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The Reynolds Number - Units in a Dimensionless Number

Lionel A. Sequeira, PE

What if you’re tasked with comparing flow rates and pressure losses through different pipe sizes but the information you have for fluid viscosity is in units of ft2/sec and your formula for Reynolds Number needed absolute viscosity in units of lbf-sec/ft2 or kinematic viscosity in units of centistokes? What if you need to find a particular flow rate for a flushing operation and have a target Reynolds Number and need to work backwards to find that flow rate?

This 3 PDH online course will compare the different forms of the formula for Reynolds Number and provide some background information on their derivation, from a practical, not theoretical viewpoint. An EXCEL program will be used to calculate the Reynolds Number, friction factor (using the Colebrook equation) and finally the pressure loss through a given length of pipe. Minor losses can also be factored in if required. The spreadsheet format of EXCEL provides a useful method for comparing scenarios with varied inputs.

The various formulas in the spread sheet will be analyzed to show how they relate to each other and also to the most basic formulas provided in general textbooks and reference material.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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