This apparatus is designed to allow the detailed study of the fluid friction head losses which occur when an incompressible fluid flows through pipes, bends, valves and pipe flow metering devices. Friction head losses in straight pipes of different sizes can be investigated over a range of Reynolds’ numbers from 103 to nearly 5000, there by covering the laminar, transitional and turbulent flow regimes in smooth pipes. In addition, an artificially roughened pipe is supplied which, at the higher Reynolds’ numbers, shows a clear departure from the typical smooth bore pipe characteristics. Pipe friction is one of the classic laboratory experiments and has always found a place in the practical teaching of fluid mechanics.
The results and underlying principles are of the greatest importance to engineers in the aeronautical, civil, mechanical, marine, agricultural and hydraulic fields. Osborne Reynolds distinguished between laminar and turbulent flow in pipes in his publication in 1883. Ludwig Prandtl, Thomas Stanton and Paul Blasius later analysed pipe flow data in the early part of this century and produced the plot known as the Stanton diagram. John Nikuradse extended the work to cover the case of rough pipes and one such pipe supplied with this equipment has been roughened for flow comparison purposes. In addition to the equipment for the study of losses in straight pipes, a wide range of accessories is available including pipe fittings and control valves, a venturi tube, pitot tube and an orifice plate assembly.