Laminar Flow and Digital Flowmeters: An Explanation On How To Achieve Laminar Flow

When I see turbulent flow vs. laminar flow I vaguely remember my fluid dynamics class at the University of Cincinnati.  A lot of times when one thinks about the flow of a liquid or compressed gas within a pipe they want to believe that it is always going to be laminar flow. This, however, is not true and there is quite a bit of science that goes into this.  Rather than me start with Reynolds number and go through flow within pipes I have found this amazing video from a Mechanical Engineering Professor in California. Luckily for us, they bookmarked some of the major sections. Watch from around the 12:00 mark until around the 20:00 mark. This is the good stuff.

The difference between entrance flow, turbulent flow and laminar flow is shown ideally at around the 20:00 mark.  This length of piping that is required in order to achieve laminar flow is one of the main reasons our Digital Flowmeters are required to be installed within a rigid straight section of pipe that has no fittings or bends for 30 diameters in length of the pipe upstream with 5 diameters of pipe in length downstream.

This is so the meter is able to measure the flow of compressed air at the most accurate location due to the fully developed laminar flow. As long as the pipe is straight and does not change diameter, temperature, or have fittings within it then the mass, velocity, Q value all stay the same.  The only variable that will change is the pressure over the length of the pipe when it is given a considerable length.

Another great visualization of laminar vs. turbulent flow, check out this great video.

 

If you would like to discuss the laminar and turbulent flow please contact an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

1 -Fluid Mechanics: Viscous Flow in Pipes, Laminar Pipe Flow Characteristics (16 of 34) – CPPMechEngTutorials – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQcZIcEa960

2 – Why Laminar Flow is AWESOME – Smarter Every Day 208 – SmarterEveryDay – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Hyc3MRKno

 

 

Oh The Place You Will Go, And Are Going.

When I graduated from high school I had already planned on going to college just like my brother and sister had.  Seeing as how I was the youngest of three I had a good idea of what to do and what not to do.  My sister went to the University of Cincinnati and graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Science in Chemical Engineering.  (Needless to say she’s the smart one)  My brother went for several years and just couldn’t seem to find a program that suited him.  It didn’t work out between him and college but he makes a living and a decent one at that.  Neither one of my parents have more than a high school education but ensured that each of their children had the option and I am extremely grateful, and plan to do the same with my children.  For a graduation present  my parents didn’t get me a new car, or some extravagant TV or anything like that.  Instead they gave my a very nice wrist watch, and a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Oh The Places You’ll Go.  To an eighteen year old guy the book seemed a little odd and the watch was for nice occasions.  Needless to say I never really thought much about the meaning of the book.

Now that I’ve graduated from college and started a career and a family I look back to the book and realize the meaning my parents had intended for the “odd” present.  In case you’ve never read the book it essentially tells you that you can do anything you want and encourages you to live life to its fullest.  The book has more meaning than I ever thought when I first got it.   While reading this book to my daughter I really started to realize my parents were giving me a push to find what I want to do and make it happen.

Here at EXAIR we are encouraged to follow through with any ideas we may have. We’re also encouraged to never stop learning,  and they back it up through a tuition reimbursement program.  We’re encouraged and driven to stay up with all the latest technology from topics that involve compressed air to the latest social media and technology trends.  The way EXAIR has been structured by our founder, Roy Sweeney, is to grow the business and our products by growing the people who make it possible.  In the year and few months that I have been part of the EXAIR team I must say I have never felt so driven to constantly be improving.  As a company we have ventured into new product offerings including Atomizing Spray Nozzles which is something we have just released this year.  I went from being a person that had never even thought of writing a blog or using Twitter to someone who writes once a week and tweets about anything and everything everyday.  The fact that EXAIR is the leading manufacturer of Intelligent Compressed Air® Products makes me proud to be a part of the EXAIR team and also keeps me motivated to continue on the path I have created for myself.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF