Journal article Open Access

Very accurate explicit approximations for calculation of the Colebrook friction factor

Ćojbašić, Žarko; Brkić, Dejan

To date, the Colebrook equation is mostly accepted as an unofficial standard for calculation of the friction factor in turbulent flow through pipes. Unfortunately, the unknown friction factor in the Colebrook equation is given implicitly. Therefore, the implicit Colebrook equation has to be solved in an iterative procedure or using some of the appropriate explicit correlations proposed by many authors. Although the iterative solution is simple and very accurate, it can cause some problems during the calculation of looped network of pipes or similar systems of pipes. Therefore, explicit approximations are favorable in these cases. Up to date, the most accurate approximations have maximal relative error of no more than 0.14% compared to the very accurate iterative solution. Here two explicit approximations are presented, based on already existing models which are improved using genetic algorithms optimization. They are with the maximal relative error of no more than 0.0083% and 0.0026%.

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