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Turbulent Flow in Pipes

1. Introduction to Turbulent Flow

Nature of turbulent flow PLEASE PRINT THE MOODY
Comparison with laminar flow DIAGRAM ON THE LAST
Reliance on empirically derived equations YOU FOR THE FIRST CLASS
Reynolds number FRIDAY 2ND MARCH, 2007
2. Head Loss to Friction in a Pipe (Massey, 7.2)
Darcys Equation
3. Shear Stress Distribution in Circular Pipes
4. Variation of Friction Factor (Massey, 7.3)
5. Friction in Non-Circular Pipes
6. Other Head Losses (Massey, 7.6)
7. Total head and Pressure Lines
1. Introduction
Discussed in class

2. Head Loss to Friction

For a fluid of density flowing at mean velocityu within a pipe of diameter d, the fall in
peizometric pressure p* expresses as a head loss hf is given by an equation developed by
Henry Darcy (1803-1858), which is:
p * 4fL u 2
hf = = (1)
g d 2g
Where f is a dimensionless number expressing the roughness of the pipe.

The above equation was derived from experiments conducted with water flowing under
turbulent conditions in long, straight, unobstructed, circular pipes of uniform diameter. The
equation can be generalised to accommodate other shapes of pipes as follows:
p * 4fL u 2 fL u 2
hf = = = (2)
g d 2g m 2g
where, m = hydraulic radius ( A = R
for a circular section) is given by the ratio of the
P 2R
cross-sectional area and the perimeter in contact with the fluid.

Using = 4f , the above expression can be written as:

L u 2
hf = (3)
d 2g
Note that the expression keeps the u to relate the velocity with the head loss.

3. Relationship between and f:

To do this, we first want to establish a relation for the mean shear stress on the walls of
the pipe due to the flow of fluid. As the fluid passes through the pipe with steady velocity,
the loss of mechanical energy brought about by viscosity results in a decrease of the
piezometric pressure p + gz . The loss in piezometric pressure is related directly to the
shear stresses at the boundaries of the flow.

Consider a pipe of uniform area, A, shown below, in which a fluid is flowing. We will examine
the forces acting on an elemental fluid of length x. Let the pressure at 1 be p and the
pressure at 2 be p + p (note we have not said anything about whether p is positive or
negative). The pipe is inclined to the vertical. Further, let the mean shear stress on the
fluid at the boundary be 0 . The summation of forces acting on the elemental fluid is:

p + p

p z


pA ( p + p )A gAx cos + 0 Px (4)

where P represents the perimeter of the section in contact with the fluid. If the flow is
steady, and fully developedthe velocity distribution over the cross-section does not
change with distance xthere is no increase in momentum in the x direction and therefore
the net force is zero.

So above becomes
pA ( p + p )A gAx cos + 0 Px = 0 (5)

Noting that x cos = z , above simplifies to:

0 Px = (p + gz )A (6)

For fluid of constant density, the right hand side of the equation is Ap* where
p*=p + gz. In the limit as x0,
A dp *
0 = (7)
P dx

Note that the piezometric pressure is effectively constant over the cross-section. This
follows from the fact that there is no net movement of fluid perpendicular to the main flow.
Note also, that we are considering the mean shear stress 0 . The equation will hold for
conduits that do not have circular cross-sections and in which the stress may be varying
around the perimeter. For circular cross-sections, the stress anywhere on the perimeter is
the same. Thus, the bar can be dropped from the equation above. This equation becomes:

R 2 dp * R dp *
0 = = (8)
2R dx 2 dx

Similar derivation can be applied to a smaller, concentric, cylinder of fluid having radius r.
Under the same conditions of fully developed steady flow, the equation (8) above may be
written as:
r dp *
= (9)
2 dx

This equation says that the internal shear stress varies with the distance r from the pipes
central axis. From equation (8) and (9) we get:
r r
= =0 (10)
0 R R
The distribution of stress is as follows: 0 At r = R

R r at r = r

Pipe section of Radius R with fluid flowing within. Shear stress distribution

From the above relations, we want to develop a relation between the stress at the boundary
and the friction factor.

From the definition of h f as defined in (1) above, the following can be written:

p * = gh f (11)
p *
hf =

And so,
dh f 1 dp *
= = 0 (12)
dx g dx gm

fl u 2 h f f u2
hf = = (13)
m 2g x m 2 g

2 gm h f
f = (14)
u 2 x
2 gm 0
f = 2 = 0 (15)
u gm 1
u 2

We are interested in the magnitude of the friction factor and so the modulus of the shear
stress is taken, giving:

f = (16)
1 2

But how do we measure f.

Reynolds reasoned that f depends on relative roughness of the pipe k
or or
) where k
or (or ) is the average roughness height and d is the pipe diameter.
Dimensional analysis shows that f is a function of roughness k and Reynolds number, Re.

4. Variation of Friction Factor

Derivation of an expression for friction factor in laminar flow
Recall from treatment of laminar flow that:

R 4 *
8 L
(p1 p2* ) (17)

R 4
Q= (ghf ) (18)
8 L
8QL 8u L
hf = = 2 (19)
R g R g

p* 4fL u 2 fL u 2
But from above hf = = =
g d 2g m 2g

2gd 2gd 8u L
f = h = (20)
4Lu 2 f
4Lu 2 R 2 g

f = (21)

Estimating f for turbulent flow

Nikuradses experiments conducted in 1933 on roughness k

Discussion on the friction in pipes according to the Moody Diagram.

Note the following regions:

Laminar portion of the diagram according to the equation derived above
Smooth zone before the curve separates from the smooth pipe curve.
Transition zone
Rough zone where the friction factor is independent of Re.

Laminar Sub-Layer
Refer to Page 12.
In the smooth zone the roughness height is within the viscous sub-layer and the pipe
behaves like a smooth pipe.

In the rough zone, the roughness extends outside the sub-layer and the pipe ceases to
behave as a smooth pipe.

The turbulent flow around each bump generates eddies in the wake giving rise to form drag.
The energy loss is proportional to u 2 . In this zone, viscous effects are negligible so that
hf u 2 so f is constant.
A smooth surface may therefore be defined as one for which the roughness elements are so
far submerged in the viscous sub-layer as to have no effect on the flow.

A surface may therefore be smooth at a low Reynolds number but rough at a high Reynolds

Nikuradses experiments were based on uniform roughness height and spacing which most
often are not the case for actual pipes. At high enough Reynolds numbers, however, real
pipes have a friction factor independent of Reynolds number and equivalent roughness height
k may be determined experimentally.

Such a figure was developed by Moody. This is widely used for predicting values of f.

For example,
uncoated cast iron pipe: k = 0.25 mm;
galvanized steel: k = 0.15 mm;
drawn brass: k = 0.0015 mm

Empirical formulae have been developed to describe parts of Moodys diagram:

Blasius Equation for the smooth pipe curve:

f = 0.079(Re )
4 (22)

Haaland developed a formula which gives f for a large range of k and Re:
1 6.9 k 1.1
= 3.6 log10 + (23)
f Re 3.71d

So once f is determined, the head loss is given by:

4fL u 2 L u 2
hf = =
d 2g d 2g

Note that Moodys curves allow a computation of hf for a given Q directly.

However, if p or hf is given an iterative method has to be employed for determining Q as

1. Estimate a value of f from the curve.
2. Calculate u from equation
3. Calculate Re
4. Refer to Moodys curve for a new approximation of f
5. Repeat 1 to 4 until there is negligible change between successive estimates of f.

5. Friction in Non-Circular Pipes (conduits)

For non-circular conduits experiments have shown that (in many cases) equations derived for
circular pipes may be used. An equivalent diameter may be taken such that the hydraulic
mean depth (radius) m is the same:

d eq = 4m (24)
wetted area
where m = A =
P wetted perimeter
This assumption works well for shapes that approximate a circle. For example, a square,
oval, or equilateral triangle.

For rectangular ducts, the length should be less than 8 times the width.

This equivalence concept does NOT apply to laminar flow.

6. Other Head Losses

Losses have been found (through experiments) to vary with the square of the mean velocity
Head Loss , hf = k (25)

Abrupt Enlargement

See diagram on Page 13 below:

The following is assumed:

The velocity and pressure are uniform across the cross-section
Shear forces are neglected

Net force to right is:

p1 A1 + p (A2 A1 ) p2 A2 = Q (u 2 u1 ) (26)

Now p p1 (27)

(p1 p2 )A2 = Q (u 2 u1 ) (28)

(p1 p2 ) = Q (u 2 u1 ) (29)

(p1 p2 ) = u 2 (u 2 u1 ) (30)

From energy equationnote not Bernoullis as frictional losses are not negligible:

p1 u12 p2 u 22
+ + z1 hl = + + z2 (31)
g 2 g g 2 g

p1 p2 u12 u 22
hl = + (32)
g 2g

u 2 (u 2 u1 ) u12 u 22
hl = + (33)
g 2g
(u1 u 2 )2
hl = (34)

From continuity

A1u1 = A2 u 2 (35)


2 2
u12 A1 u 22 A2
hl =
= 1 (36)
2g A2 2 g A1

Note that hl for abrupt enlargement tends to as A2

Such is the case for a pipe discharging into a reservoir.

Abrupt Contraction

See Page 14 below:

This is modelled as an abrupt enlargement from area Ac to A2

That is, C c = (37)

From (36) above

2 2
u2 A u2 1
hl = 2 2 1 = 2 1 (38)
2 g Ac 2 g Cc

It should be noted that although A1 is not explicitly involved in the equation, Cc depends on
the ratio of A2/A1.

u 22
The table below gives some typical values for k ( hl = k ) at various ratios of A2/A1

D2/d1 0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1
K 0.5 0.45 0.38 0.28 0.14 0.0

Also see Section 7.6.2 in Massey.

Reduces the velocity gradually, thus eliminating eddies.

See Massey, 7.6.3.

Losses in Bends
Note that the head loss associated with a bend is given by:
hl = k 2 (25)

Loss in Fittings and Valves

Fittings are used to direct the path of flow or cause a change in the size of the flow path.
These include elbows, tees, reducers, nozzles and orifices.

Valves are used to control the amount of flow and may be globe valves, angle valves, gate
valves, butterfly valves, check valves, etc.

Energy loss incurred as fluid flows through a valve or fitting is computed using the Darcy
p * 4 fl u 2
equation (Equation (1), hf = = ).
g d 2g
However, the method of determining the resistance coefficient K is different. The value of
k is reported in the form:

k = e (41)
The ratio Le/D, called the equivalent length ratio, is considered to be constant for a given
type of valve or fitting. Typical values are shown in the table below. The value of Le itself is
called the equivalent length and is the length of straight pipe of the same nominal diameter
as the valve (or fitting) that would have the same resistance as the valve (or fitting). The
term D is the actual internal diameter of the pipe. (Remember that = 4f )


Globe valvefully open 340
Angle valvefully open 150
Gate valvefully open 8
open 35
open 160
open 900
Check valveswing type 100
Check valveball type 150
Butterfly valvefully open 45
90 standard elbow 30
90 long radius elbow 20
90 street elbow 50
45 standard elbow 16
45 street elbow 26
Close return bend 50
Standard teewith flow through run 20
With flow through branch 60

7. Total Pressure Losses

So far, the consideration has been on determining the individual head losses associated with
friction losses along a length of pipe and minor losses due to bends, entry and exit into
larger or smaller pipe sections, valves and fittings. Here, consideration is given to what real
pipe systems may resemble. These systems consist of various lengths of pipes and
combinations of devices for measuring flow rates, for controlling flow rates, changing flow
directions, increasing flows from other sources or reducing the flows along the pipe system.
This topic utilizes what has been done in earlier lectures.

The hydraulic grade line (HGL) in a piping system is formed by the locus of points located a
distance p/g above the centre of the pipe, or p/g + z above a pre-selected datum. The
liquid in a piezometric tube will rise to the HGL.

The energy grade line (EGL) is formed by the locus of points a distance above the HGL,
or the distance u + p/g + z above the datum. The liquid in a pitot tube will rise to the
Note the following points in relating the HGL with the EGL:
As the velocity goes to zero the HGL and the EGL approach each other.

EGL and, consequently, the HGL slope downward in the direction of the flow due
to the head loss in the pipe. The greater the loss per unit length, the greater
the slope. As the average velocity in the pipe increases, the loss per unit length
A sudden change occurs in the HGL and the EGL whenever a loss occurs due to a
sudden geometry change.
A jump occurs in the HGL and the EGL whenever useful energy is added to the
fluid as occurs with a turbine.
At points where the HGL passes through the centerline of the pipe, the
pressure is zero. If the pipe lies above the HGL, there is a vacuum in the pipe,
a condition that is often avoided if possible, in the design of piping systems. An
exception would be in the design of a siphon.

Rough and Smooth Pipes



(a) Smooth pipe

v e

(b) Rough pipe

Head Loss at Abrupt Enlargement


u1 u2

P1 A1 C
D E P2 A2

Head Loss at Abrupt Contraction

Area, Ac
u1 u2