Laminar Flow and Turbulent Flow of Fluids

May 8th, 2015
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When a fluid flows through a pipe the internal roughness (e) of the pipe wall can create local eddy currents within the fluid adding a resistance to flow of the fluid. Pipes with smooth walls such as glass, copper, brass and polyethylene have only a small effect on the frictional resistance. Pipes with less smooth walls such as concrete, cast iron and steel will create larger eddy currents which will sometimes have a significant effect on the frictional resistance.

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fluidLaminar Flow and Turbulent Flow of FluidsResistance to flow in a pipeWhen a fluid flows through a pipe the internal roughness (e) of the pipe wall can create local eddy currents within the fluid adding a resistance to flow of the fluid. Pipes with smooth walls such as glass, copper, brass and polyethylene have only a small effect on the frictional resistance. Pipes with less smooth walls such as concrete, cast iron and steel will create larger eddy currents which will sometimes have a significant effect on the frictional resistance.The velocity profile in a pipe will show that the fluid at the centre of the stream will move more quickly than the fluid towards the edge of the stream. Therefore friction will occur between layers within the fluid.Fluids with a high viscosity will flow more slowly and will generally not support eddy currents and therefore the internal roughness of the pipe will have no effect on the frictional resistance. This condition is known as laminar flow.Reynolds NumberThe Reynolds number (Re) of a flowing fluid is obtained by dividing the kinematic viscosity (viscous force per unit length) into the inertia force of the fluid (velocity x diame

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