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The objective of the lab was to illustrate the influence of Reynold’s Number on pipe

flows. To illustrate this influence, six different Reynolds numbers were observes: two laminar

numbers (Re<2100), two transitional numbers (2100<Re<4000), and two turbulent numbers

(Re>4000). When a flow is laminar, the flow should be streamline. When a flow is turbulent,

the flow should be very chaotic and wavy. When a wave is transitional, it contains

characteristics from both turbulent and laminar flow. The figures taken at each Reynolds

number were fairly similar to the ideal images portrayed in figure 7. However, there were

several places where error could have occurred throughout the experiment.

Results

The necessary flow rates for each targeted Reynolds Numbers were calculated using

equations 1-3. With the targeted Reynolds Number along with mu, density, and diameter, the

velocity was able to be calculated using equation 1. From there, equation 2 was used to calculate

the area of the pipe and finally, equation 3 was used to calculate the necessary flow rate. This

process was repeated for each target Reynolds Number. The flow rates are recorded in Table 1

in the appendix and the images of the resulting flows are shown below in figures 1-6.

Figure 3: Transitional Flow at 2300

Analysis and Discussion

For this lab, the objective was to observe the influence that Reynolds number has on the

flow of fluids in a pipe. To observe the effects of Reynolds number, six different Reynolds

numbers were selected; 1200 and 1500 for laminar, 2300 and 3000 for transitional, and 4300 and

5000 for turbulent. The flow of the dies were to be compared to Figure 7 in the appendix. With a

number of 1200, the flow rate was 0.3635 GPM. The die flow is shown in Figure 1 above and

was pretty accurate to laminar; however, the farther the die traveled from the nozzle there was a

little disturbance in the flow. At 1500, the flow rate was 0.4543 GPM. This die flow was a little

less laminar than 1200; however, the flow would still be considered laminar, die flow is shown in

Figure 2. For transitional, the value used was 2300, which had a flow rate at 0.6967 GPM. This

was very accurate to the ideal transitional flow where the laminar flow is beginning to become a

little wavy, die flow is shown in Figure 3. At the second transitional number of 3000, the flow

rate was 0.9087 GPM, die flow shown in Figure 4. This die flow was a little in between

transitional and turbulent flow, because when compared to the ideal transitional flow the flow

was pretty wavy but not wavy enough to be considered turbulent. For turbulent, one value used

was 4300 with a flow rate of 1.3025 GPM, die flow shown in Figure 5. The die flow at 4300 was

the most accurate to the ideal turbulent flow, where the die flow was just passed transitional.

Finally, the last value for turbulence was 5000 with a flow rate of 1.5145 GPM, die flow shown

in Figure 6. This represents turbulence flow to an extreme when compared to the ideal turbulence

flow because the die is beginning to blend with water very early in the flow.

The reasons why all the flows did not match the ideal flows shown in Figure 7 was

because of a significant amount of errors in the system. The first error was related to the

Reynolds number directly. When calculating Reynolds number, the density of the fluid plays a

factor as shown in Equation 1 below. For this lab the density of the fluid, water, was kept

constant, which was not true. As the water ran in loops going through the motor and the pump

repeatedly, heat would have been added to the water by the pump which would have changed the

density of the water. Another factor that would have changed the density of the water was the die

being added to the water. The die would not have had the same density as water, so as more and

more die was blended with the water the density would have changed.

Another error in the system could have been from the vibrations from the motor. Even if

the vibrations were not serve, they could have caused enough disturbance in the flow of the

liquid to not allow the die flow to look ideal. A third potential error could have been related to

the water pump’s accuracy. If the water pump was not outputting the correct amount of fluid it

would have affected the flow of the fluid.

To better understand the nature of fluid flow, Z. Warhaft uses an example of water

coming out of a faucet. When a faucet is barely turned on the flow of the fluid would be low

speed and almost look glassy which would represent flow being laminar. Then for the opposite if

the faucet is turned on all the way the flow of the fluid would be high speed and the pattern of

the flow is always changing which would represent turbulence. So then through multiple

experiments Warhaft suggested that “...laminar flow occurs for low speeds, small diameters, low

densities and high viscosities, while turbulent flows occur for the opposite conditions: high

speeds, large diameters, high densities and low viscosities.” Then for transitional flow, it is just

the case of laminar changing to turbulence. (Z. Warhaft,1997)

The overall objective of this lab was to observe how Reynolds number and fluid flow

related to one another. Through observation, it can be concluded that as fluid flow increased

when the pipe diameter was held constant, Reynolds number will increase. Then if fluid flow is

increased enough, the fluid flow will change from laminar flow to turbulent flow. As depicted in

Figure 7, laminar flow occurs when Reynolds number is less than 2100, transitional flow occurs

between 2100 and 4000, and turbulence flow occurs at values greater than 4000. This lab proved

that Reynolds values held true, however because of error sources the results were not perfect. To

better improve the lab, the density of the water will have to be more accurate. By including the

density of the ink, it will help values become more accurate.

References

Department of Mechanical Engineering. ME 335 – Lab 5 Theory. Ames, IA: Iowa State

University.

Munson, Young and Okiishi’s Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 8th Edition. (2016).

Appendices

Figure 7: Laminar, Transitional, Turbulent Flows

Re = ρLV

μ

Equation 2: Area

A = π4 (D)2

Q=VA

Target Mu Density D (m) V Flowrate Flowrate Calculated

Re (N-s/m^2) (kg/m^3) (m/s) (m^3/s) (gpm)

Figure 8: Example Calculations