Explicit Friction Factor Accuracy and Computational Efficiency for Turbulent Flow in Pipes

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Explicit Friction Factor Accuracy and Computational Efficiency for Turbulent Flow in Pipes

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DOI 10.1007/s10494-012-9419-7

Efficiency for Turbulent Flow in Pipes

Received: 19 June 2012 / Accepted: 4 October 2012 / Published online: 31 October 2012

Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Abstract The implicit ColebrookWhite equation is the accepted method for accu-

rately estimating the friction factor for turbulent flow in pipes. This study reviews

28 explicit equations for approximating the friction factor to integrate both the

accuracy to the implicit ColebrookWhite equation and the relative computational

efficiency of the explicit equations. A range of 901 Reynolds numbers were selected

for the review between Re 4 103 and 4 108 and 20 relative pipe roughness

values were selected between D 106 101 , thus producing a matrix of 18,020

points for each explicit equation, covering all the values to be encountered in

pipeline hydraulic analysis for turbulent flow. The accuracy of the estimation of the

friction factor using the explicit equations to the value obtained using the implicit

ColebrookWhite equation were calculated and reported as absolute, relative per-

centage and mean square errors. To determine the relative computational efficiency,

300 million friction factor calculations were performed using randomly generated

values for the Reynolds number and the relative pipe roughness values between the

limits specified for each of the explicit equations and compared to the time taken by

the ColebrookWhite equation. Finally, 2D and 3D contour models were generated

showing both the range and magnitude of the relative percentage accuracy across the

complete range of 18,020 points for each explicit equation.

ColebrookWhite Computational efficiency

H. K. Winning (B)

CB&I, 40, Eastbourne Terrace, London, W2 6LG, UK

e-mail: kwinning@cbi.com

T. Coole

Dr. Buckinghamshire New University, Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire, HP11 2JZ, UK

e-mail: Tim.Coole@Bucks.ac.uk

2 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Nomenclature

fd Darcy friction factor (dimensionless)

ff Fanning friction factor (dimensionless)

Re Reynolds number (dimensionless)

Absolute Pipe Roughness (mm)

1 Introduction

requires the friction factor to be known; the friction factor being dependent on

both the relative roughness (absolute roughness divided by the internal diameter)

of the internal wall of the pipe and the Reynolds number which defines the flow

regime. The pipe is considered to be smooth when the projections of the surface are

completely submerged in the viscous laminar layer [1]. The thickness of the viscous

laminar layer is dependent on fluid properties; therefore the effect of the absolute

pipe roughness on the fluid is dependent on the magnitude of the Reynolds number.

Due to its applicability over a wide range of the Reynolds numbers and relative

pipe roughness values, the ColebrookWhite equation [2, 3] has become the accepted

standard for calculating the friction factor in pipes. This equation is a development of

the Prandtl [4] smooth pipe equation and the von Karman [5] rough pipe equation.

The ColebrookWhite equation is customarily given by Perry and Green [6] as:

1 1.256

= 4 log + (1)

ff 3.7D Re f f

factor and therefore requires an iterative solution, such as using the Newton

Raphson method. Where numerous calculations are required such as for the hy-

draulic analysis of long distance pipelines transporting compressible fluids this will

have a significant effect on the time taken to obtain a solution, even for fast computer

based systems. To address this issue, a number of explicit equations for the estimation

of friction factor have been developed since the first explicit relationship proposed

by Moody [7, 8] in 1947. These equations vary in the accuracy of the approxi-

mation of the friction factor, determined largely by the complexity of the explicit

equation.

2 Comparative Studies

part of proposing a new explicit equation. The equations reviewed in the comparative

studies discussed are identified in Table 5. The first of these reviews was carried out

in April 1985 by Gregory and Fogarasi [9]. The impact of this study on subsequent

research is evident from the books [10, 11] and papers [1216] citing their work,

frequently using the conclusions of their study as a starting point for new work.

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 3

This study compared the accuracy of 12 explicit friction factor equations to results

obtained using the ColebrookWhite equation. For each equation, Reynolds num-

bers in the range 4 103 to 108 and relative pipe roughness values between 108

to 5 102 were used. Thus, using a matrix of 6 Reynolds numbers and 8 relative

pipe roughness values for each equation generated a total of 48 data points for each

equation. In this study all the explicit equations were stated as being in terms of the

Fanning friction factor. During the review of this paper, it was found that the Wood

[17, Eq. 7] and the Serghides [18, Eqs. 20 and 21] were returning the Darcy friction

factor rather than the Fanning friction factor as stated, this being confirmed by

reference to the original sources. The Fanning friction factor is based on the hydraulic

radius, whereas the Darcy friction factor is based on the hydraulic diameter, thus

Darcy friction factor values are four times those of the Fanning friction factor.

Because of this error, their conclusion that Chen [19, Eq. 13] represented the last real

improvement is questionable. While Eq. 13 represented an improvement in accuracy

over the Moody [8, Eq. 5] by an order of magnitude of five, the Serghides [18, Eq. 20]

represented an improvement in accuracy over the Moody [8, Eq. 5] by an order of

magnitude of seven.

A second comparative review was carried out by Zigrang and Sylvester [20] in

June 1985, using the same boundary conditions as used by Serghides [18]: a matrix

of 70 values from 10 relative pipe roughness values from 4 105 to 5 102 and

7 Reynolds values from 2500 to 108 . This study was very similar to that of Gregory

and Fogarasi with respect to the explicit equations reviewed, with the exception of

dropping the Wood [17] equation and including the equation from Chen [21]; this

equation is not reviewed in the current study as the author stated that it was a

simplified equation and not expected to be of high accuracy, which was confirmed

by preliminary analysis. The recommendations were similar to those of Gregory

and Fogarasi, with the Chen [19, Eq. 13] being recommended as the simplest of the

most accurate equations, while the Serghides [18, Eq. 20] was identified as being the

most accurate overall. In addition, this study compared the equations complexity, as

defined by the number of algebraic notation calculator key strokes required to solve

the equation for Re = 103 and D = 0.001 [20].

Two further reviews were conducted in 2007 and 2008 by Goudar and Sonnad

[22, 23]. Both of these reviews only assessed the accuracy of the equations, with the

only new equations reviewed since 1985 being Manadilli [24, Eq. 23] in the 2007

review and Romeo et al. [25, Eq. 24] in the 2008 review. Both of these studies were

conducted using 20 relative pipe roughness values, ranging from 106 to 5 102

and 500 values of Reynolds numbers ranging from 4 103 to 108 , producing a matrix

of 10,000 points. This represents a significant increase in the size of the matrix

of values reviewed compared to the previous two studies. In the 2008 study [23],

the conclusion was that the Serghides [18, Eq. 20] was the most accurate of those

equations reviewedthe Serghides [18, Eq. 20] was not reviewed in the 2007 study.

In 2009, a further study was carried out by Yildirim, based on the same matrix

of values as used by Goudar and Sonnad. Yildirim does not make any definitive

recommendations, but concludes the study by summarising the data previously

presented in tabulated form, highlighting that the three most accurate equations are

Chen [19, Eq. 13], Sonnad and Goudar [14, Eq. 25] and Romeo et al. [25, Eq. 24].

Unfortunately neither of the Serghides equations were reviewed in this comparative

study.

4 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

roughness values, ranging from 106 to 7.5 102 and 37 values of Reynolds

numbers ranging from 104 to 108 , producing a matrix of 740 points. In addition

to determining the accuracy, this study used the same method for estimating the

complexity of the equation as used by Zigrang and Sylvester [20], 26 years earlier.

This review introduced equations including Eck [27, Eq. 9], Rao and Kumar [28,

Eq. 26], Buzzelli [29, Eq. 27], Avci and Karagoz [30, Eq. 28] and Papaevangelou

et al. [31, Eq. 29]. This review did not offer any definite conclusions other than the

equations were all very accurate, with the exception of the equations: Round [32,

Eq. 14], Eck [27, Eq. 9], Moody [8, Eq. 5], Wood [17, Eq. 7] and Rao and Kumar

[28, Eq. 26].

In 2011 another review of 16 equations was conducted by Genic et al. [33],

performed over the same range of values of the Goudar and Sonnad and the Yildirim

studies with a very large matrix of 1 million points. This review introduced the

equations of: Altshul cited in [33, Eq. 6], Tsal [34, Eq. 22], Fang et al. [35, Eq. 32]

and two by Brkic [26, Eqs. 30 and 31]. This review, like the work of Romeo et al.

[25] in 2002, used the Model Selection Criterion (MSC) and the Akaike Information

Criterion (AIC) to perform a statistical comparison of the relative computational

efficiency. This review concluded with the recommendation of the use of the Zigrang

and Sylvester [36, Eq. 18].

The aim of this study is to provide a consistent review of the available explicit

equations, across a wide range of Reynolds numbers and relative pipe roughness

values, thus identifying the absolute and relative accuracy to the implicit Colebrook

White equation, the applicable range for each equation and the relative computa-

tional efficiency for each explicit equation.

3 Analysis

The explicit equations were all coded as Visual Basic functions in an Excel

spreadsheet. The equations were coded in terms of the friction factor (either Darcy

or Fanning) as stipulated in the cited equation. To ensure a uniform output for

the equations, where the friction factor was returned as a Fanning friction factor,

the result of the calculation was multiplied by four. Therefore, all the friction

factor functions return the Darcy friction factor. A range of Reynolds numbers and

relative pipe roughness values were selected to encompass the limits of the previous

comparative studies reviewed. A range of 901 Reynolds numbers was selected for the

review between Re 4 103 and 4 108 and 20 relative pipe roughness values

were selected between D 106 101 , thus producing a matrix of 18,020 points

for each calculation. The dimensions of the matrix were chosen to ensure that any

local variations were identified, and that sufficient data was collected to generate

smooth contour plots.

For each of the explicit equations the minimum, maximum and mean absolute

error (Eq. 2) from the ColebrookWhite equation was calculated across the range

of Reynolds numbers and relative pipe roughness values studied. In addition the

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 5

minimum, maximum and mean relative percentage error (Eq. 3) was calculated and

finally the mean square error (MSE) (Eq. 4) was determined. The ColebrookWhite

values were determined to an accuracy of 109 for comparative purposes. These

results are in Table 1 and are ordered by the mean relative percentage error.

ftrue festimated

Relative error = 100 (3)

ftrue

i=N

( ftrue festimated )2

Mean square error (MSE) = i=1

(4)

N

The explicit equations were also reviewed and grouped according to the number of

iterations of the ColebrookWhite function as defined by the number of calls made

to the log function, either to base 10 or the natural log. In addition, an adjectival

grade was given to each of the explicit equations, according to the size of the MSE:

Large: MSE 5 106 .

Medium: MSE 108 < 5 106 .

Small: MSE 1011 < 108 .

Very Small: MSE < 1011 .

These results are in Table 2, ordered by the mean square error.

Contour plots were produced (Appendix), which mapped the relative percentage

error (z value) to the log of the relative pipe roughness (x axis) and the log of

the Reynolds number (y axis). A description of the error distribution was defined

according to:

Upper Diagonal: where the magnitude of the MSE is medium or small and

the lowest errors are mainly confined to the upper diagonal (higher Reynolds

numbers and rougher pipe). These equations exhibit the greatest error in the

transitional zone, where Reynolds numbers are low and the relative roughness is

high.

Diagonal Ridge Error: where the magnitude of the MSE is medium or small and

the distribution of the highest errors is generally confined to the diagonal line,

from high Reynolds numbers to rough pipe.

Diagonal Ridge: where the magnitude of the MSE is small and the distribution of

the lowest errors is generally confined to the diagonal line, bisecting the values.

This is the inverse of the Diagonal Ridge Error.

Unclassified: where the error distribution does not conform to one of the

previous classifications and is generally spread across a significant range of the

matrix.

These different error distributions are identified in Fig. 1, for Churchill [43, Eq. 8],

Chen [19, Eq. 13], Romeo et al. [25, Eq. 24] and Moody [8, Eq. 5] respectively.

The magnitude of the error increases from dark blue through green, yellow and

orange to red, though the absolute values for the colour banding is dependent on

the magnitude of the MSE and therefore varies for each equation. It should be noted

6 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

that the vertical scale for all the contour plots is the same to allow direct comparisons

to be made.

The previous studies have reported the accuracy of the explicit equations using a

variety of methods.

Relative percentage errorGregory and Fogarasi [9], Zigrang and Sylvester [20]

and Brkic [26]

Absolute errorGoudar and Sonnad [22, 23]

Relative percentage error and MSEGenic [33]

Relative percentage error, absolute error and MSEYildirim [16]

While the MSE provides a good indication to the overall accuracy of the explicit

equation, spikes within the data only become apparent with the maximum percentage

error. As can be seen from the contour plots, some of the explicit equations have very

high errors over a small range of input values thus producing spikes, which while

immediately obvious on the plots, might not be so readily identified in the tables and

certainly cannot be identified if both the MSE and maximum relative percentage

errors are not reported.

However, neither of these methods satisfactorily indicates the range of applicable

Reynolds numbers and relative pipe roughness values that produce an acceptable

accuracy for a given explicit equation. Using a combination of both 2D and 3D

contour plots the applicable range is easily indentified, even for the large matrix of

values being examined.

Although the previous reviews which considered the complexity or efficiency for the

explicit equations did so by reference to either the number of algebraic notation

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 7

calculator key strokes or by statistical modelling, this study determined the relative

computational efficiency for the explicit equations by comparing the time taken to

perform the equations. It is believed that this provides a more practical method of

determining the relative computational efficiency.

The 100 million friction factor calculations were performed using randomly

generated values for the Reynolds number and the relative pipe roughness values

between the limits specified in the study, for each of the explicit equations. The total

time taken to perform the calculations was recorded and the relative computational

efficiency determined by dividing the time taken for the explicit equation to perform

the calculations by the time taken by the implicit ColebrookWhite equation. This

was performed three times and the mean values for the relative computational

efficiency calculated and ranked. These results are shown in Table 3.

The explicit equations were ranked according to both the MSE (Rank A) and the

computational efficiency (Rank B); these rankings were then combined to produce

an overall ranking (Rank C). In order to produce a final ordinal ranking, the raw

combined rank was then ranked according to Rank A, as shown in Table 4.

As expected, those equations with the greater number of internal iterations

were generally more accurate and required a greater computational effort. While

the accuracy ranged from 1.75 104 to 5.62 1012 , the relative computational

efficiency only ranged from 0.488 to 0.716. These results are shown in Table 4.

4 Summary

As can be seen from Tables 1 and 2, the accuracy ranking differs slightly depending

on whether the equations are ordered by MSE or mean relative percentage error,

with the most significant changes being for the Churchill [41, Eq. 12], Brkic [26,

Eq. 30] and Rao and Kumar [28, Eq. 26], though generally the variations are small.

This study found that the Buzzelli [29, Eq. 27] is the most accurate overall, with an

MSE of 5.62 1012 , with the second most accurate being the Serghides Eq. 2 [18,

Eq. 20] with an MSE of 7.51 1012 .

The relative computational efficiency as shown in Table 3, demonstrates the

general correlation between accuracy and computational efficiency. Ignoring those

equations with large magnitudes of error as shown in Table 2, the most computa-

tionally efficient equations were those of Eck [27, Eq. 9], Churchill [43, Eq. 8] and

Swamee and Jain [42, Eq. 11]; these equations all produced medium magnitudes

of error. The equations with a small magnitude of error which were most compu-

tationally efficient were: Shacham [38, Eq. 15], Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 11 [36,

Eq. 17] and Fang et al. [35, Eq. 32]. For the two most accurate equations; Serghides

Eq. 2 [18, Eq. 20] and Buzzelli [29, Eq. 27], the variation in the ranking of the

computational efficiency was not significant, these equations being ranked 20th and

27th respectively.

Table 4 combines the performance of the equations based on accuracy and

computational efficiency. The explicit equations with the lowest combined ranking

were: Sonnad and Goudar [14, Eq. 25], Serghides Eq. 3 [18, Eq. 21] and Serghides

8

Table 1 Absolute, mean square and relative percentage error ordered by mean relative percentage error

Equation Absolute error MSE Relative percentage error

Min Max Mean Min Max Mean

(27) Buzzelli [29] 1.139E12 9.401E06 1.224E06 5.622E12 3.547E09 2.355E02 0.005

(20) Serghides Eq. 2 [18] 2.096E12 9.467E06 1.491E06 7.511E12 4.309E09 2.372E02 0.006

(18) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 12 [36] 2.096E12 3.051E05 4.027E06 7.067E11 4.309E09 1.305E01 0.019

(21) Serghides Eq. 3 [18] 2.095E12 4.697E05 6.668E06 1.886E10 4.308E09 3.680E01 0.037

(24) Romeo et al. [25] 2.566E09 9.877E05 2.528E05 1.330E09 2.730E05 1.226E01 0.057

(16) Barr [37] 4.175E11 2.588E04 2.315E05 1.945E09 3.180E07 5.533E01 0.063

(13) Chen [19] 3.493E09 1.537E04 3.388E05 2.032E09 2.902E05 3.387E01 0.097

(15) Shacham [38] 1.738E13 3.557E04 2.941E05 3.834E09 3.573E10 8.912E01 0.125

(17) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 11 [36] 1.098E12 1.866E04 2.790E05 3.101E09 2.258E09 9.921E01 0.141

(32) Fang et al. [35] 5.795E09 5.534E04 5.412E05 6.551E09 4.616E05 5.347E01 0.156

(25) Sonnad and Goudar [14] 1.285E07 3.867E04 5.222E05 1.053E08 1.344E03 9.688E01 0.174

(29) Papaevangelo et al. [31] 5.746E09 1.491E03 1.020E04 4.089E08 3.273E05 1.411E+00 0.230

(19) Haaland [39] 2.700E08 9.734E04 1.191E04 2.670E08 1.675E04 1.434E+00 0.373

(23) Manadilli [24] 6.875E09 2.484E03 1.561E04 1.277E07 3.636E05 2.710E+00 0.393

(10) Jain [40] 3.229E09 2.533E03 1.803E04 1.325E07 1.642E05 3.172E+00 0.452

(12) Churchill [41] 2.028E09 1.723E02 1.856E04 2.185E07 1.089E05 1.631E+01 0.475

(11) Swamee and Jain [42] 6.917E08 2.786E03 1.838E04 1.606E07 1.769E04 3.343E+00 0.478

(31) Brkic [26] 1.058E09 2.445E03 1.850E04 1.352E07 5.678E06 2.799E+00 0.479

(8) Churchill [43] 1.142E08 2.812E03 1.891E04 1.677E07 1.046E04 3.407E+00 0.492

(30) Brkic [26] 1.105E09 1.723E03 2.187E04 1.511E07 1.364E05 3.396E+00 0.721

(9) Eck [27] 6.901E08 3.506E03 3.899E04 4.640E07 1.265E04 8.209E+00 1.503

(28) Avci and Karagoz [30] 2.940E08 6.184E03 9.576E04 3.353E06 1.398E04 6.084E+00 1.716

(7) Wood [17] 2.265E07 1.128E02 1.536E03 5.913E06 1.859E03 2.825E+01 3.876

(14) Round [32] 1.573E07 1.336E02 2.260E03 1.835E05 8.530E04 1.315E+01 4.474

(5) Moody [8] 3.629E08 2.809E02 3.962E03 7.142E05 2.869E04 2.658E+01 6.098

(22) Tsal [34] 2.689E09 4.132E02 6.435E03 1.746E04 1.693E05 3.915E+01 8.894

(6) Altshul cited in [33] 4.564E08 4.132E02 6.684E03 1.751E04 2.187E04 3.972E+01 11.449

(26) Rao and Kumar [28] 5.086E06 3.412E02 3.469E03 5.159E05 2.838E02 8.548E+01 13.270

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 9

Equation MSE Magnitude Distribution

of error

(27) Buzzelli [29] 5.622E12 Very small Upper diagonal

(20) Serghides Eq. 2 [18] 7.511E12 Very small Upper diagonal

(18) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 12 [36] 7.067E11 Small Upper diagonal

(21) Serghides Eq. 3 [18] 1.886E10 Small Upper diagonal

(24) Romeo et al. [25] 1.330E09 Small Diagonal ridge

(16) Barr [37] 1.945E09 Small Upper diagonal

(13) Chen [19] 2.032E09 Small Diagonal ridge error

(17) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq 11. [36] 3.101E09 Small Upper diagonal

(15) Shacham [38] 3.834E09 Small Upper diagonal

(32) Fang et al. [35] 6.551E09 Small Unclassified

(25) Sonnad and Goudar [14] 1.053E08 Medium Upper diagonal

(19) Haaland [39] 2.670E08 Medium Upper diagonal

(29) Papaevangelo et al. [31] 4.089E08 Medium Unclassified

(23) Manadilli [24] 1.277E07 Medium Diagonal ridge error

(10) Jain [40] 1.325E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(31) Brkic [26] 1.352E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(30) Brkic [26] 1.511E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(11) Swamee and Jain [42] 1.606E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(8) Churchill [43] 1.677E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(12) Churchill [41] 2.185E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(9) Eck [27] 4.640E07 Medium Upper diagonal

(28) Avci and Karagoz [30] 3.353E06 Medium Unclassified

(7) Wood [17] 5.913E06 Large Unclassified

(14) Round [32] 1.835E05 Large Unclassified

(26) Rao and Kumar [28] 5.159E05 Large Upper diagonal

(5) Moody [8] 7.142E05 Large Unclassified

(22) Tsal [34] 1.746E04 Large Unclassified

(6) Altshul cited in [33] 1.751E04 Large Unclassified

Eq. 2 [18, Eq. 20]; these having decreasing magnitudes of error of medium, small and

very small respectively.

As 12 of the equations reviewed did not have stated applicable ranges, this study

has applied the same conditions to all the equations. While this obviously affects

the accuracy of the results claimed by the authors where an applicable range was

stated, it has been done to give a level comparison of the equations reviewed;

however, this is addressed by reference to the 2D and 3D contour plots which

clearly show the range of applicability for each equation. It should be noted that

the Rao and Kumar [28, Eq. 26] was developed to satisfy experimental data and

not to approximate the implicit ColebrookWhite equation and therefore shows to a

large extent the variation between the experimental data and the implicit Colebrook

White equation. However, it highlights the potential error that can be introduced

through the incorrect selection of an explicit method for approximating the friction

factor.

10 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Equation Relative computational efficiency Ranking

Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Mean

(6) Altshul cited in [33] 0.4773 0.4766 0.4779 0.4773 1

(5) Moody [8] 0.4926 0.4869 0.4881 0.4892 2

(7) Wood [17] 0.5284 0.5226 0.5239 0.5250 3

(9) Eck [27] 0.5539 0.5634 0.5597 0.5590 4

(22) Tsal [34] 0.5692 0.5685 0.5648 0.5675 5

(14) Round [32] 0.5795 0.5787 0.5802 0.5795 6

(8) Churchill [43] 0.5846 0.5787 0.5853 0.5829 7

(11) Swamee and Jain [42] 0.5948 0.5889 0.5955 0.5931 8

(25) Sonnad and Goudar [14] 0.5999 0.5940 0.6058 0.5999 9

(10) Jain [40] 0.6050 0.5991 0.6007 0.6016 10

(12) Churchill [41] 0.5999 0.6042 0.6078 0.6040 11

(28) Avci and Karagoz [30] 0.6173 0.6063 0.6129 0.6122 12

(15) Shacham [38] 0.6224 0.6216 0.6232 0.6224 13

(19) Haaland [39] 0.6377 0.6267 0.6334 0.6326 14

(17) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 11 [36] 0.6326 0.6369 0.6334 0.6343 15

(32) Fang et al. [35] 0.6429 0.6369 0.6437 0.6411 16

(21) Serghides Eq. 3 [18] 0.6480 0.6420 0.6488 0.6463 17

(23) Manadilli [24] 0.6480 0.6471 0.6590 0.6514 18

(13) Chen [19] 0.6531 0.6522 0.6539 0.6531 19

(20) Serghides Eq 2 [18] 0.6633 0.6522 0.6590 0.6582 20

(16) Barr [37] 0.6633 0.6573 0.6641 0.6616 21

(31) Brkic [26] 0.6735 0.6726 0.6743 0.6735 22

(18) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 12 [36] 0.6786 0.6675 0.6743 0.6735 23

(26) Rao and Kumar [28] 0.6837 0.6828 0.6897 0.6854 24

(27) Buzzelli [29] 0.6939 0.6879 0.6948 0.6922 25

(30) Brkic [26] 0.6939 0.6879 0.6999 0.6939 26

(24) Romeo et al. [25] 0.7144 0.7083 0.7102 0.7110 27

(29) Papaevangelo et al. [31] 0.7399 0.7390 0.7409 0.7399 28

5 Conclusions

This study has identified the most accurate explicit equations for approximating the

values obtained by the implicit ColebrookWhite equation, as well as determining

the relative computational efficiency for each explicit equation. By the innovative

use of 2D and 3D contour modelling over an extensive range of values, this study has

also identified the applicable range for each explicit equation in a way that enables

the reader to quickly assimilate the information from the vast number of underlying

calculations.

Any explicit equation can only approximate the value as obtained by the implicit

ColebrookWhite equation. Therefore, the value of an explicit equation to approxi-

mate the implicit ColebrookWhite equation is a function of both the accuracy and

computational efficiency and a review of one without the other is of questionable

value. As can be seen from Table 4, the most appropriate equations are not the most

accurate, but rather those that are of a higher order of accuracy while being more

efficient.

While determining the friction factor in the region of 1 % or better is considered

acceptable from a practical viewpoint, by referring to the tables and contour plots

Table 4 Explicit equations ordered by accuracy and computational efficiency

Equation Internal Accuracy Computational efficiency Combined ranking

Iterations MSE Rank A Relative effort Rank B A+B Rank C

(25) Sonnad and Goudar [14] 2 1.053E08 11 0.5999 9 20 1

(21) Serghides Eq. 3 [18] 3 1.886E10 4 0.6463 17 21 2

(20) Serghides Eq. 2 [18] 3 7.511E12 2 0.6582 20 22 3

(15) Shacham [38] 2 3.834E09 9 0.6224 13 22 4

(17) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 11 [36] 2 3.101E09 8 0.6343 15 23 5

(10) Jain [40] 1 1.325E07 15 0.6016 10 25 6

(9) Eck [27] 1 4.640E07 21 0.5590 4 25 7

(27) Buzzelli [29] 3 5.622E12 1 0.6922 25 25 8

(18) Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 12 [36] 3 7.067E11 3 0.6735 23 26 9

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

(32) Fang et al. [35] 1 6.551E09 10 0.6411 16 26 11

(19) Haaland [39] 1 2.670E08 12 0.6326 14 26 12

(11) Swamee and Jain [42] 1 1.606E07 18 0.5931 8 26 13

(8) Churchill [43] 1 1.677E07 19 0.5829 7 26 14

(7) Wood [17] 0 5.913E06 23 0.5250 3 26 15

(16) Barr [37] 2 1.945E09 6 0.6616 21 27 16

(5) Moody [8] 0 7.142E05 26 0.4892 2 28 17

(6) Altshul cited in [33] 0 1.751E04 28 0.4773 1 29 18

(14) Round [32] 1 1.835E05 24 0.5795 6 30 19

(12) Churchill [41] 1 2.185E07 20 0.6040 11 31 20

(24) Romeo et al. [25] 3 1.330E09 5 0.7110 27 32 21

(23) Manadilli [24] 1 1.277E07 14 0.6514 18 32 22

(22) Tsal [34] 0 1.746E04 27 0.5675 5 32 23

(28) Avci and Karagoz [30] 2 3.353E06 22 0.6122 12 34 24

(31) Brkic [26] 4 1.352E07 16 0.6735 22 38 25

(29) Papaevangelo et al. [31] 2 4.089E08 13 0.7399 28 41 26

(30) Brkic [26] 4 1.511E07 17 0.6939 26 43 27

(26) Rao and Kumar [28] 2 5.159E05 25 0.6854 24 49 28

11

12

Year Author and reference Explicit friction factor equation Applicable range Notes Eq.

1

106 3

1947 Moody [8] f f = 1.375 103 1 + 2 104 D + Re Re 4 103 and 108 1a, 1b, 1c, 1f & 1e (5)

D 0 102 1a, 1b, 1c, 1e & 1f

0.25

68

1952 Altshul cited in [33] fd = 0.11 Re+ D 4 (6)

A1

0.225 0.4

1966 Wood [17] fd = 0.094 D + 0.53 D + 88 D Re Re 4 103 and 5 107 1a, 1c, 1f & 2 (7)

D 105 4 102

0.134

where A1 = 1.62 D

7 0.9

1973 Churchill [43] 1 = 2 log 3.7D + Re 1c, 1e, 1f & 4 (8)

fd

15

1973 Eck [27] 1 = 2 log 3.715D + Re 4 (9)

fd

0.9

1976 Jain [40] 1 = 2.28 4 log D + 29.843

Re Re 5 103 and 107 1a, 1b, 1c, 1e & 1f (10)

ff

D 4 105 5 102

0.9

6.97

1976 Swamee and Jain [42] 1 = 4 log Re + 3.7D Re 5 103 and 108 1a, 1c, 1e & 1f (11)

ff

D 106 5 102

1

12

12

8 1

1977 Churchill [41] ff = 2 Re + 3 1a, 1e & 4 (12)

(A2 +A3 ) 2

0.9 16

16

7

where A2 = 2.457 ln Re + 0.27 D A3 = 37530

Re

5.0452

1979 Chen [19] 1 = 4 log 3.7065D Re log A4 Re 4 103 and 4 108 1a, 1b, 1d, 1e & 1f (13)

ff

1.1098

0.8981

(/D) 7.149

where A4 = 2.8257 + Re D 107 5 102

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Table 5 (continued)

Year Author and reference Explicit friction factor equation Applicable range Notes Eq.

Re

1980 Round [32] 1 = 3.6 log Re 4 103 and 108 1a, 1c & 1f (14)

ff 0.135Re( D )+6.5

D 0 5 102

5.02 14.5

1980 Shacham [38] 1 = 4 log 3.7D Re log 3.7D + Re Re 4 103 and 4 108 1b (15)

ff

4.518 log Re

7

1981 Barr [37] 1 = 2 log 3.7D +
0.52

1d, 1e & 4 (16)

fd Re 1+ Re29 ( D )0.7

5.02

1982 Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 11 [36] 1 = 4 log 3.7D Re log A5 Re 4 103 and 108 1a, 1b & 1d (17)

ff

13

where A5 = 3.7D + Re D 4 105 5 102

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

5.02

1982 Zigrang and Sylvester Eq. 12 [36] 1 = 4 log 3.7D Re log A6 Re 4 103 and 108 1a, 1d, 1e, 1f & 3 (18)

ff

13 5.02

where A5 = 3.7D + Re A6 = 3.7D Re log A5 D 4 105 5 102

1.11

6.9

1983 Haaland [39] 1 = 3.6 log Re + 3.7D Re 4 103 and 108 1a, 1b, 1c, 1e & 1f (19)

ff

D 106 5 102

2

2

(A8 A7 )

1984 Serghides Eq. 2 [18] fd = A 7 A9 2A8 +A7 1a, 1b, 1d, 2 & 4 (20)

12

where A7 = 2 log 3.7D + Re

7

A8 = 2 log 3.7D + 2.51A

Re

8

A9 = 2 log 3.7D + 2.51A

Re

2

2

7 4.781)

1984 Serghides Eq. 3 [18] fd = 4.781 A(A 8 2A7 +4.781

1a, 1d, 2 & 4 (21)

12

where A7 = 2 log 3.7D + Re

7

A8 = 2 log 3.7D + 2.51A

Re

13

Table 5 (continued)

14

Year Author and reference Explicit friction factor equation Applicable range Notes Eq.

0.25

68

1989 Tsal [34] A = 0.11 Re +D Re 4 103 and 108 (22)

If A 0.018 then fd = A D 0 5 102

95

96.82

1997 Manadilli [24] 1 = 2 log 3.7D + Re0.983 Re Re 5.235 103 and 108 1c, 1e & 1f (23)

fd

D 0 5 102

5.0272

2002 Romeo et al. [25] 1 = 2 log 3.7065D Re Re 3 103 and 1.5 108 1d, 1e & 1f (24)

fd

4.567

log 3.827D Re D 0 5 102

0.9924

log 7.7918D

0.9345

5.3326

+ 208.815+Re

0.4587Re

2006 Sonnad and Goudar [14] 1 = 0.8686 ln S(S/S+1)

Re 4 103 and 108 1c & 1e (25)

fd

where S = 0.1240 D Re + ln (0.4587Re) D 106 5 102

(2 D )1

fd

Re

2

0.33 ln Re

6.5

where = 1 0.55e

B 2

B1 +2 log Re

2008 Buzzelli [29] 1 = B1 4 (27)

fd 1+ 2.18

B 2

0.774 ln(Re)]1.41

where B1 = [

1+1.32 D

B2 = 3.7D Re + 2.51 B1

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Table 5 (continued)

Year Author and reference Explicit friction factor equation Applicable range Notes Eq.

6.4

2009 Avci and Karagoz [30] fd =
4 (28)

2.4

ln(Re)ln 1+0.01Re D 1+10 D

0.24790.0000947(7log Re)4

2010 Papaevangelo et al. [31] fd =

2 Re 104 and 107 (29)

log 3.615D + 7.366

0.9142

Re

D 105 103

2

2011 Brkic [26] fd = 2 log 100.4343 + 3.71D 4 (30)

where = ln Re

1.1Re

1.816 ln ln(1+1.1Re)

2

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Re + 3.71D 4 (31)

where = ln Re

1.1Re

1.816 ln ln(1+1.1Re)

2

60.525 56.291

1.1007

2011 Fang et al. [35] fd = 1.613 ln 0.234 D + Re 3 103 and 108 (32)

Re1.1105 Re1.0712

D 0 5 102

a. Gregory and Fogarasi [9]

b. Zigrang and Sylvester [20]

c. Goudar and Sonnad [22]

d. Goudar and Sonnad [23]

e. Yildirim [16]

f. Genic [33]

2. In the Gregory and Fogarasi [9] paper it was incorrectly identified as returning the Fanning friction factor, rather than the Darcy friction factor

3. This equation was incorrectly stated in the Gregory and Fogarasi [9] paper, where the equation was given as:

1 = 4 log 3.7D 5.02 log A6

ff

15

16 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

within this study it is possible to select the most suitable explicit equation based

on the accuracy required, relative pipe roughness, predicted flow regime, and the

number of calculations to be performed taking into account the inherent uncertainty

in estimating some of the input parameters (Table 5).

Acknowledgement The authors wish to acknowledge the importance of the comparative study

conducted by Gregory and Fogarasi which has provided the basis for much of the subsequent

research in this area and is still widely cited.

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 17

18 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 19

20 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 21

22 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 23

24 Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127

Flow Turbulence Combust (2013) 90:127 25

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