April 2007

Piping/Fluid Flow

Explicit friction factor correlation for turbulent flow in rough pipe

A comparison of approximation methods shows which is more accurate over a wide range of Re values

Goudar, C. T., Bayer HealthCare; Sonnad, J. R., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Most computations with piping systems involve friction factor, f, estimation, and for laminar flow, this is trivial since f is a simple function of Re, the Reynolds number (f = 16/Re). For turbulent flow, however, f and Re relationships are implicit as seen from the universal law of friction for turbulent flow in smooth pipe:        Estimating f from Eq. 1 is iterative and several empirical approximations are available that simplify this process. A truly explicit form of Eq. 1 was recently derived1 from which error associated with the empirical approximations was determined.2 While Eq. 1 is applicable to turbulent flow in smooth pipe, most applications involve f

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