UFR 4-14 References

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Flow in pipes with sudden contraction

Underlying Flow Regime 4-14               © copyright ERCOFTAC 2004


Astarita, G. and Greco, G. (1968) “Excess pressure drop in laminar flow through sudden contraction”, Ind. Engng Chem. Fundam., Vol. 7 (1), pp. 27-31

Benedict, R.P., Carlucci, N.A., Swetz, S.D. (1966) “Flow losses in abrupt enlargements and contractions”. J. Engineering Power, Vol. 88 (1), pp 73-81

Boger, D. (1982) “Circular entry flows of inelastic and visco-elastic fluids”, Advances in Transport Processes, vol.2

Buckle, U. and Durst, F. (1993) “Investigation of laminar flow in a pipe with sudden contraction of cross sectional area”, Trans. ASME Data for Validation of CFD codes. FED-Vol. 146, pp. 61-78.

Bullen, P.R. and Cheeseman, D.J. (1984) “The definition of pipe contraction pressure loss coefficients for incompressible flow”, Report No. TFAR/1/84, Kingston Polytechnic

Bullen, P.R., Cheeseman, D.J., Hussain, L.A., Ruffell, A.E. (1987) “The determination of pipe contraction pressure loss coefficients for incompressible turbulent flow”, Int. Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, Vol. 8 (2), pp. 111 – 118

Bullen, P.R., Cheeseman, D.J., Hussain, L.A. (1988) “The effects of inlet sharpness on the pipe contraction pressure loss coefficient”, Int. Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, Vol. 9 (4), pp.431-433

Bullen, P.R., Hussain, L.A., Cheeseman, D.J. (1990) “Laser Doppler Anemometry measurements of flow through a sudden pipe contraction and comparison with computer predictions”, 3rd International Conf. on Laser Anemometry, Advances and Applications, Springer-Verlag, pp.567-576

Bullen, P.R., Cheeseman, D.J., Hussain, L.A. (1996) “A study of turbulent flow in pipe contractions”, Proc. of IMechE Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 210 (E3), pp. 171–180

CFX5 Version 5.6 (2003) “CFX5 Solver and Solver Manager Manual”

Christiansen, E.B., Kelsey, S.J., Carter, T.R. (1972) “Laminar tube flow through an abrupt contraction”, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, Vol. 18 (2), pp.372-380

Durst F., and Loy T. (1985) “Investigation of laminar flow in a pipe with sudden contraction of cross sectional area”, Computers & Fluids, Vol. 13(1), pp15-36.

ESDU (2001) “Pressure Losses in flow through a sudden contraction of duct area”, Data Item 01016, ESDU International, London.

Idel’chik, I.E. (1986) “Handbook of hydraulic resistance”, 2nd edition, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation

Jones, W.P. and Launder, B.E. (1973) “Calculation of Low-Reynolds-Number phenomena with a two-equation model of turbulence”, Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 16 (6), pp. 1119-1130

Kaye, S.E. and Rosen, S.L. (1971) “The dependence of laminar entrance loss coefficients on contraction ratio for Newtonian fluids”, Am. Inst. Chem. Engrs J., Vol. 17 (5), pp. 1269-1270

Kays, W. M. (1950) “Loss coefficients for abrupt changes in flow cross section with low Reynolds number flow in single and multiple tube systems”, Trans. ASME, Vol. 72, pp. 1067-1074

Kelsey S. (1971) “Isothermal and non-isothermal, laminar, Newtonian and non-Newtonian entrance region flow”. PhD Thesis, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Levin, L., Clermont, F. (1970) “Etude des pertes de charge singulieres dans les convergents coniques”, Le Genie Civil, T. 147, No.10, pp. 463-470

Menter, F.R. (1994) “Two-equation eddy-viscosity turbulence models for engineering applications”, AIAA Journal, vol. 32 (8), pp. 1598-1605

Miller, D.S. (1971) “Internal flow — a guide to losses in pipe and duct systems”. British Hydromechanics research Association, Cranfield, UK

Sylvester, N. D. and Rosen, S. L. (1970) “Laminar flow in the entrance region of a cylindrical tube: Part I. Newtonian Fluids”, Am. Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, Vol. 16 (6), pp. 964-966

Vrentas, J.S. and Duda, J.L. (1973) “Flow of a Newtonian fluid through a sudden contraction”, Applied Scientific Research, Vol. 28, pp. 241-260

Wilcox, D.C. (1998) “Turbulence modeling for CFD”, 2nd ed., DCW Industries, Inc., La Canada, CA, pp.103-217.

Zhang, Z. and Kleinstreuer, C. (2003) “Low-Reynolds-Number turbulent flows in locally constricted conduits: a comparison study”, AIAA Journal, Vol. 41 (5), pp. 831-840.



Small tube diameter


Reynolds Number


Large tube diameter


Small tube outlet Re


Kinetic turbulent energy


Large tube inlet Re


Pressure loss coefficient


Axial fluid velocity


Small tube length


Inlet average velocity


Large tube length


Outlet average velocity


Upstream separation length


Centre-line fluid velocity


Upstream separation height


Radial fluid velocity


Downstream separation length


Axial distance from contraction plane


Downstream separation height


Radial distance


Throat axial location of downstream sep.


Contraction ratio (d/D)


Static Pressure


Fluid dynamic viscosity


Total Pressure


Fluid density


Pipe radius


Contraction area ratio


Pressure Loss Coefficient

The pressure loss coefficient for a sudden contraction is defined as

U4-14d32 files image059.gif

where Δpt12 is the total pressure loss due to the contraction, and 1/2 ρ U22 is the kinetic pressure at Station 2 (see Fig.1). Δpt12 is defined as the total pressure drop between Station 1 in the large pipe and Station 2 in the small pipe minus the losses due to friction for fully developed flow in the large and small pipes extrapolated to the contraction plane. Station 1 and 2 are located in the fully developed regions upstream and downstream of the contraction respectively, outside the region of influence of the contraction. The total pressure loss Δpt12 is derived from measurements of static pressure loss Δp12.

© copyright ERCOFTAC 2004

Contributors: Francesca Iudicello - ESDU

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