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Hydraulic mean diameter provides a method by which non-circular pipe work
and ducting may be treated as circular for the purpose of pressure drop and
fluid flow rate calculations. This article provides the equations required to
determine the hydraulic diameter for a range of non-circular geometries.

AA : Area

BB : Characteristic Length

CC : Characteristic Length

DD : Characteristic Diameter

D_{h}Dh : Hydraulic Diameter

PP : Wetted Perimeter

R_{h}Rh : Hydraulic Radius

This uses the perimeter and the area of the conduit to provide the diameter of a pipe which has proportions such that conservation of momentum is maintained. CALCULATION OF HYDRAULIC DIAMETER . duct or other conduit of any shape.\thetaθ : Characteristic Angle (Radians) INTRODUCTION The hydraulic diameter (aka hydraulic mean diameter) is used for a fluid flowing in a pipe. It works well for turbulent flow where geometry is less important. but should not be used for the laminar flow regime. The concept of the hydraulic diameter allows the use of relationships developed for circular pipes with non-circular conduits. which is influenced to a much higher degree by conduit geometry.

\displaystyle D_{h} = 4\frac{A}{P}Dh=4PA HYDRAULIC DIAMETER FOR SIMPLE GEOMETRIES This list contains the hydraulic diameter for some simple shapes. Shape Dimensions Formula Circle \displaystyle D_{h} = DDh=D Square \displaystyle D_{h} = BDh=B \displaystyle D_{h} = Rectangle \frac{2BC}{B+C}Dh=B+C2BC .The hydraulic diameter is calculated as 4 times the flow area divided by the wetted perimeter of the conduit.

\displaystyle D_h=\frac{B Isosceles Triangle \sin(\theta)}{1+sin(\frac{\theta}{2})}Dh =1+sin(2θ)Bsin(θ) \displaystyle D_h=\frac{2BC} Right Triangle {B+C+(B^2+C^2)^{1/2}}Dh=B+C+(B2 +C2)1/22BC \displaystyle D_h=\frac{4BC(64- 16E^2)} {(B+C)(64-3E^4)}Dh= Ellipse (B+C)(64−3E4)4BC(64−16E2) \displaystyle E=\frac{B-C} {B+C}E= B+CB−C Circular \displaystyle D_h=\frac{2B \theta} {1+ Sector \theta}Dh=1+θ2Bθ Annulus \displaystyle D_h=D_2-D_1Dh=D2−D1 .

and not by using the hydraulic diameter. . The equivalent diameter aims to use empirically determined relationships between non-circular geometries and the equivalent diameter to achieve the same outcome as the hydraulic diameter.USAGE OF HYDRAULIC DIAMETER AND EQUIVALENT DIAMETER Using the Hydraulic Diameter in Pressure Loss Calculations The hydraulic diameter may be used to determine the flow regime of a flowing fluid by calculating Reynolds Number using the hydraulic diameter. For the calculation of pressure loss and Reynolds Number the velocity should be calculated by dividing the volumetric flow by the actual cross sectional area of the flow path. called the equivalent diameter was developed in 1948. Equivalent Diameter An alternative to the hydraulic diameter. If the fluid is in the turbulent regime it may also be used to calculate the friction factor which is subsequently used to calculate the pressure loss for the system.

2008) concludes that the equivalent diameter is a poor approximation and should not be used for pressure loss calculations. \displaystyle R_{h} = \frac{A}{P}Rh=PA This results in the potentially confusing situation where the hydraulic diameter is not twice the hydraulic radius. In this case the hydraulic radius is defined as the flow area divided by the wetted perimeter. HYDRAULIC RADIUS The hydraulic radius (R_{h}Rh) is often used for systems with free surface flows.Current research (Koch. streams or rivers. but instead is 4 times the hudraulic radius. such as water in open channels. \displaystyle D_{h} = 4 R_{h}Dh=4Rh .