# Friction and pressure drop in a steam pipe

• archioll
In summary, friction causes pressure loss in fluid mechanics because the fluid loses energy to friction. This results in a decrease in pressure rather than an increase, as some may initially think. Additionally, the fluid must maintain a constant mass flow rate throughout the pipe.
archioll
Hi I am new to fluid mechanics and I wondering if anyone can explain to me in very simple terms why friction causes pressure loss when steam is moving through a pipe? I thought the friction would slow down the fluid which will lead to higher pressure but it seems its the opposite. I was trying to use Bernoulli's equation to see if I could figure it out but I couldn't.
Thanks very much

Welcome to PF!

The fluid loses energy to friction. Higher pressure would mean the fluid has more energy, not less. Also, if it were to slow down, it would accumulate. It has to have the same mass flow rate everywhere in the pipe (if it is a constant radius, of course).

## 1. What is friction in a steam pipe?

Friction in a steam pipe refers to the resistance that the inner walls of the pipe offer to the flow of steam. This resistance is caused by the roughness of the pipe surface and can result in a pressure drop along the length of the pipe.

## 2. How is friction related to pressure drop in a steam pipe?

Friction and pressure drop are directly related in a steam pipe. As the steam flows through the pipe and encounters resistance from the inner walls, the pressure of the steam decreases. This decrease in pressure is known as pressure drop and is directly proportional to the amount of friction in the pipe.

## 3. What factors affect friction in a steam pipe?

Several factors can affect the amount of friction in a steam pipe. These include the roughness of the inner pipe walls, the velocity of the steam flow, the temperature and pressure of the steam, and the diameter and length of the pipe.

## 4. How can friction and pressure drop be minimized in a steam pipe?

To minimize friction and pressure drop in a steam pipe, it is important to use smooth and clean pipes with a large diameter. Additionally, controlling the temperature and pressure of the steam and maintaining a constant velocity can also help reduce friction and pressure drop.

## 5. What are the consequences of high friction and pressure drop in a steam pipe?

High friction and pressure drop in a steam pipe can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the steam system. This can result in a decrease in steam flow rate, which can affect the functioning of equipment that relies on steam, and can also increase energy consumption and costs.

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