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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRACTICAL MANUAL

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2012

FLUID FLOW MEASUREMENTS

AIM
The practical has a dual purpose. Firstly the practical serves to introduce the student to different
techniques of measuring the flow rate of fluids, and secondly to determine friction and shock losses in
various fittings.
THEORY
1.

Friction losses

Friction losses in a pipe system can be determined by the following equation:

4f Lv
d 2g

6.

The fanning friction factor, fF, is determined from the Moody Chart, Figure 5. The Reynolds number
together with the pipe roughness, , the friction factor can be determined.
2.

Shock losses

As mentioned earlier, shock losses occur in fittings. The type of fitting used determines the magnitude of
the pressure loss. This magnitude is characterised by a constant, the K-factor. The pressure drop in terms
of pressure head can be calculated by the following equation:
2

v
K
2g

8.

The total head loss due to friction and shock are the sum of all the friction losses and shock losses in
the different fittings and pipes in the system.

The total head loss due to friction and shock are the sum of all the friction losses and shock losses in
the different fittings and pipes in the system.
3.

Determination of k values

As mentioned earlier the shock losses in a pipe system can be attributed to fittings and valves. Other
sources for shock losses are sudden enlargements, sudden contractions, sharp point entry and sharp point
exit.

3.1

Sharp point entry and exit

The sharp point entry is located at the exit from a large tank into a pipe. This should not be confused with
a sudden expansion. A sharp point exit is located at the exit of a pipe into a large tank. The respective k
values are as follows:

NOTE:

g h

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRACTICAL MANUAL

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2012

kentry = 0.5
kexit = 1.0
When you incorporate exit losses in your total head loss, you do not incorporate the kinetic head also, i.e.
the value of v1 and v2 are assumed the same.
3.2

Sudden Contraction

A sudden contraction can be represented by two pipes. At the connection between the two pipes, the
larger pipe changes immediately into a smaller pipe. This sudden change in diameter causes shock losses.
The extent of shock loss is determined by the ratio of di2 / di1.
1

k
2.

d
d

0.4 1.25

2
i2

i1

for di22 / di12 > 0.715

d
d

0.75 1.0

2
i2

i1

The shock loss is then determined by using the velocity in the smaller pipe.
3.3

Sudden Expansion

In the case of a sudden expansion, the smaller pipe changes into a larger pipe. The fluid flows as a jet and
gradually expands to fill the larger pipe, there being a large recirculating flow outside the jet. Owing to
the low velocity gradients in the recirculating flow, there is very little frictional loss here: most of the
losses occur where the expanding jet reattaches to the wall.
The k value can be estimated by the following equation:

1.0

d
d

i1

i2

The velocity in the smaller pipe is used to determine the shock losses.

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRACTICAL MANUAL

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2012

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
FRICTION AND SHOCK DETERMINATIONS
The effect of flow rate on pressure drop for the different fittings is investigated by adjusting the supply
valve accordingly. Use a low, medium and high flow rate. Measure the pressure drop across the
appropriate fitting at the set flow rate using the manometer.
1.
2.

Open valve 12 completely, and switch on the pump.

Select the fitting to be investigated and open the appropriate Flow regulating Gate valve

(FRGV) (11, 12 or 13). The flow through the fitting is regulated by the degree to
which the FRGV is opened.
3.

Close the valves attached to the pressure measuring hoses and insert into pressure measuring
points. Open these valves SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Open the dump valve (14) to discard the water in the

4.
RESULTS
1.

Determine the fanning friction factor for the following smooth pipes:
(i)
(ii)

2.

15 mm
20 mm

Calculate the shock constant for the following fittings:

(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

gate valve
globe valve
ball valve
sudden enlargemnet

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRACTICAL MANUAL

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2012

8
9
1

11

12

9
1

10

13

5
1

6
1

7
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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRACTICAL MANUAL

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Label
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11, 12, 13

10 mm smooth PVC pipe

15 mm smooth PVC pipe
25 mm smooth PVC pipe
Strainer
Gate valve
Globe valve
Ball valve
Pressure measuring points with connecting hoses
Water manometer
Mercury Manometer
Flow regulating Gate valves

NOMENCLATURE

z
P
v
hf
fF
L
D
Leq
So
Cd
m

zm
h

Units
m
Pressure
Pa
Fluid velocity in tube
m.s-1
Density of a fluid
kg.m-3
Total frictional and shock losses
m
Fanning friction factor
Tube length
m
Tube diameter
m
Tube roughness
m
Equivalent pipe length for a pipe fitting
m
cross sectional flow area of the orifice
m2
dimensionless discharge coefficient
density of liquid in manometer
kg.m-3
difference in height between the two arms of the manometer
m
m

REFERENCES
1.

Coulson, J.M. and Richardson, J.F., (1993) 'Chemical Engineering', Vol. I, 4th
Edition, Percamon Press, London .

2.

Perry, R.H., (1997) Perrys Chemical Engineers Handbook, Seventh edition.

3.

Holland, F.A., (1999) Fluid flow for Chemical Engineers,2nd Edition. Edward
Arnold, London.

2012