge of

0.1 m/s. Also, D1 = 15 cm, L1 = 50 cm, D2 = 30 cm, and L2 = 160 cm. Determine the
difference in the water-surface elevation between the two reservoirs.