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Types of Fluid Flow in Pipes: Laminar, Turbulent, Transient

Types of Fluid Flow in Pipes –

A pipe is a cylindrical structure having a circular cross-sectional area. Pipes are used in almost all the industries and even in our houses. In our houses, we use pipes for the supply of water, supply of gas, elimination of wastes and much more.
There are two different types of fluid flow in pipes. They are as follows –

1. Steady Flow –

In the steady flow type of fluid, the velocity of the fluid remains constant when measured at any point. This type of fluid flow is known as Steady Flow.

2. Unsteady Flow –

In the unsteady flow type of fluid, the velocity of the fluid do not remain constant and a variation can be seen when you measure the flow of a fluid at any particular point. We can conclude that the velocity of the fluid at two different points will not be always the same in unsteady fluid flow. This type of fluid flow is known as Unsteady Flow.
We can represent the different types of fluid flow in three ways. They are as follows –

1. Laminar Flow


2. Turbulent Flow


3. Transitional Flow

 

Laminar Flow –

 
When a fluid flows from one place to another place through a pipe, it flows in layers. When there is no mixing of fluid between these layers, the type of fluid flow is known as Laminar Flow. In this type of fluid flow, the center layer or the center part of the fluid flows the fastest and the layer which touches the cylinder will move the least and sometimes will not move at all.
The speed of the fluid in particular layers will not be changed until or unless there is a change in the input fluid speed. This flow is considered as laminar flow according to the results from the Reynolds number, when it is less than 2,300.

Turbulent Flow –

 
When a fluid flows from one place to another place through a pipe, it flows in layers. When there is mixing of fluid from different layers, the type of fluid flow is known as Turbulent Flow.
The speed of the fluid at two different points are continuously changing and will never be constant. Frankly speaking, the flow or speed of fluid at any point is not constant and continuously changes its magnitude and direction without any considerations. The flow is said to be Turbulent flow if the Reynolds number is greater than 4,000.

Transitional Flow –

The Transitional flow is a special type of flow which is a combination of both Laminar flow and Turbulent flow. It can be represented clearly like the Laminar flow in the layers touching the cylinder and the Turbulent flow in the layers middle of the laminar flow.
The Transitional flow can be calculated using different formulae and there are even different formulae to predict their behavior. The type of flow is said to be Transitional flow if the Reynolds number is in the range of 2,300 to 4,000.
These are the different types of fluid flows in a pipe.

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