You are on page 1of 21





Industrial processes usually require steam for operations such as heating. This
medium is usually transported via metal pipes. However, it is inevitable to encounter
heat losses in this arrangement because of the inherent temperature difference existing
between the hot pipes and the surroundings. This can instead be minimized through
insulations placed on bare pipes. On the other hand, if a process requires enhancing
heat losses then the use of tins would be more appropriate. This experiment will involve
students in determining the effectiveness of the apt use of these heat transfer
accessories and also quantify necessary parameters such as the overall effective heat
transfer coefficients.


1. To determine the overall effectiveness of industrial insulating materials as

compared with unlagged pipe and finned tube by solving for the lagging
2. To compare experimental and theoretical heat losses by conduction, convection,
and radiation from bare and lagged pipes.
3. To measure effective overall heat transfer coefficient of bare and lagged pipes
and finned tubes.

A. Bare and Lagged Pipes

When a pipe, bare or lagged, is used to carry saturated steam under

pressure. heat will be lost to the surroundings because of temperature gradient
existing between the steam and the surroundings. The rate of heat transferred
naturally will depend on the magnitude of the temperature difference, the
thermal resistance, and the heat transfer area. The most common method of
minimizing heat losses to the surroundings is the use of insulation to increase
the resistance and therefore lower the heat transfer rate. If our purpose is to
increase the rate of heat transfer, we use finned tubes which expose more area
per unit length compared to a similar pipe of the same size.

The rate of heart lost from a pipe carrying steam can be measured simply
by determining the rate of condensation of steam, m, which can be collected at a
certain interval of time.

By heat balance,

𝑞 = 𝑚[𝜆𝑠 + 𝐶𝑝 (𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑐 )] (1)

where, 𝑞 = total heat lost, Btu/ht

𝜆𝑠 = latent hear of vaporization

𝑇𝑠 = saturated steam temperature, degrees F

𝑇𝑐 = condensate temperature, degrees F

Under controlled conditions, the condensed steam can he collected as

saturated liquid that Equation (1) simplifies to,
𝑞 = 𝑚𝜆 (2)

To determine, therefore the effectiveness of an insulation, it is just a

matter of comparing the heat lost from the pipe with an insulation with that
from a bare pipe. Since heat lost is proportional to the rate of condensation, and
the weight of condensate is proportional to the volume of condensate v,
assuming temperatures and pressures of condensates are the same, then the
lagging efficiency may be determined using the equation,

𝑉𝑏 −𝑉𝐿
𝑙𝑎𝑔𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 = [ ] (3)

where, Vb = volume of condensate collected from bare pipe

VL = volume of condensate collected from lagged pipe

To determine the theoretical heat lost, let us consider a pipe of length L

insulated as shown carrying steam at a temperature Th and exposed to
surrounding air Ta and surrounding walls of the room Tw

heat is transferred to surroundings, it travels first from the bulk of the steam
through the steam film condensate, then through the metal pipe, then through
the insulation by conduction until it reaches the surface of the insulation where
part of the heat is transferred to the surrounding air by convection and part by
radiation to the surrounding walls. That is,

𝑞𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑡 = 𝑞𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 = 𝑞𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 + 𝑞𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 (4)


𝑞𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑡 = ℎ𝑒 𝐴𝑜 (𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑜 ) + ℎ𝑟 𝐴𝑜 (𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑤 )

where hc = heat transfer coefficient by convection

hr = heat transfer coefficient via radiation

Ts = surface temperature of insulation

Ao = outside area of insulation

For practical purposes, Ta = Tw, therefore, equation (5) becomes,

𝑞 = (ℎ𝑐 + ℎ𝑟 )𝐴𝑜 (𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑎 ) (6)

By definition, assuming the area to be large compared to the area of

insulation and gray surfaces. Hr, is given by

𝑇 4 𝑇 4
[( 𝑠 ) −( 𝑎 ) ]
100 100
ℎ𝑟 = 0.173 𝜀 (7)
where e = the emissivity of the surface

T = absolute temperature

The convection heat transfer coefficient, he, will depend on the

mechanism involved when heat is transferred from the surface to the air. Under
normal conditions, we can consider this transfer as natural convection since no
appreciable movement of air due to mechanical agitation is encountered. The
data of heat transfer from horizontal pipes to air from X 10 3 to 109 is represented
by the dimensionless equation,

𝑁𝑁𝑢𝑓 = 0.53𝑁𝐺𝑟 𝑁𝑃𝑟 (8)


The subscript f, indicates that the corresponding property is to be

evaluated based on average film temperature

𝑇𝑠 + 𝑇
𝑇𝑓 =

For air at ordinary temperature and atmospheric pressure, the simplified

dimensional equation for X from 103 to 109 may be employed as
Δ𝑇 0.25
ℎ𝑐𝑓 = 0.27 [ 𝐷 ] (9)

where delta T = Ts – T

Do = outside temperature of cylinder

The calculation for the simultaneous heat loss by convection and

radiation as given by equation (6) is straightforward if the surface temperature
Ts is known. However, in most systems this value is not known or cannot be
measured with reasonable accuracy. Since Ts is needed in the equation of both
hc and hr, then this temperature will have to be evaluated by trial. Assuming a
value of Ts (you may use measured Ts as a guide), hr is evaluated using equation
(7) and h is solved using either equations (8) or (9). To check the validity of Ts,
we use equation (4) by expressing this in terms of temperature gradient and
resistances, that is

𝑇ℎ −𝑇𝑠
𝑞𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑 = 1 𝑥 𝑥 (10)
+( ) +( )
ℎ𝑖 𝐴𝑖 𝑘𝐴𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑘𝐴𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑠

𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑎
𝑞𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑 =
(ℎ𝑐 + ℎ)𝐴0

Where hi = steam films coefficient, may be neglected or assumed 1500 Btu/hrftF

Aave = arithmetic or log mean, depending on the thickness of the wall

X = thickness of wall or insulation

Using Equation (10), solve for Ts, and compare this with the assumed Ts.
Repeat iteration until close agreement is achieved. With Ts, known, calculate the
theoretical heat lost using Equation (6).

For bare pipes, trial and error calculation for Ts, may be eliminated. Since
the thermal resistance of the metal pipe and the steam film condensate are
small. it is safe to assume that the surface temperature of the pipe is nearly the
same as the temperature of the steam. With Ts, known, evaluation of hc, h, and
q becomes straightforward.

To evaluate the effective overall heat transfer coefficient from steam to

air, we use the equation

1 𝐷 𝑥𝐷 𝑥𝐷 1
= ℎ 𝐷𝑜 + ( 𝑘𝐷𝑜 ) + ( 𝑘𝐷𝑜 ) +ℎ (11)
𝑈𝑜 𝑖 𝑖 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑐 +ℎ𝑟

Which can be compared with the actual or experimental U using the


𝑈𝑜 = 𝐴 (12)
𝑜 (𝑇ℎ −𝑇𝑎 )

B. Finned Tubes

In this particular experiment, the integral finned tube is made of brass

and fabricated by extruding the fins that are attached to the surface of the tube.
The fins are radially extruded from thin walled tube to a height of 1 mm with 16
fins per inch (25.4mm). External surface of the fins is approximately 2mm wider
than the outside surface of the bare tube whose diameter is 16.8 mm. Below is
the simplified dimensional figure of the finned tube

Solve first for the heat transfer coefficient, hf, by assuming that the
transfer of heat is by natural convection

ℎ𝑓 = 0.27 [𝐵 ] Ω0.25 (13)

Where delta T = temperature difference bet the fin surface and air

Bf = outside diameter of circular fin

Determine the fin efficiency, 𝛺𝑓 , using (P Fig. 10.39). i.e., determine

(𝑟𝑒 − 𝑟𝑏 )√

Compare the fin efficiency, 𝛺𝑓 , obtained from (P Fig. 10.39) with the equation

𝛺𝑓 = (14)
Such that

𝐵 1.17
𝜑 = [(𝐷𝑓 ) − 1] 𝐷𝑜 √ℎ𝑓 (2)𝑘𝑓 𝑆𝑓 (15)

Where Bf = outside diameter of circular fin

Do = outside diameter of the tube

Sf = thickness of fin

Compute for the heat losses per foot using the equation

𝑞𝑓′ = ℎ𝑐 𝐿𝑓 𝐴𝑜 (𝑇𝑠 − 𝑇𝑎 )𝑞𝑓

Where qf’ = heat losses per foot

Lf = height of the fin

Tf = surface temperature of fion

Ta = air temperature

Then solve for the theoretical heat lost using the equation

𝑞𝑓 = 𝐿𝑞𝑓′

Where qf = theoretical heat lost

Lf = total length of the tube in ft


A. Actual Equipment
B. Schematic Diagram of the Equipment
C. Description of the Equipment
The equipment set-up consists of the following six graduated cyliunders of 5500
to 500mL capacity, one stopwatch six beakers of 1000 to 3000mL capacity, two pairs of
asbestos gloves; a pair of pliers; 10 mercury thermometers, a digitas surface
thermometer; a meterstick; and compressed air supply line
The test equipment consists of a pipe insulated with asbestos (Pipe A), a bare pipe
coated with silver paint (Pipe B), a bare pipe coated with black paint (C), a Gl pipe,
without any insulation or coating (Pipe D), a finned tube (Pipe E) and a pipe insulated
with styrofoam (Pipe F).
These pipes, which are slightly inclined, are rigidly connected to a large
horizontal and properly insulated pipe which in turn is connected to an insulated steam
supply line leading to the steam boiler. In the supply line, there is a pressure gage, that
indicated the pressure of the stream coming from the boiler. The pressure within the
tests pipes is indicated by another gage that is located just after the manually controlled
valve. Each pipe is equipped with three thermometer wells that are used to
approximately determine the surface temperature by means of a mercury
thermometer. The digital surface thermometer may be used to verify these readings.
Located at the side of the supply line is a set of throttling calorimeter which can be used
to determine the quality of steam entering the distribution tube.
On the other side, the end of these pipes are connected to an insulated
cylindrical condensate collector provided with a stopcock on top, a sight glass at the
sides with valves, and a control valve at the discharge pipe connected at the bottom of
this collector. The discharge pipe goes inside a column in a form of a U-tube. The exit
pipe can be turned forward for collecting the condensate or sideward for draining the
condensate. The cylindrical coolers are provided each with cooling system in parallel
where cooling water can be controlled by a valve located at the main water supply line.
The used cooling water from these coolers is discharged directly to the drain.

1. Preheating. Before starting a run, it is necessary to preheat the tubes to a

temperature as near as possible to the prescribed temperature for the run. This is
achieved by partly opening all the condensate discharge valves and allowing the
steam to pass through the tubes by opening the steam pressure control valve to
maintain approximately the same pressure as that to be used for the particular run.
This procedure will also remove non-condensable gases inside the tubes. Perform
this operation for about 5 minutes. During this period, you may check the
temperature recorded by the thermometers placed on each well to determine
whether the system has already stabilized

Note: To avoid burns, always wear asbestos gloves when handling hot metallic parts

2. Start of the run. Before staring a timed run, make sure that the condensate
coillector is empty. To check, open fully the valves on top and bottom of the sight
glass. If water is indicated, this can be removed by fully opening the discharge valve.
To start the timed run, all the six discharge valves might suddenly raise the steam
pressure inside the pipes to a dangerous level. It is recommended that the supply
valve be partly closed while the discharged valves are being closed. At this point,
start the tiome and adjust the control valve to maintain the desired pressure
constant throughout the run.
3. Timed run.
a. Method I. this timed run should last not less than 25 minutes. Get the
temperature readings from time to time from the thermometers from each
well. Or by using the digital thermometer. If the condensate collector is
about to be filled up as indicated in the sight glass, collect some of the
condensate using a beaker by carefully opening the discharge valve just to
allow part of the condensate out. Do not discharge completely the
condensate or the steam will escape. If there are leaks encountered, collect
these to be added to the condensate collected from each pipe. When
collecting condensate, make sure that the cooling system is on.
b. Method II. After closing all the discharged valves simultaneously, if possible,
adjust the steam valve to a certain pressure and maintain it constant
throughout the timed run. Open the valve at the main water supply line for
the cooling water. Allow the condensate to reach a certain level;; as
indicated in the sight glass. Mark this level and start timing the run. Open the
discharge valve to collect some of the condensate from the collector in a
beaker. The level of the condensate may rise or fall during the run but adjust
the discharged valve so that the level of the condensate will not be far from
the marked level
4. End of run
a. Method I. when the prescribed time is reached, close completely the steam
supply valve then open slowly one, two, or three stopcocks on the top of the
condensate collector to remove the residual steam inside the pipes. Be
careful when opening these valves, bear in mind that the steam initially is at
high pressure. When the pressure in the pipes reaches atmospheric, collect
the condensate in a beaker or graduated cylinder one at a time or
simultaneously. Draining will not remove all the condensate because some
will stay inside the U-tube within the cooler. One way of removing the
condensate completely is top use compressed air. First, close the stopcock to
allow the air to enter the collector. Because of the pressure, residual
condensate will be driven out of the U-tube. Combine the condensate
collected from each pipe and record the volume.
b. Method II. The steam supply valve is closed completely at the end of the
timed run. But a few minutes before closing the supply valve, let the
condensate level be higher than the marked level in step 3 by partly closing
the discharge valve. Then right after closing the steam supply valve, slowly
drain the condensate and stop draining when the level on the mark
Note: To start another run, repeat the procedure by first preheating the
systems at least three runs must be performed. The recommended pressure
are 15, 20, 25 psig, although you can choose the pressure you want as long as
it does not exceed 60 psig. To determine the quality of the steam, use the
throttling calorimeter provided near the set-up



Pipe A – Asbestos pipe Pipe D – Pipe with no insulation

Pipe B – Silver pipe Pipe E – Finned tube

Pipe C – Black pipe Pipe F - Styrofoam

A. First Run
Inlet Pressure: 100 psi Steam Pressure: 30 psi

Outlet Pressure: 1.7 psi

Steam Supply-side Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 30 111 108 68 - 40
5 34 125 120 72 - 44
10 36 127 120 99 - 45
15 36 126 120 99 - 45
20 38 122 114 99 - 45
Mid-Section Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 35 109 100 103 82 37.5
5 32 120 110 115 96 38
10 38 125 119 117 98 38.5
15 38 125 119 117 98 35
20 39 121 119 116 98 39

Condensate-side Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 30 102 94 91 - 32
5 34 119 114 114 - 36
10 36 120 114 114 - 36
15 36 120 116 116 - 38
20 36 120 112 122 - 38
Volume (mL) 600 480 160 510 360 540

Steam Supply Conditions

Ps (psig) TS (deg. C)

0 30 115
5 30 120
10 30 130
15 30 132
20 30 130
B. Second Run

Inlet Pressure: 100 psi Steam Pressure: 40 psi

Outlet Pressure: 1.7 psi

Steam Supply-side Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 36 109 100 48 - 86
5 36 133 128 50 - 104
10 37 130 126 50 - 102
15 37 131 127 52 - 102
20 38 131 128 52 - 102

Mid-Section Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 38 115 112 107 84 38.5
5 39 130 128 122 99 38.5
10 39 128 125 121 99 38.5
15 39 131 125 122 101 39
20 39 132 128 122 101 39

Condensate-side Surface Temperatures (deg C)

Pipe A Pipe B Pipe C Pipe D Pipe E Pipe F
0 36 100 94 96 - 38
5 385 130 122 120 - 38
10 38 128 118 120 - 40
15 38 128 120 120 - 40
20 38 128 122 122 - 40
Volume (mL) 500 600 720 680 240 700
Steam Supply Conditions

Ps (psig) TS (deg. C)

0 40 120
5 40 135
10 40 140
15 40 139
20 40 140


It would help if the following calculations could be done using a spreadsheet. For
example, see Bolo and Olano (2002).

A. Bare and Lagged Pipes

1. Using the bare pipe (without any coating) as the reference, determine the lagging
efficiency of each insulation for each run. Is these related solely to the thermal
conductivity of the insulation? Explain.
2. Calculate the experimental heat lost using the amount of steam condensed for each
pipe for each run. Is there a trend in terms of the pressure of steam and the amount
of condensate collected? Plot values to support your explanation.
3. Calculate the theoretical heat lost from each pipe and the surface temperature of
the pipe for each run. Compare these with experimental values. Determine the
percentage difference. Explain your findings.
4. Based on the actual heat lost measured, determine the effective overall heat
transfer coefficients for all the pipes.
5. Calculate the theoretical over-all neat transfer coefficients from your theoretical
individual heat transfer coefficients and determine the percent error compared to
those calculated in (4). Explain your findings.
6. Explain your findings with regards to the surface temperatures of bare and lagged
pipes and how do these compare with those obtained theoretically for lagged pipes?
Is it acceptable to use the temperature of the steam as the surface temperature for
bare pipes? Give experimental evidence based on your measurements and

B. Finned Tubes
1. Determine the effective experimental over-all heat transfer coefficient for the finned
2. From the results of your experiment, is it possible to estimate a theoretical overall
heat transfer coefficient? If so, calculate this value and compare with number 1.
3. Compare theoretical heat lost with experimental heat lost for the fin.
4. Can you determine the fin efficiency from the experimental data you gathered?


Volume of Condensate Lagging Efficiency

Pipe First Run Second Run First Run Second Run
A 600 500 -17.6471 26.4706
B 480 600 5.8824 11.7647
C 160 720 68.6275 -5.882
D 510 680 0 0
E 360 240 29.4118 64.7059
F 540 700 -5.8824 -2.9412