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Mapua Institute of Technology

School of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

Chemical Engineering Laboratory


Experiment No. 4

Friction Factor (Fluid Flow Set-Up)


Kim, Sung Mina, Lopez, Essene Qumran a, Santacruz, Margarette Louisea
a

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Mapua Institute of Technology, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

ARTICLE INFO
Keywords:

AB S T R AC T

Fluid Flow
Surface Roughness
Relative Roughness
Friction Factor
Reynolds Number

Fluid flow in pipelines are important in many process industries.


But when fluid flows in pipes, mechanical energy is lost due to
friction between the fluid flowing and the pipe. Frictional losses
depend on the properties of the pipe in which the fluid flow, the
properties of the fluid, and the behavior of the fluid flow itself. For
fluid flow through a straight pipe with uniform diameter, factors
such as velocity, density and viscosity of the fluid, and diameter,
length and roughness of pipe play a significant role in building up
friction losses. The objectives of this study are: to determine the
friction factor of the fluid flowing through a small pipe; and to
determine the effect of Reynolds number and relative roughness on
the friction factor of the fluid flow. Comparing the values acquired
for the experimental and theoretical value for the friction factor, the
percentage errors computed are 98.75 and 98.89 percent for trials 1
and 2 respectively. varying the Reynolds number or relative
roughness has an effect to the friction factor of the fluid flow.
Based on equation 4, the following may be observed: If the relative
roughness remained constant and the Reynolds number is
increased, the friction factor that may be obtained will decrease; If
the Reynolds number remained constant, and the relative roughness
of the material increased, the friction factor that may be obtained
will also increase. As such, it may be said that the friction factor is
inversely proportional to the Reynolds number and directly
proportional to the relative roughness of the material.

Date submitted:
4 November 2014

INTRODUCTION
Fluid flow through pipelines is an
important process in many industries. Fluid
flow may be classified as internal or external
flow (Universitetet i Oslo, n.d.). In this study,
internal flow is of concern, in which the conduit
is filled with the fluid and fluid flows because of
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pressure difference. Fluid flows in channels


because of a driving force which makes the fluid
have kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of the
fluid makes the fluid to have pressure. The
pressure of the fluid loses its magnitude as fluid
flows through the conduit. This pressure may be
said as a mechanical energy.

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In actual fluid flow through pipes,


mechanical energy is lost because of friction
(Gutierrez, C and Ngo, R., 2005). Frictional
losses depend on the properties of the pipe in
which the fluid flow, the properties of the fluid,
and the behavior of the fluid flow itself. In this
study, the friction factor of fluid flow through
straight and uniform, diameter but rough pipe
will be studied. For fluid flow through a straight
pipe with uniform diameter, factors such as
velocity, density and viscosity of the fluid, and
diameter, length and roughness of pipe play a
significant role in building up friction losses
(Gutierrez, C., Ngo, R., 2005).
According
to
Perrys
Chemical
Engineers Handbook (Green D., Perry, R.,
2008), friction factor is a function only of the
Reynolds number when the pipe is smooth,
while relative roughness, /D is an additional
factor which affects the friction factor on rough
pipes. But friction factor is also affected by the
behavior of the flow. As such, there are different
correlations that may be used for the
approximation of friction factor for laminar or
turbulent flow, and it also depends if the pipe is
smooth or rough. As mentioned in the Perrys
Chemical Engineering Handbook (Green, D.,
Perry, R., 2008): For laminar flow, the HagenPoiseuille equation

f=

16

eqn. 1

turbulent fluid flow in rough pipes, the friction


factor may be expressed implicitly in the form of

1.256
=4 log
+
3.7 D f
f

eqn. 3

as the Colebrook formula, or explicitly in the


form of

1
0.27 7
=4 log
+
D

0.9

( )

eqn. 4

as the Churchill equation, both which can


approximate the friction factor when the
Reynolds number is greater than 4000. In this
study, in order to compute for the theoretical
friction factor, equation 4 will be used.
In order to compute for the friction
factor using experimental data, the Fanning
equation may be used (Gutierrez, C., Ngo, R.,
2005)

2 f u2 L
F=
gc D

eqn. 5

Where: F = fluid friction loss through the pipe


f = Fanning friction factor
u = velocity of the fluid
L = length of the pipe

may be used to approximate the friction factor in


the flow of a fluid when the Reynolds number is
less than 2100; The friction factor may be
approximated using the Blasius equation,

f=

0.079
0.25

eqn. 2

D = inside diameter of the pipe


gc = force-mass conversion factor
The objectives of the study are: to
determine the friction factor of the fluid moving
through a straight pipe; and to determine the
effect of Reynolds number and relative
roughness on the friction factor of the fluid flow.

for turbulent fluid flow in smooth pipes whose


Reynolds number is between 4000 to 105; As for

Experiment 02 Group No. 2

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EXPERIMENTAL SECTION

Isolate piping
system

prime and
start-up

Collection of
water

determine
temperature

Compute

compute %
error
repeat
procedure for
remaining
trials
Figure 1. Flow Diagram of Procedures
i.

Determination of Reynolds number

In order to determine the Reynolds number and


its effect, we first do the first step which is to
isolate the piping system and then begin to
prime and start-up the pump and by allowing the
water to pass through the pipeline, with these we
should obtain the length of the pipeline (in terms
of m) and then measure the amount of water (in

Experiment 02 Group No. 2

terms of m3) that has flown in a certain amount


of time, which is in this case one minute. The
velocity of water can be obtained by dividing the
length by the given time. By getting the
temperature of the water, properties of it like,
density and viscosity are obtained. With these
data, the Reynolds number is then computed.
i.

Determination of friction factor and


relative roughness

In order to compute for the theoretical friction


factor and relative roughness, the flow should
first be classified as laminar or turbulent. With
the reading of the manometer, we shall be able
to solve the mechanical energy lost due to
friction, F using equation

F=

p
g
=R m Hg 1

gc

)( )

eqn. 6

And lasty solve for the relative roughness of the


pipe and also the experimemtal friction factor
using equation 5 in order to compute for the %
error obtained. Six (6) trials were made, each
trial lasted for 60 seconds. The second column
of the table was obtained by taking the average
of the 6 trials made.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Table 1. Data and Results
Volumetric Flow Rate of the
Water, V
Velocity of the Water, u

6.33x10-4 m3/s

Inside Diameter of the pipe, D

0.006 m

Temperature of the Water

25oC

Density of the Water,

996.645 kg/m3

22.61 m/s

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Viscosity of the Water,

0.9015 x 10-3 cP

Reynolds Number, NRe

149977.6602

Manometer Reading, Rm

4.5 cmHg

Mechanical energy lost due to


friction, F
Length of the straight pipe, L
Roughness of the Pipe,
Relative Roughness of the Pipe,
/D
Experimental Fanning friction
factor, fexperimental
Theoretical Fanning friction
factor, ftheoretical
% error

552749.4 J/kg
0.46 m
0.0000457 m
7.6166x10-3
0.705164
8.8269 x 10-3
98.75%

As may be seen in table 1, the theoretical and the


experimental values of the fanning friction
factor was obtained. The first observed value in
the table is the volumetric flow rate. This was
obtained experimentally by getting the volume
of water discharged at a certain amount of time.
Dividing this volumetric flow rate by the crosssectional area of the pipe in which the fluid
flows, the velocity of the fluid may be
calculated. The temperature of water which was
flowing through the pipe was also obtained in
order to get its density and viscosity. Using the
inside diameter of the pipe used, density,
viscosity, and the velocity of fluid flowing, the
Reynolds number was then obtained. The
Reynolds number for both trials were found to
be greater than 4000, which means the fluid
flow is in the turbulent region. Since the flow is
turbulent and the pipe is considered to have
roughness, equation 4 may then be used in order
to compute for the theoretical friction factor. In
order to calculate the theoretical friction factor
using equation 4, the roughness, , should also
be known. The value for the roughness was

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obtained from Perrys Chemical Engineering


Handbook Table 6-1 which may be seen in table
2 in this report. The roughness of the pipe used
is assumed to be equal to the roughness of a
commercial steel which was found out to be
0.0457 mm.
In order to obtain the experimental value for the
friction factor, equations 5 and 6 should be used.
The manometer reading was also obtained
experimentally. Comparing the percentage errors
of the theoretical and experimental friction
factors, the percentage errors that were
computed were 98.75 and 98.89 percent for
trials 1 and 2 respectively. Causes of errors may
be: inaccurate reading, human errors, equipment
error, and fluid leakage.
It should also be noted that varying the
Reynolds number or relative roughness has an
effect to the friction factor of the fluid flow.
Based on equation 4, the following may be
observed: If the relative roughness remained
constant and the Reynolds number is increased,
the friction factor that may be obtained will
decrease; If the Reynolds number remained
constant, and the relative roughness of the
material increased, the friction factor that may
be obtained will also increase. As such, it may
be said that the friction factor is inversely
proportional to the Reynolds number and
directly proportional to the relative roughness of
the material.
Table 2. Perrys Chemical Engineering
Handbook (2008) Table 6-1: Values of Surface
Roughness for Various Materials
Material
Drawn tubing (brass, lead, glass, and the like)
Commercial steel or wrought iron
Asphalted cast iron
Galvanized iron
Cast iron
Wood stove
Concrete

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Surface Ro
0.00152
0.0457
0.122
0.152
0.259
0.183-0.91
0.305-3.05

Riveted steel
REFERENCES

CONCLUSION
The theoretical and experimental values for the
friction factor of fluid flowing through straight
pipe were obtained. Comparing the values
acquired for the experimental and theoretical
value for the friction factor, the percentage
errors computed are 98.75 and 98.89 percent for
trials 1 and 2 respectively. It should also be
noted that varying the Reynolds number or
relative roughness has an effect to the friction
factor of the fluid flow. Based on equation 4, the
following may be observed: If the relative
roughness remained constant and the Reynolds
number is increased, the friction factor that may
be obtained will decrease; If the Reynolds
number remained constant, and the relative
roughness of the material increased, the friction
factor that may be obtained will also increase.
As such, it may be said that the friction factor is
inversely proportional to the Reynolds number
and directly proportional to the relative
roughness of the material.

Experiment 02 Group No. 2

[1] eFunda Inc. (2014). Pipe Pressure Loss.


Retrieved
from:
http://www.efunda.com/formulae/fluids/
calc_pipe_friction.cfm
[2] Gutierrez, C., Ngo, R. (2005). Chemical
Engineering Laboratory Manual Part 1.
Philippines
[3] Green, D. and Perry, R. (2008). Perrys
Chemical Engineers Handbook, 8th
Edition.
[4] FishXing (2006). Darcy Friction Factor.
Retreieved
from:
http://www.fsl.orst.edu/geowater/FX3/h
elp/8_Hydraulic_Reference/Darcy_Frict
ion_Factor.htm
[5] Pipe Flow Software (2014). Friction Factor
Calculations.
Retrieved
from:
http://www.pipeflow.com/pipe-pressuredrop-calculations/pipe-friction-factors

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