Approximation of turbulent wall shear stresses in highly transient pipe flows

Alan E. Vardy, Jim M. B. Brown

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    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Theoretical predictions of wall shear stresses in unsteady turbulent flows in pipes are developed for all flow conditions from fully smooth to fully rough and for Reynolds numbers from 103 to 108. A weighting function approach is used, based on a two-region viscosity distribution in the pipe cross section that is consistent with the Colebrook–White expression for steady-state wall friction. The basic model is developed in an analytical form and the resulting weighting function is then approximated as a sum of exponentials using a modified form of an approximation due to Trikha. A straightforward method is presented for the determination of appropriate values of coefficients for any particular Reynolds number and pipe roughness ratio. The end result is a method that can be used relatively easily by analysts seeking to model unsteady flows in pipes and ducts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1219-1228
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Unsteady flow
    • Skin friction
    • Shear stress
    • Surface roughness
    • Pipe flow


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