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General Characteristics of Pipe Flow


FIND Determine

8.1 Laminar or Turbulent Flow

GIVEN Water at a temperature of 50 F flows through a pipe

of diameter D 0.73 in. and into a glass as shown in Fig. E8.1a.

(a) the minimum time taken to fill a 12-oz glass (volume 0.0125 ft3) with water if the flow in the pipe is to be laminar. Repeat the calculations if the water temperature is 140 F. (b) the maximum time taken to fill the glass if the flow is to be turbulent. Repeat the calculations if the water temperature is 140 F.

D Q ,

(a) If the flow in the pipe is to remain laminar, the minimum time to fill the glass will occur if the Reynolds number is the maximum allowed for laminar flow, typically Re rVDm 2100. Thus, V 2100 mrD, where from Table B.1, r 1.94 slugs ft3 and m 2.73 105 lb # sft2 at 50 F, while r 1.91 slugsft3 and m 0.974 105 lb # sft2 at 140 F. Thus, the maximum average velocity for laminar flow in the pipe is V 2100 1 2.73 105 lb # sft2 2 2100m rD 1 1.94 slugsft3 21 0.7312 ft 2 # 0.486 lb sslug 0.486 fts



Similarly, V 0.176 fts at 140 F. With V volume of glass and V Qt we obtain t 4 1 0.0125 ft3 2 V V Q 1 p4 2 D2V 1 p 3 0.7312 4 2ft2 21 0.486 fts 2 (Ans) 8.85 s at T 50 F

Similarly, t 24.4 s at 140 F. To maintain laminar flow, the less viscous hot water requires a lower flowrate than the cold water. (b) If the flow in the pipe is to be turbulent, the maximum time to fill the glass will occur if the Reynolds number is the minimum allowed for turbulent flow, Re 4000. Thus, V 4000m rD 0.925 fts and t 4.65 s at 50 F Similarly, V 0.335 fts and t 12.8 s at 140 F.

If the flowing fluid had been honey with a kinematic viscosity ( /) 3000 times greater than that of water, the velocities given earlier would be increased by a factor of 3000 and the times reduced by the same factor. As shown in the following sections, the pressure needed to force a very viscous fluid through a pipe at such a high velocity may be unreasonably large.

40 laminar flow 30

COMMENTS Note that because water is not very viscous,

the velocity must be fairly small to maintain laminar flow. In general, turbulent flows are encountered more often than laminar flows because of the relatively small viscosity of most common fluids (water, gasoline, air). By repeating the calculations at various water temperatures, T (i.e., with different densities and viscosities), the results shown in Fig. E8.1b are obtained. As the water temperature increases, the kinematic viscosity, /, decreases and the corresponding times to fill the glass increase as indicated. (Temperature effects on the viscosity of gases are the opposite; increase in temperature causes an increase in viscosity.)
t, s

20 (50F, 8.85 s) 10 (50F, 4.65 s) 0 50 100 turbulent flow

T, F







Chapter 8 Viscous Flow in Pipes

8.1.2 Entrance Region and Fully Developed Flow

Any fluid flowing in a pipe had to enter the pipe at some location. The region of flow near where the fluid enters the pipe is termed the entrance region and is illustrated in Fig. 8.5. It may be the first few feet of a pipe connected to a tank or the initial portion of a long run of a hot air duct coming from a furnace. As is shown in Fig. 8.5, the fluid typically enters the pipe with a nearly uniform velocity profile at section 112. As the fluid moves through the pipe, viscous effects cause it to stick to the pipe wall 1the no-slip boundary condition2. This is true whether the fluid is relatively inviscid air or a very viscous oil. Thus, a boundary layer in which viscous effects are important is produced along the pipe wall such that the initial velocity profile changes with distance along the pipe, x, until the fluid reaches the end of the entrance length, section 122, beyond which the velocity profile does not vary with x. The boundary layer has grown in thickness to completely fill the pipe. Viscous effects are of considerable importance within the boundary layer. For fluid outside the boundary layer [within the inviscid core surrounding the centerline from 112 to 122], viscous effects are negligible. The shape of the velocity profile in the pipe depends on whether the flow is laminar or turbulent, as does the length of the entrance region, /e. As with many other properties of pipe flow, the dimensionless entrance length, /e D, correlates quite well with the Reynolds number. Typical entrance lengths are given by /e 0.06 Re for laminar flow D and /e 4.4 1 Re 2 16 for turbulent flow D (8.2) (8.1)

The entrance length is a function of the Reynolds number.

100 e D 10 1 0.1 100

102 Re



For very low Reynolds number flows the entrance length can be quite short 1 /e 0.6D if Re 10 2 , whereas for large Reynolds number flows it may take a length equal to many pipe diameters before the end of the entrance region is reached 1 /e 120D for Re 2000 2 . For many practical engineering problems, 104 6 Re 6 105 so that as shown by the figure in the margin, 20D 6 /e 6 30D. Calculation of the velocity profile and pressure distribution within the entrance region is quite complex. However, once the fluid reaches the end of the entrance region, section 122 of Fig. 8.5, the flow is simpler to describe because the velocity is a function of only the distance from the pipe centerline, r, and independent of x. This is true until the character of the pipe changes in some way, such as a change in diameter, or the fluid flows through a bend, valve, or some other component at section 132. The flow between 122 and 132 is termed fully developed flow. Beyond the interruption of the fully developed flow [at section 142], the flow gradually begins its
Entrance region flow Inviscid core Boundary layer Fully developed flow

r x
(1) (2) (3)




x6 x5
Fully developed flow

x5 x4
Developing flow

F I G U R E system.


Entrance region, developing flow, and fully developed flow in a pipe