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ME – 233: Fluid Mechanics – II

Dr. Emad Uddin

Fully developed laminar flow
 Fully developed: the velocity
profile is the same at any cross
section of the pipe.
 Whether the flow is laminar or
 Flow in a long, straight, constant
diameter sections of a pipe
becomes fully developed.
 But the other flow properties are
different for these two types of
Fully developed laminar flow
 Knowledge of the velocity profile can lead directly to
other useful information such as pressure drop, head
loss, flowrate.
 We begin by developing the equation for the velocity
profile in fully developed laminar flow.
 If the flow is not fully developed, a theoretical analysis
becomes much more complex
 If the flow is turbulent, a rigorous theoretical analysis is as
yet not possible.
Fully developed laminar flow
 There are numerous ways to derive important results
pertaining to fully developed laminar flow.
 Three alternatives include:
 From F = ma applied directly to a fluid element,
 From the Navier –Stokes equations of motion,
 From dimensional analysis methods.
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 Consider the motion of a cylindrical fluid element at time
‘t’ within a pipe.

 The local acceleration is zero because the flow is steady ( =
0), and
 The convective acceleration is zero because the flow is fully
developed (V.ΔV= u i = 0).
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 Every part of the fluid merely
flows along its streamline parallel
to the pipe walls with constant
 Velocity varies from one pathline
to another.
 This velocity variation, combined
with the fluid viscosity, produces
the shear stress.
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 If gravitational effects are neglected, the pressure is
constant across any vertical cross section of the pipe,
although it varies along the pipe from one section to the
 If the pressure is P1 at section (1), it is P1- ΔP at section
 A shear stress τ, acts on the surface of the cylinder of fluid
it is a function of the radius of the cylinder, τ = τ (r).
 We isolate the cylinder of fluid and apply Newton’s
second law, Fx = max
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element

 The fluid is not accelerating, so that ax= 0.

 Thus, fully developed horizontal pipe flow is a balance
between pressure and viscous forces
 The pressure difference acting on the end of the cylinder
of area πr²
 The shear stress acting on the lateral surface of the
cylinder of area 2πrl.
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 This force balance can be written as

 which can be simplified to give

 Since neither Δp nor l are functions of the radial

coordinate, r, it implies that 2π/r must also be independent
of r.
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 That is, τ = Cr , where C is a constant.
 At the centerline of the pipe (r = 0) there is no shear stress τ =
 At the pipe wall (r = D/2) the shear stress is a maximum,
denoted τw the wall shear stress.
 Hence, C= 2 τw /D and the shear stress distribution
throughout the pipe is a linear function of the radial
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element

 If the viscosity were zero there would be no shear stress, and

pressure would be constant throughout the pipe
 We get a relation between
 pressure drop, and
 wall shear stress
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 To carry the analysis further we must prescribe how the
shear stress is related to the velocity.
 For a laminar flow of a Newtonian fluid, the shear stress is
simply proportional to the velocity gradient.
 In the notation associated with our pipe flow, this becomes
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 The two governing laws for fully developed laminar flow
of a Newtonian fluid within a horizontal pipe

 By combining these equations & integrating

 where c1 is a constant.
F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 Because the fluid is viscous it sticks to the pipe wall so
that u = 0, at r= D/2.

 Vc is the centerline velocity

F = ma Applied to a Fluid Element
 The volume flowrate through the pipe can be obtained by
integrating the velocity profile across the pipe.

 The average velocity is the flowrate divided by the cross-

sectional area,
 The above results confirm the following properties of laminar pipe flow.
 For a horizontal pipe the flowrate is
 A. directly proportional to the pressure drop
 B. inversely proportional to the viscosity,
 C. inversely proportional to the pipe length
 D. proportional to the pipe diameter to the fourth power.
 With all other parameters fixed, an increase in diameter by a factor of 2 will
increase the flowrate by a factor of 16
 the flowrate is very strongly dependent on pipe size.
 A 2% error in diameter gives an 8% error in flowrate

 This flow, the properties of which were first established experimentally by two
independent workers, G. Hagen 11797–18842 in 1839 and J. Poiseuille 11799–
18692 in 1840, is termed Hagen–Poiseuille flow.
 Equation 8.9 is commonly referred to as Poiseuille’s law.
 Recall that all of these results are restricted to laminar flow (those with
Reynolds numbers less than approximately 2100) in a horizontal pipe
Pipe in slope
 The adjustment necessary to account for non-horizontal pipes are shown in Fig. It
can be easily included by replacing the pressure drop, by the combined effect of
pressure and gravity

 Note that if the flow is uphill Ɵ>0, while if the flow is downhill Ɵ<0
 This can be seen from the force balance in the x direction (along the pipe axis) on
the cylinder of fluid shown n Fig.
 The method is exactly analogous to that used to obtain the Bernoulli equation
when the streamline is not horizontal.
 The net force in the x direction is a combination of the pressure force in that
direction, and the component of weight in that direction.
 The result is a slightly modified form of Eq given by

 Thus, all of the results for the horizontal pipe are valid
provided the pressure gradient is adjusted for the elevation
term so that

 and
 It is seen that the driving force for pipe flow can be either
a pressure drop in the flow direction, or the component of
weight in the flow direction.
 If the flow is downhill, gravity helps the flow (a smaller
pressure drop is required).
 If the flow is uphill gravity works against the flow (a
larger pressure drop is required)