Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Michael C. Johnson


Michael C. Johnson


Steven L. Barfuss


Gary P. Merkley


William J. Rahmeyer


Solving for energy losses in pipe junctions has been a focus of study for many years. Although pipe junctions and fittings are at times considered "minor losses" in relation to other energy losses in a pipe network, there are cases where disregarding such losses in flow calculations will lead to errors. To facilitate these calculations, energy loss coefficients (K-factors) are commonly used to obtain energy losses for elbows, tees, crosses, valves, and other pipe fittings. When accurate K-factors are used, the flow rate and corresponding energy at any location in a pipe network can be calculated. K-factors are well defined for most pipe junctions and fittings; however, the literature documents no complete listings of K-factors for crosses. This study was commissioned to determine the K-factors for a wide range of flow combinations in a single pipe cross and the results provide information previously unavailable to compute energy losses associated with crosses. To obtain the loss coefficients, experimental data were collected in which the flow distribution in each of the four cross legs was varied to quantify the influence of velocity and flow distribution on head loss. For each data point the appropriate K-factors were calculated, resulting in over one thousand experimental K-factors that can be used in the design and analysis of piping systems containing crosses.




This work was revised and made publicly available electronically on August 1, 2011