## Turbulent flow in pipes

**INTRODUCTION:** Most flows encountered in engineering practice are turbulent, and thus it is important to understand how turbulence affects wall shear stress. However, turbulent flow is a complex mechanism dominated by fluctuations, and despite tremendous amounts of work done in this area by researchers, the theory of turbulent flow remains largely undeveloped. Therefore, we must rely on experiments and the empirical or semi-empirical correlations developed for various situations

Turbulent flow is characterized by random and rapid fluctuations of swirling fluid particles, called eddies, throughout the flow. These fluctuations provide an additional mechanism for momentum and energy transfer. In laminar flow, fluid particles flow in an orderly manner along streamlines, and momentum and energy are transferred across streamlines by molecular diffusion. In turbulent flow, the swirling eddies transport mass, momentum, and energy to other regions of flow much more rapidly than molecular diffusion, greatly enhancing mass, momentum, and heat transfer. As a result, turbulent flow is associated with much higher values of friction, heat transfer, and mass transfer coefficients.

Even when the mean flow is steady, the eddy motion in turbulent flow causes significant fluctuations in the values of velocity, temperature, pressure, and even density (in compressible flow). Figure 14–20 shows the variation of the instantaneous velocity component u with time at a specified location, as can be measured with a hot-wire anemometer probe or other sensitive device. We observe that the instantaneous values of the velocity fluctuate about a mean value, which suggests that the velocity can be expressed as the sum of a mean value and a fluctuating component u’.

**Turbulent Shear Stress: **Consider turbulent flow in a horizontal pipe, and the upward eddy motion of fluid particles in a layer of lower velocity to an adjacent layer of higher velocity through a differential area dA as a result of the velocity fluctuation υ, The mass flow rate of the eddying fluid particles through dA is rυ

dA, and its net effect on the layer above dA is a reduction in its mean flow velocity because of momentum transfer to the fluid particles with lower mean flow velocity. This momentum transfer will cause the horizontal velocity of the fluid particles to increase by u, and thus its momentum in the horizontal direction to increase at a rate of (rυ dA) u , which must be equal to the decrease in the momentum of the upper fluid layer.

**Turbulent Velocity Profile:** Unlike laminar flow, the expressions for the velocity profile in a turbulent flow are based on both analysis and measurements, and thus they are semi empirical in nature with constants determined from experimental data. Consider fully developed turbulent flow in a pipe, and let u denote the time-averaged velocity in the axial direction (and thus drop the over bar from for simplicity)

Flow characteristics are quite different in different regions, and thus it is difficult to come up with an analytic relation for the velocity profile for the entire flow as we did for laminar flow. The best approach in the turbulent caseturns out to be to identify the key variables and functional forms using dimensional analysis, and then to use experimental data to determine the numerical values of any constants.

We would expect the velocity profile in this layer to be very nearly linear, and experiments confirm that. Then the velocity gradient in the viscous sub layer remains constant at du/dy , u/y, and the wall shear stress can be expressed as