Fluid Flow Table of Contents
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Knowledge
Fluid Power Equipment
Average (Bulk) Velocity Review
In many fluid flow problems, instead of determining exact velocities at different locations in the same flow cross-section, it is sufficient to allow a single average velocity to represent the velocity of all fluid at that point in the pipe. This is fairly simple for turbulent flow since the velocity profile is flat over the majority of the pipe cross-section. It is reasonable to assume that the average velocity is the same as the velocity at the center of the pipe.
If the flow regime is laminar (the velocity profile is parabolic), the problem still exists of trying to represent the "average" velocity at any given cross-section since an average value is used in the fluid flow equations. Technically, this is done by means of integral calculus. Practically, the student should use an average value that is half of the center line value.