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Pipe Flow

Gary D. Beckfeld, P.E.

This course presents basic procedures that are used for solving simple pipe flow problems but are also applicable to solutions of more complex cases. These procedures depend on the fluid properties, the type of flow, and the applicable governing equations, energy losses, and the unknown quantities.

Fluid properties reviewed in this course are viscosity and compressibility. Examples of viscosities are given for liquids and gases. The compressibility effect on density change is compared for liquids and gases.

Flow classifications described include uniform, non-uniform, isothermal, adiabatic, steady, unsteady, and laminar and turbulent. Example problems are presented to illustrate solutions of those flows expected to be the most prevalent in engineering problems.

The governing equations of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy are given for compressible, incompressible, isothermal and adiabatic fluid flow. The energy equations include loss terms for pipe fittings and for viscous friction. Isothermal and adiabatic gas laws are given.

Relations are given for viscous friction energy loss friction factors for both laminar and turbulent flows. For turbulent flow the pipe roughness and the Reynolds number are used to evaluate the friction factor from the Colebrook equation. The Mach number is used to check the effect of compressibility.

Finally, several example problems of incompressible flow are presented which illustrate solutions of flow problems for different unknowns. Three basic problems included cover (1) finding viscous friction loss and pumping power (2) finding flow rate and (3) finding pipe diameter. Addition example problems given cover compressible flow, isothermal and adiabatic flow, the thrust forces on pipe fittings, and a case of unsteady flow.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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