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Pressure Loss in Pipe Neutrium

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PRESSURE LOSS IN PIPE
SUMMARY
To determine the pressure loss or flowrate through pipe knowledge of the friction
between the fluid and the pipe is required. This article describes how to

incorporate friction into pressure loss or fluid flow calculations. It also outlines

several methods for determining the Darcy friction factor for rough and smooth
pipes in both he turbulent and laminar flow regime. Finally this article discusses
which correlation for pressure loss in pipe is the most appropriate.

1. DEFINITIONS
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: Absolute Roughness

Dh

: Hydraulic Diameter

Rh

: Hydraulic Radius
: Darcy Friction Factor

f
f

: Fanning Friction Factor

: Pipe Diameter

/D

: Relative Roughness

Re

: Reynolds Number

: Length of Pipe

hf

: Head loss due to friction

: Average Velocity

: Gravity

: Pressure

: Density

2. INTRODUCTION
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Pressure loss in piping without any size changes or fittings occurs due to friction
between the fluid and the pipe walls. There have been a number of methods
developed to describe this relationship; generally a friction factor is used to

determine the pressure loss. The most important methods of determining this
friction factor are described in this article.

The key influences on the pressure drop as a fluid moves through a pipe are
Reynolds Number of the fluid and the roughness of the pipe.

2.1 Friction Factors: Fanning and Darcy


There are two common friction factors in use, the Darcy and Fanning friction

factors. The Darcy friction factor is also known as the DarcyWeisbach friction
factor or the Moody friction factor. It is important to understand which friction
factor is being described in an equation or chart to prevent error in pressure loss,
or fluid flow calculation results.

The difference between the two friction factors is that the value of the Darcy

friction factor is 4 times that of the Fanning friction factor. In all other aspects

they are identical, and by applying the conversion factor of 4 the friction factors
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may be used interchangeably.


f = 4f F

Unless stated otherwise the Darcy friction factor is used in this article.

2.2 Head Loss and Pressure Loss Darcy Friction Factor


Head Loss:

hf = f

2g

Pressure Drop:
L

p = f

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3. METHODS OF DETERMINING THE DARCY FRICTION FACTOR


The Darcy friction factor may be determined by either using the appropriate
friction factor correlation, or by reading from a Moody Chart.

The Darcy friction factor is a dimensionless number; the pipe roughness and the

pipe diameter which are used to determine the friction factor should be
dimensionally consistent (e.g. use roughness and diameter both measured in mm,
or both measured in inches)

3.1 Moody Chart

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3.2 Which method should I use to calculate the Darcy Friction Factor?
There are many relationships available to determine the Darcy friction factor.
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Here we discuss the practicality and accuracy of applying these methods.

Different methods of determining the friction factor as used depending on the


flow regime of the fluid, as determined by the Reynolds Number .

3.3 Laminar Flow


In the laminar flow regime the Darcy Equation may be used to determine the
friction factor (see 2.2). (put links in here)

3.4 Transitional Flow


In the transitional flow regime the inconsistency of the flow patterns make the

prediction of friction factor impossible. No relationships are available to


adequately describe this flow regime.

3.5 Turbulent Flow Regime


In the turbulent flow regime the Colebrook equation (See 2.3) is widely accepted

for describing the Darcy friction factor. The only drawback to using this equation
is that it is implicit, and will require iteration to solve. Where iteration is possible
and there are no constraints on computation speed, calculation via the Colebrook
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equation is appropriate.
If calculating by hand calculator or by computer where iteration is difficult
Serghides equation (See 2.4) is most appropriate as it is explicit and has very low
error (less than 0.003%).

It should be noted that more accurate approximations of the Colebrook equation


have been proposed but generally the increased accuracy is not required. The

error introduced in approximating the Colebrook equation using Serghides


equation is likely to be many orders of magnitude less than error from other

sources (such as uncertainty in pipe roughness or the uncertainty in the original


data from which the Colebrook equation was produced).

4. FRICTION FACTOR EQUATIONS


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Here we detail some of the most common relationship for the Darcy friction
factor for reference. For a discussion of the most appropriate relationships to use
see above.

4.1 Darcy Equation


The Darcy equation describes the Darcy friction factor for laminar flow. If this
equation is substituted into the Pressure loss equation above it is also known as
Poiseuilles law or the HagenPoiseuille law.
for Re < 2100

64
f =
Re

4.2 Colebrooks Equation


Also known as the Colebrook-White Equation. This equation was developed

taking into account experimental results for the flow through both smooth and
rough pipe. It is valid only in the turbulent regime for fluid filled pipes. It is
widely accepted and most of the relationships discussed in this article are merely
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explicit approximations for this relationship. Due to the implicit nature of this
equation it must be solved iteratively. A result of suitable accuracy for almost all
industrial applications will be achieved in less than 10 iterations.
The Colebrook equation may be calculated as follows:
for Re < 2300 and Re > 4000

1
f

= 2log 10 (

/Dh
3.7

2.51
)

+
Ref

4.3 Serghides Equation


The Serghides equation is an approximation of the Colebrook equation use to

solve for the Darcy friction factor explicitly. It is applied to fluid flowing in a
filled circular pipe. The equation is presented using 3 intermediate values for
simplicity. It provides and explicit approximation for the Colebrook equation that

is highly accurate over a wide range of values for both surface roughness and
Reynolds number. This method will result in errors of less than 0.003% in the
ranges: Reynolds number 4000-1x1010, relative roughness 1x10-7 1.
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The friction factor from the Serghide's approximation may be calculated from
following set of equations:

for Re < 2300 and Re > 4000

/D
A = 2log 10 (

12

3.7

Re

/D
B = 2log 10 (

2.51A
)

+
3.7

Re

/D
C = 2log 10 (

2.51B
)

+
3.7

Re
2

(B A)
f = (A

)
C 2B + A

4.4 Chens Equation


Chens equation is an approximation of the Colebrook equation used to solve for

the Darcy friction factor explicitly. It is applied to fluid flowing in a filled circular
pipe.

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The friction factor from Chen's approximation may be calculated as follows:


/D

= 2log

10

1.1098

(/D)

5.0452

3.7065

log
Re

10

5.5806
+

2.8257

0.8981

))

Re

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4.5 Zigrang & Sylvesters Equation


Zigrang & Sylvesters equation is an approximation of the Colebrook equation use

to solve for the Darcy friction factor explicitly. It is applied to fluid flowing in a
filled circular pipe.

/D

1
f

= 2log 10 (

3.7

/D

5.02

Re

log 10 (

12
))

+
3.7

Re

4.6 Haaland Equation


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The Haaland equation is an approximation of the Colebrook equation use to solve

for the Darcy friction factor explicitly. It is applied to fluid flowing in a filled
circular pipe and may be calculated as follows:
for Re < 2300 and Re > 4000

/D

1
f

= 1.8log 10 (

6.9
)

+
3.7

Re

4.7 Swamee-Jain Equation


The Swamee-Jain equation is an approximation of the Colebrook equation used to

solve for the Darcy friction factor explicitly. It is applied to fluid flowing in a
filled circular pipe and may be calculated as follows:
for Re < 2300 and Re > 4000

0.25
f =

/D
log 10 (

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5.74

3.7

Re

0.9

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4.8 Churchill Equation


The Churchill equation combines both the expressions for friction factor in both
the laminar and turbulent flow regimes. It is accurate to within the error of the

data used to construct the Moody diagram. This model also provides an estimate

for the intermediate (transition) region, however this should be used with
caution.

The Churchill equation shows very good agreement with the Darcy equation for
laminar flow, accuracy through the transitional flow regime is unknown, in the

turbulent regime a difference of around 0.5-2% is observed between the Churchill


equation and the Colebrook equation.

for Re < 2100 and Re > 4000

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1/12

12

8
f = 8[(

1
+

Re

1.5

(A + B)

16

A = 2.457ln

1
0.9

7
(

+ 0.27

Re

16

37, 530
B = (

)
Re


ARTICLE TAGS
Flow Regime
Pipe Diameter

Fluid Flow

Laminar Flow

Pipe

Pressure Drop Pressure Loss Reynolds Number

Transitional Flow

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Friction Factor

Roughness

Turbulent Flow

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Article Created: April 29, 2012

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