Abstract
This section presents equations for calculating the relationship between flow rate
and pressure drop for incompressible flow, twophase flow, compressible flow, and
gas flow at high pressure drop (choked flow).
Contents Page
410 Incompressible Flow 4002
411 Fitting Loss Coefficients
412 Pipe and Tube Friction Losses
420 Twophase Flow 4007
421 Pressure Drop Calculations
422 Friction Pressure Drop Correlations
423 Fitting and Bend Losses
424 Acceleration Pressure Loss
425 Elevation Losses
426 Accuracy of Friction Pressure Drop Calculation
427 Liquid Holdup Correlation
430 Compressible Flow 40017
440 Gas Flow At High Pressure Drop (Choked Flow) 40019
441 Assumptions
442 Use of Design Charts
443 Sonic Flow
444 Choked Flow
445 Temperature Variations
446 Effects of Valves and Fittings
447 Deviation from Assumptions
450 References 40025
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
(Eq. 4002)
where:
P = pressure drop, psi
W = mass flow rate, lbm/hr
= fluid density, lbm/ft3
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
0.526W
Re = 
D
(Eq. 4004)
where:
Re = Reynolds number
= absolute viscosity, cp
There are no sharp divisions between the laminar, transition, and turbulent flow
regimes. For design purposes, the recommended boundary between laminar and
transition flow is Re = 1600. The recommended boundary between transition and
turbulent flow is Re = 3400. These values provide relatively smooth transitions
between regimes for calculated friction factors, and produce conservative results
(tend to overpredict pressure drop) around the laminartotransition flow boundary.
The friction factor for laminar flow (Re < 1600) can be derived analytically
(without experimental components) to give:
f = 64/Re
(Eq. 4005)
The friction factor for transition flow (1600 < Re < 3400) cannot be predicted accu
rately. The following conservative value (overprediction) is recommended for most
cases:
f = 0.04
(Eq. 4006)
The Moody Diagram (Figure 4001) presents experimentally derived friction
factors for turbulent flow (Re 3400). In turbulent flow the friction factor is a func
tion of pipe roughness as well as the Reynolds number. At high Reynolds numbers
the friction factor is a function of only relative roughness (absolute roughness/diam
eter). Figure 4002 gives the relative roughness for various diameters and types of
pipe.
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
Fig. 4001 Moody Diagram Crane Technical Paper 410C, 1984, Flow of Fluids. Courtesy of Crane Valves
4004 2001 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved. March 2001
Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
Fig. 4002 Relative Pipe Roughness (/D) and Friction Factors (f) for Complete Turbulence Crane Technical Paper 410
C, 1984, Flow of Fluids. Courtesy of Crane Valves
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
Many equations have been proposed to approximate the Moody Diagram friction
factors. One of these is the Chen Equation (Equation 4007), which is simple, accu
rate, and stable when used on small computers:
2
f = 
2
4 log (A1A2)
10
(Eq. 4007)
where:

D
A1 = 
3.7065
5.0452
A2 =  log 10 ( A3 )
Re

1.1098

D 0.8981
A3 =  + 7.149
 
2.8257 Re
= absolute pipe roughness, ft
D = pipe diameter, ft

 = relative roughness
D
Where accurate performance data are required, pressure losses should be deter
mined by test. If test measurements are not possible, the friction factor can be found
with the Moody Diagram or calculated with the Chen Equation (Equation 4007).
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
Limitations
The method described here applies to isothermal gasliquid flow, not to situations in
which a phase change occurs; that is, constant gasliquid ratios (by weight) are
assumed.
This method has not been verified for very long vertical piping (such as in oil wells)
nor has the accuracy been established for horizontal piping more than 51/2 inches
in diameter. In these cases the method should be used with caution, for vertical
piping, PIPEPHASE will yield better results. In addition, the limited experimental
data available indicate that when the mixture velocity is less than 3 ft/sec the accu
racy of the friction pressure drop calculations is very poor.
This method is not fully applicable to flow of wateroilgas (WOG) mixtures
(socalled threephase flow). This case requires the more powerful calculation
methods of PIPEPHASE.
General References
Reference 1 (see Section 450) contains a more detailed discussion of twophase
flow. Reference 2 contains an extensive bibliography of twophase literature.
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The five most widely used correlations are compared in Reference 3 using experi
mental data from a number of investigators. The data were carefully screened to
eliminate unreliable measurements. The screened data, about 2600 points in all,
cover pipe diameters from 1 to 51/2 inches and liquid viscosities from 1 to
20 centipoise. Of the five the most reliable correlation over this range of experi
mental conditions was the LockhartMartinelli correlation (see Reference 4).
Another somewhat better correlation with the screened experimental data was
achieved using similarity analysis (see Reference 5). This method is based on calcu
lating a twophase density, tp, and viscosity, tp, evaluated at the pipe entrance
pressure and temperature and assumed constant for the friction and fitting pressure
drop calculation, as follows:
tp = l () + g (1.0  )
(Eq. 4009)
tp = l () + g (1.0  )
(Eq. 40010)
where:
= fluid density, lbm/ft3
= absolute viscosity, cp
tp = twophase
l = liquid phase
g = gas phase
= liquid volume fraction at pipe entrance
Equations 4009 and 40010 assume that both phases flow at the same velocity.
The twophase Reynolds number Retp is expressed as follows:
V m D tp 0.527W t
Re tp =  = 
tp D tp

1490
(Eq. 40011)
where:
Vm = velocity of mixture, ft/sec
D = pipe inside diameter, ft
Wt = mass flow rate of total fluid, lbm/hr
For new steel pipe, twophase Reynolds numbers should be used with the Moody
diagram (Figure 4001) to determine the friction factor f. If different pipe condi
tions exist or a more accurate determination is desired, the Colebrook formula
(Equation 40012) may be used.
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
1 2.51
 = 2 log 10  + 
f 3.7D Re tp f
(Eq. 40012)
where:
= absolute pipe wall roughness, ft
The need to proceed by trial and error is an inconvenience when using this equation
for hand calculation, but a computer or Moody chart eliminates this problem. The
equation reduces to the smooth tube equation when the wall roughness (left term in
bracket) approaches zero or to Nikuradses Formula at high Reynolds numbers
(when the right term in bracket approaches zero). The same absolute wall rough
ness, , should be used for both singlephase and twophase flow calculations. The
pressure drop due to friction may then be calculated as follows:
2
L tp V m
P friction = f   
D 144 2g o
2
11 L Wt
= 1.35 10 f  
D tp
5
(Eq. 40013)
where:
P = pressure drop, psi
f = friction factor
L = pipe length, ft
go = gravitational constant (32.174 lbm ft/lbf sec2)
Wl = flow rate of liquid, lbm/hr
Wg = flow rate of gas, lbm/hr
Wt = Wl + Wg
This method of calculating friction pressure drop has the following characteristics:
It reduces to the singlephase flow equations if the flow rate of either phase is
zero.
Except for the assumptions concerning twophase density and viscosity (Equa
tions 4009 and 40010), no empirical factors from twophase flow data have
been used.
It is reasonably accurate for all flow patterns (see Section 426).
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
The actual flow density depends on how the liquid and gas are distributed in the
pipe. The flow density in a short section of pipe of length L is given by
Equation 40016:
LA g g + LA 1 1
tp =  = R g g + R 1 1
LA
(Eq. 40016)
where:
= actual density in pipe section
Ag = area gas
Al = area liquid
Rg = gas volume fraction
Rl = liquid holdup
Rg is the fractional volume of the pipe filled with gas and Rl is the fractional volume
of the pipe filled with liquid. Rl is called liquid holdup (see Equation 40022).
Because of the difference in velocity of the two phases, liquid holdup is greater
downstream than at the entrance. Therefore, to calculate the actual flow density, the
liquid holdup Rl has to be known along the pipe. The available correlations for
liquid holdup were checked against experimental data from Reference 3. The corre
lation developed by Hughmark (see Reference 7, and below in this section, Liquid
Holdup Correlation) was the best.
The effects of bends and fittings on liquid holdup and, therefore, the flow density
cannot be predicted at this time. Therefore, it is assumed that the same holdup corre
lation can be used even if the pipe contains bends and fittings.
In twophase flow, as in singlephase flow, the elevation head loss is expressed as
follows:
tp
P elevation =  h
144
(Eq. 40017)
where:
h = static elevation, ft
The flow density is calculated using Equation 40016, where the gas density is eval
uated at the average pressure. The elevation pressure drop term is included only in
vertical upward flow.
A conservative evaluation of acceleration pressure loss for vertical downward flow
cannot take credit for the elevation pressure component in the downward section.
Therefore, sections where the flow is downward should be treated as horizontal
piping. No provisions have been made to handle inclined piping.
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
P calc P exp
%dev =  100
P exp
(Eq. 40018)
Figure 4006 can be used to estimate the accuracy of a calculated friction pressure
drop for any flow regime. For example, the calculated friction pressure drop for
horizontal slug flow is within 18.0 to +12.0 percent of the actual value.
Equation 40018 may be restated as follows:
P calc
P exp = 
% dev
1 + 
100
(Eq. 40019)
Based on the range of deviation for horizontal slug flow, the actual value of a calcu
lated pressure drop of 10 psi would be (approximately) between the following
values:
10
P =  = 12.2 psi
1 + ( 0.18 )
(Eq. 40020)
and
10
P =  = 8.9 psi
1 + 0.12
(Eq. 40021)
A comparison between calculated and experimental friction pressure drop for
vertical flow is not available.
40012 2001 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved. March 2001
Fig. 4003 Flow Pattern Map for Horizontal TwoPhase Flow O. Baker: Multiphase Flow in Pipelines Nov. 1958. Courtesy of the Oil and Gas Journal
March 2001
Fig. 4005 Calculated vs. Experimental Frictional Pressure DropHorizontal Flow Dukler,
Wicks and Cleveland, Frictional Pressure Drop in TwoPhase Flow: A Compar
ison of Existing Correlations for Pressure Loss and Holdup. From AlChE Journal
Vol. 10, #1m 1964. Used by permission.
Flow Regime Range of Deviation (%)
Plug 22.3 to 2.3
Stratified 25.3 to +24.7
Wave 21.0 to +39.0
Slug 17.9 to +12.1
Annular 59.2 to +15.8
Dispersed 24.4 to +30.6
Bubble not given
Fig. 4006 Correlation for the Flow Pattern Y From Holdup in GasLiquid Flow by G.A. Hughmark, Chemical Engi
neering Progress, Vol. 58, April, 1962, p. 62
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
The relationship between the flow parameter Y and the gas volume fraction Rg
assumes that Rg is distributed radially across the pipe, with the largest value at the
center. The relationship is expressed in terms of the gas volume fraction Rg and
liquid holdup Rl, as follows:
Y
R g = 1 R 1 = 
g 1
  1 + 1
X 1
(Eq. 40022)
The variable X in Equation 40022 is defined as follows:
1 1
6 8
Re Fr
X = 
1
4
(Eq. 40023)
where:
Fr = Froude number = V2/Dg
= liquid volume fraction at pipe entrance
D = diameter, ft
g = gravitational constant (32.174 ft/sec2)
The dimensionless numbers used in the variable X are shown in Equations 40024
and 40025.
D Gm

( R1 1 + Rg g )
Re = 
1490
(Eq. 40024)
where:
Gm = tpVm
= mass velocity mixture (lbm/ft2sec)
Re Retp (from Equation 40011)
2 2
Vm ( ( Q1 + Qg ) A )
F r =  = 
gD gD
(Eq. 40025)
W1 1 Q1
=  = 
W1 1 + Wg g Q1 + Qg
(Eq. 40026)
where:
= specific volume
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
The calculation procedure is to evaluate Re, Fr, and using Equations 40024,
40025, and 40026. The variable X is then evaluated using Equation 40023, and
the flow parameter Y is determined from Figure 4005. Using the flow parameter Y,
the liquid holdup is found from Equation 40022. An iterative calculation is required
since the gas density used in Equation 40022 is evaluated at the average pressure.
The gas volume flow rate Qg used in Equations 40025 and 40026 is the inlet value
evaluated using the inlet density.
The actual flow density calculated using Equation 40016 is then used to determine
the elevation pressure drop in upwards vertical flow.
The deviation between the calculated (Figure 4006) and experimental
(Reference 3) values of the liquid holdup varies by 25%. For vertical flow not as
much experimental data are available. For the available data the deviation between
experimental and calculated liquid holdup does not exceed 10 percent (see
Section 450, Reference 7).
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
(Eq. 40027)
where:
Q = flow rate, SCFD
To = standard absolute temperature, R
Po = standard pressure, psia
D = pipe ID, in.
P1 = upstream pressure, psia
P2 = downstream pressure, psia
S = fluid specific gravity (air = 1)
T = fluid absolute temperature, R
L = length of pipeline, miles
C1 through C7 = constants as shown in Figure 4007
This equation can be derived from basic pressure drop relations, but in the literature
it is often presented in simplified form with certain empirical components. The two
most widely accepted forms are the Weymouth Equation and the Panhandle Equa
tion.
The Weymouth Equation, in which friction is a function of the diameter, applies at
high Reynolds numbers. The Panhandle Equation, in which friction is a function of
the Reynolds number, applies at lower Reynolds numbers. The break point is
defined as follows:
Re = 9031D2.449
(Eq. 40028)
where:
D = inside diameter, in.
The constants (C1 through C7) for the Weymouth and Panhandle equations are
shown in Figure 4007 both as presented in the literature and as derived without
empirical components.
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
0.41P r A 8
= 1  + ( 0.29 ) P (From Source 4.)
4.04 r
Tr
Accurate within 10% if Pr<0.8 and Tr>1.0
or if Pr>0.8 and Tr>1.1
A = Tr16
Tr = T/Tc
Tc = critical temperature, R
T = operating temperature,R
Pr = P/Pc
Pc = critical pressure, psia
P = operating pressure, psia
Sources:
(1) Natural Gas Processors Suppliers Association, Engineering Data Book, 1972.
(2) Derived by W.A. Ebert, Chevron Engineering Department, 1984.
(3) Baumeister and Marks, eds., Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, McGrawHill, 1967.
(4) Heat Transfer Research Inc., Computer Program Support Volume, pg. E147, 1976.
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
441 Assumptions
The charts in Figure 40010 (and Lapples analysis) are based on the following
assumptions:
The friction factor (f) is constant along the length of the pipe.
For the entire range of each chart, either the Perfect Gas Law applies or the
compressibility factor (Z) and the ratio of specific heats (K) of the gases are
constant.
The charts are based on horizontal flow through constant crosssectional area.
The design charts in Figure 40010 are used when upstream conditions (usually
static conditions within a vessel or reservoir) are known and either the discharge
rate or downstream pressure are required for a given pipe size. In Figure 4009, the
typical problem is to determine mass flow rate G or pressure P2, given P0, T0, P3, L,
and D. The velocity at Section 0 is assumed to be zero.
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
In Figure 40029, flow rates are expressed as a ratio of the actual mass velocity, G,
to a hypothetical maximum isothermal mass velocity through a nozzle, Gmax. Thus,
it is first necessary to calculate Gmax from known conditions:
(Eq. 40029)
where:
G = mass velocity, lbm/ft2sec
gc = conversion factor (32.17 lbm ft/lbf sec2)
MW = molecular weight, lbm/mole
e = base of natural logarithm (2.718)
R = gas constant, 1546 ftlbf/lbmoleR
T = absolute temperature, R, at location designated by subscript
P = absolute pressure, lbf/ft2, at location designated by subscript
V = specific volume, ft3/lbm, at location designated by subscript
The friction factor (f) must also be established (see Section 410) prior to using the
charts, although variations in f affect the answer very little. The initial value of f is
usually assumed to be 0.0143 for gas flow.
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400 Friction Pressure Drop Fluid Flow Manual
Fig. 40010 Design Charts for Gas Flow at High Pressure Drop (1 of 2) Perry and Chilton, Engineers Handbook, 5th
Ed. Used by permission of The McGrawHill Companies.
1. To use design charts in Figure 40010:
a. Calculate an overall effective length L of straight pipe of diameter D, including equivalent length for valve and
fitting losses (see Section 500).
b. Assume a friction factor f for gas flow (usually assumed 0.0143) and calculate fL/D parameter.
c. Calculate the hypothetical maximum mass velocity, Gmax, from
g c P o 0.5 g c MW
0.5
lb m
G =  = P o  
max ev o eRT o ft 2 sec
40022 2001 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved. March 2001
Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
Fig. 40010 Design Charts for Gas Flow at High Pressure Drop (2 of 2) Perry and Chilton, Engineers Handbook, 5th
Ed. Used by permission of The McGrawHill Companies.
g P 0.5 g MW 0.5 lb
c o c m
G max =  = Po 
 
ev o eRT o 2
ft sec
March 2001 2001 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved. 40023
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Fluid Flow Manual 400 Friction Pressure Drop
450 References
1. Scott, D. S. Properties of Concurrent GasLiquid Flow. Advances in Chemical
Engineering, Vol. 4, p.199. New York: Academic Press, 1963.
2. Gouse, W. S., Jr. An Index to the TwoPhase GasLiquid Flow Literature. MIT
Report No. 9. MIT Press, 1966.
3. Dukler, A. E., M. Wicks III, and R. G. Cleveland. Frictional Pressure Drop in
TwoPhase Flow: A. A Comparison of Existing Correlations for Pressure Loss
and Holdup. AIChE Journal 10 (1964), p. 38.
4. Lockhart, R. W., and R. C. Martinelli. Proposed Correlation of Data for
Isothermal TwoPhase, TwoComponent Flow in Pipes. Chemical Engineering
Progress, 45 (1949), p. 39.
5. Dukler, A. E., M. Wicks III, and R. G. Cleveland. Frictional Pressure Drop in
TwoPhase Flow: B. An Approach Through Similarity Analysis. AIChE Journal
10 (1964), p. 44.
6. Streeter, V. L. Fluid Mechanics. 2nd Edition. New York: McGrawHill, 1958.
7. Hughmark, G. A. Holdup in GasLiquid Flow. Chemical Engineering Progress
Vol. 58 (April 1962), p. 62.
8. Baker, O. Multiphase Flow in Pipelines. Oil and Gas Journal, 10 (Nov, 1958).
9. Griffith, P., and G. B. Wallis. TwoPhase Slug Flow. Journal of Heat Transfer,
Transactions of ASME Series C 83 (Aug 1961), p. 307.
10. California Research Corporation Standard Technical Books. California
Research Corporation, Richmond, California, 1960.
11. Marks Mechanical Engineers Handbook. 6th Edition. New York: McGraw
Hill, 1958.
12. Perrys Chemical Engineers Handbook. 4th Edition. New York: McGrawHill,
1963.
13. Technical Data Book  Petroleum Refining. New York: American Petroleum
Institute, Division of Refining, 1966.
14. S I Engineering Data Book. Tulsa: Gas Processors Suppliers Association, 1987.
15. Lapple, C.E. Isothermal and Adiabatic Flow of Compressible Fluids. Transac
tions of AIChE, Vol. 39 (1943), pp. 385432.
16. Loeb, M. B. Graphical Solution of Compressible Fluid Flow Problems.
NASA/Kennedy Space Center Document TR256D, 1965.
17. Loeb, M. B. New Graphics for Solving Compressible Flow Problems. Chem
ical Engineering, Vol. 76, No. 11 (May 19, 1969).
18. Shapiro, A. H. The Dynamics and Thermodynamics of Compressible Fluid
Flow, Vol. I. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1953.
March 2001 2001 Chevron USA Inc. All rights reserved. 40025
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