Pressure-loss coefficient of 90 degrees sharp-angled mitre elbows

[+] Author and Article Information
Wameedh Al-Tameemi

Ph.D. student, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; Reconstruction and Projects Office, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Baghdad, Iraq

Pierre Ricco

Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038986 History: Received August 26, 2017; Revised December 12, 2017


The pressure drop across 90 degrees sharp-angled mitre elbows connecting straight circular pipes is studied in a bespoke experimental facility by using water and air as working fluids flowing in the range of bulk Reynolds number 500<R e<60000. To the best of our knowledge, the dependence on the Reynolds number of the pressure drop across the mitre elbow scaled by the dynamic pressure, i.e. the pressure-loss coefficient K , is reported herein for the first time. The coefficient is shown to decrease sharply with the Reynolds number up to about Re=20000 and, at higher Reynolds numbers, to approach mildly a constant K =0.9, which is about 20% lower than the currently reported value in the literature. We quantify this relation and the dependence between K and the straight-pipe friction factor at the same Reynolds number through two new empirical correlations, which will be useful for the design of piping systems fitted with these sharp elbows. The pressure drop is also expressed in terms of the scaled equivalent length, i.e. the length of a straight pipe that would produce the same pressure drop as the elbow at the same Reynolds number.

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