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# LABORATORY MANUAL & INSTRUCTION

ENGINEERING

## TITLE OF EXPERIMENT: MINOR LOSSES IN

PIPE (E4)

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1.0 Objectives

The objective of this experiment is to calculate loss coefficient (K value) and head loss
(hL) in pipes for different water flow rates, pipe diameters and pipe bends.

2.0 Introduction

As an incompressible fluid flows through a pipe, a friction force along the pipe wall is
created against the fluid. The frictional resistance generates a continuous loss of energy
or total head in the fluid and hence decreases the pressure of the fluid as it moves through
the pipe. There are four factors that determine friction losses in pipe:

## i. The velocity of the fluid.

ii. The size (inside diameter) of the pipe
iii. The direction of flow in the pipe
iv. The length of the pipe

In addition to energy or head loss due to friction, there are always head losses in pipes
due to an enlargement or contraction of the flow section, bends, junctions, and valves
etc., which are commonly known as minor or small losses. When the direction of flow is
altered or distorted, energy losses occur which are not recovered are dissipated in eddies
and additional turbulence and finally lost in the form of heat. However, this energy must
be supplied if the fluid is to be maintained in motion, in the same way, as energy must be
provided to overcome friction. In practice, in long pipe lines of several kilometres the
effect of minor losses may be negligible. For short pipeline the losses may be greater than
those for friction.

3.0 Theory
In Bernoulli's equation as shown below, hf represents the head loss due to friction between
the fluid and the internal surface of the constant diameter pipe as well as the friction between
the adjacent fluid layers

2 2
p1/g + V1 /2g + Z1 = p2 / g + V2 /2g + Z2 + hf (Eq. 1)

This will result in a continuous change of energy from a valuable mechanical form (such as
kinetic or potential energies) to a less valuable thermal form that is heat. This change of

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energy is usually referred to as friction head loss, which represents the amount of energy
converted into heat per unit weight of fluid.

The head losses (hf) in pipe due to friction can be determined using Darcy-Weisback
equation;

2 gD

## Laminar flow hf = 32 fLQ2 (Eq. 3)

2gD5
Where:
f = Friction factor
L = Length
V = Mean velocity (Q/A)
g = Gravity
D = Constant diameter

The friction head loss for both laminar and turbulent flows can be expressed by similar
formulas although the original derivation of each one is different:

L V2
hf  f (Eq. 4)
D 2g

In laminar flow, the friction factor is only a function of Reynolds number while for turbulent
flow it is a function of Reynolds (Re) number and the relative roughness of the pipe.

VD
Re  (Eq. 5)

## where : density, V: average velocity, D: pipe inside diameter, : viscosity.

Based on the nature of the flow, friction factor (f ) can be estimated using the following
correlations

Re

## Turbulent Flow f = 0.316 x Re -0.25 (Eq. 7)

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LABORATORY MANUAL & INSTRUCTION

Equation (7) is Blausius Equation and only valid for smooth pipe and 3000 < Re< 105.
The value of f for turbulent flow can be obtained experimentally from the Moody Chart.

Moreover, for turbulent flow, the relationship between hf and V takes the form
n
(Eq. 8)
hf = K. V

where K is a loss coefficient and n ranges from 1.7 to 2.0 (depending on the value of Re and
ks/D). This equation can be written as

## in order to find K and n experimentally, using graph

Experimentally, one can obtain the head loss by applying energy equation between any two
points along a constant diameter pipe. This is done in Eq. 1 and by noticing that the pipe is
horizontal and the diameter is constant. The pressure heads of a fluid between 2 points, h1
and h2, are measured by using Piezometer tubes. The total head loss can be determined
experimentally by applying the Bernoulli’s equation as follows:

## hf = (P1- P2) /g = h1 - h2 (Eq. 10)

Energy losses are proportional to the velocity head of the fluid as it flows around an
elbow, through an enlargement or contraction of the flow section, or through a valve.
Experimental values for energy losses are usually reported in terms of a resistance or loss
coefficient K as follows:

KV 2
hL = (Eq. 11)
2g

where hL is the minor loss, K is the resistance or loss coefficient, and V is the average
velocity of flow in the pipe in the vicinity where the minor loss occurs. The resistance or
loss coefficient is dimensionless because it represents a constant of proportionality
between the energy loss and the velocity head. The magnitude of the resistance
coefficient depends on the geometry of the device that causes the loss and sometimes on
the velocity of flow.

## Minor losses at sudden enlargement

When a fluid flows from a smaller pipe into a larger pipe through a sudden enlargement,
its velocity abruptly decreases, causing turbulence, which generates an energy loss.

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where,
V1 = velocity at small cross-section (upstream)
V2 = velocity at large cross-section (downstream)

The minor loss (hL) due to sudden enlargement of the pipe can be estimated by
integrating the momentum, continuity and Bernoulli equations between positions 1 and 2
to give

V1  V2 2
hL  (Eq. 12)
2g

Substituting again for the continuity equation to get an expression involving the two
areas, (i.e. V2=V1(A1/A2) gives

2
KV1
hL  (Eq. 13)
2g

2
 A1 
2
  D 2 
Where , K  1    1   1  
 A2 
  D2  
 

## Minor losses at sudden contraction

When a fluid flows from a larger pipe into a smaller pipe through a sudden contraction,
the fluid streamlines will converge just downstream of the smaller pipe, known as vena
contraction phenomena, creating a turbulence region from the sharp corner of the smaller
pipe and extends past the vena contracta, which subsequently generates an energy loss.

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In a sudden contraction, flow contracts from point 1 to point 1', forming a vena
contraction. It is possible to assume that energy losses from 1 to 1' are negligible (no
separation occurs in contracting flow) but that major losses occur between 1' and 2 as the
flow expands again

If the vena contract area is A1’=Ac, then the minor loss (hL) can be estimated by
integrating the momentum , continuity and Bernoulli equations between positions 1 and 2
to give

2
 AC  V22
hL  1   (Eq. 14)
 A2  2 g

The above equation is commonly expressed as a function of loss coefficient (K) and the
average velocity (V2) in the smaller pipe downstream from the contraction as follows;

2
KV2
hL  (Eq. 15)
2g
2
 A 
Where K  1  C 
 A2 

As the difference in pipe diameters gets large (A1/A2  0) then this value of K will tend
towards 0.5 which is equal to the value for entry loss from a reservoir into a pipe. The
value of K depends upon the ratio of the pipe diameters (D2/D1) as given below;

D2/D1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0
K 0.5 0.45 0.412 0.39 0.36 0.33 0.28 0.15 0.15 0.06 0

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LABORATORY MANUAL & INSTRUCTION

## Minor Losses at elbow or bend pipe

Losses in fittings such as elbow, valves etc have been found to be proportional to the
velocity head of the fluid flowing. The energy loss is expressed in the general form,

KV 2
hL = (Eq. 16)
2g
where,
K = loss coefficient (dependent on the ratio of total angle of bending to
radius of bending (R/d) of the curves as the bending occurs)

## Experimental determination of total head loss

In the experiment the pressure heads before and after a fluid undergoing sudden change
in pipe diameter or flow direction, h1 and h2, are measured by using Piezometer tubes. The
total head loss (major and minor losses) can be determined experimentally by applying
the Bernoulli’s equation as follows:
2 2
P1/g + Vl / 2 g + Z1 = P2/g + V2 / 2 g + Z2 + hL (Eq. 17)

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LABORATORY MANUAL & INSTRUCTION

2 2
hl + Vl / 2 g + Z1 = h2 + V2 / 2 g + Z2 + hL (Eq. 18)

V12  V22
and since Z1 = Z2 , then hL  h1  h2  (Eq. 19)
2g

4.0 Apparatus

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0 999.8 1.781

5 1000.0 1.518

10 999.7 1.307

15 999.1 1.139

20 998.2 1.002

25 997.0 0.890

30 995.7 0.798

40 992.2 0.653

50 988.0 0.547

60 983.2 0.466

70 977.8 0.404

80 971.8 0.354

90 965.3 0.315

## 100 953.4 0.282

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## 5.0 Experimental Procedure

1) Open all outlet valves of pipes I, II, III, IV and V (valves are in parallel with the
pipes). Make certain that the flow control valve in the base module is in closed
position (turn clockwise).

2) Switch on the pump and slowly open the control valve (turn counter-clockwise)
until maximum, and wait for a while in order to remove any air bubble in the
flowing pipe.

3) Identify which inlet flowing pressure (H1) and outlet flowing pressure (H2) during
installation of water manometer rubber tube

4) Determine the direction of water inflow and outflow through the pipe.

5) Perform measurement
 Adjust desired flow by way of inflow valve.
 Read off differential pressure as difference in height between the two
water columns.
 Estimate mean value if reading fluctuates. When taking differential-
pressure measurements, it is more important to achieve reproducible
readings than absolute accuracy.
 During the process, if air bubbles present in the flowing pipe, the air will
move through the water manometer rubber tube. Air bubbles will move to
the peak of the higher tube. Remove the air bubbles up to the manometer
glass tube.

6) Determine 5 (five) suitable flow rates Q (let the increment as large as possible).
Record the values of H1 and H2 in millimeter (mm) of the inlet and the outlet of
water manometer flowing pressures as Q is changed.
7) Operate on all the following types of flow.

## Friction losses at pipe elbows (three types)

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## A) Table for data of sudden enlargement and sudden contraction.

Q h1 h2 Δh
Pipe
(1/min) (mm) (mm) (m)

Sudden

Enlargement

Sudden

Contraction

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## B) Table for data of different branches (two types)

Q h1 h2 Δh
Pipe
(1/min) (mm) (mm) (m)

Y Type

T Type

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## C) Table for data of pipe elbows (three types)

Q h1 h2 Δh
Pipe
(1/min) (mm) (mm) (m)

90° angle

90° bend

45° angle

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7.0 Discussion

a) Calculate the loss of coefficient (K) and head loss (n) for each of the flow types; A, B
and C as in section 5.0.
b) Compare the calculated value with the theoretical value (refer to Fluid Mechanics text
book or equation provided in section 3.0) and discuss the possible reasons for different
values.
c) Discuss the effect of fluid velocity, pipe roughness and pipe diameter on the value of
loss coefficient (K) and hence friction loss in pipe.
d) Briefly discuss factors contributing to errors or inaccuracy in experimental data and
propose recommendation to improve the results.

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