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The experiments aims to determine the Reynolds Number, NRe. The determination of
the Reynolds Number was completed using a Reynolds Number Apparatus. This apparatus
helps which type of flow the fluid undergoes through and to prove that the Reynolds Number
is indeed dimensionless. Results show that at varying volumes collected, in mL, at a certain
time, t, leads to a varying volumetric flow rate, Q. Consequently, different Reynolds Number
and type of flow.

1. Introduction

The Reynolds number is the ratio of inertial forces to viscous forces and is a convenient
parameter for predicting if a flow condition will be laminar or turbulent. It can be interpreted
that when the viscous forces are dominant (slow flow, low Re) they are sufficient enough to
keep all the fluid particles in line, then the flow is laminar. Even very low Re indicates
viscous creeping motion, where inertia effects are negligible. When the inertial forces
dominate over the viscous forces (when the fluid is flowing faster and Re is larger) then the
flow is turbulent.
Laminar vs. Turbulent Flow

Laminar flow:

 Re < 2000
 ‘low’ velocity
 Fluid particles move in straight lines
 Layers of water flow over one another at different speeds with virtually no
mixing between layers.
 The flow velocity profile for laminar flow in circular pipes is parabolic in shape, with
a maximum flow in the center of the pipe and a minimum flow at the pipe walls.
 The average flow velocity is approximately one half of the maximum velocity.
 Simple mathematical analysis is possible.
 Rare in practice in water systems.

Turbulent Flow:

 Re > 4000
 ‘high’ velocity
 The flow is characterized by the irregular movement of particles of the fluid.
 Average motion is in the direction of the flow
 The flow velocity profile for turbulent flow is fairly flat across the center section of a
pipe and drops rapidly extremely close to the walls.
 The average flow velocity is approximately equal to the velocity at the center of the
 Mathematical analysis is very difficult.
 Most common type

Reynolds number is a dimensionless number comprised of the physical

characteristics of the flow. An increasing Reynolds number indicates an increasing
turbulence of flow.

It is defined as:

𝑁𝑅𝑒 =


𝜋𝐷 2

NRe = Reynolds’ Number µ = viscosity

A = area 𝜌 = density

D = diameter Q = Volumetric Flow Rate

V = velocity

2. Materials and Methods

2.1 Apparatus and Materials
Osbourne Reynolds Number apparatus, dye, stopwatch, 1 L graduated cylinder,
2.2 Methods

The Reynolds Number apparatus was prepared. The diameter of the pipe was
determined in order to compute the cross-sectional area of the pipe. The water
temperature was obtained. The dye was poured onto the dye reservoir located on top
of the tank.

Water from the faucet was continuously supplied to the head tank while
simultaneously opening the control valve found at the end of the visualization pipe.
The dye was slowly introduced by adjusting the dye control valve.

An amount of water was collected for each change observed from the dye inside
the pipe using a graduated cylinder, simultaneously taking note of the time of the
collection. The volume collected was used to compute for the volumetric flow rate of
water and the Reynolds number.

2.3 Sketch

3. Results and Discussion

d=0.00867 m

Trial Volume of Collection Volumetric flow Velocity Reynolds Type of flow

no. water time (sec) 𝒎𝟑 𝒎 number, NRe
rate, Q, 𝒔𝒆𝒄
collected (dimensionless)

1 498 30 1.66 x 10-5 0.28118 3031.47 Transitional

2 145 30 4.83 x 10-6 0.08186 882.55 Laminar
3 410 30 1.37 x 10-5 0.2315 2495.86 Transitional
4 505 30 1.68x 10-5 0.2851 3073.73 Transitional
5 180 30 6.00 x 10-6 0.1016 1095.37 Laminar
6 980 30 3.27 x 10-5 0.5534 5966.34 Turbulent
7 160 30 5.33 x 10-6 0.09028 973.33 laminar
@30℃ µ =0.8007 x 10-3 kg/ms, 𝝆 = 995. 68 kg/𝑚3

Table 1. Data obtained for Reynolds number

Table 1 shows the experimental data obtained through conducting the experiment and
solving from the data gathered.
As shown on the table, three types of flow were obtained from the experiment namely
turbulent, transitional and laminar. For a Reynolds number lesser than 2000, Re < 2000, the
type of flow is laminar, which in trials 2 and 5 were achieved. For a Reynolds number greater
than 4000, Re > 4000, the type of flow is turbulent, achieved in trial 6. But then for Reynolds
number in between 2000 and 400, 2000 < Re < 4000, the type of flow is transitional flow,
achieved in trials 1, 3, and 4.
Transitional flow is a mixture of laminar and turbulent flow, with turbulence in the
center of the pipe, and laminar flow near the edges. Each of these flows behave in different
manners in terms of their frictional energy loss while flowing and have different equations
that predict their behavior. This can refer to transition in either direction that is laminar–
turbulent transitional or turbulent–laminar transitional flow.

Laminar flow generally happens when dealing with small pipes and low flow
velocities. Laminar flow can be regarded as a series of liquid cylinders in the pipe, where the
innermost parts flow the fastest, and the cylinder touching the pipe isn't moving at all.

Shear stress in a laminar flow depends almost only on viscosity - μ - and is

independent of density - ρ.
In turbulent flow vortices, eddies and wakes make the flow unpredictable. Turbulent
flow happens in general at high flow rates and with larger pipes.

Shear stress in a turbulent flow is a function of density - ρ.

Figure of flow between turbulent and laminar

Laminar flow Turbulent flow

Transitional flow

4. Conclusion
Laminar flow generally happens when the fluid is flowing slowly and steadily,
almost like not moving when seen on the pipe. Turbulent flow on the other hand
behaves oppositely, the fluid is flowing fast and unsteady. In transitional flow, the
flow switches between laminar and turbulent in a disorderly fashion.

As the water flow rate increases the dye line change from thread-like to
swirling in shape. Laminar flow occurs when the Reynolds number calculated is
below 2000, transitional flow occurs when Reynolds number calculated is between
2000 and 4000 while turbulent flow occurs when Reynolds number calculated is
above 4000.

Transition can happen due to many factors and disturbances. Laminar flow
occurs with low velocity while turbulent flow occurs at a much higher velocity
assuming the viscosity is a constant factor. However if the constant factor is the cross-
sectional area and the volumetric flow rate, a lower viscosity results in a higher Re or
a turbulent flow while a higher viscosity makes the flow laminar.

The Reynolds number is indeed dimensionless since no units were left during

Trial 1 Trial 2

D= 0.00867m D= 0.00867m
𝑘𝑔 𝑘𝑔
𝞺= 995.68 𝑚3 𝞺= 995.68 𝑚3
𝑘𝑔 𝑘𝑔
𝞵= 0.8007x10−3 𝑚𝑠 𝞵= 0.8007x10−3 𝑚𝑠

𝜋𝐷 2 𝜋𝐷 2
A= = 5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 A= = 5.9038x10−5
4 4
𝑚 𝑚
V= 0.28118 V= 0.08186
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑚
Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.28118 𝑠 ) Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.08186 𝑠 )

𝑚3 𝑚3
Q= 1.66x10−5 Q= 4.83x10−6
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑘𝑔 𝑚 𝑘𝑔
𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.28118 )(995.68 3 ) 𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.08186 )(995.68 3 )
𝑠 𝑚 𝑠 𝑚
𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔
𝞵 0.8007x10−3 𝞵 0.8007x10−3
𝑚𝑠 𝑚𝑠

𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 3031.42 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 882.55

Trial 3 Trial 4

𝜋𝐷 2 𝜋𝐷 2
A= = 5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 A= = 5.9038x10−5
4 4
𝑚 𝑚
V= 0.2315 V= 0.2851
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑚
Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.2315 𝑠 ) Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.2851 𝑠 )

𝑚3 𝑚3
Q= 1.37x10−5 Q= 1.68x10−5
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑘𝑔 𝑚 𝑘𝑔
𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.2315 )(995.68 3 ) 𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.2851 )(995.68 3 )
𝑠 𝑚 𝑠 𝑚
𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔
𝞵 0.8007x10−3 𝞵 0.8007x10−3
𝑚𝑠 𝑚𝑠

𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 2495.86 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 3073.73

Trial 5 Trial 6

𝜋𝐷 2 𝜋𝐷 2
A= = 5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 A= = 5.9038x10−5
4 4
𝑚 𝑚
V= 0.1016 V= 0.5534
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑚
Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.1016 𝑠 ) Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.5534 𝑠 )

𝑚3 𝑚3
Q= 6.0x10−6 Q= 3.27x10−5
𝑠 𝑠
𝑚 𝑘𝑔 𝑚 𝑘𝑔
𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.1016 )(995.68 3 ) 𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.5534 )(995.68 3 )
𝑠 𝑚 𝑠 𝑚
𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔
𝞵 0.8007x10−3 𝞵 0.8007x10−3
𝑚𝑠 𝑚𝑠

𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 1095.37 𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 5966.34

Trial 7

𝜋𝐷 2
A= = 5.9038x10−5 𝑚2
V= 0.09028 𝑠
Q= AV= (5.9038x10−5 𝑚2 )( 0.09028 𝑠 )

Q= 5.33x10−6 𝑠
𝑚 𝑘𝑔
𝐷𝑉ρ (0.00867m)(0.09028 )(995.68 3 )
𝑠 𝑚
𝑁𝑅𝑒 = = 𝑘𝑔
𝞵 0.8007x10−3

𝑁𝑅𝑒 = 973.33

[2] Laminar–turbulent transition. (2018, January 22). Retrieved January 26, 2018, from
[3] Laminar Flow - Viscous Flow. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2018, from