FLUID FLOW
Fluid Properties .............................................................................................................................. 3.1
Basic Relations of Fluid Dynamics ................................................................................................. 3.2
Basic Flow Processes...................................................................................................................... 3.3
Flow Analysis .................................................................................................................................. 3.6
Noise in Fluid Flow....................................................................................................................... 3.13
Symbols ......................................................................................................................................... 3.14
FLUID PROPERTIES
Solids and fluids react differently to shear stress: solids deform
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3.1
Copyright © 2013, ASHRAE
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The stoke (1 cm2/s) and centistoke (1 mm2/s) are common units into internal energy, this expression is constant and is known as the
for kinematic viscosity. Bernoulli constant B:
Fluid energy is composed of kinetic, potential (because of elevation or, by dividing by g, in the form
z), and internal (u) energies. Per unit mass of fluid, the energy
change relation between two sections of the system is p V
2
p V
2
 +  + z + HM – HL =  +  + z (13)
2g 1 2g 2
v 2 p
 + gz + u = EM –  + q (7)
2 Note that Equation (12) has units of energy per mass, whereas
each term in Equation (13) has units of energy per weight, or head.
where the work terms are (1) external work EM from a fluid The terms EM and EL are defined as positive, where gHM = EM rep
machine (EM is positive for a pump or blower) and (2) flow work resents energy added to the conduit flow by pumps or blowers. A
p/ (where p = pressure), and g is the gravitational constant. Re turbine or fluid motor thus has a negative HM or EM. Note the sim
arranging, the energy equation can be written as the generalized plicity of Equation (13); the total head at station 1 (pressure head
Bernoulli equation: plus velocity head plus elevation head) plus the head added by a
pump (HM) minus the head lost through friction (HL) is the total
v2 p head at station 2.
 + gz + u +  = EM + q (8)
2
Laminar Flow
The expression in parentheses in Equation (8) is the sum of the When realfluid effects of viscosity or turbulence are included,
kinetic energy, potential energy, internal energy, and flow work per the continuity relation in Equation (5) is not changed, but V must be
unit mass flow rate. In cases with no work interaction, no heat trans evaluated from the integral of the velocity profile, using local veloc
fer, and no viscous frictional forces that convert mechanical energy ities. In fluid flow past fixed boundaries, velocity at the boundary is
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zero, velocity gradients exist, and shear stresses are produced. The Fig. 3 Velocity Fluctuation at Point in Turbulent Flow
equations of motion then become complex, and exact solutions are
difficult to find except in simple cases for laminar flow between flat
plates, between rotating cylinders, or within a pipe or tube.
For steady, fully developed laminar flow between two parallel
plates (Figure 2), shear stress varies linearly with distance y from
the centerline (transverse to the flow; y = 0 in the center of the chan
nel). For a wide rectangular channel 2b tall, can be written as
y dv
=  w =  (14)
b dy
where w is wall shear stress [b(dp/ds)], and s is flow direction. Be
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cause velocity is zero at the wall ( y = b), Equation (14) can be inte
grated to yield Fig. 4 Velocity Profiles of Flow in Pipes
2 2 where L is the characteristic length scale and is the kinematic vis
b – y dp
v =   (15) cosity of the fluid. In flow through pipes, tubes, and ducts, the char
2 ds acteristic length scale is the hydraulic diameter Dh, given by
The resulting parabolic velocity profile in a wide rectangular Dh = 4A/Pw (19)
channel is commonly called Poiseuille flow. Maximum velocity
occurs at the centerline (y = 0), and the average velocity V is 2/3 of where A is the crosssectional area of the pipe, duct, or tube, and Pw
the maximum velocity. From this, the longitudinal pressure drop in is the wetted perimeter.
terms of V can be written as For a round pipe, Dh equals the pipe diameter. In general, laminar
3V flow in pipes or ducts exists when the Reynolds number (based on
dp
 = –  (16) Dh) is less than 2300. Fully turbulent flow exists when ReDh >
ds b2 10 000. For 2300 < ReDh < 10 000, transitional flow exists, and pre
dictions are unreliable.
A parabolic velocity profile can also be derived for a pipe of
radius R. V is 1/2 of the maximum velocity, and the pressure drop
can be written as BASIC FLOW PROCESSES
Outside the jet, fluid velocity is comparatively small. Turbulence Nonisothermal Effects
helps spread out the jet, increases losses, and brings the velocity When appreciable temperature variations exist, the primary fluid
distribution back to a more uniform profile. Finally, downstream, properties (density and viscosity) may no longer assumed to be con
the velocity profile returns to the fully developed flow of Figure 4. stant, but vary across or along the flow. The Bernoulli equation
The entrance and exit profiles can profoundly affect the vena con [Equations (9) to (11)] must be used, because volumetric flow is not
tracta and pressure drop (Coleman 2004). constant. With gas flows, the thermodynamic process involved must
Other geometric separations (Figure 9) occur in conduits at sharp be considered. In general, this is assessed using Equation (9), writ
entrances, inclined plates or dampers, or sudden expansions. For ten as
these geometries, a vena contracta can be identified; for sudden
dp V 2
expansion, its area is that of the upstream contraction. Idealfluid
theory, using free streamlines, provides insight and predicts contrac
 +  + gz = B
2
(21)
tion coefficients for valves, orifices, and vanes (Robertson 1965). Effects of viscosity variations also appear. In nonisothermal laminar
These geometric flow separations produce large losses. To expand a flow, the parabolic velocity profile (see Figure 4) is no longer valid.
flow efficiently or to have an entrance with minimum losses, design In general, for gases, viscosity increases with the square root of
the device with gradual contours, a diffuser, or a rounded entrance. absolute temperature; for liquids, viscosity decreases with increas
Flow devices with gradual contours are subject to separation that ing temperature. This results in opposite effects.
is more difficult to predict, because it involves the dynamics of For fully developed pipe flow, the linear variation in shear stress
boundarylayer growth under an adverse pressure gradient rather from the wall value w to zero at the centerline is independent of the
than flow over a sharp corner. A diffuser is used to reduce the loss temperature gradient. In the section on Laminar Flow, is defined
in expansion; it is possible to expand the fluid some distance at a as = ( y/b) w , where y is the distance from the centerline and 2b
gentle angle without difficulty, particularly if the boundary layer is is the wall spacing. For pipe radius R = D/2 and distance from the
turbulent. Eventually, separation may occur (Figure 10), which is wall y = R – r (Figure 11), then = w (R – y)/R. Then, solving
frequently asymmetrical because of irregularities. Downstream Equation (2) for the change in velocity yields
flow involves flow reversal (backflow) and excess losses. Such sep
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liquid is cooled or gas is heated, the velocity profile is more pointed The term V12/2g can be calculated as follows:
for laminar flow (Figure 11). Calculations for such flows of gases 2 2
and liquid metals in pipes are in Deissler (1951). Occurrences in tur D 0.250
A1 =  =  = 0.0491 m2
bulent flow are less apparent than in laminar flow. If enough heating 2 2
is applied to gaseous flows, the viscosity increase can cause rever
sion to laminar flow. 0.200
V1 = Q/A1 =  = 4.07 m/s
Buoyancy effects and the gradual approach of the fluid temper 0.0491
ature to equilibrium with that outside the pipe can cause consider
V12/2g = (4.07)2/2(9.8) = 0.846 m (25)
able variation in the velocity profile along the conduit. Colborne and
Drobitch (1966) found the pipe factor for upward vertical flow of The term V22/2g
can be calculated in a similar manner.
hot air at a Re < 2000 reduced to about 0.6 at 40 diameters from the In Equation (24), HM is evaluated by applying the relation between
entrance, then increased to about 0.8 at 210 diameters, and finally any two points on opposite sides of the blower. Because conditions at
decreased to the isothermal value of 0.5 at the end of 320 diameters. stations 1 and 4 are known, they are used, and the locationspecifying
subscripts on the right side of Equation (24) are changed to 4. Note that
FLOW ANALYSIS p1 = p4 = p, 1 = 4 = , and V1 = V4 = 0. Thus,
Fluid flow analysis is used to correlate pressure changes with (p/g) + 0 + 0.61 + HM = (p/g) + 0 + 3 + (7.5 + 72.3) (26)
flow rates and the nature of the conduit. For a given pipeline, either so HM = 82.2 m of air. For standard air ( = 1.20 kg/m3), this corre
the pressure drop for a certain flow rate, or the flow rate for a certain sponds to 970 Pa.
pressure difference between the ends of the conduit, is needed. Flow The pressure difference measured across the blower (between sta
analysis ultimately involves comparing a pump or blower to a con tions 2 and 3) is often taken as HM. It can be obtained by calculating the
duit piping system for evaluating the expected flow rate. static pressure at stations 2 and 3. Applying Equation (24) successively
between stations 1 and 2 and between 3 and 4 gives
Generalized Bernoulli Equation ( p1/g) + 0 + 0.61 + 0 = ( p2 /g) + (1.06 0.846) + 0 + 7.5
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Internal energy differences are generally small, and usually the ( p3 /g) + (1.03 2.07) + 0 + 0 = ( p4 /g) + 0 + 3 + 72.3 (27)
only significant effect of heat transfer is to change the density . For
gas or vapor flows, use the generalized Bernoulli equation in the where just ahead of the blower is taken as 1.06, and just after the
pressureoverdensity form of Equation (12), allowing for the ther blower as 1.03; the latter value is uncertain because of possible uneven
modynamic process in the pressuredensity relation: discharge from the blower. Static pressures p1 and p4 may be taken as
zero gage. Thus,
2 2 2
dp V1 V2
p2 /g = –7.8 m of air
–  + 1  + EM = 2  + EL (23)
1
2 2 p3 /g = 73.2 m of air (28)
Elevation changes involving z are often negligible and are dropped. The difference between these two numbers is 81 m, which is not
The pressure form of Equation (10) is generally unacceptable when the HM calculated after Equation (24) as 82.2 m. The apparent dis
appreciable density variations occur, because the volumetric flow crepancy results from ignoring velocity at stations 2 and 3. Actually,
rate differs at the two stations. This is particularly serious in friction HM is
loss evaluations where the density usually varies over considerable
lengths of conduit (Benedict and Carlucci 1966). When the flow is HM = ( p3 /g) + 3(V32 /2g) – [( p2/g) + 2( V22 /2g)]
essentially incompressible, Equation (20) is satisfactory. = 73.2 + (1.03 2.07) – [–7.8 + (1.06 0.846)]
= 75.3 – (–6.9) = 82.2 m (29)
Example 1. Specify a blower to produce isothermal airflow of 200 L/s
through a ducting system (Figure 12). Accounting for intake and fitting The required blower energy is the same, no matter how it is evalu
losses, equivalent conduit lengths are 18 and 50 m, and flow is isother ated. It is the specific energy added to the system by the machine. Only
mal. Pressure at the inlet (station 1) and following the discharge (station when the conduit size and velocity profiles on both sides of the machine
4), where velocity is zero, is the same. Frictional losses HL are evalu are the same is EM or HM simply found from p = p3 – p2.
ated as 7.5 m of air between stations 1 and 2, and 72.3 m between sta
tions 3 and 4. Conduit Friction
Solution: The following form of the generalized Bernoulli relation is The loss term EL or HL of Equation (12) or (13) accounts for
used in place of Equation (12), which also could be used: friction caused by conduitwall shearing stresses and losses from
(p1/1 g) + 1(V12/2g) + z1 + HM conduitsection changes. HL is the head loss (i.e., loss of energy per
= ( p2 /2 g) + 2(V22/2g) + z2 + HL (24) unit weight).
In realfluid flow, a frictional shear occurs at bounding walls,
gradually influencing flow further away from the boundary. A lateral
velocity profile is produced and flow energy is converted into heat
(fluid internal energy), which is generally unrecoverable (a loss).
This loss in fully developed conduit flow is evaluated using the
DarcyWeisbach equation:
L V 2
H L = f   (30)
f
D 2g
where L is the length of conduit of diameter D and f is the Darcy
Weisbach friction factor. Sometimes a numerically different
relation is used with the Fanning friction factor (1/4 of the Darcy
friction factor f ). The value of f is nearly constant for turbulent flow,
Fig. 12 Blower and Duct System for Example 1 varying only from about 0.01 to 0.05.
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For fully developed laminarviscous flow in a pipe, loss is eval Table 2 Effective Roughness of Conduit Surfaces
uated from Equation (17) as follows: Material , m
L 8V 64 L V
2 Commercially smooth brass, lead, copper, or plastic pipe 1.52
32LV
H L f =   = 
 =    (31) Steel and wrought iron 46
g R 2 D g
2 VD D 2g
Galvanized iron or steel 152
where Re = VD/v and f = 64/Re. Thus, for laminar flow, the friction Cast iron 259
factor varies inversely with the Reynolds number. The value of 64/
Re varies with channel shape. A good summary of shape factors is
provided by Incropera and DeWitt (2002). 37 53016
B =  (32c)
With turbulent flow, friction loss depends not only on flow con Re D h
ditions, as characterized by the Reynolds number, but also on the
roughness height of the conduit wall surface. The variation is Inspection of the Moody diagram indicates that, for high Rey
complex and is expressed in diagram form (Moody 1944), as nolds numbers and relative roughness, the friction factor becomes
shown in Figure 13. Historically, the Moody diagram has been used independent of the Reynolds number in a fully rough flow or fully
to determine friction factors, but empirical relations suitable for use turbulent regime. A transition region from laminar to turbulent
in modeling programs have been developed. Most are applicable to
flow occurs when 2000 < Re < 10 000. Roughness height , which
limited ranges of Reynolds number and relative roughness.
Churchill (1977) developed a relationship that is valid for all ranges may increase with conduit use, fouling, or aging, is usually tabu
of Reynolds numbers, and is more accurate than reading the Moody lated for different types of pipes as shown in Table 2.
diagram: Noncircular Conduits. Air ducts are often rectangular in cross
section. The equivalent circular conduit corresponding to the non
12 1 12
8 1 circular conduit must be found before the friction factor can be
f = 8 
 + 
 (32a)
Re Dh A + B
1.5 determined.
For turbulent flow, hydraulic diameter Dh is substituted for D in
16
Equation (30) and in the Reynolds number. Noncircular duct fric
1

A = 2.457 ln  (32b) tion can be evaluated to within 5% for all except very extreme cross
7 Re + 0.27 D
0.9 sections (e.g., tubes with deep grooves or ridges). A more refined
Dh h
method for finding the equivalent circular duct diameter is given in
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Chapter 13. With laminar flow, the loss predictions may be off by a Table 3 Fitting Loss Coefficients of Turbulent Flow
factor as large as two.
P g
K = 
2

Valve, Fitting, and Transition Losses Fitting Geometry V 2g
Valve and section changes (contractions, expansions and diffus Entrance Sharp 0.5
ers, elbows, bends, or tees), as well as entrances and exits, distort the Wellrounded 0.05
fully developed velocity profiles (see Figure 4) and introduce extra Contraction Sharp (D2/D1 = 0.5) 0.38
flow losses that may dissipate as heat into pipelines or duct systems. 90° Elbow Miter 1.3
Valves, for example, produce such extra losses to control the fluid Short radius 0.90
flow rate. In contractions and expansions, flow separation as shown Long radius 0.60
in Figures 9 and 10 causes the extra loss. The loss at rounded en Miter with turning vanes 0.2
trances develops as flow accelerates to higher velocities; this higher Globe valve Open 10
velocity near the wall leads to wall shear stresses greater than those Angle valve Open 5
of fully developed flow (see Figure 6). In flow around bends, veloc Gate valve Open 0.19 to 0.22
ity increases along the inner wall near the start of the bend. This in 75% open 1.10
creased velocity creates a secondary fluid motion in a double helical 50% open 3.6
vortex pattern downstream from the bend. In all these devices, the 25% open 28.8
disturbance produced locally is converted into turbulence and ap Any valve Closed
pears as a loss in the downstream region. The return of a disturbed Tee Straightthrough flow 0.5
flow pattern into a fully developed velocity profile may be quite Flow through branch 1.8
slow. Ito (1962) showed that the secondary motion following a bend
takes up to 100 diameters of conduit to die out but the pressure gra
dient settles out after 50 diameters. only 25% open yields a K of 28.8. Expansion flows, such as from
one conduit size to another or at the exit into a room or reservoir, are
In a laminar fluid flow following a rounded entrance, the
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2 4
gD z 1 – z 2
Q= 
fL
8  + K + 1
D
3. Use this value of Q to recalculate Re and get a new value of f.
4. Repeat until the new and old values of f agree to two significant
Fig. 14 Diagram for Example 2 figures.
Iteration f Q, m/s Re f
developed and its disturbance fully smoothed out before the next
section change. Such an assumption is frequently wrong, and the 0 0.0223 0.04737 3.98 105 0.0230
total loss can be overestimated. For elbow flows, the total loss of 1 0.0230 0.04699 3.95 105 0.0230
adjacent bends may be over or underestimated. The secondary As shown in the table, the result after two iterations is Q 0.047 m3/s =
flow pattern after an elbow is such that when one follows another, 47 L/s.
perhaps in a different plane, the secondary flow of the second If the resulting flow is in the fully rough zone and the fully rough
elbow may reinforce or partially cancel that of the first. Moving value of f is used as first guess, only one iteration is required.
the second elbow a few diameters can reduce the total loss (from c. For H = 22 m, what diameter pipe is needed to allow Q = 55 L/s?
more than twice the amount) to less than the loss from one elbow.
Solution: The energy equation in part (b) must now be solved for D with
Screens or perforated plates can be used for smoothing velocity Q known. This is difficult because the energy equation cannot be solved
profiles (Wile 1947) and flow spreading. Their effectiveness and for D, even with an assumed value of f. If Churchill’s expression for f is
loss coefficients depend on their amount of open area (Baines and stored as a function in a calculator, program, or spreadsheet with an
Peterson 1951). iterative equation solver, a solution can be generated. In this case, D
0.166 m = 166 mm. Use the smallest available pipe size greater than
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Example 2. Water at 20°C flows through the piping system shown in 166 mm and adjust the valve as required to achieve the desired flow.
Figure 14. Each ell has a very long radius and a loss coefficient of Alternatively, (1) guess an available pipe size, and (2) calculate Re,
K = 0.31; the entrance at the tank is squareedged with K = 0.5, and f, and H for Q = 55 L/s. If the resulting value of H is greater than the
the valve is a fully open globe valve with K = 10. The pipe roughness given value of H = 22 m, a larger pipe is required. If the calculated H is
is 250 m. The density = 1000 kg/m3 and kinematic viscosity = less than 22 m, repeat using a smaller available pipe size.
1.01 mm2/s.
a. If pipe diameter D = 150 mm, what is the elevation H in the tank Control Valve Characterization for Liquids
required to produce a flow of Q = 60 L/s? Control valves are characterized by a discharge coefficient Cd .
Solution: Apply Equation (13) between stations 1 and 2 in the figure. As long as the Reynolds number is greater than 250, the orifice
Note that p1 = p2, V1 0. Assume 1. The result is equation holds for liquids:
z1 – z2 = H – 12 m = HL + V22 /2g Q = Cd Ao 2 p (37)
From Equations (30) and (34), total head loss is
where Ao is the area of the orifice opening and p is the pressure
fL 8Q
2 drop across the valve. The discharge coefficient is about 0.63 for
HL =  + K 
 sharpedged configurations and 0.8 to 0.9 for chamfered or rounded
D 2 gD 4 configurations.
where L = 102 m, K = 0.5 + (2 0.31) + 10 = 11.1, and V 2/2g =
V 22/2g = 8Q2/2gD4). Then, substituting into Equation (13), Incompressible Flow in Systems
Flow devices must be evaluated in terms of their interaction with
2
8Q other elements of the system [e.g., the action of valves in modifying
H = 12 m + 1 +  + K 
fL

D 2 gD 4 flow rate and in matching the flowproducing device (pump or
blower) with the system loss]. Analysis is by the general Bernoulli
To calculate the friction factor, first calculate Reynolds number and rel equation and the loss evaluations noted previously.
ative roughness: A valve regulates or stops the flow of fluid by throttling. The
Re = VD/v = 4Q/(Dv) = 495 150 change in flow is not proportional to the change in area of the valve
opening. Figures 15 and 16 indicate the nonlinear action of valves in
/D = 0.0017
controlling flow. Figure 15 shows flow in a pipe discharging water
From the Moody diagram or Equation (32), f = 0.023. Then HL = from a tank that is controlled by a gate valve. The fitting loss coeffi
15.7 m and H = 27.7 m. cient K values are from Table 3; the friction factor f is 0.027. The
b. For H = 22 m and D = 150 mm, what is the flow? degree of control also depends on the conduit L/D ratio. For a rela
tively long conduit, the valve must be nearly closed before its high K
Solution: Applying Equation (13) again and inserting the expression value becomes a significant portion of the loss. Figure 16 shows a
for head loss gives control damper (essentially a butterfly valve) in a duct discharging air
2
from a plenum held at constant pressure. With a long duct, the damper
8Q does not affect the flow rate until it is about onequarter closed. Duct
 + K + 1 
z1 – z2 = 10 m = fL 
D 2 gD 4 length has little effect when the damper is more than half closed. The
damper closes the duct totally at the 90° position (K = ).
Because f depends on Q (unless flow is fully turbulent), iteration is Flow in a system (pump or blower and conduit with fittings) in
required. The usual procedure is as follows: volves interaction between the characteristics of the flowproducing
1. Assume a value of f, usually the fully rough value for the given val device (pump or blower) and the loss characteristics of the pipeline
ues of and D. or duct system. Often the devices are centrifugal, in which case the
2. Use this value of f in the energy calculation and solve for Q. pressure produced decreases as flow increases, except for the lowest
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flow rates. System pressure required to overcome losses increases and velocity indication high; as a result, a tube coefficient less than
roughly as the square of the flow rate. The flow rate of a given system unity must be used. For parallel conduit flow, wall piezometers
is that where the two curves of pressure versus flow rate intersect (taps) may take the ambient pressure, and the pitot tube indicates the
(point 1 in Figure 17). When a control valve (or damper) is partially impact (total pressure).
closed, it increases losses and reduces flow (point 2 in Figure 17). The venturi meter, flow nozzle, and orifice meter are flowrate
For cases of constant pressure, the flow decrease caused by valving metering devices based on the pressure change associated with rel
is not as great as that indicated in Figures 15 and 16. atively sudden changes in conduit section area (Figure 18). The
elbow meter (also shown in Figure 18) is another differential pres
Flow Measurement sure flowmeter. The flow nozzle is similar to the venturi in action,
The general principles noted (the continuity and Bernoulli equa but does not have the downstream diffuser. For all these, the flow
tions) are basic to most fluidmetering devices. Chapter 36 has fur rate is proportional to the square root of the pressure difference
ther details. resulting from fluid flow. With areachange devices (venturi, flow
The pressure difference between the stagnation point (total pres nozzle, and orifice meter), a theoretical flow rate relation is found
sure) and the ambient fluid stream (static pressure) is used to give a by applying the Bernoulli and continuity equations in Equations
point velocity measurement. Flow rate in a conduit is measured by (12) and (3) between stations 1 and 2:
placing a pitot device at various locations in the cross section and
2
spatially integrating over the velocity found. A singlepoint mea d 2gh
surement may be used for approximate flow rate evaluation. When Qtheoretical =   (38)
4 1 – 4
flow is fully developed, the pipefactor information of Figure 5 can
be used to estimate the flow rate from a centerline measurement. where h = h1 – h2 = (p1 – p2)/g and = d/D = ratio of throat (or
Measurements can be made in one of two modes. With the pitot orifice) diameter to conduit diameter.
static tube, the ambient (static) pressure is found from pressure taps
along the side of the forwardfacing portion of the tube. When this The actual flow rate through the device can differ because the
portion is not long and slender, static pressure indication will be low approach flow kinetic energy factor deviates from unity and
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Fig. 16 Effect of Duct Length on Damper Action Fig. 18 Differential Pressure Flowmeters
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dV 1 dp f V
2
 +   +  = 0 (42)
d ds 2D
where is the time and s is the distance in flow direction. Because
a certain p is applied over conduit length L,
dV p fV 2
 =  –  (43)
d L 2D
For laminar flow, f is given by Equation (31):
dV p 32V
 =  –  = A – BV (44)
d L D 2
d = 
dV 1 ln(A – BV )
=  = –  (45)
Fig. 19 Flowmeter Coefficients A – BV B
and
The general mode of variation in Cd for orifices and venturis is
indicated in Figure 19 as a function of Reynolds number and, to a p D2 L – 32
lesser extent, diameter ratio . For Reynolds numbers less than 10, V =   1 –  exp 
 (46)
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k p2 p1
2 dp
1  = 
  – 
k – 1 2 1
(56)
drop exceeds about 10% of the initial pressure. The possibility of =  (67)
2
sonic velocities at the end of relatively long conduits limits the V o
amount of pressure reduction achieved. For an inlet Mach number
where pv is vapor pressure, and the subscript o refers to appropriate
of 0.2, discharge pressure can be reduced to about 0.2 of the initial
reference conditions. Valve analyses use such an index to determine
pressure; for inflow at M = 0.5, discharge pressure cannot be less
when cavitation will affect the discharge coefficient (Ball 1957).
than about 0.45p1 (adiabatic) or about 0.6p1 (isothermal).
With flowmetering devices such as orifices, venturis, and flow noz
Analysis must treat density change, as evaluated from the conti
zles, there is little cavitation, because it occurs mostly downstream
nuity relation in Equation (3), with frictional occurrences evaluated
of the flow regions involved in establishing the metering action.
from wall roughness and Reynolds number correlations of incom
The detrimental effects of cavitation can be avoided by operating
pressible flow (Binder 1944). In evaluating valve and fitting losses,
the liquidflow device at high enough pressures. When this is not
consider the reduction in K caused by compressibility (Benedict and
possible, the flow must be changed or the device must be built to
Carlucci 1966). Although the analysis differs significantly, isother
withstand cavitation effects. Some materials or surface coatings are
mal and adiabatic flows involve essentially the same pressure vari
more resistant to cavitation erosion than others, but none is immune.
ation along the conduit, up to the limiting conditions.
Surface contours can be designed to delay onset of cavitation.
Cavitation
Liquid flow with gas or vaporfilled pockets can occur if the
NOISE IN FLUID FLOW
absolute pressure is reduced to vapor pressure or less. In this case, Noise in flowing fluids results from unsteady flow fields and can
one or more cavities form, because liquids are rarely pure enough to be at discrete frequencies or broadly distributed over the audible
withstand any tensile stressing or pressures less than vapor pressure range. With liquid flow, cavitation results in noise through the col
for any length of time (John and Haberman 1980; Knapp et al. 1970; lapse of vapor bubbles. Noise in pumps or fittings (e.g., valves) can
Robertson and Wislicenus 1969). Robertson and Wislicenus (1969) be a rattling or sharp hissing sound, which is easily eliminated by
indicate significant occurrences in various technical fields, chiefly raising the system pressure. With severe cavitation, the resulting
in hydraulic equipment and turbomachines. unsteady flow can produce indirect noise from induced vibration of
Initial evidence of cavitation is the collapse noise of many small adjacent parts. See Chapter 48 of the 2011 ASHRAE Handbook—
bubbles that appear initially as they are carried by the flow into HVAC Applications for more information on sound control.
higherpressure regions. The noise is not deleterious and serves as a Disturbed laminar flow behind cylinders can be an oscillating
warning of the occurrence. As flow velocity further increases or motion. The shedding frequency f of these vortexes is characterized
pressure decreases, the severity of cavitation increases. More bub by a Strouhal number St = fd/V of about 0.21 for a circular cylin
bles appear and may join to form large fixed cavities. The space they der of diameter d, over a considerable range of Reynolds numbers.
occupy becomes large enough to modify the flow pattern and alter This oscillating flow can be a powerful noise source, particularly
performance of the flow device. Collapse of cavities on or near solid when f is close to the natural frequency of the cylinder or some
boundaries becomes so frequent that, in time, the cumulative impact nearby structural member so that resonance occurs. With cylinders
causes cavitational erosion of the surface or excessive vibration. As of another shape, such as impeller blades of a pump or blower, the
a result, pumps can lose efficiency or their parts may erode locally. characterizing Strouhal number involves the trailingedge thickness
Control valves may be noisy or seriously damaged by cavitation. of the member. The strength of the vortex wake, with its resulting
Cavitation in orifice and valve flow is illustrated in Figure 21. vibrations and noise potential, can be reduced by breaking up flow
With high upstream pressure and a low flow rate, no cavitation with downstream splitter plates or boundarylayer trip devices
occurs. As pressure is reduced or flow rate increased, the minimum (wires) on the cylinder surface.
pressure in the flow (in the shear layer leaving the edge of the ori Noises produced in pipes and ducts, especially from valves and
fice) eventually approaches vapor pressure. Turbulence in this layer fittings, are associated with the loss through such elements. The
causes fluctuating pressures below the mean (as in vortex cores) and sound pressure of noise in water pipe flow increases linearly with
This file is licensed to Enrique J. Barrantes P (ebarran@pucp.edu.pe). Publication Date: 6/1/2013
pressure loss; broadband noise increases, but only in the lower = kinematic viscosity, mm2/s
frequency range. Fittingproduced noise levels also increase with = density, kg/m3
fitting loss (even without cavitation) and significantly exceed noise = cavitation index or number
= shear stress, Pa
levels of the pipe flow. The relation between noise and loss is not w = wall shear stress
surprising because both involve excessive flow perturbations. A
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