An Improvement in the Calculation of Turbulent Friction in Rectangular Ducts

[+] Author and Article Information
O. C. Jones

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Department of Applied Science, Upton, N. Y.

J. Fluids Eng 98(2), 173-180 (Jun 01, 1976) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3448250 History: Received August 15, 1975; Online October 12, 2010


Frictional pressure drop in rectangular ducts is examined. Using correspondence between theory and experiment in laminar flow as a means for acceptance of published data, turbulent flow data for smooth rectangular ducts were compared with smooth circular tube data. Data for ducts having aspect ratios between unity and 39:1 were obtained in the literature and, in conjunction with new experimental data, were examined for deviations from the smooth circular tube line (smooth Moody). It was found that at constant Reynolds number based on hydraulic diameter the friction factor increases monotonically with increasing aspect ratio. It was thus concluded that the hydraulic diameter is not the proper length dimension to use in the Reynolds number to insure similarity between the circular and rectangular ducts. Instead, it was determined that if a modified Reynolds number Re* was obtained so that geometric similarity was provided in laminar flow by the relation f = 64/Re* for all geometries, that this Reynolds number also provided good similarity in fully developed turbulent flow within a ∼ 5 percent scatter band about the smooth tube line. By using this “laminar equivalent” Reynolds number, Re*, it is demonstrated that circular tube methods may be readily applied to rectangular ducts eliminating large errors in estimation of friction factor.

Copyright © 1976 by ASME
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