Fluid Flow Table of Contents
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Knowledge
Fluid Power Equipment
Pressure drop in pipes is caused by:
 Friction
 Vertical pipe difference or elevation
 Changes of kinetic energy
 Calculation of pressure drop caused by friction in circular pipes
To determine the fluid (liquid or gas) pressure drop along a pipe or pipe component, the following calculations, in the following order.
Equation Reynolds Number:
If the Reynolds number < 2320, than you have laminar flow.
Laminar flow is characterized by the gliding of concentric cylindrical layers past one another in orderly fashion. The velocity of the fluid is at its maximum at the pipe axis and decreases sharply to zero at the wall. The pressure drop caused by friction of laminar flow does not depend of the roughness of pipe.
If the Reynolds number > 2320, you have turbulent flow.
There is an irregular motion of fluid particles in directions transverse to the direction of the main flow. The velocity distribution of turbulent flow is more uniform across the pipe diameter than in laminar flow. The pressure drop caused by friction of turbulent flow depends on the roughness of pipe.
Select pipe friction Coefficient:
The pipe friction coefficient is a dimensionless number. The friction factor for laminar flow condition is a function of Reynolds number only, for turbulent flow it is also a function of the characteristics of the pipe wall.
Determine Pipe friction coefficient at laminar flow:
Where:
= Pipe Friction Coefficient
Re = Reynolds number
Note: Perfectly smooth pipes will have a roughness of zero.
Determine Pipe friction coefficient at turbulent flow (in the most cases):
Where:
= Pipe Friction Coefficient
g = Acceleration of Gravity
Re = Reynolds Number
k = Absolute Roughness
D = Diameter of Pipe
lg = Log
The solutions to this calculation is plotted vs. the Reynolds number to create a Moody Chart.
Determine Pressure drop in circular pipes:
Where:
= Pressure Drop
= Pipe Friction Coefficient
L = Length of Pipe
D = Pipe Diameter
p = Density
= Flow Velocity
If you have valves, elbows and other elements along your pipe then you calculate the pressure drop with resistance coefficients specifically for the element. The resistance coefficients are in most cases found through practical tests and through vendor specification documents. If the resistance coefficient is known, than we can calculate the pressure drop for the element.
Where:
= Pressure Drop
= Resistance Coefficient (determined by test or vendor specification)
p = Density
= Flow Velocity
Pressure drop by gravity or vertical elevation
Where:
= Pressure Drop
p = Density
g = Acceleration of Gravity
= Vertical Elevation or Drop
Pressure drop of gasses and vapor
Compressible fluids expands caused by pressure drops (friction) and the velocity will increase. Therefore is the pressure drop along the pipe not constant.
Where:
p_{1} = Pressure incoming
T_{1} = Temperature incoming
p_{2} = Pressure leaving
T_{2} = Temperature leaving
We set the pipe friction number as a constant and calculate it with the inputdata. The temperature, which is used in the equation, is the average of entrance and exit of pipe.
Note: You can calculate gases as liquids, if the relative change of density is low (change of density/density = 0.02).
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