Interactive Self-Study Module: Introduction to Pipe Flow


This module uses screencasts to introduce the basic ideas of pipe flow. The concept of head loss is explained through equations and simple examples. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using interactive simulations, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencast.
  2. Watch the screencasts that provides an introduction to pipe flow.
  3. Review important equations for pipe flow.
  4. Try to solve the example problem before watching the solution in the screencast.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.
  6. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Many systems that chemical engineers work with involve pipe flow. In order to calculate important parameters in pipe flow, it is necessary to understand the underlying principles. 
  • This module is intended for a fluid mechanics course. 
Before studying this module, you should be able:
  • Change volumetric flow rate into velocity.
  • Explain the concept of the Reynolds number (Re) and be able to calculate it for a pipe.
  • Explain the difference between laminar and turbulent flow.
  • Use Bernoulli’s equation
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Use the Moody chart to find the friction factor.
  • Simplify the mechanical energy equation.
  • Explain how friction affects pipe flow.
  • Calculate major and minor head loss for both laminar and turbulent flow.