Introduction to Pipe Flow: Summary

The answers to the ConcepTests are given below and will open in a separate window. 
Key points from this module:
  • The mechanical energy equation includes head loss which accounts for friction in the flow.
  • Major head losses consist of straight pipe while the minor losses take into account changes in the pipe, including bends and turns as well as valves, pumps, etc.
  • Friction factors can be determined from the Moody chart.
  • Energy from pumps and turbines must be included in the energy equation if they are part of a pipe system.
From studying this module, you should now 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.


Prepared by Janet deGrazia, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder