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# 9.

## Viscous Flow in a Pipe

This topic is about flow of fluid (mostly liquid) inside a
pipe. There are two characteristics of this type of flow:
laminar flow (which has a special name called Poiseuille
flow and turbulent flow.
To begin with, we have to examine Couette flow which is a
2-D equivalent of pipe flow as well as some definitions of
viscosity and properties in turbulent flow.

Poiseuille is a
medical doctor who
studied blood flow in
veins.
The following video clip from
www.iihr.uiowa.edu/products/dhrm.html
titled Laminar and Turbulent flows gives a good
introduction to this topic.
The following sub-topics marked with * are relevant to
current study.
1. Shear stress and viscosity*
2. The Couette flow*
3. Definition of dynamic viscosity*
4. What is a Newtonian fluid? *
5. Demonstration of parabolic velocity profile for
viscous flow between stationary plates. *
6. Rotational and Irrotational flows. *
7. On viscous lubrication.
8. Viscous drag on body falling in viscous fluid.
9. Stokes law
10. The significant of the kinematic viscosity.*
11. Poiseuille flow. *
12. Characteristic of flow in a pipe.*
13. Viscous flow over a body. *
14. Illustration of boundary layer flow. *
15. Viscous flow over a flat plate. *
17. How laminar flow is transformed into turbulent
flow. *
18. Visualisation for dye in pipe flow. **
19. Laminar and turbulent water jets
20. Turbulent flow generated by flow separation
21. Short discussion on eddy viscosity in turbulent flow
22. Laminar and turbulent velocity profiles. *
23. Plot of friction coefficient, f, against Re. *.
24. Free shear zone.
25. Free turbulent in jets.
26. The working of a hot wire anemometer.

ENG243 Fluid Mechanics 2010 page: 2

27. On various formation of turbulent eddies
28. On the production of turbulent energy
29. Turbulent mixing
30. Interesting behaviour of ring vortices.
31. The jingle big whorls have little whorls ..
Item 30 is rather
entertaining to
watch.
Characteristics of pipe flow
When fluid flows in a long pipe, the friction between the
fluid and the pipe wall will cause the fluid to be heated up.
In other words, portions of KE in the fluid are transferred
into thermal energy.
In the case of gas, the heating will expand the gas by
reducing its density. Some heat may be loss through
conduction outside the pipe. On the other hand, it is
possible for heat energy to be transfer into KE in the fluid.
We will not consider such a complicated process in this
subject.
For liquid, the density remains virtually unchanged in
frictional heating. The thermal energy created in the fluid
is irrecoverable. In other words, frictional heating cause
energy to be lost from the liquid.
This has two implications: the Bernoulli equation is not
applicable; and an energy lost term will be included in the
energy equation.
Section 8.1

The Reynolds pipe flow experiment
The experiment set up is shown in Figure 8.3(a). A
transparent pipe draws liquid from a large tank into it. The
inlet is a bell mouth inlet that will ensure smooth laminar
flow into the pipe. Dye is injected at the inlet and to
provide visualisation of the flow.
At the inlet section the velocity distribution is uniform. As
the flow gets further into the pipe, the friction with the pipe
wall will slow the liquid adjacent to it. This causes the
velocity profile to deform. However, after a certain length
of the pipe, the velocity profile become stabilised and
remains constant for the flow in the remaining length of the
pipe.
The relevant nondimensional parameter of this system is
the Reynolds number (based on the pipe diameter):
Re
VD

=
Sections 8.1.1 to
8.1.2
See item 18 in the
video Laminar &
Turbulent Flows

The Reynolds
number based on
diameter is sometime
denoted as:
Re /
/
D
VD
VD

=
=

ENG243 Fluid Mechanics 2010 page: 3

Reynolds observed that for slow flow rate, the dye pattern
remain undisturbed throughout the flow. Evidently, the
flow this laminar. On the other hand, at high flow rate, the
dye pattern quickly smeared out and mixed with the flow
and the flow is turbulent
For a smooth pipe, this transition from laminar to turbulent
flow take place over a very narrow range of Reynolds
number of about 2300. In this range of Reynolds number,
the flow may switch between laminar and turbulent, sort of
unsteady, and is called the transition region.

For a smooth pipe: / 0.06Re
D
L D ; if the flow at entrance
to the pipe is laminar and ( )
1/ 6
/ 4.4 Re
D
L D
if the flow at
entrance to the pipe is turbulent.

Note that there are
two characteristic
Reynolds numbers:
the one defines the
entrance length of
the pipe, L, for the
flow to become
stable and the other
define the transition
to turbulent flow.
For rough pipe, the
length for flow to
stabilise is shorter
and the transition
Reynolds number
will be lower.
Due to friction (viscous shear) of the pipe, pressure is
required to force the flow through the pipe. Hence the
pressure will continue to reduce (drop) along the pipe.
Instead of pressure drop, it is sometime more convenient to
express in terms of pressure gradient: that is drop of
pressure per unit length along the pipe.
Steady laminar flow of a Newtonian fluid in pipe can be
derived analytically. Consider a concentric cylindrical
element inside the pipe, the shear stress on the wall is in
equilibrium with the force due to pressure exert on the ends
of the ring.
The first result of the analysis yields Eqn 8.5.
4
w
p
D

=
l

By relating the shear stress with the velocity gradient a
differential equation is resulted and can be integrated to
give the velocity profile of the flow as shown in Eqn 8.7.
Section 8.2; 8.2.1

ENG243 Fluid Mechanics 2010 page: 4

From the Dimensional Analysis point of view, there are 5
relevant parameters in a pipe flow are:
Pipe diameter, D, the average velocity of the flow, V,
density of the fluid, , dynamic viscosity, and the
pressure gradient / p l .
Buckingham theorem states that for 5 relevant parameters
and 3 independent variables will form 2 independent non-
dimensional groups. They are:
The Reynolds number: Re
D
VD

= and
The other one is the friction coefficient:
( )
2
1
2
p D
f
V
| |
=
|
\
l
.

The functional relationship of these two groups may take
the form: ( ) Re
D
f = .
Section 8.2.3
Here we take a
different approach to
Section 8.2.3.
Note that the
a rational choice
over separating p
and l ; since the
length of the pipe is
no a relevant factor.
The second group is
the pressure
coefficient times
( )
D
l
.
Fluid engineers love
to put a in front of
2
V .
Question
Show that for Newtonian fluid in laminar pipe flow.
64
Re
D
f = .
Hints:
w
w
du
dr

| |
=
|
\
,
/ 2
c
V V = and
4
w
p
D

=
l
.
Note that laminar pipe flow is independent of the pipe
roughness except for extremely rough pipe.
The roughness of the
pipe affects only the
flow pattern near the
pipe wall.
Energy consideration
Imagine an ideal horizontal pipe flow with no frictional
loss, the average velocity, V, and the pressure, p, will be
the same throughout the pipe. On the other hand, if there is
a change (drop) of pressure it will be the loss of energy due
to pipe friction.
In the energy equation given previously:
( ) ( ) ( )
2 2
2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1
1
0 / / /
2
s L
p p g z z V V h h
g

(
= + + +
(

Section 8.2.4.

ENG243 Fluid Mechanics 2010 page: 5

Since there are no change in velocity and work done (shaft
work) is also zero:
( ) ( )
2 1 2 1
0 /
L
p p z z h = + (

or in terms of piezometric pressure:
( ) ( )
* *
2 1
0
L
p p g h =

note that the pressure drop due to friction is *
L
p gh = .
From previous analysis,
( )
2
*
1
2
p D
f
V
| |
=
|
\
l

We now have:
( )
2
1
*
2
L
V
p f
h
g D g

| |
= =
|
\
l

From here on, we
will use the drop of
piezometric pressure
as an indication of
pressure loss in pipe
flow. This will
include the effect of
change in elevation.
Note that the energy
loss is given by:
( )
2
/ 4
loss
L
W Q p
D V gh
=
=
&

where Q is the
volume flow rate.
Turbulent flow consists of multitude of tiny eddies. Hence
velocity vector at any point fluctuated with time. However
the time average of velocity at a given point does have a
definite direction and magnitude. In practice, when the
velocity of a turbulent flow is mentioned, it is referring to
the time average velocity.
Section 8.3; 8.3.1
In general the velocity profile for turbulent flow in pipe is
given by the formula:
1/
1
n
c
u r
V R
| |
=
|
\
where r is the measure from the pipe centre-
line and R is the pipe radius.
In most situation, the power index n =7 hence the well
know 1/7 power profile.
Adjacent to the pipe wall, the flow is restricted by the rigid
wall and turbulent fluctuation is being depressed. Here the
flow is reverted to laminar flow with a linear profile as
given by Eqn 8.29. this region is called the laminar sub-
layer.
There is an intermediate region between the laminar sub-
layer and the 1/n power profile the velocity distribution
follow the logarithmic pattern and is called the law of
the wall as given by Eqn 8.30.
Section 8.3.3

ENG243 Fluid Mechanics 2010 page: 6

The pressure drop in turbulent pipe flow depends on the
roughness of the pipe. The measure of roughness was
first thought to be the unevenness of the pipe wall. The
maximum amplitude of this unevenness was designated to
represent roughness. Hence roughness was indicated by ,
which has a dimension of length. Later it was found that
to be an index. For example, a concrete pipe will assign a
certain value of different to that given to a copper pipe.
See Table 8.1 for the values of related to a range of
common materials.
In the dimensional analysis for the turbulent pipe flow is
similar to that given for laminar pipe flow except for an
additional parameter . . . .
There will be three non-dimensional groups:
The Reynolds number: Re
D
VD

= ;
The friction coefficient:
( )
2
1
2
p D
f
V
| |
=
|
\
l
and
The roughness ratio:
D

= .
The friction coefficient can be expressed as a function of
Re
D
and

: ( ) Re ,
D
f D = .
Section 8.4; 8.4.1
Note that this way of
assigning an index
is an index
depends on the
material and the way
the process involved
in making the pipe.