Further developments in rapidly decelerating turbulent pipe flow modeling

S. Meniconi, Huanfeng Duan, B. Brunone, M. S. Ghidaoui, P. J. Lee, M. Ferrante

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


In the last two decades, energy dissipation in unsteady-state pressurized pipe flow has been examined by various authors, where the instantaneous wall shear stress is split into a quasi-steady and an unsteady shear stress component. The focus of most past studies is on formulating expressions for the unsteady wall shear stress, but there has been less work on the key parameters governing the dominance of unsteady friction in transient flows. This paper derives an expression for the head envelope damping for turbulent flows in smooth and rough pipes and provides new and carefully measured field data for the initial (i.e., pretransient) Reynolds number, R0, that ranges from 97,000 to 380,000. The analytical solutions is derived on the basis of one-dimensional (1D) water hammer equations in which the unsteady component is represented by existing convolutional unsteady friction formulas for both smooth and rough turbulent subregimes. The analytical solution is used to formulate general, encompassing and theoretically-based dimensionless parameters to assess the importance of unsteady friction in comparison to the quasi-steady component. In addition, the analytical solution furnishes the similitude relations that allowed the damping behavior from existing laboratory tests, the field tests conducted as part of this research, and the weighting function-based (WFB) models to be investigated and compared in a coherent manner in a single graph. The analysis confirms that the magnitude of R0has a significant impact on the damping for transients generated by flow stoppage. In addition, the results show that convolutional unsteady friction model that uses the frozen eddy viscosity hypothesis and R0has accuracy that decreases with time. An improvement for this shortcoming is proposed and verified and involves the use of the instantaneous Reynolds number in lieu of the pretransient Reynolds number in the evaluation of the WFB models. The result is a modified unsteady friction model that provides improved matches for both laboratory and field data compared with the original model.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014028
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Initial conditions
  • Pressurized pipeline
  • Rough pipe
  • Smooth pipe
  • Transients
  • Turbulent flow
  • Unsteady friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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