Fluid Flow Velocity Profiles

Fluid Flow Velocity Profiles

Not all fluid particles travel at the same velocity within a pipe. The shape of the velocity curve (the velocity profile across any given section of the pipe) depends upon whether the flow islaminar or turbulent. If the flow in a pipe is laminar, the velocity distribution at a cross sectionwill be parabolic in shape with the maximum velocity at the center being about twice the averagevelocity in the pipe. In turbulent flow, a fairly flat velocity distribution exists across the section of pipe, with the result that the entire fluid flows at a given single value. Figure 5 helps illustratethe above ideas. The velocity of the fluid in contact with the pipe wall is essentially zero andincreases the further away from the wall.

Note from Figure 5 that the velocity profile depends upon the surface condition of the pipe wall. A smoother wall results in a more uniform velocity profile than a rough pipe wall.

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