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ABSTRACT

To determine the Reynolds number for the different types of flow of fluids, water
was allowed to flow in the Reynolds number apparatus with dye introduced to it. The
flow of the water was varied in different number of turns of the valve (N) and the
behavior of the dye was observed on the glass tube. The determined flows for N=1, 1.5
and 2 were found to be turbulent and was validated by the calculated N Re values. The
average velocities for N=1 , 1.5 and 2 were 22.79 cm/s, 37.55 cm/s and 77.64 cm/s
respectively. On the other hand, the average N Re values for N=1 , 1.5 and 2 were
5,165.86, 8,513.55 and 17,602.17 respectively.
INTRODUCTION
The type of flow occurring in a fluid in a channel is important in fluid dynamics
problems. When fluids move through a closed channel of any cross section, either of
the two distinct types of flow can be observed according to the conditions present.
These two types of flow can be observed in a flowing open system or river. When the
velocity of flow is slow, the flow patterns are smooth. However, when the velocity is
quite high, an unstable pattern is observed in which eddies or small packets of fluid
particles are present moving in all directions and at all angles to the normal line of flow
(Geankoplis, 2012).
The first type of flow at low velocities where the layers of fluid seem to slide by
one another without eddies or swirls being present is called laminar flow and the second
type of flow at higher velocities where eddies are present giving the fluid a fluctuating
nature is called turbulent flow (Geankoplis, 2012).
The objective of this experiment is to determine the Reynolds number for the
different types of flow of fluids. It is expected that at higher velocities, the behavior of the
flow will become more erratic and is classified as turbulent.
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
The flow of real fluids can basically occur under two very different regimes
namely laminar and turbulent flow. The laminar flow is characterized by fluid particles
moving in the form of lamina sliding over each other, such that at any instant the velocity
at all the points in particular lamina is the same. The lamina near the flow boundary
move at a slower rate as compared to those near the center of the flow passage. This
type of flow occurs in viscous fluids, fluids moving at slow velocity and fluids flowing
through narrow passages.The turbulent flow are characterized by constant agitation and
intermixing of fluid particles such that their velocity changes from point to point and even
at the same point from time to time. This type of flow occurs in low density (Reynolds
Experiment).
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Reynolds conducted an experiment as shown in Figure 1 for observation and


determination of these regimes of flow. By introducing a fine filament of dye in to the
flow of water through the glass tube, at its entrance he studied the different types of
flow. At low velocities the dye filament appeared as straight line through the length of
the tube and parallel to its axis, characterizing laminar flow. As the velocity is increased
the dye filament becomes wavy throughout indicating transition flow (Reynolds
Experiment).
On further increasing the velocity the filament breaks up and diffuses completely
in the water in the glass tube indicating the turbulent flow. After conducting his
experiment with pipes at different diameters and with water at different temperatures,
Reynolds concluded that the various parameters on which the regimes of flow depend
can be grouped together in a single non dimensional parameter called Reynolds
number (Reynolds Experiment).

Fig. 1 Reynolds experiment for different types of flow: (a) laminar flow (b) turbulent flow
Reynolds number is defined as, the ratio of inertia force to the viscous force
.Where viscous force is shear stress multiplied area and inertia force is mass multiplied
acceleration.
D
N =
[Eq.1]

Where
NRe-Reynolds number
V - velocity of the fluid
D - diameter of the pipe
- density of fluid
- dynamic viscosity of fluid
2

Reynolds observed that in case of flow through pipe for values of Re<2000 the
flow is laminar while offer Re>40000 it is turbulent and for 2000<Re<4000 it is transition
flow. The types of flow are summarized on Table 1.
Table 1. Types of Fluid Flow

METHODOLOGY
A schematic diagram was presented in Figure 2 on the methodology involved in
this experiment. The Reynolds number apparatus used was shown in Figure 3.
Measure the inner diameter of the pipe

Slowly open the A valve of the equipment

Inject continuous small amount of dye near the opening of the pipe

Determine the volume of water collected over a certain period of time

Repeat same procedure by turning two, four and six turns of the valve opening

Observe the type of flow for every turns of the valve

Fig. 2. Schematic Diagram of Reynolds Number Experiment


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Fig. 3 Reynolds Number Apparatus


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In order to determine the Reynolds number for each turns of the valve opening,
Equation 1 was used. Initially, the length of the glass tube was determined as well as
the diameter. The density and viscosity of the fluid flowing through the glass tube was
assumed to be the same as water since the dyes amount is comparatively smaller than
that of water. The temperature was assumed to be 25 C and data were taken from
Geankoplis, 2012. The data collected was summarized on Table 2:
Table 2: Initial Data for Reynolds Number Experiment
Diameter of pipe
Length of pipe
Density of Water
Viscosity of water

2.032 cm
93.345 cm
997.08 kg/m3 (@ 25 C)
0.8937 x 10-3 Pa.s (@ 25 C)

For the purpose of this report, number of turns of the valve opening was denoted
as N. The valve was turned at N = 1, 1.5 and 2 since in these turns, there is a significant
difference observed in the dyes behavior.
Table 3. Summary of Results for N =1
Trial

No. of
Turns

1
2
3

1
1
1

Duration of
Run, sec.

4.97
5.23
5.33
Average

Volume of
Water
Collected,
cm3
344
385
420

V, cm/s

NRe

Type of
Flow

21.34
22.70
24.32
22.79

4837.89
5146.21
5513.48
5165.86

Turbulent
Turbulent
Turbulent
-

As observed on Table 3, the calculated N Re values suggest that the flows are
turbulent at N =1. The calculated velocities also are significantly high which can be
directly translated to an erratic flow. However, the observed behavior of the dye doesnt
fully indicate that the flows are turbulent. At the entrance of the glass tube, the dyes
were a bit wavy but it gradually follows the smooth orientation of the flow as it travels
along the tube. If the flow is turbulent as the calculations suggest, it should have been
that the dye filaments breaks up and moves at different directions. The behavior of the
dye might be affected due to the manner it was introduced to the glass tube. The dyes
were not in the form of filaments and were a bit thicker than thread, making the
observation difficult.
The velocity and Reynolds number was plotted and was shown in Figure 4. As
expected, there is a direct relationship between the rate of fluid flow and N Re as
manifested by the graph.

NRe vs. Rate (N=1)


6000
5500

f(x) = 226.71x - 0.06


R = 1

NRe 5000
4500
21

21.5

22

22.5

23

23.5

24

24.5

Rate (cm/s)

Fig. 4 NRe vs. rate for N=1


In table 4, the calculated NRe values were indicating that the flows were turbulent.
The behavior also of the dye for each trial somehow suggests that it is a turbulent flow.
As the dye was introduced at the beginning of the tube, it forms wavy and erratic
orientation due to the high velocity of the fluid. Just like the behavior of dye in N=1, the
dye gradually follows the orientation of the flow.
Table 4. Summary of Results for N =1.5
Trial

No. of
Turns

1
1.5
2
1.5
3
1.5
Average

Duration of
Run, sec.

5.32
5.22
5.44

Volume of
Water
Collected,
cm3
618
658
668

V, cm/s

NRe

Type of
Flow

35.85
38.91
37.90
37.55

8127.39
8821.11
8592.14
8513.55

Turbulent
Turbulent
Turbulent
-

Based on Fig.5, the rate and N Re also follows linear relationship. Though the
value of the velocity of trial 1 was quite far from the values of trial 2 and 3, the values
velocities still lies on the same range as well as the N Re values.

NRe vs. Rate (N=1.5)


9000
8800
8600

f(x) = 226.71x - 0.02


R = 1

8400
NRe

8200
8000
7800
7600
35.5

36

36.5

37

37.5

38

38.5

39

39.5

Rate (cm/s)

Fig. 5 NRe vs. rate for N=1.5


As observed in table 5, the calculated N Re were all turbulent based on table 1. As
expected, the velocities are much higher than N=1 and N=1.5. The N Re values were
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much higher also than N=1 and N=1.5 which indicates that the behavior of the dye
introduced was much more erratic than the previous number of turns. Indeed, the
behavior of die was erratic as the calculated values suggest.
Table 5. Summary of Results for N = 2
Trial

No. of
Turns

1
2
2
2
3
2
Average

Duration of
Run, sec.

5.48
5.16
5.22

Volume of
Water
Collected,
cm3
1268
1250
1467

V, cm/s

NRe

Type of
Flow

71.42
74.77
86.74
77.64

16191.30
16950.77
19664.43
17602.17

Turbulent
Turbulent
Turbulent
-

As seen on Fig.6, the value of the third trial was quite far from the value of the
first two trials. But still, the linear relationship of N Re vs. rate was still exhibited on this
number of turns.

NRe vs. Rate (N= 2)


25000
20000
f(x) = 226.71x - 0
R = 1

15000
NRe

10000
5000
0
70

72

74

76

78

80

82

84

86

88

Rate (cm/s)

Fig. 6 NRe vs. rate for N= 2


Due to the different sources of errors in the experiment, it is difficult to determine
the type of flow by pure observation alone. It should be backed up with calculations to
validate whether the observations made were right or wrong. The sources of error
present in the experiment are the following: (1) instrumental errors and (2) inaccuracy of
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the person doing the measurements. It should have been a needle or a fine jet that was
used to introduced the dye on the water so that the dye will be in the form of filaments
and for easier observation. As seen in Figure 1, the dye should not be introduced near
the inlet of the glass tube where the flow is still forming. It should be introduced on the
part of the glass tube where the flow is fully-developed so that the disturbance caused
by the flow on the dye will be properly observed.
CONCLUSION
The determined flows for N=1, 1.5 and 2 were found to be turbulent and was
validated by the average N Re values. The average velocities for N=1 , 1.5 and 2 were
22.79 cm/s, 37.55 cm/s and 77.64 cm/s respectively. On the other hand, the average
NRe values for N=1, 1.5 and 2 were 5165.86, 8513.55 and 17602.17 respectively. The
relationship of velocity and NRe was found to be linear.

REFERENCES
Geankoplis, C. J. (2012). Principles of Transport Processes and Separation Processes
(1st ed.). Upper Saddle, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Reynolds Experiment pdf.