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Basics of Fluid Flow
Subject Matter Expert/Author: Assoc Prof Dr Shahrir Abdullah
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Introduction
Objectives
1 Flows Characteristics in Pipe
2 Fully Developed Laminar Flow
3 Fully Developed Turbulent Flow
4 Friction Loss
5 Minor Loss
Summary
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Introduction
• Now, we cover fluid with internal viscous friction
attributed by the viscosity properties and friction
between the flows and any adjacent walls.
• We will look into how to analyse the laminar and
turbulent pipe flows, and to calculate friction losses
due to pipe walls as well as pressure losses due to
fitting components such as valves, junctions, faucets
and flow measurement apparatus.
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Objectives
At the end of this chapter, you should be able to :
understand and differentiate between laminar and
turbulent pipe flows in terms of velocity profile and
pressure distribution,
use relevant formulae and charts to calculate friction and
other minor losses in pipes,
calculate flowrate from pressure difference in pipes
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• This type of flow is also known as internal flow where the pipe
is assumed to be completely filled with the fluid.
• The fluid motion is generated by pressure difference between
two points and is constrained by the pipe walls. The direction
of the flow is always from a point of high pressure to a point of
low pressure.
• If the fluid does not completely fill the pipe, such as in a
concrete sewer, the existence of any gas phase generates an
almost constant pressure along the flow path.
• If the sewer is open to atmosphere, the flow is known as open
channel flow and is out of the scope of this chapter or in the
whole course.
• Hence this chapter only concentrates on internal pipe flows
only.
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• Flow in pipes can be divided into two different regimes, i.e.
laminar and turbulence.
• The experiment to differentiate between both regimes was
introduced in 1883 by Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912), an
English physicist who is famous in fluid experiments in early
days.
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• From Fig. 8.1, the dye is used to mark the flow path of the fluid.
In order to demonstrate the transition between laminar and
turbulent regime, the  Q is varied.
• For a constant diameter pipe, the cross sectional area is also
constant. Thus, by virtue of mass conservation, the velocity V is
directly proportional to Q.
• For laminar regime, the flow velocity is kept small, thus the
generated flow is very smooth which is shown as a straight tiny
line formed by the dye.
• When the flow velocity is increased, the flow becomes slightly
unstable such that it contains some temporary velocity fluctuation
of fluid molecules and this mark the transition regime between
both regimes. Then, the velocity can be increased further so that
the fluid flow is completely unstable and the dye is totally mixed
with the surrounding fluid. This phenomenon is known as
turbulence.
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Pipe Hydraulics
Density of water = 1000 kg/m
3
Gravitational acceleration g = 10 m/s
2
Velocity is in meters/second (m/s)
Force is in newtons (N or kg•m/s
2
)
Pressure is in pascals (Pa or N/m
2
)
Some definitions...
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Pipe Hydraulics
Bernoulli’s Equation:
Pressure + ( x 0.5 v
2
) = constant
Making all the units the same (height in meters)
V
g
P
g
h
2
2
+

+ =
µ
constant
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Using Bernoulli’s Equation
P
1
P
2
H
1
V
1
H
2
V
2
V
g
P
g
h
V
g
P
g
h
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
2
2 2
+

+ = +

+
µ µ
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So that’s it?
This pipe flow stuff is easy….
But remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch...
There is friction in our system….and things start to get
messy...
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Friction in Pipes Depends On...
Length of pipe
Internal diameter of the pipe
Average flow velocity of the pipe
The pipe material
And which friction equation you use..
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Secondary Friction Losses...
Friction occurs from bends, tee pieces, and various valves
The friction effects are usually expressed in equivalent lengths
of pipe
Secondary Friction = Equivalent Length x Pipe diameter
Or the friction effects can be expressed in a factor “k” times the
velocity head
Secondary Friction = k x V
2
/2g
Equivalent lengths or K factors are found in tables
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Secondary Friction Losses (Example)
A 90 degree standard bend in a pipe of diameter 105mm.
L
e
= KD/f
K is headloss coefficient
f is the friction factor
L
e
= 0.9x0.105/0.022
L
e
= 4.3 m
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State of Flow
Flow is governed by the effects of viscosity and gravity
relative to the inertial effects of the flow
Flow can be laminar, turbulent or transitional
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Types of Flow
Laminar flow
viscous forces are so strong relative to the
inertial forces that the viscosity dominates in
the flow path.
Fluid particles move in definite smooth paths or
streamlines
Thin layers seem to slide over adjacent layers
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Types of Flow
Turbulent flow
viscous forces are weak relative to the inertial
forces that the inertial forces dominates in the
flow path.
Fluid particles move in irregular paths which
are neither smooth or fixed
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Reynolds Number
Re =
· · d v
i
µ
µ
Where Re = Reynolds number
ρ = density of the liquid (1000 kg/m
3
for water at 4°C)
µ = dynamic viscosity (0.00092 kg/m·s for water at 24°C)
v = average velocity of flow (m/s)
d
i
= internal diameter of the pipe (m)
For Pipes
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Using the Energy Line in Pipes
P
1
P
2
H
1
V
1
H
2
V
2
Total energy line represents all the energy in the system
(pressure component + velocity component + height component)
h
f
g
v
2
2
1
v
g
2
2
2
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• This graph clearly shows a smooth velocity of laminar flow and a
fluctuated velocity for turbulent flow.
• Clearly, one of the main critical parameters that determines the
flow regimes is the velocity.
• This parameter, together with fluid properties, namely density µ
and dynamic viscosity µ, as well as pipe diameter D, forms the
dimensionless Reynolds number, that is
• From Reynolds’ experiment, he suggested that Re < 2100 for
laminar flows and Re > 4000 for turbulent flows. The range of Re
between 2100 and 4000 represents transitional flows.
µ
µVD
= Re
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Example 8.1
Consider a water flow in a pipe having a diameter of D = 20 mm which is intended to fill a
0.35 liter container. Calculate:
(a) the minimum time required if the flow is laminar,
(b) the maximum time required if the flow is turbulent.
Use density µ = 998 kg/m3 and dynamic viscosity µ = 1.12×10–3 kg/m·s.
Solution:
(a) For laminar flow, use Re =µVD/µ = 2100:
Hence, the minimum time t is
(b) For turbulent flow, use Re = µVD/µ = 4000:
Hence, the minimum time t is
( )
( )( )
s m
D
V 118 . 0
020 . 0 998
10 12 . 1 2100 2100
3
=
×
= =
÷
µ
µ
( )
( ) ( )
s
V D
V
Q
V
t
45 . 9
118 . 0 02 . 0
10 35 . 0 4
4
2
3
2
=
×
=
= =
÷
t
t
( )
( )( )
s m
D
V 224 . 0
020 . 0 998
10 12 . 1 4000 4000
3
=
×
= =
÷
µ
µ
( )
( ) ( )
s
V D
V
Q
V
t
96 . 4
224 . 0 02 . 0
10 35 . 0 4
4
2
3
2
=
×
=
= =
÷
t
t
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• In many cases of pipe flows, it may begin from a tank as shown in
Fig. 8.2.
• As described in Chapter 5 of Unit 2, the common velocity profile for
laminar pipe flow is parabolic. However, at a position in the pipe
where the fluid just exits from the reservoir, the velocity profile is
almost uniform.
• This uniform flow can also be seen as a representation of inviscid flow
since the fluid molecules has no relative motion from one to another.
The transition from the initially uniform flow and a fully developed
parabolic occurred in the entrance region. In this region, the flow is
formed by a mixture between the following two regions:
1. Inviscid core, where the velocity profile is uniform and
the viscous effect is negligible,
2. Boundary layer, where it allows velocity variation from pipe walls
with noslip condition to the core and the viscous effect is
dominant.
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
Figure 8.2 Velocity Profiles at the
Entrance and Fully
Developed Regions
p
Entrance flow
pressure loss
Entrance
region flow
Fully
developed flow
e
x
Ap
Ap
cp
cx
= ÷ = constant
Figure 8.3 Pressure
Distribution in a
Horizontal Pipe
D
Inviscid core
Entrance
region flow
Boundary layer
Fully
developed flow
Fully developed
flow
Developing
flow
e
r
x
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• The entrance region can be represented by entrance length e, which can
be empirically determined by the following formulae for both regimes:
Laminar:
Turbulent:
• Due to different boundary layer thickness in the inviscid core, the pressure
distribution behaves nonlinearly in this region and the pressure slope is not
constant as shown in Fig. 8.3. However, after the flow is fully developed,
the slope becomes constant and the pressure drop Ap is directly caused
only by viscous effect.
• By projecting the graph back towards the tank, we can estimate the
pressure drop due to entrance flow. Hence, by using the Bernoulli
equation with losses, the pressure value at all position along the same pipe
can be calculated.
Re 06 . 0 =
D
e
6
1
(Re) 4 . 4 =
D
e
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8.1 Flow Characteristics in Pipes
• From Fig. 8.3, we can also deduce that there are two types of pressure
loss; the first is known as friction or major loss and is caused by friction
which reduces the fluid pressure linearly with gradient Ap/ , and the
second is known as minor loss and is generated by sudden change in flow
direction as in the entrance flow.
• The friction loss is proportional to the pipe length, while minor losses can
be emulated by sudden pressure drop. In this case, we can summarise
that minor losses represent pressure losses in developing flow which is
experiencing disturbances and changes in internal pipe geometry.
• Now, we can apply the modified Bernoulli equation with head loss h
L
between two points along a horizontal pipe of length with constant
diameter D. The modified Bernoulli equation can be written as
• For constant diameter and horizontal pipe, V
1
= V
2
and z
1
= z
2
. Then, the
head loss can be formulated as
L
h z
V
g
p
z
V
g
p
+ + + = + +
2
2
2 2
1
2
1 1
2 2 µ µ
g
p
g
p p
h
L
µ µ
A
=
÷
=
2 1
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8.2 Fully Developed Laminar Flow
• Head loss due to friction h
f
,
(8.11)
• f is known as the Darcy friction factor. For laminar flow, it is
defined as
(8.12)
g
V
D
f h
f
2
2
=
2
8
Re
64
V
f
w
µ
t
= =
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• In turbulent pipe flow, we can anticipate that the velocity profile and the
shear stress will be somewhat similar to the second graph of Fig. 8.7. At
any point in vicinity of the wall the velocity is still small and the flow is
locally laminar.
• However, towards the centreline, the flow becomes turbulent but stable.
If we relate this pattern with the velocity gradient , we will have a non
linear distribution of shear stress which is maximum at the wall but
reduces significantly towards the centreline.
Figure 8.7 Turbulent Velocity Profile and Shear Stress Distribution
Pipe wall
Pipe centreline
0
R
r
0
0
R
r
0
w
u
max
u ( r )
Outer
layer
Overlap
layer
Viscous sublayer
turbulent t
laminar
t
t
t
( r ) t
8.3 Fully Developed Turbulent Flow
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8.3 Fully Developed Turbulent Flow
• From Fig. 8.7, we can see that the velocity gradient cu/cr near the
wall is greater compared to the gradient for laminar flow, thus the
wall shear stress t
w
is very high but still finite.
• However, near the pipe centreline, the gradient becomes smaller
which forms a nearly inviscid profile. Hence, we can deduce that
a highly turbulent flow can be approximated by an inviscid flow
with a finite friction factor.
• Therefore, we can divide a general turbulent flow into three
regions:
1. Viscous sublayer, the flow is locally laminar and the laminar
shear stress is dominant,
2. Outer layer, the flow is locally turbulent and the turbulent shear
stress is dominant,
3. Overlap layer, transition between the above two layers..
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8.4 Friction Loss
• For laminar flow in rough pipes, the friction factor f is dominantly caused
by viscous friction due to molecular interaction. Hence, we can use
Eq. (8.12) for all occasions involving laminar flow.
• However, for turbulent flow, the profile at the core of the pipe is close to
inviscid profile and the friction factor f is much due to the existence of
viscous sublayer near the wall.
• Thus, if the wall surface is rougher, the resulting viscous sublayer is
thicker. The roughness of a pipe is measured in length which is defined
as equivalent roughness c. The values of c for typical pipes are listed in
Table 8.1.
Table 8.1 Equivalent Roughness for Typical New Pipes
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8.4 Friction Loss
• For turbulent flow, the friction factor f can be obtained by using the
graphical representation of the Colebrook formula which is the Moody
chart as shown in Figure 8.11
Table 8.11: The moody chart
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8.4 Friction Loss
• In some texts, the same experimental data are refitted to a simpler form of
correlation which can be solved directly with 2% error. This correlation is
known as the Haaland formula which takes the following form:
• After knowing the friction factor f for the pipe, we can calculate the major
head loss due to friction for a fluid flowing in the pipe. If fluid properties,
µ and µ, pipe length and relative roughness of the pipe wall c are all
known, provided that other variables are also known, the problem can be
one of the following types:
1. Determine pressure loss Ap or friction head loss h
f
,
2. Determine volumetric flowrate Q or average velocity V,
3. Determine pipe diameter D.
After knowing f, then h
f
can be calculated via Eq. (8.11),
(
(
¸
(
¸
+

.

\

÷ =
Re
9 . 6
7 . 3
/
log 8 . 1
1
11 . 1
D
f
c
g
V
D
f h
f
2
2
=
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8.5 Minor Losses
• Apart from major loss due to friction, there are also other forms of
losses which are caused by changes in internal pipe geometries and
by fitted components. These types of losses are referred to as
minor losses. There are four types of minor losses:
1. Sudden or gradual flow expansion and flow contraction,
2. Entrance and exit flows to and from reservoirs or tanks,
3. Bends, elbows, junctions and other fittings,
4. Valves, including those completely opened or partially closed.
• Minor loss is denoted by h
m
and is expressed as proportional to the
velocity head, i.e.
where K is the loss coefficient for each case. This coefficient K can either
be derived analytically or taken from experimental or commercial data.
g
V
K h
m
2
2
=
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8.5 Minor Losses
• If we have a number of fittings along a pipe, the total head loss
will be the summation of friction head loss, or major loss, with all
minor losses, i.e.

.

\

+ = + = A
¿ ¿
K
d
f
g
V
h h h
m f total
2
2
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Example 8.5
• Water flows from the ground floor to the second level in a threestorey
building through a 20 mm diameter pipe (drawntubing, c = 0.0015 mm) at
a rate of 0.75 liter/s. The layout of the whole system is illustrated in
Figure below. The water flows out from the system through a faucet with
an opening of diameter 12.5 mm. Calculate the pressure at point (1).
Threaded elbows 90°
K = 1.5
Globe valve
open, K = 10
Faucet
K = 2
Q
1.75 m
5.25 m
3.5 m
3.5 m
3.5 m 3.5 m
(1)
(2)
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Example 8.5
Solution:
From the modified Bernoulli equation, we can write
In this problem, p
2
= 0, z
1
= 0. Thus,
The velocities in the pipe and out from the faucet are respectively
The Reynolds number of the flow is
L
gh gz V p gz V p µ µ µ µ µ + + + = + +
2
2
2 2 1
2
1 1
2
1
2
1
( ) ( )
m
h h g gz V V p + + + ÷ =
1 2
2
1
2
2 1
2
1
µ µ
( )
( )
( )
( )
s m
D
Q
A
Q
V
s m
D
Q
A
Q
V
631 . 6
012 . 0
10 75 . 0 4 4
387 . 2
020 . 0
10 75 . 0 4 4
2
3
2
2 2
2
2
3
2
1 1
1
=
×
= = =
=
×
= = =
÷
÷
t t
t t
546 , 42
10 12 . 1
) 020 . 0 )( 387 . 2 )( 998 (
Re
3
=
×
= =
÷
µ
µVd
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Example 8.5
Solution:
The roughness c/d = 0.0015/20 = 0.000075. From the Moody chart, ] ~ 0.022
(or,0.02191 via the Colebrook formula). The total length of the pipe is
Hence, the friction head loss is
The total minor loss is
Therefore, the pressure at (1) is
m 21 75 . 1 ) 5 . 3 ( 4 25 . 5 = + + =
m 71 . 6
) 81 . 9 ( 2
387 . 2
02 . 0
21
) 022 . 0 (
2
2 2
1
= = =
g
V
d
f h
f
 
m
m
94 . 11 23 . 5 71 . 6
23 . 5
) 81 . 9 ( 2
387 . 2
2 10 ) 5 . 1 ( 4
2
2 2
1
= + = + =
= + + = =
A
¿
m f
m
h h h
g
V
K h
et
( ) ( )
( )( ) ( )( )( )
( )( )
Pa 205
23 . 5 71 . 6 81 . 9 998
5 . 3 5 . 3 81 . 9 998 387 . 2 631 . 6 998
2
1
2
1
2 2
1 2
2
1
2
2 1
k
h h g gz V V p
m
=
+ +
+ + ÷ =
+ + + ÷ = µ µ µ
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Summary
This chapter has summarized on the aspect below:
– You should be able to understand the concept of
viscous flow in pipes and to be able to differentiate
a laminar flow against a turbulent flow.
– In addition, you should also be able to calculate
major and minor losses for both types of flow in
order to calculate the overall pressure or head loss
in a pipe system.
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Thank You